Spotted by this CNN story, social networking site Blippy lets you broadcast your purchases to interested parties, while letting you keep track of others’ buys as well. Think of it as a financial Twitter. [More]
Someone who says he’s worked with BestBuy.com for a couple of years now sent us an exhaustive list of topics related to buying from the website. Learn about the Satisfaction Matrix that determines how a CSR treats you! Discover the best way to ensure a new shipping address is accepted into the system! Exciting stuff like that follows. [More]
You know what’s great about subscriptions? You forget to cancel them. You also pay more over time than you would if you were forced to buy items individually. Yeah, that’s awesome—for companies. The New York Times looks at current research on how consumers think about subscriptions, and why companies want to push them more than ever.
Hey, are you ready for Comcast to take more control over your entertainment? Then great news for you! Yesterday a rumor leaked that the cable giant is negotiating to buy 51% of NBC Universal, which includes the movie studio Universal, Universal theme parks, the NBC network, and shows like 30 Rock and SNL.
Jeff bought a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 4 back in May during a sale promising a $200 discount. The final checkout price didn’t reflect the discount, but he double-checked the terms and conditions and confirmed that he was eligible. Adobe agreed, and has repeatedly promised to issue a refund. Jeff has been waiting for the check for almost four months, and he’s not alone. Another customer has been waiting on a similar refund for almost a year!
Taking outsourcing to an extreme, Bank of New Zealand decided that instead of figuring out why one woman’s charges ended up on another customer’s account, they would just give the customer the woman’s name, home address, work address, email address and cellphone number so they could settle things for themselves.
Radio Shack is charging New York City consumers an extra half-percent of sales tax, even though the State hasn’t approved a new tax rate. Before descending into a chaotic mess of embarrassing inaction, the New York State Senate was widely expected to hike the sales tax New York City’s local sales from 8.375% to 8.875%. That never happened, a minor detail that isn’t stopping Radio Shack from collecting more tax, as reader Jeff discovered…
The Swedish gaming company Global Gaming Factory X AB has purchased The Pirate Bay for $7.7 million, and plans to transform the embattled file sharing site into a legitimate peer-to-peer service. “We would like to introduce models which entail that content providers and copyright owners get paid for content that is downloaded via the site,” the buyers said in an ambiguous statement. The Pirate Bay’s current administrators did offer up one undeniable truth to comfort the site’s fans…
Acknowledging that skittish consumers are still unwilling to buy big-ticket items, Sears tomorrow plans to unveil a bold new guarantee: if you lose your job after charging a purchase worth $399 or more to your Sears card, the retailer will credit 1/12th of the purchase price to your account for each month you are unemployed. If you stay jobless for one year, the debt is entirely forgiven, and the appliance is yours to keep.
Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of New Mexico, says marketers are trying too hard to find a working model of why people spend money the way they do. It really comes down to the human equivalent of “cost signaling” in the animal world—a sort of “peacock feather” display that’s supposed to tell peers and prospective mates how smart or sophisticated we are. The only problem is, other people never fall for it.
A reader wants to know why Chase is pushing him so hard to use his debit card like a credit card when paying for things—they’re promoting a contest for people who do this, and on every insert or blank space in the paperwork that accompanied his newest card, they encourage him to always select “credit” over “debit” at checkout. Why?
Oh, by the way, KamberEdelson, the law firm that filed the class action against Sears over its website exposing customer’s purchase histories? They’re the same folks who successfully sued Sony BMG for selling all those DRM-riddled music CDs. Sears could be in trouble. [Washington Post]
Reuters reports a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Sears for its managemyhome.com site which allowed you to type in anyone’s name and address or phone number and get a record of everything they ever bought at Sears. The suit alleges that in doing so, Sears engaged in “unfair or deceptive” practices. Not too long after our post went up on Friday reporting on the matter, the purchase history feature was turned off. Sears said it had “turned off the ability to view a customer’s purchase history on Manage My Home until we can implement a validation process that will restrict access by unauthorized third parties.” Yes, a validation process, that would be good to have.
Want to see all the major appliances and repair services that your friends and neighbors… (and anyone else who you can look up in the phone book) have ever purchased at Sears?