Those who toil away on free-to-play Facebook games may have built up a false sense of security as they blindly click on all the permission buttons in order to get to the good stuff. But an ad that claims to offer Facebookers access to a free Mario Kart game is a trap, like one of those upside down question blocks in the real version of the game. [More]
I don’t know about you, but when I go out in the sun, I’ll only wear a pair of hugely oversized $500 Dolce & Gabbana shades so that I’m easily recognized by the paparazzi. But apparently, says the Wall Street Journal, I need not have spent my entire month’s paycheck on my designer specs. [More]
Brandon regrets having done business with DeadlyDeal.com earlier this year. He figured he “couldn’t go wrong” with his mystery box purchase—”after all, my dealings with Woot.com had all been more than satisfactory so far.” But DeadlyDeal is no Woot, friends. Well, except maybe in the creative writing department, because there’s no way those DeadlyDeal customer testimonies (“Thanks for my free iPhone!”) are legit.
Sometimes we think Gamestop is run by some sort of secret cabal of anti-videogame fanatics, and they use the store as a front to spread hatred of games and game purchasing across America.
Whether it’s because of frequent flier miles that are impossible to redeem, overly complicated terms and conditions or reward credit cards with high APR’s, credit card reward programs are usually a rip off, according to CNN Money. Consumer Reports says that about 85% of American households participate in at least one rewards program which encourage consumers to spend more money but often turn out to be more trouble than they’re worth. To help you wade through the confusion, Consumer Reports has assembled 7 tips to help you make postive use of credit card reward programs. The list, inside…
Meet the faulty check valve, a little gremlin that lives inside the gas pump. It could be pilfering your pennies. Or it could be pilfering the gas station’s. It really doesn’t care. According to an AP article, a faulty check valve inside a gas pump is difficult to diagnose and often goes ignored. The pricing errors it produces could either be in favor of the gas station or the consumer. How does this work?
Universal Gas & Electric, a Canadian company, sends out door-to-door salesmen who lie to homeowners about the imaginary “savings” they’ll enjoy if they switch gas suppliers, when in reality Universal is currently about 50% higher than the default supplier. One former Universal employee says, “I’d have people ask, ‘What am I paying now?’ and they’d look at the bill and it’s right there in front of them and they don’t know where to look and I would avoid telling them that.”
Georgia state inspectors closed two large Cisco gas stations just across the state line from Florida last week in what the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture described as “one of the worst cases of shorting gas customers he’s seen since he took office back in 1969.” (Why Ag? Why not?) An inspector found that a five gallon test pump turned up over a quart short at the Cisco Travel Plaza off Interstate 95′s Exit 6, and a similar test revealed a suspiciously similar shortage at another Cisco Travel Plaza off Exit 1.
More about Bank of America’s inexplicable rate hikes against good customers who never pay late: the Charlotte Observer talks to some recent recipients of BoA’s infamous rate-increase letters from the past few weeks. The first person they talk to is a 60-year-old woman who “had never been late on a credit card payment, just refinanced her home at a lower interest rate, and just been rewarded by her credit union with a lower rate on her credit card there.” Bank of America just raised her card from 13% to 24.99%.
BusinessWeek has just published an article about Bank of America’s recent surprise mailings in January to some of its customers, announcing “that it would more than double their rates to as high as 28%, without giving an explanation for the increase.” These customers have good credit scores and hadn’t made any late payments, and those who called Bank of America to ask why this was happening weren’t given clear reasons. Industry experts say Bank of America has reached a “new level” of “lack of transparency in raising rates,” beyond anything Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase currently practice, because BoA is apparently using some undisclosed internal metric to determine who gets the rate hike.
If you have a computer and a digital camera, there’s no reason to ever pay a drugstore $8 for a couple of crummy passport photos and lousy customer service. This blogger discovered that he couldn’t even get an in-focus photo from a local CVS: “When we pointed that out, he was like ‘Oh really? don’t worry all photos printed here look like that and no one ever came back because a photo was not accepted.’” If you’re not Photoshop-savvy, just use the free epassportphoto.com website.
There’s one good thing to come out of this Apple/The Postal Service flap: It looks like The Postal Service’s Such Great Heights is dominating the iTunes Video store today. At $2 a download, hopefully they’re getting a little money out of the whole deal. (Thanks, ifdu400!)
We’re a bit behind on this story, but we figured we’d get our finger on it before it got away from us. Apple straight-up ripped off the video for The Postal Service’s song Such Great Heights to promote its use of Intel chips in its new Macs. (The Postal Service is a band, not our U.S. Mail.) Both videos were directed by the same two people, which makes it unquestionably clear that Apple and their ad agency, TBWAChiat Day, intended to clone the video shot-for-shot from the beginning.