Rumors on the Internets: T-Mobile may be consider buying Sprint in order to keep the company from lowering its prices and triggering a price war, says Merrill Lynch. “In such a price war scenario, we think T-Mobile would face the most pressure, and Deutsche Telekom would see the increased urgency to drive market repair,” the firm’s analysts said.
An anonymous AT&T employee who says to call him “Vernon” wrote in to tell us that starting next Tuesday, March 11th, some customers in the Southeast who call in to make a payment will be charged $5, with the fee going nationwide by May. He writes, “I feel this is taking advantage of our customers’ trust, because even when we put it on all of their bills, and let people know, there will be tons of reps that won’t let the customer know they’re being charged for taking their payment.”
Marketwatch says that Bank of America is in “advanced” talks to acquire Countrywide. No word on if said talks took place on Vader’s Star Destoyer or on Captain Hook’s pirate ship. Bank of America already bailed out Countrywide last year, chucking $2 billion into the troubled mortgage lender in exchange for preferred securities that could be converted into stock at $18. Countrywide is currently trading at around $7.75.
Anyone else get a call from Chase about their credit cards?
I thought I would pass along a problem I ran into today. I received a couple phone calls from Chase Bank fraud department concerning 2 credit cards I have with them (Amazon Visa and Chase Freedom Card). They reported (in a separate call for each card) that both cards are suspected of being compromised and that they are being closed.
Rumor has it that CompUSA could be closing down for good immediately following the holidays. UPDATE: This has come true: CompUSA Will Close All Stores After Holidays
Rumors are flying that Stanley O’Neal is being forced to step down after a disastrous third quarter— making him the most prominent casualty of the subprime meltdown.
The Wall Street Journal has it in their pretty little heads that AT&T is in the market for either EchoStar or DirecTV. And hey, why not? AT&T owns everything else.
Comcast’s download limit is 200 gigabytes, but the limit isn’t everywhere, a former Comcast employee told The Consumerist. Places where the network isn’t optimal, due to old hardware or too much traffic, like the Bay Area, will run into the limit. Places like Philadelphia will never run into the problem.
A tipster tells us FedEx’s website has been malfunctioning for the last two days, resulting in hellish lines at the stores. It might be a good time to visit the FedEx Kinkos store that is furthest from other forms of intelligent life.
AT&T experiencing coast-to-coast data service outages, reader Michael writes, with users unable to connect to EDGE via iPhone or use data via Blackberries. Reportedly, it should be fixed within 1-2 hours. (P)
Best Buy is on the offense, launching an internal witch hunt to unmask the “rogue employees” responsible for exposing Geek Squad’s pervasive culture of porn pilfering. Their first victim is the Geek Squad supervisor of the Santa Clarita store, one of the only Best Buy locations whose former employees were quoted in recent articles, print as being a center for porn pilfering.
A Circuit City manager told reader Ryan that the “unbeatable price guarantee” will soon be eliminated. Ryan was asking the Circuit City in Hicksville, NY to match Best Buy’s price for an Arrested Development DVD; though the cashier refused to honor the policy – which beats the advertised price of any local competitor by 10% – the manager explained that it was just a huge tiny mistake, and that so long as signs advertising the policy are up, the policy will be honored. After the jump, we ask Circuit City when the signs are coming down.
Word on the street is that following negative stories in the LA Daily News, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Best Buy interrogated employees at the Santa Clarita store where former Geek Squad agent and Consumerist reader Brett Haddock used to work, and could be gearing up, or at least, wants people to think it’s gearing up, to seek damages against Geeks who spoke out about the porn pilfering.
UPDATE: A current Target employee rebuts these statements, inside…
An Apple telesales rep tell us you can get them to knock $100 off your price when ordering over the phone just by playing a little hard to get:
If they make it obvious that they’re purchasing but are a little resistant to it being “too expensive” by about $100 – sales representatives can take off $100 off an order (as long as it’s purchased through the standard consumer store).
We’re thinking this is more likely to work if it’s a big-ticket item like a laptop.
We’re not going to pretend we understand why this would be the case, but reader Meredith writes in to report a slip of the tongue by one of IBM’s CSRs. Secrets were revealed: If your laptop is still under warranty, but the part you break isn’t covered, the repair costs 36% more. Read Meredith’s email inside.
This is excellent news, because as far as we’re concerned Diet Coke isn’t good for anything except for making Mentos geysers. Come to think of it, Mentos aren’t good for anything else either. A loading tube provides a valuable service to consumers. —MEGHANN MARCO
Everyone knows the 5 second rule. If you drop a piece of food on the floor, and then pick it up before you can count to five, you won’t die of salmonella. Right? Eh, maybe. They took a look at this one on that show Mythbusters, and now some real scientists have given it a once over. The results are delicious.