Consumer Reports tells us that Target’s strict “No receipt, No return” policy has an “unadvertised” loophole — you can return items of less than $20 for store credit. The catch? You can only do this twice a year.
The blogosphere is circulating a link to an awesome German food photography site today, which compares package photos of food with what’s inside for around 100 products. Sure, it’s all in German, but the Industrial Food Revolution is the same pretty much everywhere. We looked around for a good “secrets of food photography” and found this article at Photocritic which lists some of the staples any good food photographer has at every shoot, including motor oil, cotton balls, and brown shoe polish. Mmm!
It’s that time of year to pretend to care about your body for a few weeks before you give up in despair and realize it’s your parents’ fault for not having better genes. SmartMoney has published another one of their “10 Things” articles, this time about the common workout hobo, or as they prefer to be called, “personal trainers.”
CNN interviews a former tow truck driver to get the dirt on how the business works. There’s not a lot of new info here, but it may be useful to know that just because you see some un-towed cars in a towing zone, it doesn’t mean it’s safe—usually, drivers leave some cars alone to entice fresh…
The Chicago Tribune recaps the findings of some recent consumer behavior studies—for instance, we’re irrational buyers, prone to shoddy math and emotional decision making. The studies might be paid for by advertisers so they can better manipulate us, but as the Tribune notes, they’re useful for us too because they “can help shoppers make better spending decisions if they understand themselves better.”
Back in September we gave you some instructions for grabbing AT&T’s secret “naked” DSL, but to be honest, it’s not really that secret anymore, and it seems that people all around the country have been able to get it.
Direct mail still works whether you want it to or not, which is why you’ll continue to get subscription requests, membership invitations, donation pleas, and coupons every day the mail runs. Here’s a list of tricks direct mail marketers use to increase the odds that their mailings will be opened. It’s written for marketers, but in the advertising arms race everything is fair game, so we felt it was worth showing Consumerist readers as well.
It’s no secret that every DMV office is like a relocated bit of Soviet Mother Russia on U.S. soil, or that the people who work there really do talk and act like Patty and Selma. SmartMoney lists 10 other things that may not be as well known, though. For the most part, the list is light on advice and heavy on anecdote and scandal—but there are still a few good lessons to be learned from it. They include: visit the nondenominational dmv.org before you go; don’t ever buy vanity plates (especially ones that announce you’re a female); and flood-damaged cars, which are dangerous to drive, are being fraudulently sold as “used” via unscrupulous dealers who take advantage of lax DMV title rules, so always “screen the car’s VIN through the free database at carfax.com/flood.”
AT&T is required to offer a $10 DSL option to those consumers who are in AT&T’s 22 state coverage area and who have not previously subscribed to AT&T DSL. This requirement is part of concessions made to the FTC so that AT&T could merge with BellSouth and take over Cingular.
Are brand-name items any better than no-name ones? It’s a question that shoppers have been asking themselves since before the markets were super. DigitalFAQ.com has endeavored to enlighten us as to the ways of the blank DVD. Where do they come from? Who makes them? Why are they purple?