In April, NPR reported on how Vision Media was calling up non-profits, promising them a Hugh Downs-anchored PBS special. All they would have to do is underwrite the production costs. Instead, those who signed up and paid up got a pile of poorly made ads on DVD, and no airtime. Now the firm seems to once again changed names and hosts. They’re going by “World Progress Report” and the ostensible anchor is former Good Morning America newscaster Joan Lunden. [More]
Stuck in a $14,300 debt hole, reader Trixare4kids was dug herself out using tips she learned about on Consumerist. Let’s learn how she went on a personal finance rampage, learned to live frugally, did it all in 20 months, and how you can do it too! [More]
The makers of the Hugh Downs video ripoff we wrote about are suing 800notes.com, a site that lets people anonymously post info about unsolicited calls they receive. Vision Media wants the posters’ identities revealed. That’s not uncommon, but what’s really rich is that they asked the judge for a gag order to stop 800notes lawyer, Paul Levy of Public Citizen, from posting the motions about the case online. Yes, they wanted to stop people from reposting public documents because doing so was “embarrassing” and “defamatory”. [More]
“Vision Media Television,” after getting exposed in a NY Times story as a ripoff production company, has changed its name to “GreatAmericaHD” and is back to its same tricks. The way it works is they call up non-profit organizations with an alluring pitch: a chance to be featured in a nationally-broadcast PBS show anchored by established broadcaster. In this case, Hugh Downs. What they don’t tell you is that you’ll have to front upwards of $20,000 in production costs, and the “program” they shoot will never see the light of day. [More]
Shortly after surviving the death of her husband and a life-threatening medical crisis, Ann Howe of Seattle decided to refinance her home mortgage. Everything went smoothly until the bank informed her that the refinance couldn’t be completed because the credit bureau Experian was convinced that she was dead.
Brandy’s Kodak digital camera comes with several pre-set modes, one of which is “beach.” However, when her camera stopped working after a trip to the beach, she reports that Kodak’s mystifying response to her service request was that just because a digital camera has a setting for taking photos at the beach, that doesn’t mean that you should actually take it to the beach.
A depressed woman has lost her benefits because her insurance agent found Facebook photos where she appears to be having fun.
Reader David wrote in describing the level of customer service he got while spending $1,300 at Best Buy. It’s about what you’d expect. But… shouldn’t it be better? According to David, the salesperson didn’t know basic information, like how many inputs the TV had, tried to harass him into buying a $150 Monster Cable, and then made up some nonsense about the percentage of that particular model TV that came back for repair.
After the death of a relative, Mike put together a photo tribute for the funeral, in order to “remember the good times,” he says. Only a Walmart cashier put a stop to his purchase. Here’s what happened. Do you think Walmart was in the right?
88 websites, a good number pretty big name sites, that earned millions, some in excess of $10 million, as partners in the infamous Webloyalty consumer ripoff. Pizza Hut? Say it ain’t so.
Awhile back AT&T sued Verizon over their “There’s a Map For That” advertisements, claiming that the maps were misleading because the empty areas on the maps represented different things. Now Verizon has responded to the lawsuit with some fightin’ words.
Dustin Curtis complained to American Airlines about its poor website user interface. A designer within the company reached out to him to apologize, say how it was hard sometime to design well at a large company, but that better designs were coming down the pike. American Airlines then fired the designer. Authenticity can be a hazard to your job health.
Robby didn’t feel like showing his receipt to the Walmart receipt checker, and when the guy came after him, Robby ignored him. That’s when other shoppers started closing in on him, and why he started running.
Here’s a strange story from southeast Missouri. Three years ago a college student was waiting in line at Walmart. Her cousin was waiting in another line that was moving faster. The college student, now a teacher who lives in Louisiana, joined her cousin in the “faster” line. This apparently started a confrontation with other customers (and eventually the police) that may cause the woman to spend 15 years in prison.