One person’s “supply and demand” is another person’s “price gouging.” Uber, a smartphone app that matches up professional drivers who want to pick up strangers and people in need of rides, is a serious competitor for licensed taxis in many cities, but its business model has one feature that taxis generally don’t: surge pricing. [More]
Usually we praise a CEO for responding directly to customers but Apple’s Steve Jobs has made a hobby of talking tough to those who email him at email@example.com. In the latest case, because she couldn’t get a quote out of the PR department, a college journalism student took him to task. So he took her to hers, saying “Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade” and “Please leave us alone.” [More]
Reader D’s first-gen iPod Nano was chugging power from his PC’s USB port when suddenly he saw it “explode open and start shooting sparks and spewing smoke.” Pictures inside, along with Apple’s response.
Viacom is sending bogus copyright ownership claims and illegal posting notices to independent filmmakers posting their own movies on YouTube. These films contain not one iota of Viacom content. Take, for instance, this lovely short animation, “Juxtaposer,” made by Joanna Davidovich for her senior project. It’s completely her original creation. She has copyrighted it and says that she “only entered into distribution agreements that were nonexclusive.” Yet, the media corporation saw fit to have YouTube tell Joanna, “Viacom has claimed some or all audio and visual content in your video.”
A Minneapolis area crime duo have been arrested for luring people on Craigslist to sexual encounters, then stealing their wallets. Amy Ruth Bergquist and Eric Thorsen are accused of then using the wallets’ contents to steal the person’s identity to forge checks and pay for their Adderal and Dexedrine addictions. Didn’t momma ever tell you not to talk to strangers online and then try to have sex with them?
Reader Adam forwarded us this bizarre email from Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com.
We are living in the future!
“We’re filling that black box of uncertainty — ‘Has my pizza been forgotten?’ — with information and entertainment,” says Chris McGlothlin, technology chief at Domino’s.
Comcast told its employees to not comment when customers ask about recent reports in an AP article that it contracted BitTorrent sabotaging to a company called Sandvine, or to even discuss that a relationship exists between the two companies. Too bad that Barron’s financial magazine reported back in April that the two are in bed together:
You may get customers who are contacting us with regard to several articles which were published recently, accusing Comcast of blocking or otherwise filtering customers’ Internet traffic. An in-depth AP story suggests Comcast is hindering our customers’ ability to use BitTorrent, a peer to peer file sharing program. If a customer contacts us to inquire about this, please use the following talking points.
Paypal is not known for being friendly or easy to reach, so we’ll help you out with a whole bunch of unpublished internal phone numbers. Tons of people trying to scam them probably turned them off the whole friendly customer service bit , but why should us regular customers be subjected to the same treatment as a 419 scammer?
You’re likely reading The Consumerist in the middle of a workday, so we’re guessing you’re receptive to new ideas on how to make lots of money fast without actually doing any work. Here’s a great way: just make up some reason to sue Google.
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.
Unfortunately, Apple’s design gurus didn’t get to lovingly sculpt AT&T’s billing system, so when the first iPhone users opened their bills this month, they got a surprise. Actually, pages upon pages of surprises. Every single image gets assessed a fee based on its kilobytes, and is then painstakingly itemized on your AT&T bill.
Jason Kottke was home Saturday at 3:36 pm when UPS claims they attempted to deliver his copy of Harry Potter. No notice was left on Kottke’s door; the neighboring doorman saw no UPS truck; UPS’ own website shows that the package never transitioned from the penultimate status of “In Transit To Final Destination” to “Out For Delivery.” Why would UPS lie about delivering a copy of Harry Potter?
As of last night, Sunrocket VoIP is unplugged, and they didn’t warn any of their 200,000+ customers, who had been attracted to the service by deals which offered $99 buy-one-year, get-one-year-free unlimited calling to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Now they’re experiencing spotty service, full outages, and a feeling of panic.
If you want to get an iPhone but you’re stuck in a contract, here’s six ways to escape your service plan without paying a $175 early termination fee:
Using the names of companies accused of being DS-Max (now known as Innovage) subsidiaries/affiliates on Ripoffreport and a list on DS-Max The Aftermath, I did a search of Monster, Hot Jobs, and other job sites to pick out real ads that are out there and should be avoided.
It’s not a direct line, but you’ll get to the admin secretary closest to Steve Ballmer. If you have a longstanding Microsoft issue that multiple trips to the MS customer service line haven’t solved, try pitching her your problems.