Mother's Blog Spawns Investigation Into Unsafe Car Seats

Mother's Blog Spawns Investigation Into Unsafe Car Seats

When mother Debbie rented a car from Advantage Rent-A-Car she was surprised to have to paw through rows of shoddy, dirty, car seats, some missing parts, to find one that worked. When she complained to the manager, he insisted that the car seats were thoroughly cleaned and inspected after each use. Her blog post about the issue caught the eye of the local news station, who did an investigative report on the matter. Following the report, Advantage-Rent-A-Car conducted a company-wide inspection and cleanout of its seats, and instituted new policies to make sure they rent only clean and safe car seats. ” This was a huge change for the company and a fantastic and very satisfying result from my perspective,” writes Debbie. Inside, her 10 tips for working with a local news team to resolve your consumer complaint.

Class Actions: T-Mobile's Mandatory Arbitration Clause Ruled "Unconscionable"

Class Actions: T-Mobile's Mandatory Arbitration Clause Ruled "Unconscionable"

A class action lawsuit can proceed in Washington after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled T-Mobile’s mandatory binding arbitration clause “unconscionable and unenforceable under Washington state law.”

CPSC's Sole Toy Tester Retires, Nation Chokes On Tears

CPSC's Sole Toy Tester Retires, Nation Chokes On Tears

Tragedy struck last week in Washington as the nation’s sole full-time toy tester, Robert L. Hundemer, retired from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Hundemer unwittingly became the symbol of the CPSC’s inability to ensure the safety of the nation’s toys when, during Congressional testimony, CPSC Chair Nancy Nord repeatedly referred to him as “Bob, our small parts guy.”

Wachovia Hands $100,000 To Fake Armored Car Driver

Wachovia Hands $100,000 To Fake Armored Car Driver

Lt. William Farr, the head of the D.C. police bank robbery unit, told the Washington Post that investigators are playing catchup.

Mother Daughter Identity Thief Duo Used Jobs To Rip Off Citizens

Mother Daughter Identity Thief Duo Used Jobs To Rip Off Citizens

A Washington mother/daughter tag-team of identity thieves abused their jobs as realtor and bank vice president, respectively, to apply for credit cards and cellphones in other people’s names. Cassidy Janosky, the daughter, would rifle through customer records at Bank of the West and get the necessary personal and financial details. Cynthia Walker, the mother, had access to unoccupied for sale homes through her job at Caldwell Real Estate and set them up as drops for the fraudulently obtained credit cards and cellphones. The pair were arrested spending thousands of dollars at Sears. Over 25 victims have been identified so far, and two flat screen TVs and an iPod seized. The number of victims, fraudulent goods, and even suspects could rise as the investigation continues.

Turns Out Skybus Might Actually Be Overpriced For What You Get

Turns Out Skybus Might Actually Be Overpriced For What You Get

This past July, I decided to try out Skybus on their run from the “Seattle are”, where I live, to Columbus, Ohio, their hub and (as it just so happens) a place I visit several times a year. Now don’t get me wrong – I travel a LOT, so I’m used to delays, gruff employees and all manner of shenanigans, and trying out a brand-new airline that had only been flying for two weeks was a bit daunting. But I figured what he hell, I got a great price on two one-way tickets (the only way you CAN buy tickets on Skybust) so I threw in and figured I’d give them a shot.

Severe Flooding In The Northwest Knocks Out T-Mobile's Customer Service

Severe Flooding In The Northwest Knocks Out T-Mobile's Customer Service

Hey ya’ll. I just wanted to alert your readers to the fact the T-Mobile USA’s customer care (1-800-937-8997) is offline right now. It has been since sometime yesterday. Apparently they house all their system stuff in Seattle, WA or Portland, OR or one of those currently waterlogged states. Well, it has caused all their stuff to crash. I called last night and then again this morning and waited past their automated system telling me that they could not view my account info thru the IVR and that the CSR’s were unable to view my account info and to call back later. I spoke with a polite rep Cassie who said that they did not have an ETR on when their systems would be back up and running and that I should try calling back later on today.

We called T-Mobile and sure enough they’re currently unable to pull up anyone’s account info due to the storms. No word on when it will be back up.

The Washington Elite Shop At Costco

The Washington Elite Shop At Costco

Apparently, the current crop of Washington elite shop at Costco for all their fancy dinner parties, which is certainly the most sensible thing we’ve heard about the douchebags who populate our nation’s capital in a long time.

Fry's Employees Sell Opportunity To Cut Black Friday Line

Fry's Employees Sell Opportunity To Cut Black Friday Line

Fry’s employees in Renton, Washington sold Black Friday aspirants the chance to cut to the front of the pre-dawn line for between $108.79 and $200, including tax. Puzzled shoppers were assured that the money went to Fry’s, not the employees. A Fry’s worker explained the situation with disarming naiveté:

When KING 5 asked about this at the customer service desk, one employee said: “Oh they stopped doing that. They weren’t supposed to.” The employee said the store manager put a stop to it.

Anyone who paid the advancement fee will receive a full refund. The rogue salesmen will be sent to the back of the unemployment line.

FDA: Glow In The Dark Shrimp "Not A Food Safety Issue"

FDA: Glow In The Dark Shrimp "Not A Food Safety Issue"

Seattle shoppers want to know why the FDA won’t investigate bioluminescent shrimp appearing at local Thriftways and Quality Food Centers.

Did Rite-Aid Kick Out A Gay Couple For Hugging?

Did Rite-Aid Kick Out A Gay Couple For Hugging?

Washington, D.C. is actually a pretty gay-friendly place—hell, even a few closeted types seem to find a way to make a living there. (Just a few.) But in early October a gay couple was thrown out of a Rite-Aid a few blocks away from the city’s traditional gay neighborhood for allegedly hugging each other in the store. According to them, while they were shopping, one of them hugged the other one from behind, and the store manager ran up and shouted, “Get out! Get out!” A few seconds later, the security guard told them they had to leave, although he said he didn’t know the reason why. The manager, Denny Getachew, won’t comment, and Rite Aid spokesperson told the local gay magazine, “We are looking into this matter, and we will take disciplinary action if need be.”

Chinatown Busses Now Offering WiFi, Guaranteed Seating

Chinatown Busses Now Offering WiFi, Guaranteed Seating

Chinatown busses, often the cheapest way to travel between Washington, New York, and Boston, are starting to outclass their established rivals by offering free WiFi service. One new entrant, Vamoose Bus, is even offering guaranteed seating – which can’t be found on Greyhound or any other Chinatown bus.

DC Scraps Zone System, Cabbies Threaten To Strike

DC Scraps Zone System, Cabbies Threaten To Strike

Cab rides in Washington will soon be cheaper thanks to Mayor Adrian Fenty’s decision to scrap the DC’s antiquated and expensive zone system in favor of the modern meter system found in any respectable city. Cheaper fares for residents means less profit for cabbies. Said one: “There is no way we can make a living on a [time-and-distance] meter.”

“The talk of a strike is in the formulation plans,” said Nathan Price, a driver for Yellow Cab Company of D.C. Inc. and a spokesman for the D.C. Professional Taxicab Drivers Association (PTDA).

Unable To Overcome Stain Of Breaking Into Mentally Disabled Customer's Home And Stealing $70,000, Dealership Closes

Unable To Overcome Stain Of Breaking Into Mentally Disabled Customer's Home And Stealing $70,000, Dealership Closes

Remember that Seattle used car dealership that broke into a mentally disabled customer’s house and stole $70,000, and turned out to have a history of on the job drug-use, shady tactics, and abusing mentally handicapped customers? Seems the new owners were never able to overcome those little besmirches on its good name and the dealerships are closing. Huling Bros, consider this your auto de fe.

AT&T Stores Try To Promote iPhone Price Cut As "Manager's Special"

AT&T Stores Try To Promote iPhone Price Cut As "Manager's Special"

A reader reports that a Bellevue, WA AT&T store is trying to play it like the company-wide iPhone price drop is a “manager’s special.” When he called the regional manager, our reader was told the signs were the brainchild of the regional marketing department.

Despite Winning $54 Million Pants Lawsuit, Drycleaner Shutters

Despite Winning $54 Million Pants Lawsuit, Drycleaner Shutters

The ordeal of battling the $54 million lawsuit over a pair of pants finally got to the DC drycleaners and they’ve closed up shop.

Pat's Plumbing Charges Guy In Wheelchair $550 To Remove Dispoable Razor From His Toilet Trap

My name is Pat. I recently needed some plumbing done on my toilet. It was clogged, and we couldn’t get anything to work for us to get it unclogged. I looked through the online websites in the area of plumbers. Holy crap, here is Pat’s Plumbing.

Prevented From Calling Your Produce USDA Certified Organic By Federal Law? Call It "Artisan Naturals" Instead

Prevented From Calling Your Produce USDA Certified Organic By Federal Law? Call It "Artisan Naturals" Instead

Stemilt Growers can’t call its produce USDA Certified Organic until they grow without chemicals for three years, but that isn’t stopping them from branding their produce “Artisan Naturals” in the interim. The three year chemical-free transition period is marked by insect infestations, infertile soil, and poor crop quality, which conspire to ravage a farm’s profitability. Stemilt, one of the nation’s largest apple growers, is hoping that consumers will pay a price premium for “natural” produce, which will likely be confused for USDA certified organic produce.

The orchard is in its second year of transition to organic, but the fruit will be sold under Stemilt’s Artisan Naturals label, promoting its naturally farmed history.