We just love the word unconscionable. You know who doesn’t love it? AT&T. Their mandatory binding arbitration clause was ruled unconscionable by the state Supreme Court of Washington, after AT&T tried to prevent a consumer who believed he was being systematically overcharged from filing a class action lawsuit.
When SoundExchange, the organization that represents many labels and artists, proposed steep new royalty rates for radio webcasters last year, they shortsightedly killed off their own revenue stream. Instead of their proposed rates being cut back as part of a standard negotiation, they were surprised to see the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board reject opposing arguments and adopt SoundExchange’s rates fully. Now Pandora, the popular streaming music site, says it’s paying over 70% of its revenue in royalties, and unless Washington changes the rates soon—which looks unlikely— they will have to shut down.
What could a customer and a coffee shop be scuffling over that would lead the owner to publicly announce that if the customer comes back in, he’ll “punch him in the dick?” And the customer saying the only way he’ll come back in is with “matches and a can of kerosene?” The right to pour espresso over ice, obviously. The blogstorm began as follows…
Remember Matt? He was detained by an off-duty police officer who was employed as a security guard by the Home Depot because he did not show his receipt. Matt complained about this to the Home Depot and received an apology from Frank Blake, the CEO. He also filed a formal complaint with the Metropolitan police. He says the police found his complaint to be unfounded.
Steve Steinberg refused to pay a parking ticket issued after his car had been stolen, so the Washington, DC Department of Motor Vehicles sent a collections agency after him. Steinberg’s car was stolen in September of 2006. After he reported the theft, Steinberg says, the DC police and DMV ticketed his car, towed it, then released it to the thief.
We’re not sure what Robert’s problem is but apparently he doesn’t appreciate the hard work Dairy Queen went into making him and his family four delicious cheeseburgers. Irregardless of the futility of the endeavor, he has decided to make it his personal mission to try to sic the health department on his local Dairy Queen, simply because his burgers came out nearly raw. News flash Robert! Ever heard of a steak tartare? This is a Freedom Steak, and you don’t have to go into one of them fancy-pants restaurants to get it. His ill-informed ranting and more pictures of tasty burgers, after the jump…
BoltBus offers service between Washington D.C. and New York with fares starting at $1. Each ride comes not just with WiFi, but with power outlets at every seat—a luxury usually confined to Amtrak. The downside? (There are several.)
What recession? A group on investors think Americans are ready to pay $35 for a movie ticket, says Variety:
Reader Anjela writes in wondering if a certain employee of the Apple store has has a rare disorder that makes women invisible to him. That might explain why the employee spent the entire AirBook shopping excursion talking to her husband instead of Anjela—the actual customer.
Pilots need to pay attention when they’re taxiing around the airport. Just a week after two US Airways planes clipped wings at Reagan Airport, two United Airlines planes decided to snuggle up at Dulles International Airport.
The bus-eating abominable snowmen that commandeered I-95 early yesterday morning flummoxed our plans to return to New York on the Chinatown bus. As we wandered through Union Station assuring our mother that we would take Amtrak, we came across this magnificent sign in the music store FYE telling kids under 18—presumably a key demographic—to keep away until 4 p.m. As our friend took a picture, a surly FYE employee sternly warned that we were breaking the law.
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.
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.”
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.”
Lt. William Farr, the head of the D.C. police bank robbery unit, told the Washington Post that investigators are playing catchup.
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.
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.
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.