Are You Actually Paying More Than $3 A Minute To Use Your Cellphone?

Are You Actually Paying More Than $3 A Minute To Use Your Cellphone?

The LA Times brings up an interesting point. You may think you are getting each cellphone minute for about $0.10… but are you really? Or are you paying for more minutes than you use?

Ponderables: Why Must Amazon Ship Air All Over The United States of America?

Ponderables: Why Must Amazon Ship Air All Over The United States of America?

Reader Marc would like Amazon to stop shipping bubbles of air all over the country. He ordered two items that would have been fine to ship in an envelope — but instead he got the usual large box with several air bubbles. This makes Marc mad.

Comcast Spends 42 Cents to Mail You a 13 Cent Check

Comcast Spends 42 Cents to Mail You a 13 Cent Check

It could be worse; they could have just charged him the difference and called it a day. Full Comcastic Check inside. [Thanks David!]

Sam's Club Pretends Its Polystyrene Cup Is Green

Sam's Club Pretends Its Polystyrene Cup Is Green

Gregg saw this cheerful environmentally-friendly message on the side of his Sam’s Club soda cup. Wait, what? We guess it saves Sam’s Club fuel costs to ship the cups, but that sounds more like a profit-friendly quality. Gregg notes another benefit of the cup: “[it] may never biodegrade but at least it’s easy on my drinkin’ elbow.”

Hewlett-Packard Crowned Head Of The Stupid Shipping Gang After Packing 32 Sheets Of Paper In 17 Boxes

Hewlett-Packard Crowned Head Of The Stupid Shipping Gang After Packing 32 Sheets Of Paper In 17 Boxes

Leading the stupid shipping gang takes creative incompetence, and Hewlett-Packard is clearly up to the task. Other companies might have turned to email when faced with the challenge of shipping sixteen software licenses. Not Hewlett-Packard! HP went looking for a box. A really big box, which they filled with sixteen smaller boxes, each containing two precious pieces of paper ensconced in a layer of protective foam.

20 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Groceries Without Spending An Extra Cent

20 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Groceries Without Spending An Extra Cent

Americans throw away a quarter of our food uneaten, which translates into serious wasted cash over time. The Guardian compiled an excellent list of ways to shop smarter so you end up buying what you need, and eating what you buy.

Boy, This Tiny Microfiber Cloth From Amazon Sure Is Packaged Efficiently

Boy, This Tiny Microfiber Cloth From Amazon Sure Is Packaged Efficiently

Yes, folks. It’s time for everybody’s favorite post: Stupid Shipping Gang! In this episode, Amazon demonstrates how to package a tiny microfiber cloth efficiently.

Pregnant? Asthmatic? Don't Like Rollercoasters? Stay Away From NYC Elevators And Escalators

Pregnant? Asthmatic? Don't Like Rollercoasters? Stay Away From NYC Elevators And Escalators

Unless you’re willing to risk being stranded with 14 other passengers several stories underground in a cattle car elevator on a hot summer day, or plunging at extreme speeds down an escalator with a broken chain, you might want to steer clear of NYC’s subway system lifts. The New York Times has published the results of an extensive investigation that includes tales of daily breakdowns, comically undertrained mechanics, and about $1 billion spent over the past decade.

Canon Uses Comically Oversized Box To Send You Something They Could Have Taped To A Postcard

Canon Uses Comically Oversized Box To Send You Something They Could Have Taped To A Postcard

Earlier this week I ordered a part from Canon USA Service for one of my Canon cameras and it arrived today. I am impressed for the fast shipping but not so much by the efficiency of the packaging.

Additional photo inside.

Dell Still Ships Tiny Items In Massive Boxes

Dell Still Ships Tiny Items In Massive Boxes

From the looks of David’s package, Dell isn’t close to honoring its promise to switch to alternative packaging within the next two months. This obscenely large box contained nothing more than a 2GB flash drive. David’s son snapped a few pictures, which appear as an eerie slideshow after the jump.

Should American Airlines Have Flown Five Overbooked Passengers Across The Atlantic In An Empty Plane?

Should American Airlines Have Flown Five Overbooked Passengers Across The Atlantic In An Empty Plane?

American Airlines managed to rebook all but five passengers after canceling one of its four daily flights from Chicago to London. The five still needed to get to London, so American rustled up an empty plane and invited everyone up to business class. Seems nice, but Friends of the Earth is outraged that American burned 22,000 gallons of fuel for five passengers. Great customer service or eco-scandal? Vote in our poll, after the jump.

What's Inside This Big Box From IBM?

What's Inside This Big Box From IBM?

Ooo, what could be inside this box that IBM shipped to a reader—retail-packaged software? Peripherals? Maybe a hard drive with air padding? A logo-emblazoned hoodie? Monogrammed pencils? A kitten?

Dell: Let's Ship Tiny CDs In Massive Boxes!

Dell: Let's Ship Tiny CDs In Massive Boxes!

Dell has promised to stop shipping individual CDs in 10x19x10 boxes after Christian over at Technologist for Hire posted a rant about Dell’s growing love for wasteful packaging.

How Much Packing Material Is Needed For A Headphone Adapter?

How Much Packing Material Is Needed For A Headphone Adapter?

Hey Consumerist!

Wal-Mart Joins The Stupid Shipping Gang

Wal-Mart Joins The Stupid Shipping Gang

A reader writes, “As part of our Christmas shopping; we ordered several DVD’s, video games, and a phone card from Wal-Mart’s website.” The items trickled in over several days, then “this showed up. A 10X11X5 inch box, an air-filled air bubble, and one thin phone card taped to the bottom of the box.”

Companies, this has got to stop! It’s wasteful and annoying. It’s stupid. It can’t cost that much to hire someone to put together a shipping program that uses different package sizes for different types of products.

Crate & Barrel's Wooden Spoon Packaging Is Very Efficient

Crate & Barrel's Wooden Spoon Packaging Is Very Efficient

Reader Mark says:

I recently ordered two wooden spoons, a wooden spatula and a silicone spoon rest from crateandbarrel.com – all in the same transaction. Today I received these two big boxes! One box (10x7x20) held ONE 13.5″ spoon. The other box (13x13x7.5) held the other spoon, spatula and spoon rest.

What Goes Into A Foot-Long Toys R Us Receipt?

What Goes Into A Foot-Long Toys R Us Receipt?

Toys R Us rewarded Greg’s purchase of a four-pack of Play-Doh with an 18-inch receipt. Greg tried to give the senseless printing an inch of meaning by breaking down the components of his massive receipt:

  • Exciting Sweepstakes Offer: 4.5 inches
  • Essential Purchase Details: 6.5 inches
  • Gift Receipt Section: 7.75 inches

Greg did not purchase the Play-Doh as a gift and did not need a half-foot gift receipt. Huge receipts are not endemic to Toys R Us—Home Depot and Kmart also print to excess—but do they have any use other than as shredder fodder?

15 Decluttering Tips

15 Decluttering Tips

Clutter costs money! How?