Clearance Items

More Google Privacy Fears [CL&P]
Google’s policy raises concerns that it can link data on which websites its users visit with personally identifying information and that, once again, consumers might not realize the amount of privacy they are sacrificing whenever they search the web.

Guide to Replacing Your MacBook Pro’s Hard Drive [Gizmodo]
Just in case the Genius Bar turns you off.

Who wins in the cola war? Not the customer [Washington Business Journal]
“We serve only Pepsi products,” he stammered.
“Does anyone ever ask for a Coke?” I asked.

Meghann On Twitter [Twitter]
We’ve been using Twitter to help Walmart keep tabs on us. Today we ate green beans as a snack and went to Target. Oh no! The minutiae of Consumerist editing for all to see.

(Photo: Sam Wilkinson)


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  1. d0x says:

    When I go out to eat and cant get a coke (the only time i drink soda) I ask for Water..which is free, thus we both get screwed.

  2. juri squared says:

    (I honestly can’t remember which company was a jerk in this story, so I’m using Cola X and Cola Y instead of Coke and Pepsi. Sorry.)

    I used to volunteer for a huge fan convention, which featured complimentary fountain soda in the con suite. One year, Cola X told us they would not deliver any syrup if we ordered from Cola Y. The staff was a little amazed at this, and we asked Cola Y if they had the same policy. They did not, so we simply had Cola X make their delivery before Cola Y.

    I am still in disbelief that Coke/Pepsi would be so embedded in this war that they would refuse to sell to us if we offered their competitor’s product. It wasn’t even being resold!

  3. Little Mintz Sunshine says:

    As a Coke drinker, I get so frustrated when I cannot get what I want at a restaurant. . If I’m stuck at a restaurant that doesn’t serve Coke, I also go with water. If I am stuck ordering at a fast-food type place that doesn’t sell Coke, I will make two stops – and don’t think I can’t make the leap to Pepsi killing the environment or supporting terrorism when I need my icy cold Diet Coke. That said, I know people who make their airline, hotel and restaurant choices by whether or not the places serve Coke.

  4. Buran says:

    I don’t like Pepsi. I only drink Coke. It’s not out of stupid loyalty — it’s because I can taste a sick sweetness in Pepsi that isn’t there in Coke. It’s something in the actual recipe.

    I can’t get Coke when I order from Pizza Hut, which drives me up the wall (yes, I know why) so I usually don’t buy any drink at all.

    Considering stores anger ~50% (assuming they serve enough for it to balance out) of their customers, I’d think they’d find it in their best interests to offer the widest possible choice.

    I do think it was a little over-the-top for the customer to ask the server to run out to a store to buy a drink for them (and I know someone who works in a restaurant; that’s one of his pet peeves) but that’s beside the point.

  5. coreyander says:

    I never realized that this was such a big deal for some people. I always thought it was silly when a server asked if Pepsi was okay instead of Coke or vice versa — I thought that it was a little touch of marketing imposed by the cola companies designed to impress upon the consumer the particular brand of cola being served.

    I guess I prefer Pepsi, but the ol’ ball and chain likes Coke and its never really been a dealbreaker when I’m out. At the grocery store, I buy whichever is on sale. Do people feel the same way about other cheap foods and drinks? Is there similar anger when restaurants serve only one brand of iced tea or one kind of drip coffee? Or is cola just so integral to the core of Americana that we NEED to have a choice between different brands of one type of carbonated corn syrup? I dunno… I think this might be a case of consumer choice gone wild.

  6. mantari says:

    On the contrary— consumers ARE winning the cola war, but in a different way.

    By forcing Coke or Pepsi at random, they have to keep their products somewhat similar. You’re randomly either going to get a Coke or a Pepsi. And that means, for most consumers, they’re making you learn it to be a commodity item. With only a minority of people actually caring which cola they are served.

    So, no, I like the random Coke vs Pepsi enforcement. It means they’re competing for the very same thing.

  7. BStu says:

    I also have a strong preference in the “cola wars”, but I side with Pepsi. I would never buy Coke on my own unless I was obliged to do so at a restaurant or movie theater. In my experience, I’m usually left agreeing to Coke. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t even remotely consider myself put upon by this experience.

    I don’t understand why people would be angry to be denied Coca-Cola. I assume it happens given the apologetic “Is Pepsi okay?” I get asked whenever I order a cola. Frankly, it seems to just be Coke partisans causing the trouble, because only Pepsi is introduced with such shame. I wonder if this is as much about choice as it is an agressively enforced brand loyality that has been cultivated by one corporation over another.

    If I’m going to a pizza parlor, I’m going to get pizza. I’m happy to enjoy whatever beverage they stock. I’d be annoyed with a place that doesn’t pass on the savings of a soda fountain on to the customer with good specials and low prices on fountain drinks. I’m just not troubled if the $0.50 soda I can get has to be one brand instead of the other.

  8. Buran says:

    @coreyander: I guess it depends on if you can actually taste a difference or not. I know some people who prefer one or the other but have freely admitted they can’t actually taste the difference.

  9. Buran says:

    @mantari: On the other hand, I’ve been given a Pepsi when I specifically asked for Coke and I asked for Coke for a reason. When I take a sip of Pepsi I can tell right away and I will ask the waitress “Why didn’t you give me what I ordered? This isn’t Coke. It tastes horrible.” If your customer asks for something by name, you should either provide it or explain that you don’t carry it and offer an alternative — not insult people by assuming they don’t care. I’ve had to send back glasses of soda several times in the past for bad taste before someone finally admitted they were ignoring my request and giving me Pepsi.

  10. Pipes says:

    To preface, I prefer Coke myself. However, as a waitress, I also understand that it’s ridiculous to even begin to think about offering both Coke and Pepsi products. Space is at a premium in restaurants, and there is simply no way we’d be able to fit two soda fountains with virtually the same product in it.

    I’ve never once had anybody order a Pepsi, find out we have Coke, and switch their order to something else. Although I CAN tell the difference, I’ve never switched my order either. Honestly, most people just don’t care.

    Supermarkets also offer multiple kinds of fruit, meats, and veggies, but we don’t serve it all. It’s an outrage to have our minimum selection, I know.

  11. Stepehn Colbert says:

    my friends took a tour of both a coke plant, and a pepsi plant. pepsi had all little bugs swimming around in the vats. When asked if they somehow removed them form the mix, the tour guide responded, “No, they just turn on the turbine(or something of the sort), and they get chopped up and processed with the pepsi”. The Coke factory, was much more sanitary.

  12. Tallanvor says:

    @jurijuri: Ah yes, I remember that. Coke wouldn’t play with Pepsi, so we had to have the Coke supplies delivered first to get around their pettiness.

  13. crankymediaguy says:

    jurijuri, I know of a similar story to yours, where a business person was pressured to drop Pepsi or pay a higher price for their Coke syrup:

  14. mmcnary says:

    The differences are even more pronounced when you compare the diet versions of Coke and Pepsi. I am mainly a Diet Coke fan, but I can choke down diet Pepsi. What I have seen lately is the trend to offer another choice in diet drinks. In the Midwest, well KC and STL, McDonalds has started offering diet Dr. Pepper, which I prefer over diet Pepsi and on par with Diet Coke. I suspect that with the current rage against fat, there is an increased demand for choices for diet soda drinkers.

  15. MeOhMy says:

    The reason restaurants don’t offer both is because they would need to waste space and taps offering pretty much the same product under two different names. The few “supertasters” who are THAT concerned about not having to drink one or the other could not possibly be numerous enough to justify the added expense and dealing with the moronic shenangians of both of these ridiculous companies.

    Seriously…”I’m going to go across the street and eat at Buckets Of Sh*t! That’s right: Buckets Of Sh*t! I know the food’s lousy, but they serve Coke!” There’s just not that many of Lewis Black’s stooges out there.

    If you really want to win the “battle,” stop drinking both.

  16. phrygian says:

    I can taste the difference between Coke and Pepsi, but I’ve never been an ardent follower of either camp (– although, if pressed, I admit that I prefer Pepsi). When it boils down: they’re both cola drinks. If I want cola, I’ll take whatever the eatery has available. What annoys me more is that no place ever has ginger ale or ginger beer on tap.

    In the end, I’m not a good barometer for the cola war because I’ve stopped drinking any beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial no-calorie sweetners (like aspertame). That rules both Coke and Pepsi out for me.

  17. HearsMusic says:

    @BStu: It’s not “Coke partisans” causing the trouble. When you order “a cola” (your words), do you say, “I’ll have a cola?” or is it more likely, “I’ll have a Coke?”

    Coke is one of those colloquial expressions like Kleenex or Band-Aid that simply means “carbonated cola drink.” If someone specifically wants Pepsi, they’ll order it, but for the most part people call it “Coke” even if they aren’t demanding actual “Coke.” Waitresses ask “Is Pepsi okay?” out of courtesy.

  18. Little Mintz Sunshine says:

    Don’t quite understand the rationale as people who ask for a Coke, usually mean a Coke. My cousins are Missouri Pepsi drinkers who would never, ever say “I’ll have a Coke”. They drink Pepsi and ask for a Pepsi regardless of where they are. I drink Coke and when I say “I want a Coke”, I mean Coke. If we are speaking generically, they use “pop” and I use “soda”. Because of the brand wars between these two companies, I think people are more apt to make a distinction now about what they prefer. As a former waitress courtesy plays a bit part in this. You ask “Is Pepsi OK?” when you don’t have Coke for the same reason you would ask “Is Bud OK?” if you don’t have Miller.

  19. BStu says:

    @HearsMusic: I meant the words I used. When I try to order a cola, I try using the generic term as much as possible. Inveriably, I get asked if Pepsi is okay all the same. I’ve even had waitstaff start to ask me if Pepsi was okay after I specifically ordered a Pepsi.

  20. coreyander says:

    @Buran: I can tell the difference, it just isn’t that big of a deal. When I’m by myself at the grocery store, I buy Pepsi… but if I’m with people that like Coke, I just go with that. One is not so abhorrent to me that I can only tolerate one brand but not the other.