Xavier J. Peg

New Rules Would Require Debt Collectors Have Proof You Actually Owe Money

One of the most common complaints about debt collectors is that they harass people over debts that are either no longer owed, or weren’t owed in the first place. Federal regulators are now proposing rules that — among other protections — would cut down on these annoying, bogus collections actions by requiring that debt collectors have some sort of evidence that the person they are calling actually owes money. [More]

camknows

AMC Theaters Makes “Best & Final” Offer Of $1.2B For Carmike

Four months after AMC Theaters offered $1.1 billion to buy fellow theater chain Carmike Cinemas, the two companies have finally come together on a sweetened deal to appease shareholders.  [More]

Retail Rivals Pulling Out Their Own Deals In Effort To Compete With Prime Day

Retail Rivals Pulling Out Their Own Deals In Effort To Compete With Prime Day

Just because Amazon is calling today Prime Day doesn’t mean other retailers can’t offer their own discounts and deals, too. As such, a whole bunch of retailers are pulling out specials designed to lure shoppers today, while carefully avoiding any mention of “Prime Day” [More]

Amazon Prime Day Kicks Off With Deals, Problems Actually Buying Those Deals

Amazon Prime Day Kicks Off With Deals, Problems Actually Buying Those Deals

Prime Day is a shopping holiday, so actually being able to shop should be an important part of that. Or not. Users are reporting problems actually checking out when they try to make purchases on Amazon, which would sort of defeat the whole point of having a shopping-themed holiday. [More]

Ben Schumin)

Department Stores Don’t Draw Customers, Malls Don’t Want ‘Em Anymore

What actually draws you to the mall, when you go there? A generation ago, you might have headed to your nearest mall to buy a refrigerator from Sears or a dress from JC Penney. Today, though, customers are less interested in hulking department stores, and more likely to visit their local mall to have dinner at a Cheesecake Factory or shop at an Apple Store, and skip the department store. Mall owners are noticing. [More]

17 Commercial Failures From Brands With Spectacularly Bad Ideas

17 Commercial Failures From Brands With Spectacularly Bad Ideas

While Keurig is surely hoping there will come a day when its failed KOLD soda-making machine is but a misty, sparkling memory, it’s not the first company to reach for the stars, to fly too close to the sun, to try to capture lightning in a bottle… and fail utterly and completely, thereby forever securing a spot in the brand failure hall of fame, never to be forgotten. [More]

Ron Dauphin

Best Buy Pilot Program Sends Non-Geek Squad Techs To Your House

Tell us if this sounds familiar: Best Buy has a program that will send tech-savvy staffers to your house to troubleshoot issues with your electronics (while also trying to upsell you on new products).  It’s a service model the retailer has been pushing for more than a decade through its Geek Squad and Magnolia brands, but it’s getting yet another makeover in a new pilot program.
[More]

10 Chinese Companies You Should Probably Know About

10 Chinese Companies You Should Probably Know About

Many of the most common household brand names in America are not American companies, and that’s been true for decades. When it comes to technological innovation especially — from cars to phones and every appliance in between — we’ve become used to huge numbers of goods coming from countries in Asia. [More]

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan

As Farmers Markets Turn Into Trendy Food Courts, Some Farmers Are Feeling Left Behind

A decade ago, as farmers markets were beginning to see a resurgence in a number of U.S. cities, they were a place to spend a morning picking up fresh, seasonal ingredients. Aside from the occasional stand selling baked goods, there wasn’t really anywhere to dine or socialize. [More]

Joel Zimmer

5 Reasons Prescription Drug Prices Are Going Up For Many Americans

If you feel like you’re paying more for medication, you’re not alone. A new investigation from our colleagues at Consumer Reports finds that one-third of Americans are seeing higher prices for prescriptions, and one-in-six people chose to avoid getting a prescription filled because of the cost. So what’s behind the increased cost of staying well? [More]

Adam Fagen

Apple To Begin Issuing Refunds In E-Book Settlement Case June 22

Three months after the Supreme Court left Apple on the hook for $450 million in the settlement of a 2012 antitrust case against the company and five major book publishers, the tech giant is poised to begin handing out payments to customers starting tomorrow.  [More]

(Thomas Hawk)

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are six of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

S A N D Y D O V E R Creative

New Balance A Few Steps From Its Dream Of U.S.-Made Footwear Requirement For Military

It’s been a long time coming, but New Balance’s marathon efforts to get the Pentagon to require military members to buy only shoes made in America may finally be paying off. [More]

CurrentC Ends Beta Tests, Will Deactivate Accounts Later This Month

CurrentC Ends Beta Tests, Will Deactivate Accounts Later This Month

Weeks after CurrentC was delayed (again) and half the team was laid off, the mobile payment that was supposed to serve as a merchant-backed alternative to payment systems from Apple and Android may be over for good. Or at least that’s the impression one might get from an email sent to testers of the system.  [More]

Ross Catrow

Are Mobile Phone Apps To Play State Lotteries Actually Legal?

If you can make everything in your life from food delivery to rides to dates happen by tapping on your smartphone, why can’t you play legal state lotteries on your phone? There are mobile apps on the market that claim to be 100% compliant with state lottery laws, offering the equivalent of sending a friend down to the gas station to pick up a Powerball ticket for you. Are they really cool with the authorities? [More]

frankieleon

Best Buy CEO Sells Half Of His Vested Shares, Remains Totally Confident In Company

Remain calm, investors, shoppers, and employees of Best Buy. Okay, yes, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly sold half of the shares in the company that he owns that are vested and that he’s legally allowed to sell, but that’s just about his personal investment choices, not meant as a statement about the future of the company. Hey, why is the stock price falling? [More]

Mark Clifton

The 5 Meanest Quotes From Report On Sad State Of Sears

Last week, Sears all but admitted that it was looking to cast off the little that remains of its identity with the possible sell-off of its signature house brands Kenmore, DieHard, and Craftsman. What the heck happened to this once-great pillar of American retail? A number of industry insiders have their theories, and they aren’t pulling punches. [More]

frankieleon

Best Buy Defies Everyone’s Expectations, Is Mysteriously Not Dead

Over the last few years, Best Buy has taken the internet’s snide jokes about using its stores as an Amazon showroom, listened to them, and then stubbornly refused to go out of business. Best Buy calls its results this quarter “better than expected,” which is true, but their continuing existence is also “better than expected.” It’s the last national big-box electronics retailer standing, with $39.5 billion in revenue during the fiscal year that ended in January 2016 and growing online sales. [More]