T-Mobile Offered To Forward Your Number To A Random Stranger’s Device Today

T-Mobile Offered To Forward Your Number To A Random Stranger’s Device Today

Today, T-Mobile announced a new feature that’s useful for users with multiple devices and multiple phone numbers: Digits, which lets customers link their numbers and devices to receive calls. There was a problem with beta signups for the service, though: it was showing people who tried to sign up other customers’ phone numbers. [More]


Activists Emphasize Walmart’s Crime Problem In TV Ads Airing In 4 Cities

A number of Walmart stores around the country have been called out for being the epicenters of disproportionate levels of criminal activity and calls to the police. Now a union-backed labor advocacy group is using this information against the nation’s largest retailer in an TV ad campaign highlighting Walmart’s alleged high crime rates — and its cost to local taxpayers. [More]


Fitbit Buying Smartwatch Maker Pebble’s Software, Hiring Engineers

Smartwatches and other wearables just haven’t caught on as much as the electronics industry assumed that they would. Pebble——a smartwatch company most famous for pre-selling its products on Kickstarter only to then make sure that Best Buy shoppers got their orders first——has confirmed that it is shutting down and selling off its various assets. You can now count Fitbit among the scavengers picking at Pebble’s bones. [More]

Mike Mozart

Makers Of ‘As Seen On TV’ Products Sue Amazon Over “Rampant” Counterfeiting

Companies like Allstar Marketing, Ideavillage Products, and Ontel Products aren’t household names, but you probably recognize the names of their signature products: they’re the companies behind the Snuggie, Copper Fit compression apparel, and Veggetti spiral slicers. These three makers of as-seen-on-TV doodads have sued Amazon, claiming the e-commerce giant allows vendors to sell counterfeit versions of their products — and that those counterfeit items can be found in Amazon’s own warehouses. [More]

Adam Fagen

Philip Morris Applies To Bring Heated-Up Tobacco Sticks To U.S.

You might remember that a few months ago, we shared some interesting smoking news: that Philip Morris was working on a new product that’s somewhere between an e-cigarette and an old-fashioned tobacco one. Instead of lighting tobacco on fire, users would heat it up in a special device, inhaling a vapor instead of smoke. The company plans to apply for FDA approval for the system, seeking approval to sell it as a healthier alternative to cigarettes. [More]

Robert Mooney

Android Phone Maker Accused Of Knowingly Selling Phones Loaded With Spyware

Some especially sneaky spyware, which takes all of a user’s messages and browsing data and quietly ships it to servers in China, was recently discovered on some inexpensive Android devices sold in this country. Two customers who own the offending phones have filed a class action against the company that sold them here in the United States, on behalf of the buyers of at least 120,000 devices. [More]

Trump Education Secretary Nominee Is Indirectly Invested In Student Loan Company

Trump Education Secretary Nominee Is Indirectly Invested In Student Loan Company

It’s generally unwise for someone who works in government to have a personal investment in companies that could be affected by policies that he or she oversees, and that turns out to be the case for Betsy DeVos, President-Elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. Her investment in a company that refinances student loans is relatively small and indirect, but it exists, and is a potential conflict of interest. [More]

Eric Spiegel

Coinstar Says That You Have $68 In Spare Change; Should Throw It In A Coinstar

How much spare change is sitting around your house, taking up space between couch cushions or sitting in a drawer? Coinstar, the company that brings you machines where you can cash in spare change or unwanted gift cards, estimates that the average household has $68 in spare change sitting around that could be converted into a more useful form––say, using a Coinstar kiosk. [More]


Netflix Exec: You’ll Keep Watching Our Movies, Even When We Don’t Offer You Many Good Ones

Longtime Netflix subscribers may have noticed that the selection of movies on the streaming service has shrunk significantly over the last few years, but customers keep watching movies anyway. That’s according to the company’s head of content, Ted Sarandos, who explained at a conference this week that people love to watch movies on Netflix no matter how large the selection. [More]

Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

Airbnb Won’t Be Held Liable For Law-Breaking Listings In NYC

Back in October, the state of New York passed a new law specifically aimed at micro-hoteliers who rent out one or more New York City apartments to tourists. Airbnb immediately sued the state and the city over how the law will be enforced, and now the case has been settled. [More]

‘Target Math’ Continues To Spread, Infecting Lowe’s & Walmart

‘Target Math’ Continues To Spread, Infecting Lowe’s & Walmart

The discount chain Target is very good at many things, which include designer partnerships and building tiny stores. It’s very bad at some other things, which include selling groceries and putting prices on products that make any sense. “Target Math” is the name we give to these bizarre bulk markups, “sale” items that aren’t actually discounted, and pricing discrepancies within the same store — but this dubious art isn’t just practiced in the halls of Target. [More]

Michael Kappel

McDonald’s Tries Again To Make McCafe Competitive With Starbucks, Dunkin’

Just like better burger joints have nibbled away at McDonald’s sandwich business, competitors with a wider variety of coffee options are attracting the caffeine-seeking consumers away from the Golden Arches. Now the fast food giant wants to re-establish its coffee bona fides, investing in equipment to help stores compete with the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. [More]

Ben Schumin

Walmart Employee Arrested For Attempts At Killing Coworkers, Setting Store On Fire

Authorities don’t know exactly what led a 24-year-old Walmart employee of an Arizona Walmart store to turn on her coworkers, but say that she had a series of potentially deadly plans for them that fell through. What began as a dispute inside the store could have turned tragic when she returned with a rifle, ammunition, a knife, and a torch. [More]


Visa And Mastercard Push Chip Card Deadline For Gas Pumps Back To 2020

Americans get to face another three years at higher risk of having our payment card numbers scooped up by criminals while we fuel up our cars. The major credit card networks, Visa and Mastercard, have given gas stations an extension, pushing the deadline for them to install payment terminals with chip (EMV) readers back to October 2020. [More]


American Apparel Hands Out Layoff Notices, Extends Bidding Period

Twice-bankrupt clothing company American Apparel is in a hurry to get itself sold. While the company had a deal in place to sell to Gildan Activewear even before filing, now it has asked the court to change the auction timetable, but without extending the bidding process as long as its creditors would prefer. [More]


Chick Fil-A Joins Trend From 2013, Gets Another Food Truck

You might think that with 74 Chick Fil-A restaurants already in the Houston area, the chicken chain wouldn’t need another one. Apparently, you would be wrong: one franchisee is taking advantage of the continuing popularity of food trucks and creating a rolling restaurant with a limited menu to bring chicken sandwiches to people who don’t already have them. [More]

Des Moines Register

Pickup Truck Crashes Through Walmart Entrance, Killing 3 And Injuring 2

A normal morning at an Iowa Walmart took a tragic turn yesterday, after a pickup truck crashed through the front door of the store, killing three people in the store and injuring two others. [More]

Byron Chin

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

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