Cynthia Smoot

New Car Infotainment Systems Will Cost You Once Free Trial Is Up

It used to be that your new car came with two infotainment systems: a radio and a tape or CD player. (8-tracks were briefly a thing, too, though record players in cars didn’t quite catch on.) Now even basic-model cars come with complex infotainment systems, but they also come with a catch: subscriptions to services that you’ll have to renew if you decide to keep them. [More]

Great Beyond

As Demand For Coconut Rises, Plantations In Caribbean Wiped Out

As coconut milk is so popular that it hits Starbucks, coconut water remains a trendy low-calorie drink, and coconut oil is used for everything from skin care to actually cooking things, coconut farms in the Caribbean should be booming. They aren’t, though: they’re either exporting fruit while local people go without, or not growing at all. [More]


Report: Amazon Seeks Rights To Stream Live Sporting Events

What can Amazon do to draw more customers to its Prime service, which combines shipping discounts with streaming video and other perks in a $99/year subscription? Amazon is reportedly negotiating to carry live streaming video for Prime customers, potentially including events like tennis, golf, soccer, rugby, and auto racing, [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]

Mike Mozart

Barnes & Noble Founder: Retail Climate Is Terrible, Sales Will Keep Falling

Leonard Riggio, the founder of Barnes & Noble, was supposed to retire by now. Instead, he is serving as interim CEO after the company fired imported Canadian CEO Ronald Boire. He started the bookstore that grew into the Barnes & Noble chain more than 50 years ago, and he shared some important wisdom during the company’s earnings call today: things are really terrible in retail right now. [More]

Herry Lawford

As Grocery Stores Serve More Prepared Meals, They Have More Food-Safety Issues

When you want to grab a quick dinner, where do you go? An increasing number of Americans go to their local supermarket, not to a restaurant, to buy fresh prepared food to take home. This is a profitable business for grocery and big-box stores, but also leads to problems: serving ready-to-eat food means that they risk serving ready-to-eat pathogens, too. [More]


Recalled Island Soups Have Caribbean Flavor, Potentially Also Botulism

Modern canning techniques mean that the sale of food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum is very rare. However, some delicious-sounding Caribbean soups from the Island Soups Company have been recalled because a recent inspection by the Food and Drug Administration showed that they could potentially be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that gives off the botulinum toxin that causes the potentially fatal disease botulism. [More]


Walgreens Will Sell Off Up To 1,000 Stores To Get Approval For Rite Aid Acquisition

When two companies in the same business want to merge, a common condition placed on the merger by authorities may be that one or both companies sell part of its business so there’s still some competition in the market. It looks likely that the Federal Trade Commission will approve the proposed merger of Walgreens Rite Aid, but Walgreens may have to give up more locations before the deal goes through. [More]

Paul Swansen

Target Tries Assigning Employees To Grocery Department To Attract Customers

Target would really, really like to increase its grocery sales, but the habits of its own customers are in the way. Target shoppers simply aren’t in the store often enough to make it their grocery provider. Maybe some new changes will help change that, as Target tries the wacky idea of assigning some employees to the grocery department to keep it stocked and functional. [More]

Phillip Bradshaw

Consumers Union Asks FTC To Investigate Mylan For Possible Antitrust Law Violations

The EpiPen is a necessity for people who are at risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. They’re a common item in kids’ backpacks and home first-aid kits, and the name has become a generic term that refers to epinephrine auto-injectors. Yet the product itself is only available as a brand-name product that costs hundreds of dollars. [More]

Alan Parkinson

Mondelez Will Work On Upscale Chocolate, Oreo Candy Bars After Hershey Snub

Earlier this year, global snack giant Mondelez made a series of unsolicited offers to acquire Hershey, which the candy company turned down. If the company can’t have Hershey, though, what will it do? It announced plans today to expand its own chocolate offerings in both its upmarket and downmarket lines. [More]


FAA Considers Banning Samsung Galaxy Note 7; Another User Reports Explosion

Samsung still hasn’t officially recalled the Galaxy Note 7, its new smartphone that has a rare but very problematic issue with exploding batteries. While the company has admitted that the phones are defective and has an exchange program in place, it’s not an official recall through the Consumer Products Safety Commission. That’s a problem for the Federal Aviation Administration, since the phone would automatically be banned from planes if it had been recalled. It hasn’t, so it’s not. [More]

Adam Schweigert

For Some Reason, No One Wants To Buy An Office Building Shaped Like A Giant Picnic Basket

For sale: one seven-story office building in the Midwest, less than 20 years old and in great shape inside. Price: $5 million. There are just two tiny problems that are keeping anyone from buying the building: it’s too far from the nearest city, and it’s shaped like a giant picnic basket. [More]

EMTs Save Lives And Money By Carrying $20 Alternative To EpiPen

EMTs Save Lives And Money By Carrying $20 Alternative To EpiPen

While the soaring cost of the EpiPen has been making headlines for the last few weeks, dealing with that cost has been a problem for emergency medical services, which have to be ready to save the lives of patients having severe allergic reactions. Keeping every ambulance equipped with the kits is an expensive proposition, though, and one local government found a solution three years ago that it shares with colleagues across the country. [More]

Beauty Box Julep Must Donate Toiletries To Settle Lawsuit Over Shady Negative-Option Marketing

Beauty Box Julep Must Donate Toiletries To Settle Lawsuit Over Shady Negative-Option Marketing

Negative-option subscriptions aren’t anything new: just ask any former member of Columbia House. Subscribers sign up for a service, and then receive something every month unless they specifically opt out. It’s become a popular model in fashion recently, and that includes the cosmetics subscription box from Julep, a company probably best known for its nail polishes. Today, the state of Washington announced that the company settled charges that its negative-option marketing for cosmetics boxes was deceptive. [More]

Daniel X. O'Neil

Golden Corral Taking Over At Least 8 Former Old Country, HomeTown, And Ryan’s Buffets

Fans of all-you-can-eat classic American food may have a tentative reason to rejoice: Golden Corral will be taking over empty restaurants that were closed, sometimes abruptly, by the company that operates buffet brands Old Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Fire Mountain, and Ryan’s. The competing buffet chain is taking the opportunity to move into some markets where it has never had restaurants before. [More]


Americans Don’t Want Priuses Because They Forgot That Gas Prices Can Change

Last year, we noted that low gas prices seem to be giving American car-buyers memory loss, as consumer preferences steered over to SUVs and trucks rather than the hybrid and compact cars that were popular a few years ago when gas prices topped $4 per gallon. Now it’s causing actual problems for Toyota, maker of what were the most popular hybrids… eight years ago. [More]


Starbucks Testing Weekend Brunch Menu, Plates Of Waffles

If you’re a fan of brunch, the most important meal of the weekend, would you consider going to Starbucks for it? The chain really hopes so, and is rolling out a test of brunch food in the Pacific Northwest: waffles and quiches that are available only in the morning and early afternoon on weekends. [More]