Mike Mozart

The IRS And The Cops Do Not Really Take Payment In iTunes Gift Cards Over The Phone

It’s easy to say that you’d never fall for a phone scam: everyone who really has fallen for a scam probably would have said the same thing before it happened to them. Yet one way to protect people from scams is to spread a very simple message among the people you know and love who are less savvy about the Internet and about scams than you are. Tell them that no matter what anyone on the phone says, neither jails nor the IRS accepts iTunes gift cards as a form of payment. [More]

Target And CVS Still Not Really Sure How Sales Work

Target And CVS Still Not Really Sure How Sales Work

When retail pricing defies common sense, that’s what we call Target Math. Sometimes it’s putting an item on sale for more than the original price, and sometimes it’s making items cost more per unit to buy in bulk than to buy just a few. They aren’t exclusive to Target, but for some reason these errors happen very often there. Here are some examples, which aren’t all from Target. Most of them are, though. [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Wendy’s Has Another Update On Their Payment Breach, Knows What Data Was Taken

As you may remember, earlier this summer, fast food and salad experience restaurant Wendy’s confirmed that “considerably more” than 300 of its stores fell victim to a malware attack starting in late 2015. Now, the fast food giant is spilling the chili beans on what customer information the hackers took. They extracted cardholder names, credit and debit card numbers, and card expiration dates. [More]

Amazon’s Audible Creating Network Of Subscription-Only Podcasts

Amazon’s Audible Creating Network Of Subscription-Only Podcasts

If you’re a big podcast listener, you may have wondered whether it would be possible to just pay up instead of listening to one more rambling ad spot for Audible, Blue Apron, or Stamps.com. There’s a growing number of options out there, and the newest one happens to be from Audible, the Amazon-owned audiobook services. The company’s new service, Channels, charges a subscription fee for curated ad-free audio content that the company won’t actually call “podcasts.” [More]

ConAgra Recalls P.F. Chang’s Frozen Family Meals Due To Possible Metal Shards

ConAgra Recalls P.F. Chang’s Frozen Family Meals Due To Possible Metal Shards

Beef, chicken, onions, bell peppers, string beans: those are the ingredients that you should find in a two-person frozen meal. What isn’t a tasty and nutritious ingredient in a P.F. Chang’s frozen meal are metal shards, and a few tons of frozen meals have been recalled on the off chance some metal pieces on the assembly line might have ended up inside the meal packaging. [More]

oracorac

Walgreens-Rite Aid Merger Still On Track, CEO Says Only 500 Stores Would Close

Walgreens and Rite Aid are the biggest and third-biggest pharmacy drugstore in this country, and they want to join forces to become a pharma-Voltron. The companies are waiting for regulatory approval, but the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance told shareholders today that the deal will probably go through by the end of 2016, and that it will result in the closing of only about 500 stores. [More]

Walmart

Walmart Taking Its Proprietary Mobile Payment App Nationwide

Two months ago, Walmart took its mobile payment app, the logically named Walmart Pay, live in 590 stores in its home state of Arkansas and in the neighboring state of Texas. The test apparently went well: the retailer is bringing the app to customers in the rest of the country as of today. [More]

Alex Liivet

You Really Shouldn’t Try Making Your Own Sunscreen

The promise of DIY sunscreen is similar to that of other products you make for yourself at home: for your time, you’ll get a product that’s gentler, not full of mysterious “chemicals,” and cheaper. While many things are fun and easy to make yourself at home, sunscreen shouldn’t be one of them: its effectiveness is lab-tested and quantified right on the bottle. [More]

Gina Herold

Report: Amazon Is Planning Another Real-Life Bookstore In Manhattan In 2019

Back in 2014, Amazon signed a 17-year lease on office space with some retail floors across from the Empire State Building in Manhattan, and that led to delighted speculation that the company might open a real-life store to sell its own products and let local customers pick up their packages. Instead, the office space is just boring old office space. Now, reports are circlulating that a deal for an Amazon bookstore in Manhattan has been or will be signed. [More]

Great, Now Someone Can Steal Your Car Using A Laptop Computer

Great, Now Someone Can Steal Your Car Using A Laptop Computer

If car theft seems like a low-tech crime to you, you’re forgetting the extent to which computers are now standard car parts. Computer control of automobiles makes some cool features possible, but one of those features may be that thieves can start a vehicle using a portable computer. How? Police in Houston, where a culprit was caught on camera, aren’t actually sure how they did it. [More]

UPS

UPS Installing A Bunch Of Lockers In Stores Because They’re Tired Of Driving To Your House

It’s not that UPS is ungrateful that all of us are shopping online so much and having items shipped to our homes. The problem is that making multiple stops in residential areas, dropping off only one package each time, is a lot less efficient than the business-to-business shipping that UPS was used to before Amazon Prime happened. That’s why the company is expanding its network of lockers, which allow 24-hour access to your packages without a delivery truck actually coming to your house. [More]

Mike Mozart

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]

NHTSA Is Looking Into Fatal Crash Of Tesla Model S In Autopilot Mode

NHTSA Is Looking Into Fatal Crash Of Tesla Model S In Autopilot Mode

Last fall, Tesla released a beta version of Autopilot, a software upgrade that would let the car take over some driving functions, including steering, cruise control, and lane changes. Today, the company announced some sad news: the first fatal crash in of one of the company’s vehicles while in autopilot mode happened in northern Florida in May. [More]

Facebook Would Like To Know If An Advertiser Scammed You

Facebook Would Like To Know If An Advertiser Scammed You

It’s one thing if an online ad is misleading or misrepresents the site that you click on, but what happens when you order an item that isn’t as promised? As overseas clothing companies that market solely through Facebook have proliferated, some customers blame Facebook, even though the site doesn’t vet the products and services of every advertiser. Now, at least, Facebook wants to listen if you’re scammed or misled by an ad on the site. [More]

Airbags In 2001 To 2003 Hondas And Acuras Are The Most Dangerous, Need To Be Fixed Now

NHTSA

Since people now tend to keep our cars longer than we used to, there are still plenty of model year 2001, 2002, and 2003 cars from Honda and Acura still on the road. Recent tests show that each time one of the vehicles’ airbags deploys, there’s up to a 50% chance that it will rupture, posing a serious risk to drivers and passengers. [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Report: Dick’s Wins Sports Authority Brand, Including Domain Names

In the future, when you forget that Sports Authority went out of business and type in their website address, you’ll end up on a page owned by the defunct retailer’s biggest competitor. Dick’s Sporting Goods reportedly scooped up the Sports Authority name, including its domain names and customer mailing lists, for $15 million in the company’s intellectual property auction. [More]

Dee

Everyone Get Back To Work: Google Calendar Is Back, Or Will Be Soon

As a reminder of how much everyone has come to depend on a free (or work-supplied, if your workplace uses Google accounts) online service, today civilization may yet still collapse due to a morning outage of Google Calendar. There were no widespread reports of people wandering streets or office hallways with no idea of where they were supposed to be, but that may be because the outage only lasted a few hours. [More]

Lawsuit Accuses Hormel Of Using Meaningless ‘Natural’ Descriptor For Deli Meat

Lawsuit Accuses Hormel Of Using Meaningless ‘Natural’ Descriptor For Deli Meat

When you see a label that says “natural” on your meat, you might make some assumptions about what’s in it. Doesn’t that label mean meat that doesn’t have preservatives or artificial colors, that comes from animals raised without growth-promoting hormones or antibiotics? Well, no, it doesn’t necessarily mean that, and a recent lawsuit from the Animal Legal Defense Fund calls Hormel out on its labeling advertisements for their meats. [More]