As a customer, you see ads from the ancient florist wire services like FTD and Teleflora. Readers write in and complain to us about those specific brands, since that’s the website they visit and the brand name that’s familiar. When you order up some flowers, though, that’s not who brings them to your door. It’s locally-owned florists, small business owners, who actually arrange and deliver your gifts. They might receive orders from the wire services, but often earn no profit or even take a loss on putting it together. [More]
This year, the major national flower-distribution networks were just as busy as usual on Valentine’s Day. Busy being terrible at their jobs. Maybe the vast majority of flower arrangements ended up where they were supposed to and looked more or less correct, but it’s the outliers that make both senders and recipients feel like crap. When the vast floral-industrial complex markets to us with the message that the quality of the flowers we send or receive is a proxy for the quality of our love, then they should go out of their way not to screw that up for us. Right? [More]
Alex tried to beat the rush. He had a dozen roses delivered to his lady’s workplace on Monday, February 11th, paying $96 for the privilege. Whatever he expected, it was not what appears in the photo that he sent: even properly lit, there’s a lot more green and a lot less luscious red rose in that picture than there should be. [More]
It’s hard enough some days to motivate oneself to get off the couch and head to the gym: what if you had to worry about being bullied and harassed by one of the staff personal trainers whenever you’re inside the facility? That’s what’s happening to Shayla and her husband. Now they want to be released from their contract, presumably so they can go to a different gym with fewer jerks on staff. [More]
If Aaron had different-sized feet, he’d be all set. Well, also if his shoes were different sizes. Neither is true. He ordered some Rockport shoes more than a year ago, then set them aside. When he opened the box, he discovered that they had two different size insoles. How does that happen? He doesn’t know, but Rockport isn’t willing to send him a replacement insole. [More]
No one expects their workout with a personal trainer to be comfortable, but they also don’t expect to be sexually harassed, either. A Dallas woman is suing her local branch of L.A. Fitness, claiming that two different trainers at the gym made lewd comments to her and gave her what she considers “suggestive” exercises to do in front of them. Now she’s suing for Deceptive Trade Practices and Negligence, claiming that she kept up her end of the gym contract (paid her bills, didn’t break any rules) but that L.A. Fitness didn’t provide a safe workout environment.
Gil was under the impression that a company that lets you print photo books would actually let him add in his own collages without cropping the heck out of them. Not so fast, Gil! He wrote in to let us know that his issues with the Snapfish book-making interface were bad, but his problems with the company’s customer service were even worse. He worked on a book of his pictures from his sister’s wedding, laying out the pages in collages and taking a lot of care to do so. The Snapfish software cropped his photos very severely, and no one in customer service could help him. His book got delayed long past his holiday deadline. [More]
David has a problem with clothing vendor Abercrombie Kids. They don’t know how to count to three. This would be an issue for many kindergarteners, but is especially problematic for a retailer that offers three-day shipping. Well, maybe someone there knows how to count to three, or even past three. It’s pretty hard to run a business otherwise. The problem is that the shirt that he ordered eight days ago, paying for three-day shipping, still isn’t here. It’s been shipped, but still wasn’t on its way. The shipment had been picked up, but the shirt hadn’t been shipped. It’s interesting that Abercrombie can exist outside of all normal rules of reality like that, but David just wants his daughter’s blouse already. [More]
Consumerist reader Rebecca sounds like a reasonable person. Sure, she’s jealous of the people (this reader and then this reader, too)who get extra iPads sent to them by Best Buy, but she’s not expecting any kind of freebies from Kohl’s in the same situation with a different product. But instead of even a simple “Thanks for noticing we messed up!” she got punished for trying to do the right thing and return the extra item. [More]
Maggie just needed to pick up a little item at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and thought her errand would be a simple one. Go in, get it, pay and get out. But as we’ve learned in our time at Consumerist and also through countless formulaic heist movies, it’s never that easy. Even when she hit the first obstacle — the item wasn’t on the shelf — she didn’t think things could get too crazy. Oh, Maggie. [More]
Hal has misplaced the serial numbers on copy of Adobe Elements. No big deal–while he hadn’t registered the copy of Premiere online with Adobe, he had saved the proof of purchase from the original box. That isn’t good enough for Adobe. No, even though those cardboard bits actually say “Proof of Purchase,” they aren’t actually proof of purchase as far as Adobe is concerned. [More]
There is no such thing as a free trial. Well, sometimes there is, but be wary of any “free” trial that requires you to hand over your credit card or banking information. Craig’s wife signed up to try the local Gold’s Gym, then decided not to do business with them and end the trial before she ever broke a sweat.
We all likely know at least a few people who have endured being a telemarketer, and while it sounds like an awful, horrible no-good very bad gig, hey, it’s a job. But one telemarketer had simply had it up to here with people hanging up on him. And so he did something a bit extreme to express that frustration — he called back and told the homeowner there was a bomb in the house.
Reader VermillionSparrow reads Consumerist comments and stories, and has a relatively minor beef with us. Yes, you readers, too. She has worked in call centers, and takes a little bit of offense when she reads references to “overseas” or “outsourced” call center representatives. Especially derogatory references. Some of those workers with accents were sitting just a few desks away from her at work: not on the other side of the planet. She warns us not to assume.
Cutting corners to save on costs is understandable, but now that the economic downturn isn’t so downturny, hotel operators might want to think about trying to please their guests more. Perhaps throw in some free Internet access? Just a thought, as a new suvery says guest satisfaction is waning.
Zack was interested in the Square mobile credit card reader, which has a wonderfully simple and easy signup process. Much less wonderful is the company’s user agreement, which he didn’t read closely until he had already begun the process of registering for an account. While Square has brought easy credit card payments to the masses, it has also brought a long list of rules that your average craft show vendor or flute teacher isn’t really used to. Uninterested in allowing the company the right to come inspect his business at any time, Zack decided that Square isn’t for him. That’s when he learned about another provision of the user agreement: Square will close your account, but won’t delete it.
Darden, parent company of ubiquitous chain restaurants such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and LongHorn Steakhouse, likes to cluster its restaurants near each other. So it makes sense that in smaller markets, they would pair a Red Lobster and an Olive Garden in one building, with a shared kitchen, bar, waiting area, and rest rooms. This seemed like totally amazing news until we learned that customers will not be able to order off both menus. Then what’s the point?
After several years of working at an L.A.-area bar, a woman says she was fired when she refused to wear the skimpy outfits that the new manager said were now required for female employees.