San Francisco Wants High-Rise Verizon And Visa Ads To Come Down Before Super Bowl

San Francisco Wants High-Rise Verizon And Visa Ads To Come Down Before Super Bowl

With visitors coming to town for a high-profile sporting event next week, two high-rise buildings in San Francisco sold exterior ad space to Verizon and to Visa. There’s a problem, though: the ads, which are 15 and seven stories high respectively, are illegal, and the city wants them to come down before the Super Bowl. [More]

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Ensures That Your Tea Arrives Safely

Amazon’s Stupid Shipping Gang Ensures That Your Tea Arrives Safely

Tea is a very important and delicious beverage. Amazon takes your tea very seriously. How seriously do they take it? The Everything Store’s stupid shipping gang took Indira’s tin of teabags and packed it carefully in a box that would fit at least a dozen more tins. [More]

Lyft Will Pay California Drivers Total Of $12.25M, Still Won’t Call Them Employees

Lyft Will Pay California Drivers Total Of $12.25M, Still Won’t Call Them Employees

The companies operating the two largest ride-hailing fleets, Uber and Lyft, both have lawsuits against them in California where drivers seek “employee” status. The lawsuit against Lyft has been settled, but only one part of it: the company has agreed not to terminate drivers without giving them a reason why, but will not grant them minimum wage, overtime pay, vehicle expense reimbursement, or any other benefits that they would get as employees. [More]

Consumer Reports Checks Fitbit Heart Rate Monitors Again

Consumer Reports Checks Fitbit Heart Rate Monitors Again

Earlier this month, a lawsuit from several Fitbit tracking watch owners made the news. In it, three users claimed that the heart rate monitors are inaccurate, and that customers had been misled. Yet our pulse-monitoring colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports had just tested the same products, and didn’t notice any problems with their heart rate monitoring ability. Had they missed something? They decided to check. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Carbon Arc)

Here are ten 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]

Kickstarter Hires Investigative Reporter To Figure Out Where Mini-Drone Campaign Went Wrong

Kickstarter Hires Investigative Reporter To Figure Out Where Mini-Drone Campaign Went Wrong

A company based in Wales showed up on Kickstarter with what looked like a working prototype of a really impressive consumer drone small enough to land on a saucer. Yet the promised drones never shipped. What happened? Kickstarter decided to find out, taking an unusual tactic: the company hired a local investigative reporter to, well, investigate. This week, the report came out. [More]

Nest Thermostats Were Leaking ZIP Codes Over WiFi

Nest Thermostats Were Leaking ZIP Codes Over WiFi

The Nest thermostat is a popular smart device that supposedly helps users to save money on heating and cooling, and also have a cool-looking round electronic device on their walls. Yet two researchers at Princeton University pointed out a problem that should terrify most Nest users: their thermostats were broadcasting their location, unencrypted, over WiFi. [More]

Ad Watchdog Points Out That Skech-Air Shoes Do Not Let Kids Bounce Like Superhumans

Ad Watchdog Points Out That Skech-Air Shoes Do Not Let Kids Bounce Like Superhumans

When you’re a child with a very active imagination, the hyperbole of advertising can be very confusing. That’s why some consumers reported a recent ad for shoe brand Skechers to the Children’s Advertising Review Unit, part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ self-regulation mechanism for the advertising industry. The ad is misleading, making the shoes look way more fun than they are. [More]

Chick-Fil-A Replaces Coleslaw With Kale-Broccolini Salad On Menu

Chick-Fil-A Replaces Coleslaw With Kale-Broccolini Salad On Menu

Normally, when using the words “Chick-Fil-A” and “kale” in a sentence, we would be referring to the longtime trademark dispute between the chicken restaurant and the maker of t-shirts telling the public to “eat more kale.” The dispute was resolved in the kale-pushing artist’s favor, and now Chick-Fil-A is helping customers to follow their advice, while also following trends in the fast food industry by serving up kale side salads. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Have No Idea How Much ‘Star Trek: DS9’ Toy Costs

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Have No Idea How Much ‘Star Trek: DS9’ Toy Costs

Josh was browsing the clearance shelves at his local Walmart in North Carolina, as many treasure-hunters and aspiring retail archaeologists of the Raiders of the Lost Walmart do. That’s when he found something surprising: between some kind of fitness equipment and a Margaritaville-branded margarita machine, there was a toy ship from Star Trek. Not just any toy ship, though: this was from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the ’90s series, and the toy had been hiding somewhere for the last 20 years. [More]

Update: United Still Looking For iPad They Shipped Back To Customer

Update: United Still Looking For iPad They Shipped Back To Customer

You might remember Denise, who left her iPad behind on a United plane, getting it back after Consumerist intervened and a wonderful United employee helped her. Then she received an interesting e-mail, presumably reading it on her iPad. The airline wanted to send an update about the status of her lost item claim: they were “still searching” for it. [More]

Unsurprising: $145 Prison Mattress Gets Mediocre Consumer Reports Rating

Unsurprising: $145 Prison Mattress Gets Mediocre Consumer Reports Rating

Are the low-end mattresses sold in retail stores really “prison mattresses?” That’s what one dealer called them when speaking to one of our bed-testing colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports. That made them wonder: how would an actual mattress made for the prison market do compared to the mattresses that we use here on the outside? [More]

(smohundro)

U.S. Retail Spending Growth Slows Down: Americans Possibly Have Enough Stuff

While our economy is supposedly expanding and consumers have more money in our pockets thanks to lower gas prices, new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that that we’re not spending that money in retail stores, online or in real life. If we’re not out hitting the malls, where’s all that money going? [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Chris WIlson)

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]

Amazon To Open Fifth On-Campus, Offline Location At University Of Pennsylvania

Amazon To Open Fifth On-Campus, Offline Location At University Of Pennsylvania

Amazon has spent the last year expanding its challenge to the existence of college bookstores, opening pickup locations on campuses scattered across the country. There, students can pick up things that they ordered on Amazon, and… that’s about it. A new pickup point at the University of Pennsylvania will also offer study and collaboration space for student use, and will provide same-day or next-day pickup for members of Amazon Student or Amazon Prime. [More]

Crocs Brand Honors David Bowie In Least Fashionable Way Possible

Crocs Brand Honors David Bowie In Least Fashionable Way Possible

This afternoon, someone who does social media for the shoe brand Crocs had an amazing idea. What if they joined the rest of the Internet in remembering musician and all-around starman David Bowie publicly on Twitter? What if they took one of his famous makeup looks and applied it to a white Crocs shoe? Yes, this is a thing that actually happened. [More]

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(seth albaum)

Due to Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Fridays, it’s been three weeks since our last installment of Flickr Finds. Let’s see what treasures have been submitted to the Consumerist Flickr pool in that period. Selection here were picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(David Berkowitz)

Radioshack Franchisee On Martha’s Vineyard To Close, Store Dog Will Also Retire

Radioshack’s bankruptcy last year led to the closure of more than half of its stores, and the sale of others to one of the company’s major secured creditors. Yet the bankruptcy also affected the 700 or so remaining RadioShack dealers and franchisees, including Vineyard Electronics, a franchisee that has kept the island supplied with gadgets since 1981, and is now closing. [More]