Since its launch in 2012 Instacart has offered consumers a way to shop at their local grocery store without actually going to the store. Instead, hired shoppers would be sent a list of products, grab them off shelves, and drive them to a customer’s home or business where they often — but not always — receive a tip. But starting next month, the company is changing the way it handles tips, leaving some contractors and customers up in arms. [More]
Volkswagen’s year-long “dirty diesel” saga nabbed its first Volks-villain on Friday, when a veteran engineer for the carmaker pleaded guilty in the first criminal charge related to the VW’s use of so-called “defeat devices” in millions of vehicles in order to skirt federal emissions regulations. [More]
Last year, Sunrise Nutraceuticals was one of more than 100 supplement companies sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly making unfounded health or disease-treatment claims. To settle that suit, Sunrise has agreed to stop falsely claiming that its Elimidrol dietary supplement can alleviate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. [More]
When was the last time you used a pay phone? Given that just about every American old enough to say “hello” now has a cellphone, you’d be forgiven for thinking these once-vital telecom totems had gone the way of the telegraph. But there are still hundreds of thousands of pay phones out there, waiting to be used by people without any other options available.
Three months after Turing Pharmaceuticals entered the spotlight by buying the rights to a generic drug used to save lives and dramatically increased the price from $13.50 to $750, the company’s CEO has been arrested in a securities-fraud investigation. However, the charges are related to another company the man once led. [More]
Federal regulators on Monday continued their crackdown on deceptive, ineffective weight-loss products, this time by filing a lawsuit against a company that threatened to enforce a so-called “gag clause” by imposing fines and filing lawsuits to stop customers from posting negative reviews and testimonials for the products online. [More]
If you plan to go on a scamming spree, you probably shouldn’t use your actual email address when completing the transactions. That was ultimately the undoing for a Georgia man who federal authorities say duped more than 200 Macy’s stores in 31 states into issuing fraudulent refunds — and all without having to drive to the mall. [More]
Man Charged With Operating Debt Collection Scheme That Targeted, Defrauded Spanish-Speaking Consumers
Deceiving consumers is a trademark for most unscrupulous operations attempting to collect debts that aren’t actually owed. Shady collectors have been known to lie about debts, misrepresent themselves as officers of the law, threaten lawsuits and, in the case of one operator, threaten Spanish-speaking residents with deportation. [More]
In the past, Consumerist has reported on several employees who could certainly take the title of worst employee at Walmart: the man arrested for stealing cash from a customer and food from the company’s deli, the woman who allegedly stole $10,000 in cash and gift cards while working as a cashier, or the long-time employee who stole $250,000 over several years. Today, we add another candidate to the list: an Oklahoma store manager who allegedly conspired to help another man steal $78,000 from the store. [More]
A life of stealing started with the snatching of a candy bar and transformed into an illegal multi-million dollar online payday lending scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of people. At least that’s what federal prosecutors say led to charges against a Pennsylvania man recently. [More]
For many low-income consumers, tax time provides an opportunity to catch up on bills and get back on track financially. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous companies out there that aim to make money of these same consumers by pointing them in the direction of high-cost tax-refund-anticipation loans. That appears to be the case for the owner of New Mexico-based H&R Block franchises and a tax-time loan company operating an alleged illegal tax-refund scheme. [More]
Kentaro already went through a dispute resolution with PayPal for an HTC Droid Eris he sold on eBay. He says the reason for the dispute no longer exists, and anyway, he won and that was supposed to be the end of it. But now he owes $287, according to PayPal.
The financial reform compromise may keep our financial system from reprising Chernobyl anytime soon, but it will also change the way consumers use their credit cards. Merchants will soon be allowed to refuse plastic for purchases of less than $10, a rate the Fed can boost as they see fit. Both the Fed and universities will also gain the power to set maximum credit charges. That means no more free flights to Europe after charging your kid’s tuition to your rewards card. The changes will go into effect the day after the compromise is signed into law.
Aaron’s pissed because Travelocity’s quote for a one week car rental in Costa Rica didn’t include a mandatory insurance charge that cost him more than $100. Aaron feels cheated and wants Travelocity to pony up under their TotalPrice Guarantee, but Travelocity may not have done anything wrong. Join us across the jump to help us sort this out.
If you want to pay out the nose for Wi-Fi, stay in a W hotel, says HotelChatter. The site has released its 6th annual report on Wi-Fi in U.S. hotels, and the W Hotel chain is named as the worst with no free lobby access and $15/day room rates. Other hotels that suck when it comes to wireless: DoubleTree, Four Seasons, Marriott, and Mandarin Oriental.
American Airlines announced today that they’re raising checked baggage fees by $5, effective February 1st. Your first bag will now cost $25, and your second one will cost $35. If you want to check a third bag, you will have to buy the airplane (cash or certified checks only), and if you want to check a fourth bag, you will have to endure a phone call from AA’s CEO Gerard Arpey, where he will cry at you and say he doesn’t know how to run a company and he’s scared. He only made $8.9 million in total compensation last year, so cut him some slack.