It’s really hard to get complex ideas across during a 30-second television commercial. However, the National Adverting Division, which investigates ad claims for the industry’s self-regulation body, says that Sprint still isn’t really getting across the subtleties of its promotions for new customers switching from other carriers, and has referred the ads to the Federal Communications Commission. [More]
Mobile phone contracts as a business model are dying out, but there are still people under contract left out there, and T-Mobile wants to recruit them. Only an analysis by the National Advertising Review Board (NARB) shows that the carrier’s campaign aimed at these people, “Ditch and Switch,” advertises in a way that’s mostly true, but leaves a few important details out. [More]
There are two different types of Target math, our name for the unusual ways that stores calculate bulk and sale prices. One type is when a “sale” price is higher than a product’s regular price, which is not the normal definition of the word “sale.” The other is when a bulk package of an item costs more per item than just buying it individually. Now we’ve discovered a new form: random numbers pulled in from nowhere. [More]
What is going on in this photo? These are two identical cans of soup, except for what it says on the banner at the top of the label. Only one says that it’s 30% bigger than the standard 10.75 ounce size, and the other says that it’s 40% bigger. Both cans are the same size, so how can both cans be true? [More]
Here is how buying in bulk is supposed to work: you go to the store. You buy a multi-pack of an item, so the retailer makes more money from your shopping trip. In turn, the retailer charges you less for the multi-pack than you normally would have paid. That’s how this works…except when stores apply Target Math. [More]
This fan at Target has a regular price of $15.99, but was advertised in the chain’s circular as $16. “Apparently they are proud to advertise a $0.01 price hike,” writes tipster Bob. Is that it? Or has Target started to round prices up in order to make them more logical? [More]
Silly Justin: he thought that because Target advertised two different promotions for the Wii U he bought, he would get to take advantage of both of them. Nope. He learned that he could have $25 off or $10 off, but not both. [More]
Maybe it was a terrible mixup or an employee prank. We’ll probably never know why a poster advertising Christmas stamps suddenly appeared in the window at reader Chris’s local post office in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but we’re kind of relieved to know that it was not part of a massive Christmas Creep marketing push. [More]
Reader N. was shopping in the weather station section at Walmart when he noticed something odd. Hanging on the same rack were two different variations on the same weather radio. You could buy the radio for $29.88, or buy the radio with a little carabiner flashlight included for $49.94. Wait, what? [More]
Target is a successful retailer, which is impressive considering the company’s collective poor grasp of math. Reader Mireille was shopping for diapers there and spotted an interesting deal on diapers. If customers bought two boxes and paid $2.50 above the listed price on the shelf tag for each, they would get a $5 gift card. Wait, what? [More]
The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages, which makes it easier and more affordable for people to buy homes. That’s good. Quicken Loans happens to be an FHA lender, which is also good. What’s kind of confusing, though, is how the web page where you start your FHA loan application explicitly exempts FHA loans. Sort of.
Patty set out to make a purchase from Ann Taylor Loft. Her friend who lives in a different state did not. And yet, their data is somehow tangled. Patty’s friend’s credit card info is part of Patty’s Ann Taylor account record, and no one has any idea why. [More]
Usually, retailers lower the price of an item per unit when you buy more of it. For example, a gallon of juice costs much less per unit than a single-serving bottle. When this system falls apart, and it frequently does, we call it “fuzzy math.” [More]
Earlier this week, we showed you a picture of a clearance sign from a Michaels store that didn’t make a whole lot of sense. The yellow and black sign happily declared “CLEARANCE, 70% off,” but the fine print clarified that the clearance didn’t apply to clearance items. We get it if a “70% lowest ticketed price” clearance doesn’t apply to items on sale, but not to items that are on clearance in the first place. As it turns out, this sign seemed wacky because it is.
Tipster N. is a Michaels employee who stepped forward to defend truth, logic, and the craft mega-chain’s pricing policies. It turns out that reader Kim probably should have received 70% off the item, just because that’s how Michaels rolls.
Maybe the price of these lice kits is just up a bit due to supply and demand. Or maybe there’s some other perfectly logical reason why the product was featured in a sale flyer….even though, as George notes, the price has been hiked ten cents.
David is a little confused. First, because received a Comcast bill for two months of service, even though he already submitted a payment. Second, because some denizen of Kabletown has started turning ordinary customer service e-mails in to Mad Libs. Or spell check has gone horribly awry. Or…actually, we’re not quite sure what’s going on here.