A Connecticut mall has to pay $259,000 in settlement fees to consumers who bought gift cards that had monthly inactivity fees.
Someone ring a bell because Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has just sued Countrywide (and, of course, Bank of America) for deceptive lending practices. They’re seeking damages of $100,000 for each violation, as well as “up to $5,000 per violation of state consumer protection laws, disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains and an order compelling the company to cease its illegal practices.”
Only the first lucky clutch of people in line today at AT&T stores will walk out with a new iPhone 3G in-hand. There were only 30 phones available in total at the the biggest AT&T store in Waterbury CT, at the Brass Mill Center, according to a store employee. Reporting from the line, reader Kevin says that everyone else was given an option to buy a slip of paper for $226.79 (see a scan of it posted inside), have the phone shipped from the warehouse to you, then you come back to the store to activate the phone. Customers will have to pay for the shipping charges for this favor.
Jonathan writes:On January 1st, a friend of mine went to visit another friend in CT (I am from NJ), and unfortunately hit black ice, and proceeded into a guardrail.
For four months, James Hastings searched through trash bins outside People’s United Bank branches in Fairfield County. He pulled out bags of paperwork with private information, including customers’ Social Security numbers and account information.
My wife and I stopped at the Sunoco that is located on Route 1 in Stonington the other night, because they had their lighted sign showing a price of $3.35 a gallon for premium fuel. It was night time and we did not notice until we were halfway thru pumping that the digital readout on the pump read $3.47 a gallon, which is obviously $.12 cents a gallon different.
“Competing by cheating has become a way of life for … many of these corporations, many of the most reputable of them. Because it’s done by AT&T, MCI, or Sprint, people are reluctant to use that word, but when all is said and done … these are scams.”
Chris writes: “I had been last minute Christmas shopping on Saturday morning with my younger brother and sister and we happened upon Best Buy where we were looking for a digital picture frame for my Dad as a Christmas present. We got to the section near the digital cameras and noticed a decent deal. “7” Digital Picture Frame Touch” 79.99 was the label. A whole slew of product (NuTouch 7″ Touch button Frames) were neatly stocked on the shelf. Note: STOCKED not STACKED. I quickly picked one up and proceeded to the register. At the register- the product rung up for the incorrect price (179.99)- here in CT, when that happens, so long as the item is labeled as such in the store (mistake or not) the retailer is legally supposed to give you the product for free (if food items) or at the marked price if it is any other type of consumer product…”
Once again a reader contacts us to complain about Best Buy misleading their customers with an in-store only website that looks identical to the “real” website—except for the prices.
Best Buy still uses a secret internal website to deceive customers, according to the L.A. Times. The website appearing on in-store kiosks resembles Best Buy’s official site in every way, except for the prices. Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal was surprised to hear that his investigation failed to end Best Buy’s bait-and-switch, telling the L.A. Times: “We thought Best Buy had addressed this. That’s what they said to us. Apparently that’s not the case.” A tipster in Virginia also reports the continued existence of the secret website.
We’re adding to our collection of complaints about US Airways and Philadelphia International Airport. If we collect them all, we may win a set of steak knives!
Over 700 tubes of poisonous counterfeit toothpaste were seized in Connecticut, according to The New York Times. The toothpaste is flavored with diethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting chemical more commonly found in anti-freeze. It can cause liver and kidney damage if swallowed.
According to a statement by the Connecticut Attorney General, 160 unregistered contractors were busted in a sting operation. Neat! From the statement:
When we say that we expect contractors to comply with the law we mean it,” Commissioner Farrell said in announcing the results of the sting operation, which was conducted with cooperation from the Ridgefield, Redding, Stratford, Fairfield, and Trumbull Police Departments, Trumbull building officials, and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “Any person who wants to perform work in Connecticut must follow the State’s legal requirements associated with the job. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. We intend to pursue appropriate penalties and punishment for these contractors.”
In the wake of an investigation launched by the Connecticut Attorney General’s office, Best Buy has finally admitted that the now-infamous “secret intranet” (used to mislead in-store customers about BestBuy’s online prices) exists. The website looks identical to BestBuy.com…except for the prices.
“Mr. Jackson, who lives in Hamden and could not be reached for an interview this week, told local newspapers back then that he had been distracted by caring for his sick father, who owned the floor-cleaning business where he worked. By the time Mr. Jackson realized he had the winning numbers, it was 11:45 p.m. on a Sunday night and he figured lottery headquarters would be closed. The next day was Columbus Day, a holiday, so he thought it was impossible to contact a state official.
Poor Mr. Jackson. If you people play the lottery, check your tickets! Its bad enough to throw away one dollar on a ticket, don’t throw away millions.—MEGHANN MARCO
The state attorney general’s office has started an investigation into whether Best Buy maintains a secret intranet site that may have been used by some salesmen to deny customers discounts that appear on the company’s public Internet site.
We applaud the CT State’s Attorney for moving so quickly on this, but wonder if the investigation will have any teeth. As commenter something_amazing pointed out, Best Buy’s price matching guidelines explicitly state that the website does not match store pricing, and the store only matches “a lower advertised price offered by a local retail competitor on the same available brand and model.”
Annoying internet fad provider MySpace.com is being asked to initiate measures so that parents can block the website from minors.