Michael doesn’t remember registering his gift card with GameStop, and he didn’t associate his cell phone number directly with it. He might have used his PowerUp card to make a purchase using that gift card, but didn’t realize that he was linking them up. Or that GameStop would call him up to pester him about his unspent gift card balance.
The kids are barely back in school, but in American retail, it’s Christmas. Here are two new entries in the annals of Christmas creepiness: department store Kohl’s and closeout chain Ollie’s. [More]
It may not be a full-fledged instance because it’s not in a physical store, but a recent email promo by Pier 1 is at very least a warning shot that Christmas Creep season is upon us. They recently sent around an email featuring a large snowman. It said, “You can now scratch “get an early start on Christmas” off your to-do list. Preview holiday fun before it even gets to our stores.”
If today’s Ronald McDonald looked more like his original incarnation, the McDonald’s CEO might have a tougher time defending against those asking for the burger clown’s resignation. Have you seen the first Ronald? Played by Willard Scott, he’s a clown with a soda cup for a nose and a tray of food as a hat. He also has a food tray attached to his belt which will magically produce three hamburgers in a row on demand. You can see why this Ronald was streamlined into the version we know today. Because he looks like a serial killer.
According to a recently filed lawsuit, a big rental chain installs physical hardware and software into its rented computers, capturing the keystrokes, screenshots, and even webcam images of unsuspecting customers. The only way to disable it is by waving an electronic “wand” over the device. The spyware was revealed when a store manager for the chain showed up at renter’s house to try to repossess the laptop and showed the renter a picture of him taken by the webcam, unbeknownst to him, by the leased laptop.
Who knows where you are and what you’re thinking right now? Your phone company. If you carry a smartphone, or even a not-so-smart phone, your mobile phone carrier knows more about your whereabouts over the past few months than you’ll ever be able to remember. Comforting, isn’t it?
Google CEO Eric Schmidt is handing the company’s reins over to co-founder Larry Page in April, and to commemorate the event, The Wall Street Journal has compiled a greatest hits collection of Schmidt quotes. No, he didn’t say “don’t be evil.” He did, however, say that the Google has a policy to “get right up to the creepy line but not cross it.”
Cops love finding iPhones at crime scenes because the phones carry so much priceless data about your usage habits, or as the cops call it, evidence. That email you typed months back about feeling stabby when you drink? It’s still there because there because the iPhone captures everything you type to help fuel its spellcheck abilities—even emails you thought you deleted. And that’s not all.
Reader bethSmash is freaked out that Best Buy sent her a follow-up email even though she didn’t give the clerk her her address or even flash her loyalty program card when she bought a wireless router. She assumes the corporation connects her credit card number to her email address, which she must have given Best Buy when she signed up for the program, through some sort of privacy invasion trickery.
According to a lawsuit filed in New Jersey, a CSR at Wells Fargo’s Home Mortgage Division refused to correct a payment error for Jamie Nelson unless she had some “phone fun” with him first. Phone fun, in this case, seemed to mean naked pics of the woman. She’s suing for emotional distress, since you can’t take someone to court simply for being a skeevy jackass. Wells Fargo says they’re taking the allegations seriously.
A Rent-A-Center employee near Detroit has allegedly found a new approach to helping consumers get out of debt: making their bills go away in exchange for sex.
Zach ordered a netbook online from Dell, then got a call from a customer service rep who wanted to verify his identity for the order. He was stumped as to why the company needed to give his birthday and last four digits of his SSN.
In the puzzle game Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS, you type in names of items that appear on screen and help you complete levels. Among the tens of thousands of possibilities is one that’s more than a little unnerving: type in the antiquated racial slur “sambo” and up pops a watermelon, another racist Vaudevillian symbol.
If you’ve got $2600 and a desire to really be remembered after you die, consider buying a personalized, three-dimensional urn modeled after a photograph of your own head. (Or buy the smaller version for $600 and keep candy in it.) [OhGizmo!]