We don’t eat saltines all that often here at Consumerist HQ, but we are certainly familiar with the classic cracker’s orthogonal form. Well Nabisco is out to shake up the “stuff you crumble into your soup” market by testing a round version of its Premium brand saltine.
Kyle just wrote to us that the 36″ sleeve on a Large Tall sweatshirt from JCPenney has been reduced to 35″. It’s not just a manufacturing accident, because the new length is printed in the retailer’s sizing charts. But Kyle says for years he’s had no problem with JCPenney shirts, and that this all started happening within the past year or so.
It’s common practice for companies to license stock photography to use in promotional materials, but one of our readers thinks it’s somewhat strange that a camera company would go this route, when the one thing you’re trying to sell to consumers is the ability to capture great images.
Dana is annoyed that the Fisher Price toy she bought for her baby promised her that batteries were included. They were in the box all right, but they were dead. In fact the manual Fisher Price enclosed with the toy suggests you immediately replace the included batteries with new ones.
The thing about locking up all of your merchandise behind glass is your customers can’t actually buy it. Well, they can if you have employees who give a damn about helping a customer. This Walgreens in Brooklyn does not have those kind of employees.
Kiplinger says that in the near future, if you’re driving down a rural or less-traveled road, you might find yourself driving on gravel. Road asphalt has doubled in price over the past three years and shows no signs of coming back down, so some states–Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Vermont, and Pennsylvania to begin with–are looking for ways to cut corners. Gravel costs $20 a ton compared to asphalt’s current $400/ton price.
I’ve stopped shopping at the two large drugstores in my neighborhood because they’ve put all the antiperspirant behind plastic flaps, like bagels at a supermarket. When you lift the flap to grab a Right Guard or Speed Stick, an alarm goes off that makes it clear to everyone in the store that you’re a potential criminal with stinky pits. My guess has been that this embarrassing anti-theft deterrent is needed because there’s almost no staff at either store anymore, and a new retail survey and a couple of loss prevention experts seem to back that up.
Newegg wants everyone who lives near our reader Deaf Mute to know that he just bought a Sony Blu-ray player. It arrived from their warehouse last week in its bright blue retail packaging, with a shipping label slapped on it. “If I lived in a worse neighborhood and/or my father didn’t see it,” he writes, “Someone could have stolen it. Not only that, but the gift recipient may have had their gift spoiled.”
The Motorola Droid is a sweet phone, but the box it comes in is a case study in bad package design. Where every other gadget these days comes in boxes with lids, or boxes designed to be opened in a specific manner, the Droid box can easily be opened so that the brand new phone falls to the floor.
CNN profiles a young family living in a Chicago suburb who have decided to carry out an experiment in frugal living—they want to see if they can reduce their expenses enough to get by on about half of what they made before the wife and sole breadwinner was laid off earlier this summer.
That Sears website exploit we posted about a couple of weeks ago was funny, mainly because it seemed more embarrassing for Sears than a true security risk. However, an independent security researcher had also discovered a more significant issue with the site—it allowed for an unlimited number of gift card verification attempts via an external script, so a criminal could use the site as a brute force method to identify valid gift cards for Sears and Kmart.
Self check-out is great if, say, you’ve got one of those supermarkets where the teenaged clerks hate you for choosing their lane and spend more time talking to each other than scanning your items. It’s not so great if you force all of your customers to use the system because you’ve decided to close down every other human-powered lane but one.
If you see the word “langostino” in front of “lobster” at your local seafood fast food chain (*cough* Long John Silvers), make sure you understand what it is you’re about to eat. In the US, langostino can refer to squat lobster, pelagic crab or Colorado langostino—all types of shellfish, and more closely related to crabs and, yes, hermit crabs than to lobsters. “Sweet Buttery Hermit Handfuls” wouldn’t be any more accurate than “Buttered Langostino Lobster Bites,” but it wouldn’t be any less accurate, either. And no, LJS, it doesn’t count if you put the shellfish pieces in a cardboard lobster tail.
We were fascinated to discover today that Walt Disney reused animation cycles across different movies—the characters are unique (sorta) but the motions are cel for cel copies. It looks like the movies that reuse animation are from that infamous era in the 70s and 80s when Disney’s animation unit cut too many corners and churned out less “classic” fare. Well, they were copying classics—shouldn’t that count for something? Video clip below.
Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., which runs 31 Jiffy Lubes in the Austin area, has to pay a $300,000 fine after admitting to pumping used oil into the city’s sewer system instead of recycling it. Normally shops are paid by the gallon for used oil, but in this case a damaged wall let water seep into the oil collection area and create a toxic mess that couldn’t be sold—so instead of paying to remove it, they pumped it down the drain.