A phablet is a super-sized mobile phone that is more like a tablet. This fall, Samsung has released the fourth version of their Galaxy Note phablet, a much-anticipated device all over the world. As the first devices hit stores, some people noticed something odd: the phone has a gap between its screen and frame just wide enough to fit a piece of cardstock. [More]
In April of 2010, a Nebraska woman picked up two 46-ounce cans and a two-pound bag of rice at Walmart. The cashier put all of these items in a single bag. The bag broke, causing an injury which became infected. The infection led to the woman’s death. Now her family is suing Walmart, as well as the companies that made and distributed the faulty plastic bag, for wrongful death. [More]
Two years ago, Jamison ordered a speaker system from Amazon. They worked all right, and there was nothing about this story to write home about. Until he decided to take them apart recently, just because he could, and discovered that one of the speakers was actually fake. As in, there was a speaker in the box not even connected to a wire. That was very strange. He contacted Amazon. They don’t have any reason to do anything about it, though, right? The purchase was two years ago. It’s not their problem anymore.
I hear from runners I know that Vibram 5 Fingers shoes are the greatest invention since… well, shoes. Reader Mark agrees, and when his pair developed burst seams and some other holes, he was unhappy. He would miss his unbelievably dorky-looking but comfortable shoes. So he did the only logical thing: he posted a photo essay online of the wonderful times that he and his shoes had together, and sent a link to Vibram USA.
Benjamin Moore’s Natura paint is billed as an eco-friendly, odorless paint with no volatile organic compounds that doesn’t stink up your house while it dries. Some consumers love it, and some don’t. Bu some consumers really don’t like it, and one woman has initiated a class-action suit claiming that Natura wouldn’t dry and stunk up her house so badly that she couldn’t stay in her home.
David’s Alienware laptop has a defective hinge design, and he’s already had the problematic part fixed twice. While Dell has promised a fix for the defect in the near future, David’s warranty has expired and his computer is close to breaking again. He needs help from Dell that no one is interested in providing.
Katie’s Maytag dishwasher barfs water all over the place and has had multiple parts fail. Recently the company issued a recall for her model offering a repair or $200 credit but unfortunately her serial number wasn’t included in the list. Where’s that old Maytag guy when you need him? Oh right, forced into early retirement and replaced with an outsourced vendor.
Michael writes that his wallet, which he purchased over a year ago, was starting to fall apart a bit. He recently received a new wallet in the mail from Rogue Wallet, the small company that manufactured his, but…. he had never contacted the company. He wasn’t dealing with a psychic wallet maker. (That would be awesome.) Instead, he discovered a company that very candidly owned its mistake and wanted to please customers even if nothing had gone wrong with their personal wallets yet.
Steve’s TV buying experience with Target has not gone well. If he wants to try this a third time, the store is more than willing to let him, but they say he has to pay full price now and there’s still no guarantee a broken TV won’t show up on his doorstep.
Pity those of us who live in the hinterlands, far from any IKEA stores. When we do manage a trip into civilization to buy cheap furniture with strange names, we take a risk. We risk buying a defective item and having to drag it hundreds of miles back to the store it came from. Jason tells Consumerist that’s what happened to him when he bought a set of bunk beds with a manufacturing defect. But that’s not his main concern. What he wants to know is: is it unreasonable for a store to scan your driver’s license when exchanging an item that is obviously defective?
If you were one of the early adopters for the Apple Time Capsule back in 2008 and yours won’t power up, you might be able to get it repaired or replaced for free, or get a refund for repairs you already paid for, reports TUAW. To see if you’ve got a recalled model, look for a serial number between XX807XXXXXX and XX814XXXXXX.
How long should an AC adapter for a laptop last? Michael writes that the adapter for his Dell Inspiron laptop stopped functioning after less than two years of use. He finds this unacceptable. While most people would have shrugged and ordered a new adapter, not Michael. He found the situation unacceptable, and deployed the fearsome power of the executive e-mail carpet bomb.
Ryan tells Consumerist that his HP dv2700se laptop has been problematic, losing wireless connectivity, and overheating a bit. And when I say “a bit,” I mean “tried to set his desk on fire.” HP’s solution? Keep replacing the graphics processing unit (GPU) with the same flawed part until his warranty runs out. Ryan does not find this solution acceptable. Here is his story, with pictures.
You should be backing up the data you keep on your laptop in case of hardware failure, theft, or an unexpected cup of coffee on your keyboard. This bit of common computer sense has a bit more urgency if you own certain MacBooks sold in 2006 and 2007, since their hard drives may fail suddenly with no notice. Fortunately, Apple has a free repair program: but only until the computer is (at most) four years old, and only once your hard drive has already failed.
After purchasing a large piece of fitness equipment from Amazon, do not move. Ever. This apparently confuses the customer service representatives and sends you on a two-month odyssey of buck-passing, missed connections, confusion, and consumer mayhem. Vu writes that he has learned this lesson the hard way. He would like Amazon to come pick the damn thing up so he can get his refund.
Recalls are imprecise and never fully successful, but how can they be improved? Jeff Gelles of the Philadelphia Inquirer took a look at the recall problem with snow throwers manufactured by a company called MTD, and sold under Yard Machines, Troy-Bilt, and Craftsman brands. The snow throwers used plastic wheel rims which sometimes exploded, so in 2006 the company cooperated with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and announced a recall.