When you think of Clint Eastwood, he of the flinty-eyed gaze and chiseled jawline, you probably think about the Wild West, the wide open prairie and the cowboys who range there. Which is exactly what one scammer was counting on when he allegedly swindled $24,000 out of investors in Montana for a cowboy flick that he said would be narrated by Eastwood himself.
Consumerist reader Chris says he’s been a customer of Fifth Third bank for around two decades, as well as the rest of his family in the Midwest. Heck, his grandfather even worked there. But he says he’s now growing very disappointed with it, and a recent rash of overdraft fees isn’t helping that dissatisfaction.
Michael says the first bullet point on the Return Policy plaque at his local Hobby Lobby (and also online) reads, “If for any reason you need to return merchandise purchased at Hobby Lobby, please return the product with the original sales receipt within 60 days of purchase.” That sounds great–you can shop with confidence that they’ll handle returns without too much trouble–but the reality is that the store can and will refuse any return, with or without a receipt, if someone there thinks it might lose them money in the short term.
HD Guru took a deeper look at the extended warranties and service plans Best Buy pushes on customers who buy expensive electronics like hi-def TVs. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that the fine print negates a lot of what the person or pamphlet on the sales floor will try to promise you—but you might be surprised at just how useless these plans can be when you get right down to it.
NetworkWorld published its findings on the suspicious histories of the men behind new cellphone company Zer01 just two days ago, but they clearly sent someone behind the scenes scrambling. This afternoon they reported that Zer01’s parent company “has stripped its Web site down to only basic information,” and that “new details have also come to light suggesting a past connection between two of the involved companies, despite claims to the contrary.”
ZER01 is a new cellular service launching soon that promises unlimited calling and unlimited, fast data connectivity for $70 a month. There’s another unique twist: you can sell the service to your friends for $10 monthly credits. That’s right, it’s a multi-level marketing mobile virtual network operator—an MLM MVNO. NetworkWorld smelled something fishy, so they researched the companies behind the offering and found that there’s a lot of sketchy looking stuff. We put the highlights of their investigation into a chart.
That topical spray we mentioned last week—the one designed to help premature ejaculators—turns out to just be a mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine. Lidocaine is commonly used by dentists to numb the mouth, and prilocaine is used to numb skin before inserting a needle. But beyond that, Consumer Reports points out that side effects reported by the men and their partners in the study included a “rash on their penis” or “a burning sensation in their vagina.”
Update: TWC says sorry, offers coupons to affected customers.
In a letter to Sprint, AT&T Mobility, and T-Mobile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has asked the companies whether or not they’re going to start pro-rating their Early Termination Fee policies as promised, reports RCR Wireless. “Sens. Klobuchar and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) are co-sponsors of a sweeping wireless consumer protection bill” that carriers are against. In her letter, Klobuchar writes, “It is time for the wireless companies to adhere to the assurances they made to the American consumer and start pro-rating these fees.” In response, Sprint said by the end of Q2 2008, T-Mobile said the first half of 2008, and AT&T Mobility said nothing at all. (Verizon already pro-rates their ETF.)