Since backing a hardware project on a crowdfunded site feels like shopping, people get annoyed when the things they “bought” don’t show up when expected. Like the Ping Wallet, which we featured here on the site yesterday. A year after raising $59,000, the smart wallet is the subject of a Kickstarter backer revolt. However, the company’s CEO has re-emerged and says that the delays are just because he wants to send backers a wallet that doesn’t suck. [More]
It’s been nearly a year since brash Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn stepped down amid a cloud of scandal. In the months that followed, the company’s stock price sunk, its founder and chairman Richard Schulze exited, then attempted unsuccessfully to buy the company back, and a French guy from the hospitality industry is now in charge of righting the ship. Can it be done? [More]
Last week, PBS’ Frontline dedicated an entire hour to the Justice Dept.’s failure to prosecute a single high-ranking bank executive involved in the financial crisis of 2008. Consumerist recently got the chance to discuss the topic with the show’s producer/writer Martin Smith. [More]
Extended warranty plans are generally known as being bad deals for consumers. But how specifically are they bad? An insider who works, begrudgingly, for an extended service plan company lays out some of the worst extended warranty deals to watch out for when shopping this holiday season.
Regular readers of Consumerist know that we cover a lot of recalls — from faulty booster seats to wine openers with potentially bloody consequences — many of them announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. We recently met with CPSC chair Inez Tenenbaum to discuss how the commission works with manufacturers on everything from the recall process to new standards on lead and drop-side cribs, and why some within the commission are attempting to scuttle its new products database.
Now that the economic downturn has well set in and there’s no booming recovery around the corner, it’s a good moment to take stock of the little things that have changed. Ed, a dry cleaner in Brooklyn, says, “I’m seeing a lot more repairs, a lot more patches.”
I’m 2 lbs away from my weight loss goal. What’s my secret you ask? An ancient technique passed down to me by visions of an Aztec god: diet and exercise. Specifically soccer. Oodles of soccer.
Earlier this week, we told you about Best Buy’s latest scheme: Geek Squad Tech Support, a program that, for a cost of around $200/year, would allow computer purchasers access to unlimited Geek Squad service not just on the item they bought, but on all computers they own. It looks like the electronics retailer has finally realized how much they were opening themselves up to possible abuse, because they’ve now trimmed “all computers” to “three.”
The liquidators have swooped into Borders with giant black and yellow signs screaming 20-40% off. But are these sales a good deals for consumers? I visited one to find out.
Wells Fargo is meeting today at noon with the Philadelphia homeowner who “foreclosed” on them, The Consumerist has exclusively learned. Patrick says he “received a call from upon high” late yesterday and that he now has an appointment, “with a very senior Wells Fargo person.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But how did Patrick go from embattled and ignored homeowner to seated across the negotiating table with leverage? I spoke with him to find out more about both how and why he did what he did. His story is an inspiration to anyone who’s dreamed of going toe-to-toe with the big banks and winning. Turns out that armed with persistence, and a little legal know-how, Davids can take down Goliaths.
Just because the economy is in the dumps doesn’t mean your spirits have to be on V-Day. There’s lots of great ways to celebrate your relationship without buying into all the myths of conspicuous consumption. At the same time, classic romantic gestures can be nice and sweet, as long as there’s more feeling than Franklins behind them. Here’s a guide to some last-minute, creative, frugal and even free ways to say “I love you.” (Spoiler alert: the best day to celebrate February 14… is February 15! It’s like getting Valentine’s Day half-off!)
One of our readers works sales in an insurance telemarketing operation. He’s stepped forward to give us the skinny on how he gets commission, the real reasons that drive some of their tactics, and what personal information you should never give over the phone to a telemarketer.
A shadowy figure steps out of the shadows, his fingers nicotine-stained and shaking. He glances around nervously before leaping forward and grabbing you by the lapels. “I’ve got 23 things to tell you about calling into an extended warranty call center,” he says, “and I don’t have much time.”
An amusing letter purporting to be from Cash4Gold telling a customer to please stop sending them gold-painted rocks and making filthy demands has been making the rounds (read it inside). But in statements exclusive to Consumerist, the company says it’s as genuine as pyrite. The letter’s creator has fessed up too.
Reached for comment about ex-WaMu “free checking” accounts becoming new Chase “fee checking” accounts, a Chase spokesperson told Consumerist, “What we’re trying to do is reward customers for giving us more of their business, in terms of multiple accounts, or deeper business, in terms of balances or direct deposits.” I then asked him if they were also trying to get rid of less profitable customers.
Back by popular demand after the file on our server got messed up, it’s Consumerist’s easy excel budget spreadsheet! It lets you track your cash flow and expenses, and plan for upcoming purchases and bills. Use it properly and you’ll never overdraft again.