TechStage

Apple Blames “Ambient Air” For iPhone 6S Battery Problem

A few weeks ago, Apple admitted that some iPhone 6S batteries were not working properly, causing the phones to shut down suddenly during otherwise normal use, and launched a repair program for affected consumers. But Apple hadn’t said why the batteries weren’t working properly… until this week, when it blamed the problem on air. Yes, literally air. [More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Consumer-Facing Companies Blame All Of Their Woes On Election

It’s all your fault. Yes, you, Mr. or Ms. Consumer, because you’re apparently preoccupied with the election instead of out shopping like a proper American should. How do we know this? Executives of publicly-traded companies keep getting on conference calls with analysts and journalists and saying so. [More]

Shoplifter Blames Devil

Shoplifter Blames Devil

A woman caught shoplifting from a Walmart in Cinnaminson, NJ, assaulted the store’s loss-prevention officer and drove off, but accidentally left her pocketbook–which contained her driver’s license–in the parking lot. She called back later to ask whether they’d found it, and when the police got on the phone she admitted to the shoplifting and assault, but blamed it on the devil.

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Passenger Says Frontier Airlines Used Fake Weather Delay To Avoid Compensating Passengers

Passenger Says Frontier Airlines Used Fake Weather Delay To Avoid Compensating Passengers

Scott says his flight from San Antonio to Denver was delayed last night because “the weather computer was not working,” but two hours later that excuse was replaced with a “weather-related delay” in Denver. The problem is, Denver was sunny and clear at the time.

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Dunkin' Donuts Robber Says He Was Just Asking For A Honey Bun

Dunkin' Donuts Robber Says He Was Just Asking For A Honey Bun

Be sure to always enunciate clearly when you’re placing an order, so that you don’t accidentally rob the cashier. That piece of advice comes from a man in Massachusetts who was charged for attempted armed robbery of a Dunkin’ Donuts back in April. He now claims that the cashier misunderstood him. What he really said was that he wanted a honey bun, not “Give me the money, I have a gun.”

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New Yorkers Can Get A Late Note From The MTA

New Yorkers Can Get A Late Note From The MTA

Remember those days of getting your friend with the really good handwriting to forge a note from your mom so you could avoid getting busted for being late to school? If you’re a New Yorker and take public transportation to work, the Metropolitan Transportation Administration is on board with a similar service. No, the agency won’t lie for you. But if you can’t make it to work on time because your train was delayed, the MTA now offers a web-based service that will get you a note to prove it to your boss.

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Lamps Plus Takes Deposit, Leaves Customer In The Dark

Lamps Plus Takes Deposit, Leaves Customer In The Dark

Erica and her fiance are tired of waiting for a lamp to arrive from Lamps Plus, especially now that it’s been three months and the company hasn’t kept any of its promises so far. She wants to know what to do next.

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Don't Count On That Rebate From MSI

Don't Count On That Rebate From MSI

My advice on mail-in-rebates is to ignore them when you’re trying to decide on a purchase. They take too long to receive, during which time you’ve paid a higher amount on the product. Even worse, it’s easy for a company to deny a claim and refuse to cooperate with you, and it’s hard for consumers to get misbehaving companies to play fairly.

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Publisher: "If You Can Afford An Ebook Device, You Can Pay More For Ebooks"

Publisher: "If You Can Afford An Ebook Device, You Can Pay More For Ebooks"

Imagine trying to buy a book from Big Generic Bookstore and watching the cashier add $5 to the sticker price. “What are you doing?!” you cry out, waving a fist menacingly at him. “You look like you can afford it,” he says back to you with a hint of entitltement. That’s basically what a publishing industry expert said in a piece he wrote last week about ebook pricing.

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PayPal Abandons Another Scammed Seller

PayPal Abandons Another Scammed Seller

Todd got ripped off by a scammer on an eBay purchase. He made sure to insure the device before shipping it off via the United States Postal Service, but it turns out that an insurance claim won’t help him get PayPal to step up.

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Consumer Reports And New York Times Ask Why There's So Much Air In Packages

Consumer Reports And New York Times Ask Why There's So Much Air In Packages

Padding chip bags with air is a pretty well-understood practice by now–supposedly it helps prevent the chips from being crushed. But what’s the purpose of similar packaging tricks in frozen fish, or boxes of instant rice? After a recent Consumer Reports article questioned the amount of air in packages at the grocery store, New York Times reporter Andrew Adam Newman asked two of the manufacturers for an explanation.

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ECA Responds To Membership Controversy, But Doesn't Say Much

ECA Responds To Membership Controversy, But Doesn't Say Much

Yesterday, ECA President Hal Halpin emailed Consumerist and other blogs a formal statement addressing the charges that the ECA is deliberately making it hard for members to break free. I’m printing the letter below, along with a summary of the key points Halpin makes and the issues that remain unanswered.

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Geek Squad Agent Doesn't Have Time To Look For Multimeter, Let's Just Send Off Laptop For 3 Weeks Instead

Geek Squad Agent Doesn't Have Time To Look For Multimeter, Let's Just Send Off Laptop For 3 Weeks Instead

The usefulness of Best Buy’s Geek Squad depends entirely on the competence of the employee you get when you go in for help, and unfortunately Scott landed one of the lazier ones. Here’s his sales pitch to Scott over a laptop that wouldn’t start: “It’s going to take at least 10 minutes for me to get the multimeter or another adapter. It’s going to be a problem inside the computer, let’s just send it in.”

Company Sued For Selling Beatles MP3s Says They're Original Works, So It's Okay

Company Sued For Selling Beatles MP3s Says They're Original Works, So It's Okay

Since the Beatles are notorious for refusing to release their music online, the mere fact that BlueBeat.com was selling them was kind of strange, which probably explains why EMI just sued them for copyright infringement. But BlueBeat has come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation. The songs aren’t really Beatles songs, you see, but “psycho-acoustic simulations” and therefore original works.

Dell Lies About Repairs, Ruins Vacation

Dell Lies About Repairs, Ruins Vacation

Michael emailed us, and Dell, from a loaner computer while he’s on a trip. His own laptop isn’t working, and thanks to a steady stream of broken promises and incorrect information, now he’s stuck without access to the software and development files he needs for his work.

9/11 Ruins Another Customer Experience

9/11 Ruins Another Customer Experience

Angela can’t get a new American Express card because Amex can’t verify her Social Security number. They have to verify it because of 9/11. Since they can’t, they’ve canceled her application. Because of 9/11.

Is The Patriot Act Stopping Gateway From Fixing Your Laptop?

Is The Patriot Act Stopping Gateway From Fixing Your Laptop?

Gateway claims that the Patriot Act is holding up delivery of the part needed to fix Redwoodflyer’s laptop, which has been broken since October. Seems believable to us!

Sears Can't Get Its Story Straight Regarding Rust And Craftsman Tools

Sears Can't Get Its Story Straight Regarding Rust And Craftsman Tools

C’mon Sears, rust isn’t a magic brown fairy powder that you can sprinkle over any warranty issue to deny coverage. Brian was told he couldn’t have his worn-out sockets replaced because they were rusty. He pointed out that he needed them replaced because they were worn out, not because of some cosmetic damage due to oxidation. Now Sears has officially told him that any rust on a Craftsman tool automatically voids the warranty—which is not what Sears told us two years ago.