If you’re the kind of person who can kill a plant just by looking at it, Kmart’s new “Plants for Life” guarantee might sound like the solution to your brown thumb: the retailer is offering a lifetime guarantee on its trees, shrubs, and perennials that gives a customer a replacement or store credit if their plant dies before its time. Claiming that replacement, however, means first clearing your plant from a slew of plant-death scenarios included in the offer’s fine print. [More]
Car dealers are known for hyperbolic slogans like “Everybody rides!” or “Nobody walks away from our lot!,” but that sort of puffery is a far cry from repeatedly claiming that the advertised lease price includes “Zip, Zero, Zilch — Nothing Down!” only to hide the ugly truth in fine print that most people won’t understand. [More]
Sometimes, it’s annoying to watch television and see ads for businesses or products that don’t exist in your area, like the Sonic ads on cable that taunted us here in the Northeast for years. In a series of Allstate ads that air nationwide, the insurer talks about a biannual bonus check that customers who don’t get in accidents receive. “Where’s my check?” asked one Allstate customer who hasn’t had an accident in decades. Where, indeed? [More]
One Boston shopper found what looked like an amazing deal on shirts at Macy’s, advertised in the weekly flyer. Unfortunately, Macy’s now seems to regard their flyer as a random assortment of product pictures and disclaimers. The item wasn’t available at his local Macy’s, and employees just sort of shrugged. [More]
In recent weeks, Sears has had some really great appliance sales, trying to drum up some business. That’s great news for Sears and for anyone who needs a new dishwasher, but confusing news for consumers who took last week’s ad literally. It offered an additional 15% off “all appliances” for customers who used their Sears credit cards, which some customers naively thought meant all appliances. [More]
Most of us accept the fact that advertisers have to massage the truth to put their products in the best possible light. You’re likely to sell more widgets saying “The fastest widget on the market!” and doing your best to hide the disclosure that you really mean it’s the fastest widget you can buy at one particular market in rural Alberta. But some advertisers have apparently been getting too fine with their fine print and have been put on notice by federal regulators to just stop it already. [More]
When it comes to fine print on user agreements and terms of service, I’ve found that there are those who blame companies for making these documents so long and complicated that most people will never read them (and might not even be able to understand the terms even after reading them), and then there are those who say consumers can’t complain if they don’t first read and understand everything they agree to. Here’s a story out of Russia that should appeal to both sides of that debate. [More]
Yesterday, we told you about the Guitar Center “Easter Savings Event” that somehow managed to exclude more than 300 brands from the sale, indicating that virtually nothing in the store would actually be included in the promotion. But further investigation by Consumerist readers found some cracks in the fine print. [More]
Among all the recent hurricane-related horror stories coming out of New Jersey, the tale of a young couple losing $10,000 and having to hold their reception in a school gymnasium is certainly not the absolute worst, but it didn’t have to happen that way. [More]
Who reads the terms of service on gift cards? Maybe not everyone, but four consumer advocacy groups have your back and are petitioning Starbucks to remove certain provisions in time for the holiday season.
A man has decided to turn a minor annoyance, getting a newspaper at your hotel room door and getting charged for it, into a class action lawsuit.
David isn’t really sure why he received this Lane Bryant flyer in the mail, seeing that he’s not only thin, but, well, male. But that doesn’t matter at Lane Bryant, where they’re stretching the limits of reality and of the English language.
Hey everyone! Let’s go to New York, New York Casino in Las Vegas for St. Patrick’s Day since they’re offering a Paddy’s discount! But guess what — you can’t actually book a room for that holiday because they’re busy with a convention.
“Try on shoes, get a free smartphone,” declared a sign in the window of Ryan’s local Journeys store. That sounds like a deal that can’t possibly be true. And it’s not.
When Lauren reserved a car rental through Priceline last week, she checked out the fine print to see if she’d have to pay any age-related extra fees, and according to Priceline what she bid would be the total price. Now Avis is telling her Priceline is wrong and she’ll have to come up with more money at the rental counter.
Paul opted not to sign up for Chase’s overdraft fee trap–oh wait, they call it “protection”–but Chase happily ignored this fact and approved a transaction anyway, which led to a $34 overdraft fee that they refuse to reverse. The loophole they’re using to get around Paul’s opt-out is that the vendor was someone he’d authorized in the past, and therefore this new transaction isn’t protected from the bank’s “protection” fee.
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.