’Tis the season for random acts of kindness (not that you can’t do nice things for people all year): from the so-called layaway angels that will no doubt pop-up at retail stores to the coffee drinkers who will pay it forward. A man in Texas recently got the ball rolling on the 2016 season by handing out money at a McDonald’s. [More]
Last night, folks around the country lined up to get their hands on the new Sony PS4 gaming console when it was released at midnight. Among them was Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, who got into the holiday spirit a bit early by footing the bill for several other shoppers’ consoles. [More]
There are so many things to be disappointed in out there — people stealing from people, delivery drivers stealing from customers, companies turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the woes of the very people they want business from. That’s why Consumerist reader Jason was happy to report to us that not only did he and his wife have the satisfaction of helping their fellow shoppers out, but their good deed didn’t go unnoticed by a grateful retailer. [More]
It was like a game of Good Samaritan Hot Potato on Good Morning America today, as Disney offered a free vacation to a 9-year-old Massachusetts boy — who had given away his Disney trip to a young girl whose dad was killed in Afghanistan — only to then have the boy say he’d be passing that vacation on to yet another person.
The 53-year-old woman in Fredericksburg, Va. was trying to perform a good deed. She found an iPhone near a convenience store, and contacted the owner to give it back. They agreed to meet up outside of a restaurant, and the phone’s owner promised a reward. Then things went horribly wrong: according to police, the phone’s owner took the phone back, handed over the reward, then attacked her from behind while she was walking away.
Earlier this week, five teens were killed in a car crash in the town of New Oxford, PA. In an effort to bring the community together, the owner of a local McDonald’s franchise hosted a fundraiser last night, where 100% of his proceeds for the evening went to offer financial support to the families of those lost in the horrible incident.
I bet if some guy approaches you on the street right as you’re about to walk into your bank or credit union and asks you to cash a check for him, you’d say no. That’s a good idea. Apparently at least two people in Madison, Wisconsin thought they were doing a good deed and helped the man out. It turns out that the checks were drawn on a closed bank account in Atlantic City, NJ.
A man who either loves Taco Bell or hates his GI tract paid $72 for a taco at an Ohio Taco Bell on Monday. When the employee tried to give him his change, he refused and said that it was a Christmas gift, according to the local Fox news station: “He said, ‘I don’t need it so I want to pass it along.’ …the man then said ‘Merry Christmas’ and walked away.”
Presumably to a toilet. <--That wasn't very Christmas-y and I retract it.
The announcement that Best Buy plans to open a Geek Squad outlet inside the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis seems, at first, incongruous. “Geek Squad?” we said. “Haven’t these families already suffered enough?” Except this Geek Squad isn’t there to profit off sick kids—they’re there to help. No, really.
A manager at Chemical Bank in Midland, Michigan, grew suspicious when he saw Marion Case, an 80-year-old customer, withdraw $25k from her account last December. Case told him she was going to mail it to someone who would then pass it along to her son. The manager, Carl Ahearn, “remained suspicious. He followed her as she walked to the nearby post office, where Case bought an Express Mail envelope addressed to a man in New Jersey. Ahearn shared his concerns with postal officials, who opened an investigation and arrested a man Monday for fraud.”
It’s been a busy few weeks for Mohammad Sohail, a Pakistani immigrant who owns and operates a Deli in Long Island, NY. On May 21st a masked man tried to rob him, but Sohail pulled a rifle on the guy. Then he made him promise to never rob anyone again, and handed him $40 and a loaf of bread.
Want to read more about the banker President Obama mentioned tonight who gave $60 million to his employees past and present? [The Miami Herald]
Travel expert Christopher Elliott says US Airways refunded a couple $2200 on a pair of nonrefundable tickets to Ireland after the wife wrote to the COO and explained their situation. They tried Expedia first and were refused, and although they had travel insurance it wouldn’t cover unemployment. The wife, Jennifer Bush, says the US Airways rep who responded to their plea “told me that they all felt for my situation and decided to refund the amount of the airfare.”
Wal-Mart's Katrina Heroism: "Above All, Do The Right Thing," CEO Told Managers Before Katrina Struck
A paper written by Steven Horwitz, an Austrian-school economist (we’re still not quite sure what that means, other than it’s considered slightly controversial), recounts Wal-Mart’s relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina (PDF) and points out that private businesses, along with the Coast Guard, did far more than any “official” government agency in providing immediate, on-the-ground assistance to victims. His argument is that something as complex as a relief effort is more efficient when it’s decentralized and involves private businesses. Horwitz has also, separately, supported the idea that Wal-Mart should win the Nobel Peace Price. Hey, we told you his school of economics was controversial.
Shoppers who went to the mall at Massapequa, Long Island on Christmas Eve were surprised by two middle-aged guys who were randomly handing out cash to passers-by. Mall security called the police on them (sigh), but ultimately the guys were left alone to distribute their money to people as they entered the mall.
Sometimes being a conscientious shopper really does matter. The man who realized that tubes of discount toothpaste were tainted with diethylene glycol last May has been found and interviewed by the New York Times. Eduardo Arias, a 51-year-old government worker in Panama City, was shopping in a discount store one Saturday when he saw the toothpaste—he said he could read the ingredients list clearly without even picking up a tube, and when he saw “diethylene glycol” as an ingredient, alarms went off.