A few weeks ago, we shared with you a Holiday Creep mystery. A reader discovered Easter-themed ice cream on the shelf at Walmart, making us wonder: was it still on the shelves from 2013, or just early for 2014? The way things are going in retail, we couldn’t be sure. We wrote to Walmart corporate, and they didn’t answer. Then we got a response from the freezer case. So to speak. [More]
Reader T. would like everyone to know that the members of the notorious Stupid Shipping Gang aren’t necessarily stupid. There could be a perfectly valid reason why your bubble wrap is wrapped in bubble wrap, a small clock comes in a box large enough to store your fiancée, and every ten-foot power cord requires its own wooden pallet. They’re just working with what they have, within the rules they’re provided, and trying to get your item to you in one piece. On their end of the transaction, these decisions aren’t so stupid. What seems wasteful to us consumers may actually save the company money.
What should you know when you place an online order that you plan to pick up at your local Walmart store? An insider––an ordinary store employee in an ordinary Walmart––reached out to us to explain to customers what you should know before you click “Site-to-Store,” and other pitfalls. Walmart may employ millions of Americans, but it still tries to run stores with the smallest crew that it get by with.
Let’s hand the floor over to the employee, who we’ll call “Samantha”: [More]
Last week, we ran a post with advice for families bringing kids to visit Santa, written by a former mall Santa who got the job despite being skinny, thirtyish, and Jewish. He explained how to keep your children from melting down on Santa’s lap. One former elf, who we’ll call “Holly,” took offense at one of that particular Santa’s tips for saving money, and wrote in to explain how things worked at the mall where she served as “elf,” or manager of the Santa set. The main thing she wants our readers to know: if you don’t buy any photos and insist on only taking your own, you’re a Grinchy jerk who is figuratively yanking money out of every employee’s pockets.
Disappointed because your children became hysterical once they were seated on Santa’s lap and the cameras came out? In this post, you will learn how to prevent Santa meltdowns. One winter, Brandon was unemployed and ended up working at the local mall, seated in the Santa throne. So if you take your kids to have their photos taken with Santa and file their last-minute gift requests this weekend, keep these tips in mind.
Reader S. works in a junk mail factory, making sure that solicitations are perfectly printed so that you can ignore them. Yesterday, after reading our post about one reader’s battle to get off AT&T’s U-Verse mailing list, S. decided to write up an explanation of why it takes so freaking long to get your name off a junk mailing list. Don’t hate the mailers, or their innocent minimum-wage employees like S: hate the system. [More]
Reader VermillionSparrow reads Consumerist comments and stories, and has a relatively minor beef with us. Yes, you readers, too. She has worked in call centers, and takes a little bit of offense when she reads references to “overseas” or “outsourced” call center representatives. Especially derogatory references. Some of those workers with accents were sitting just a few desks away from her at work: not on the other side of the planet. She warns us not to assume.
When pictures of their employees dressed up as homeless foreclosed homeowners for last year’s Halloween were published in the New York Times, the high-volume foreclosure firm brushed the matter aside. They said that it was “another attempt by The New York Times to attack our firm and our work.” But now that it’s blown up in their faces, they’re falling all over themselves to apologize.
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.
What do the employees at a foreclosure mill – a law firm that aggressively pursues massive numbers of foreclosures, even against homeowners in the middle of working out a mortgage mod – dress up for Halloween? Well at one joint, last year they dressed up as homeless former homeowners and as the corpse of a lawyer who filed a class action lawsuit against them, according to photos sent to the New York Times.
Here’s a crazy idea: let’s construct a Black Friday sale in such a way as shoppers aren’t hospitalized in a mad dash for deals. That’s what one Target store in Indiana is doing, where the plan is to only let 30 people in the store at a time on the sale day after Thanksgiving.
Rats. You just threw your phone across the room in a rage and now it’s broken. Once you regain control of your temper you decide to see about getting it repaired and find out it will almost cost as much as the phone to get it fixed. Either that, or you have to pay the full unsubsidized price to replace it because you’re not eligible for an upgrade. Turns out, as pointed out by the company insiders posting over at Insidr.net, a better idea is to call up customer customer service and ask them nicely to move your upgrade forward.
Well, that was fast. The reader and Best Buy employee who wrote in earlier this week about the threat of termination being used to make employees generate more credit card applications from customers. (Or, as the headline put it, “cram credit cards down customers’ throats.”) The tipster wrote back in to let us know that management in this particular region has backed down. While offering credit applications is still an important part of the job, working twelve shifts without persuading any customers to apply is no longer grounds for automatic termination.
Reader B. is a Best Buy employee, and has a moral problem with a new policy. This policy may just be at B.’s store or in that district, but it’s still annoying. Employees have been told that they can no longer price-match BestBuy.com. They can, however, help the customer place an order online for in-store pickup from inside the store, then wait around for up to half an hour. This seems inefficient at best to B, but sounds familiar to us.
The next time you’re shopping at Best Buy, try not to get too angry when employees attempt to cram store credit cards down your throat. They’re not personally out to scam you, or hawking cards to line their pockets. They’re just trying not to get written up, reprimanded, or fired. A very insightful tipster who works at a Best Buy somewhere in the United States shared with us the impossible credit application quotas now in place. Update: The tipster reports that Best Buy management has backed down on this particular threat. Hurray!
A former slinger of keys for rental car company Hertz has stepped forward from the shadows to share his three tips for saving on your next car.
An anonymous reader who once worked installing as an installer for Lowe’s shared some very helpful advice with us: you probably shouldn’t go to a big-box store for your deck-building and window-installing needs. Why is that? Let him count the ways.