The class action system is slow, profitable for lawyers, and flawed, but for now it’s the best tool that ordinary consumers have for holding companies that have wronged a lot of people responsible with a relatively small financial impact. Not all suits are well publicized, though, and you might not know that you’re eligible. Did you buy a computer between 2003 and 2008? How about “natural” cleaning products or lavender-scented baby products? [More]
With the price of emergency allergy treatment EpiPen jumping nearly 600% in less than a decade, bringing the out-of-pocket cost for some patients to $600 for a two-pack, it’s perhaps not surprising that sketchy eBay sellers are claiming to offer the prescription medication at a discount, even though it’s against eBay policy, illegal, and just a really, really, really awful idea. [More]
Disgusted at reports that some shrimp sold in the United States may have been caught by people working under slavery-like conditions, a woman in California filed a class-action lawsuit against Costco, the store where she purchased her shrimp. The problem: Costco, as a members-only warehouse, knows exactly what she has purchased, and says she didn’t actually buy any of the affected shrimp. [More]
Harris Faulkner, an anchor on the Fox News cable network, is a human and has been on TV for decades. Yet the toy company Hasbro sells a tiny plastic hamster as part of its Littlest Pet Shop line which is named Harris Faulkner. How did the hamster get its name? Is it intended to insult or honor Ms. Faulkner, or just a very strange coincidence? She has sued the company for $5 million, either way. [More]
After getting fired from American Apparel in December for “alleged misconduct and violations of company policy,” former CEO and founder Dov Charney is not going down without a fight. The company is now responding to a recent slew of defamations lawsuits he’s filed against it, outlining some pretty graphic allegations in recent court filings.
The owner of an eBay business who sued an unhappy customer over a negative feedback item is contrite. Mostly, he’s very sorry that he (allegedly) never read the lawsuit filed on his behalf accusing his customer of defamation. He should probably also be sorry that the customer has a relative who works in the litigation department of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. The seller has used lawsuits to bully customers into retracting feedback before, and may have done it again if not for Public Citizen.
An eBay vendor shipped their customer’s package with insufficient postage by mistake. That’s not ideal, but it happens. The customer, upset that she owed extra postage, left negative feedback on eBay. That may have been an overreaction, as she could have asked for a refund instead. Again, not ideal, but that happens. What doesn’t usually happen is the seller filing a lawsuit seeking damages from the customer and eBay. [More]
You may remember the adventures of S., who wanted to turn a drawer full of junky cell phones into Best Buy gift cards, but ran up against a baffling store policy that requires two forms of photo ID to do so. He complained, then flounced to another store that didn’t have this inexplicable policy. Turns out that this policy is pretty explicable: it involves local laws regulating pawn transactions.
Remember SOPA? PIPA? Maybe even CISPA? Of course you do — the Internet community, Consumerist included, rallied en masse earlier this year to stop those attempts to regulate the Interwebs we love so dearly. Now a Congressman is lobbing up a proposal to prevent that from happening again for at least two years with a bill that would temporarily ban the government from trying to regulate the Internet. [More]
There’s apparently no crime too small for a court of law, as a 31-year-old Pennsylvania man is finding out. He allegedly swiped a whopping $1.50 from a a church collection jar and now could be headed to trial. His arrest and subsequent charges of felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass were a result of the church installing security cameras to catch thieves. [More]
A customer has gone to battle against pushy members-only shopping club DirectBuy, and won. How did they do it? The Pennsylvania couple enlisted the help of the legal system, a local consumer reporter, and the police. When the company wouldn’t pay the judgment filed against it in court, they showed up with cops and a levy against the company, so they could start hauling off office furniture and anything else in the store if they so desired. Instead, they found that the local DirectBuy outpost had moved, and a new store opened with different management. A coincidence, surely.
When you switch phone companies, you’re allowed to keep your phone number. So why isn’t there this “number portability” for bank accounts? Well, a bill has been introduced in Washington to let you do exactly that.
Visa and Mastercard have been accused of price fixing in a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the the National ATM Council. The suit alleges that nonbank ATM operators could charge customers lower ATM fees when they use other, cheaper payment networks, but are prevented from this by the set access fees Visa and MasterCard charge.
A woman has filed a lawsuit against the movie Drive because she felt the moving didn’t have enough driving in it relative to what was promised in the movie trailer.
An Arizona family is suing Cox cable company after one of the cable companies’ outsourced technicians executed their son in a botched break-in. That ex-contractor is now sitting on death row.
Obama's Debt Reduction Plan Includes Letting Debt Collectors Robo-Call Cellphones To Collect On Federal Student Loans
One part of the debt-reduction bill Obama sent to Congress is a provision that would let debt collectors robo-call cellphones to collect on what’s owed to the government, like federal student loans.
When you buy a new cellphone you have to sign a contract where you give up your right to sue. You agree to what’s called, “mandatory binding arbitration.” This is a bad thing to give to an industry that has high levels of complaints about hidden fees and abusive anti-consumer practices. Because if their crummy customer service fails to remedy an issue, your last resort option is to participate in a kangaroo court system that is paid for out of fees paid by the cellphone companies themselves. So Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Al Franken (D-MN) have today introduced The Consumer Mobile Fairness Act that would ban mandatory arbitration clauses in cellphone contracts.
A judge has ruled that the “guess the next cashier who will be fired” “contest” concocted by a convenience store manager created a hostile work environment. Several of the employees left after it and the judge ruled that their unemployment claims could not be dismissed on the basis of the workers leaving voluntarily. Here is the text of the kooky contest memo: