Meghann Marco is a phone-guest on CNBC’s On The Money tonight!
I should be on On The Money again tonight, CNBC, 8pm eastern. Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Web Extra: Rumor Control! [On The Money]
8pm eastern, I’m going to be on CNBC’s “On The Money” tonight hosted by the fastest-shootin’ personal finance expert in the West and East, Carmen Wong Ulrich. We’ll be fielding questions from consumers wanting to know what money moves to make and I’ll chime in with the Consumerist.com perspective. Should be interesting! Got bumped, but should be back on again sometime soon.
I’m on CNBC’s “On The Money” personal finance show with Carmen Wong Ulrich right now. They’re doing a special where they’re taking viewer calls and questions about what to do with your money in the midst of the market madness. They’re taking calls at 877-753-CNBC, emails at firstname.lastname@example.org or use this webform.
“They’ve been downgraded from evil to bumbling.” – Me in FORTUNE about Dell’s online thrusts that attempt to repair their image and listen to their customers more. What do you think? Do you feel any better about them than you did two years ago, or are do their customers still writhe in the eternal flames of “Dell Hell?” Would you add Dell to your Facebook?
The Chicago Tribune quoted me in a piece on the Grocery Shrink Ray. Paraphrasing a food science. expert, it says, “Broadly defined, packaging costs often outweigh ingredient costs, Hotchkiss said. And a penny shaved off packaging can translate into millions of dollars in savings for a high-volume consumer product.” This is interesting because it means the greatest cost savings come from reducing package costs, rather than ingredient amount. Which means if they’re reducing ingredient amounts, they’ve got to be really hurting. Maybe if I really wanted to do my part to help the economy I should have spent that stimulus check on juice, cereal, paper towels, mayonnaise and ice cream.
Here’s the clip of the To The Point radio program I was on yesterday. There was a bunch of people on, you can hear me at 23:30 talking about the Grocery Shrink Ray and 37:30 talking about the customer service hotline Sprint set up for Consumerist readers. It’s a great show and I love Warren Onley’s voice, but I have some issues with the advice some of the other guests gave on the show that I need to address. Here’s what I would have said had I been asked some of their questions…
I will be in a roundtable discussion guest be on KCRW’s “The The Point” at 2:10 PM eastern today. You can listen here by clicking on the “LIVE” link at the top left, or tuning into your NPR affiliate station if they carry it. We’ll be talking about the economy, the growing pressures on consumers, the grocery shrink ray, and what, if anything, you can do about it.
Have you been the victim of a scam? Or had someone try to scam you? I’m working on a Reader’s Digest article scams and am looking for some anecdotes about specific “ripped from the headline” type scams. The scams and national trends I’m looking at are posted inside. If your story fits the trend but not necessarily the exact scam, I want to hear from you too. If you have a good story and are willing to have your picture published, please send a note with your contact info to email@example.com, subject: Scam Tales.
Have you been ripped off recently by a store, hotel, airline, repair service or other retailer? ABC 20/20 would like to help you get satisfaction. If you feel you were cheated, please let us know BRIEFLY what happened to you and what you’ve done so far to get a refund. If selected, you’ll be asked to come our Manhattan studio where you’ll tell your story on camera and we’ll try to help you get your money back. Please send your name, city, email address, and daytime phone and note that you saw this post on consumerist.com
TV stations looking to save money can do so by interviewing guests remotely over Skype, as WTVT in Tampa did, live, with me this morning. No more paying for car service or bottled water!
For those of you who wanted a transcript of the NPR interview I did yesterday about the Grocery Shrink Ray, we added one here.
NPR’s Michele Norris on “All Things Considered” did a nice interview with me about that deadly Grocery Shrink Ray sweeping supermarkets across America. It looks like it just aired, you can listen to it online here. If you want to look at previous stories in the Grocery Shrink Ray series, check ’em out here. And if you have a example of a product that is shrinking in terms of volume or net weight and you want to submit it to us for a possible post, just send it on in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media interest in The Grocery Shrink Ray sweeping across America continues, I was interviewed recently by CNNMoney.com, The Brian Lehrer Show, and Agence France-Press. Everyone knows prices are higher and manufacturers need to pass them on somehow. I don’t like the method of shrinking sizes while keeping the prices the same. Or when they combine it with a package redesign, hoping we’ll be so distracted by a new spigot that we won’t notice we’re getting less. My local pizza parlor went about it differently. They raised prices and taped up two articles explaining how rising wheat costs are driving up the cost of making pizza. They didn’t, however, cut their pies into 12 slices instead of 8.
Here’s the clip of yours truly, Ben Popken, on FOX 13 Tampa yesterday talking about the Grocery Shrink Ray that all the writers on the site have been doing a great job of covering. The interview was done over Skype webcam and I think it came out pretty well. “Shrinkage” and “downsizing” may be nothing new, but I think we’re going to see more goods shrinking and by greater degrees in the coming months. It’s practically a secret inflation. At the end of the story they say that some manufacturers are considering doing away with gallons of milk and instead selling 3/4 of a gallon, for the same price. If that happens, I think a lot more messages like the recording of the good ol’ boy upset over the downsized Jimmy Dean’s sausage are going to be left on customer complaint lines across America. As the guy in the New York Daily News shrinking package article (which I was also quoted in, whoo), said, “Soon people will be buying empty bags and empty boxes.”