Gasoline mixups are one of the scarier consumer horror stories out there, since there isn’t much that a motorist can do to prevent or mitigate them. One happened in Tarrant County, Texas recently: people who pumped gasoline received diesel fuel, and people who pumped diesel received gasoline. [More]
One San Diego man obviously isn’t a regular Consumerist reader. He bought his wife an iPod for Christmas, and she opened it up to find…four erasers and some specially-cut index cards filling up the spot that’s supposed to cradle the iPod. They’re probably very nice erasers, but you can’t play music on them. Light percussion, maybe. [More]
At high-volume times like Valentine’s Day, and at any other time, really, flower-delivery services like FTD reserve the right to substitute something similar if they don’t have the exact item in stock that you want. Mark was upset shortly after Valentine’s Day because he ordered an arrangement that had a purple container, purple flowers, and some white lilies in it. Purple is her favorite color, you see, and lilies are her favorite flower. Isn’t Mark thoughtful? Speaking for the ladies of America, he is. He’s also really mad. [More]
At left is the totally awesome shark plane that J’s parents bought for Christmas for his niece. It’s an online-only item from Toys ‘R’ Us. Any child would be lucky to receive such a fun and cool-looking gift, right? The problem is that thanks to an accidentally sexist shipping mixup, they didn’t get the plane: they got a pink pedal car instead, a week before Christmas. This kind of thing happens all the time, though, so Toys ‘R’ Us should be able to handle a vehicle swap with no problem. Right? [More]
Chris has a freezer. He bought it from HHGregg in November, and has no complaints about it. His problem is with the additional free freezer that the store keeps trying to give him. Sort of. They keep calling to tell him to pick up the freezer. He’s missed all of the calls, which come every two weeks. Would they really hand over a new freezer, though? [More]
Someone signed up for Virgin Mobile, and used Shadee’s e-mail address by accident. She doesn’t particularly want someone else’s phone bills, so she contacted Virgin Mobile asking to have the problem resolved. They answered with a demand for her personal information: name, mailing address, and her phone number. Why do they need all of this information when she wants to get off their mailing list, not on it? So she reached out and posted on Virgin Mobile’s Facebook wall. The interactions that followed prove that while companies can assign staff to social media, it can’t make them actually listen to consumers.
If Avi had ever considered using Morgan Stanley to handle his imaginary millions, he’s probably reconsidering now. A UPS envelope showed up at his house with detailed financial statements from a complete stranger. It wasn’t a mixup, since Avi has no relationship with the firm. Why did this show up on his doorstep?
Cassandra had a confusing problem with Walmart. She ordered a bed frame to be delivered to her local store. She happened to order a black frame, which was more expensive than the similar (but out of stock) bronze-colored frame. When she got the box home, though, she noticed that new labels had been put over the areas on the box identifying the frame’s color. The labels identified the frame as black. The box itsef identified it as bronze. The frame inside was bronze. So who altered the box, and why?
There might be something wrong when a 4-year-old child doesn’t want to finish a chocolate milkshake. A mother in Chicago claims that her daughter didn’t want to finish her shake at Chili’s because it was actually the sweet, boozy chocolaty concoction known as a Mudslide. The child was diagnosed with alcohol ingestion overdose, but did she take in the booze at Chili’s?
An elderly woman in Kansas City was forced out of her longtime home this week because of a deed mixup. No, Bank of America didn’t foreclose on her by mistake. Why are her belongings on the lawn? The situation dates back to 1998, when her friend and roommate, the owner of the house, died without properly transferring the deed. A probate battle ensued. Now a real estate company owns the house, and has offered to sell it for $60,000. They paid $13,000 at auction.
Caitlin has a bit of advice: if you plan to order from Gymboree and have some items shipped to you and other items shipped to a friend as a gift, don’t order all of the items in the same transaction. Maybe not on the same day. She writes that the company messed up her order in every way short of losing it or sending the wrong items, and has put her in the awkward position of having to ask her friend to send what appeared to be a gift, but was actually Caitlin’s order, to Caitlin. Gymboree, for its part, blames UPS.
The last place you want to find The Other Woman is on her back next to your husband. Especially when he’s dead. A woman named Lillas Hawkins in California found just that when she went to visit her husband’s grave two weeks ago. When she pointed out the error to a cemetery worker, she says he responded, “We are in terrible trouble.” The cemetery is owned by a company named Dignity.
After purchasing a large piece of fitness equipment from Amazon, do not move. Ever. This apparently confuses the customer service representatives and sends you on a two-month odyssey of buck-passing, missed connections, confusion, and consumer mayhem. Vu writes that he has learned this lesson the hard way. He would like Amazon to come pick the damn thing up so he can get his refund.
Reader IfThenElvis has a problem with his Newegg account. Well, technically, it’s not his account. It was just registered using his email address.
If you’re a pet store employee, probably the only thing worse than opening up a shipment of live tropical fish to find them dead is opening up a shipment of live tropical fish to find a human body intended for a research facility in a neighboring town. That’s what happened at a Pets Plus in Philadelphia yesterday, and US Airways says the mixup was caused by a “verbal miscommunication between a delivery driver and the cargo representative” and that they’re deeply sorry.
Here’s a bizarre story from Flickr user F1.4. After finishing his breakfast at a “classy” joint in the D.C. area, the server came by and topped off his coffee. When he took another sip…it was hot soy sauce. Bleeccch!