Christmas might be over, but we thought we’d spread a bit of holiday cheer by way of Consumerist reader Matthew’s recent warm-and-fuzzy-inducing experience with Moleskine. He admits that he might not even really deserve the experience he had, because he was perfectly happy with his three-pack of Moleskine journals. He just kind of wanted to see if the company was listening. It was. [More]
Steve bought a patio set from Target, and discovered when he went to assemble it that a part was missing. No problem, he thought: either Target or the manufacturer, Smith and Hawken, would have more parts available. Well….no. As it turns out, Target bought the Smith and Hawken brand, and products under that name are now contract manufactured for Target. The products seem all right…until something goes wrong. Then, like Steve, you learn that customers are apparently Target’s quality control department for this furniture, and when something goes wrong, there are no spare parts.
In 2004, a “ruby-glass composite”–basically a mixture of ruby and leaded glass–hit the jewelry market. At the time, a jewelry industry watchdog group “concluded that the stones could not be sold as rubies or precious gems under Federal Trade Commission guidelines, since they lacked the durability and value of bona fide rubies.” But Macy’s has been selling them as good old-fashioned rubies, and its salespeople have been neglecting to tell shoppers the truth at the moment they purchase the pieces, writes David V. Johnson of the SF Public Press.
Remember the recalled liquid Tylenol and other children’s medicines last month? Or the stinky drugs that were recalled back in January? Or the children’s Tylenol that was recalled last September? The FDA remembers, which is probably why it’s “conducting a company-wide investigation of McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s drug manufacturing practices to determine whether similar problems exist throughout the company.” Also, a date has now been set (May 27) for the House Committee hearing where the CEO and chairman of parent company Johnson & Johnson are expected to testify.
One of the implied promises of a brand name, especially when it comes to drugs, is you can expect higher quality, but maybe that doesn’t apply when it comes to McNeil products.The FDA says the plant that produced the recently recalled children’s Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, was using raw materials that were contaminated with bacteria. The plant also lacked adequate quality-control procedures and was dirty. So far none of the recalled medicine has tested positive for bacterial contamination, but the FDA report suggests that the contaminated material was used to make the recalled lots. The plant has been shut down indefinitely.
A week after issuing a recall on over 2 million vehicles due to faulty acceleration pedals, Toyota has announced it will stop selling 8 popular models in the U.S., as well as shut down 6 U.S. factories, while it deals with the problem. The faulty pedals were made by a U.S. manufacturer but have also been installed in cars sold in Europe, although Toyota hasn’t said what it plans to do outside the U.S. for now. Update: SafetyResearch.net says Toyota was required by law to stop selling the models after it announced the recall last week, so it’s actually kind of strange that it waited five days.
Some Camaro fans at Camaro5 have put together a list of owner-submitted things to watch out for with the new Camaro. Although they point out that not every other Camaro that rolls off the line is a bucket of fail—this isn’t the Xbox 360, after all—there do seem to be enough first year production issues that you should inspect the vehicle very carefully before leaving the dealership.
Geek Squad tried to repair a broken fan in Brian’s Sony laptop, but somehow managed to instead break the laptop’s motherboard, processor, and much of the internal cabling. Though Geek Squad replaced all the damaged parts, Brian soon realized that the laptop’s new processor was slower and cheaper than the original model…
The new CircuitCity.com is already disappointing customers, this time by shipping a half-complete TV mount that looks like it was wrapped by an over-caffeinated octopus. Unsurprisingly, our anonymous tipster had to slog his way through two customer service departments before extracting a promise to ship out the missing parts. Why can’t CircuitCity.com just ship him a new mount? Apparently, they have to first botch the parts shipment. Our tipster decided this wasn’t worth his time, and instead ordered a second mount. Circuit City promises to refund his money once they receive back the defective mount…
Apple has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a class action suit brought by owners of the notoriously scratchy first-generation iPod Nanos. Under the agreement, owners of the scratch magnets will be entitled to either a $25 or $15 cash refund, depending on whether or not their Nano included a carrying case.
Hasbro promised to replace a Nerf product that broke within minutes of being removed from its package, but that was back in October and Ed still hasn’t received anything.
China’s chief quality supervisor was replaced today as the total number of children sickened from dairy products tainted with melamine (the same substance that was found in contaminated pet food last year) grew to 53,000. Nearly 13,000 children have been hospitalized and 4 have died. Products manufactured by 22 companies were found to contain melamine, says Bloomberg.
“The Astrologer” magazine shuttered in December 2007 due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Hmm. [Neatorama]
See, this is why we don’t pull apart “crackers” on Christmas in the U.S.—a New Zealand woman found a dead, partially decomposed mouse in hers earlier this week during her family’s Christmas celebration. “I had said to my granddaughter ‘what’s the smell’ and we couldn’t work it out until we pulled the cracker.” Then: Merry Christmas! There’s a dead mouse in yer lap! “It ruined my appetite for the rest of the day,” she told her local paper.
A cartoon advent calendar for kids, sold by the city of Hanover in Germany, has a tiny drawing of local serial killer Fritz Haarmann, who murdered 24 people during the 1920s. He’s holding a meat cleaver and peeking out from behind a tree, while happy men, women, and children enjoy the holiday all around him. He’s one of 24 famous people from Hanover who appear on the calendar; “It’s part of our history,” says Hans Nolte, the director of the town’s tourism board.
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