Stories of layaway angels, or ordinary shoppers who pay off strangers’ layaway tabs in the weeks before Christmas or the beginning of the school year, proliferate in the news at this time of year. They make the legend of Santa Claus—someone who gives gifts while asking for nothing in return—literally come true. [More]
Police who work near any large retail store are probably all too familiar with responding to calls for shoppers caught trying to make off with a pack of socks or a pilfered Pepsi. A test program at Walmart aims to reduce these nuisance calls by giving small-time shoplifters a second chance. [More]
How does a package of beef become contaminated with the hallucinogenic drug LSD? Authorities in Florida and in the federal government have been trying to figure that out for the last right months. Last week, local police in Tampa released their report and made the case inactive. They still have no idea how the drug got there. [More]
Not satisfied with the current assortment of holiday beverages at your local Starbucks? You’re in luck, maybe. The chain is testing two new flavors of their traditional seasonal sugar bombs in different markets. [More]
Here’s some news out of Florida that could have been much more horrible: a storage building at a Yuengling brewery near Tampa caught fire over the weekend. While the facility sustained about $1 million in damage, the company reports that their brewing operations won’t be affected. Repeat: there will be no mass beer shortages. [More]
It’s not a good sign when the health inspector shows up to a fast food joint and is waylaid by employees who refuse to let him into the kitchen. It’s an even worse sign when the inspector still finds more than 20 violations after waiting 20 minutes for the staffers to presumably clean up the most egregious offenses.
Spirit Airlines once again proves that it was only pulling our legs when it called itself the “most consumer-friendly airline.” This time, the fee-happy carrier isn’t just telling a dying passenger he has to suck up the cost of his $197 ticket, but are somehow equating being near death as a form of rule-breaking.
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!
Last week, we wrote about Sam’s surprising discovery that his apartment complex was to be converted into a “European style” nudieland. The apartment complex apparently hadn’t notified its tenants, and Sam learned about it from a newspaper. Last weekend, Sam wrote in with an update.
Reader Sam writes in to let us know that his apartment complex is being converted into a “clothing optional” paradise. Tenants of The Arbors at Branch Creek, you are now the hedonistic residents of Eden!
Attention Floridian Consumerists! Provided everything goes according to schedule, I will be on Fox Tampa Thursday during the 10pm newscast, talking about the mysterious Grocery Shrink Ray sweeping across America.
A Centura bank manager was arresetd on suspicion of defrauding an 86-year old man out of $82,000 from his bank account. Milton Hagelberger helped the old man set up his checkbook, then set up a second account under the old man’s name and made himself an ATM card. The manager had the account statements mailed to an empty lot across the street from the bank so the man wouldn’t see the missing money. The victim only found out about the fraud after he tried to cash a check and found he had insufficient funds. We’re often worried about outside identity thieves stealing our moneys over the internet, but sometimes identity theft happens in the flesh, right in front of our face.
If you’d like to nominate a commercial for our weekly series, Great Moments In Commercial History, send an email to tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. Put “Great Moments in Commercial History” in the subject. —MEGHANN MARCO