Park Service: To Avoid Risk Of Animal Attack, Stop Trying To Get Up Close & Personal

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It’s that time of year again: the weather is nice, and our nation’s parks are full of visitors who want to check out all that nature has to offer. But yet again the National Park Service finds itself forced to remind folks that if they don’t want to find themselves facing down, say, a charging bison, you shouldn’t try to get too close just for the sake of a souvenir photo. [More]

21 Pranks, Fake Products, And Other Corporate Attempts At April Fools’ Day Relevance

21 Pranks, Fake Products, And Other Corporate Attempts At April Fools’ Day Relevance

Ever since April 1, 1922 when our print forerunner, The Consumerist Bugle-Gazette, ran an April Fools’ Day cover story that unwittingly — but accurately — announced the death of exiled Austrian Emperor Charles I, we’ve not tempted fate and avoided such tomfoolery. But others aren’t burdened by these ghosts of Aprils gone awry. [More]

(CBS Minnesota)

Reminder: You Might Not Want To Display Empty Christmas Present Boxes Prominently On The Curb

There you are, happily and cozily ensconced in your house, playing your new PS4 (as long as it’s not a piece of wood) to your heart’s delight, warm with the Christmas spirit that brought you this shiny new toy. But if you want to keep your new pricy electronics and nice clothing, it’s not a good idea to tip off any would-be thieves of what’s hiding in your home by advertising it with empty boxes. [More]

Happy New Year: Dish, DirecTV/AT&T, Time Warner Cable All Raising Rates In January Because They Can

Happy New Year: Dish, DirecTV/AT&T, Time Warner Cable All Raising Rates In January Because They Can

For a bunch of the big cable and satellite companies, it does indeed look like a very merry Christmas and a happy new year are on the horizon — but consumers can be forgiven for feeling a lot more grinchy about it. That’s because all the new nickels, dimes, and dollars that are going to line businesses’ big virtual pockets are coming directly from subscribers in the form of unasked-for price hikes.

[More]

Kohl’s To Stay Open 170 Hours Straight For Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

Kohl’s To Stay Open 170 Hours Straight For Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers

Kohl’s once again wants to make sure you’re able to mark every last item off your holiday shopping list by keeping most of its stores open for more than seven straight days leading up to Christmas.  [More]

UPS Having Trouble Handling Holiday Avalanche Of Online Orders

UPS Having Trouble Handling Holiday Avalanche Of Online Orders

We already know UPS is renting additional vehicles to help with the onslaught of holiday deliveries, but it seems that’s not enough to help the company stay ahead of the avalanche of online orders this time of year. [More]

(Grady Trimble, WCSH-6 News)

Nice Person In Maine Taping Coats To Light Poles In Campaign To Help Keep Needy People Warm

Quite often at Consumerist, we hear stories that involve negative situations or feature consumers doing bad things. So when we read about people out there doing nice things for each other, we like to take note. To wit: a woman in Maine has started a campaign to help make sure all residents are dressed warmly against the cold this winter, by taping coats to light poles around town. [More]

(Salvation Army)

Anonymous Donors Leave $500,000 Check In Minnesota Salvation Army Kettle

Anonymous donors in Minnesota’s Twin Cities were certainly in the giving mood over the weekend, slipping a $500,000 check into a Salvation Army kettle. Unsurprisingly, it’s snagged the record for the area’s biggest kettle donation to date.

[More]

Hide Your Stuff, Lock Your Car: Black Friday Is Also A Pretty Big Day For Thieves

Hide Your Stuff, Lock Your Car: Black Friday Is Also A Pretty Big Day For Thieves

Black Friday is not only a big day for shoppers, with stores throwing open their doors early (or staying open all night since they opened on Thanksgiving) and the mad marketing blitz of discounts, sales and deals coming at you from every angle, but it’s a pretty fruitful day for thieves, as well.

[More]

AAA: Gas Could Fall Below $2 Per Gallon Nationwide Just In Time For Christmas

AAA: Gas Could Fall Below $2 Per Gallon Nationwide Just In Time For Christmas

While we’re not sure how Santa Claus will be able to bring this present down the chimney, everyone with a car could be getting something very special this year: AAA says the national average for a gallon of gas could fall below $2 just in time for Christmas.

[More]

Starbucks Debuts Toasted Graham Latte, The Chain’s First New Fall Flavor In Four Years

Starbucks Debuts Toasted Graham Latte, The Chain’s First New Fall Flavor In Four Years

Because there are only so many pumpkin spice lattes a person can handle, Starbucks has decided to mix up its autumnal menu a bit with its first new fall flavor in four years: the Toasted Graham Latte is available at the chain’s locations in the U.S. and Canada as of today. [More]

(Jack Hebert)

Study: One Pumpkin Latte Per Season Is Enough For Most People

Sure, everyone knows someone who starts posting about how fall is their favorite season because pumpkin lattes are back (“squeeeee!”) and they’re going to drink one every day, but for the rest of us, one per season is just fine, thanks.

[More]

(JeepersMedia)

Kohl’s Stores Will Stay Open For 100 Hours Straight Leading Up To Christmas

Nothing says Christmas spirit like the constant neon glow of an open department store’s lights: Starting Dec. 19, Kohl’s says most of its stores will remain open for 100 hours straight leading up to Christmas.

[More]

(Jeff Wilcox)

People Really Do Give Cars With Giant Red Bows On Top As Gifts

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday visiting family and watching network television in real time like it was 1983 or something, and that’s when it hit me. The barrage of holiday-themed car commercials where people give each other sedans, SUVs, and the occasional truck with a giant (inevitably red) bow on top. Does this ever happen in real life? It does. [More]

The Cost Of Attending Weddings Is Going Up So I’m Going To Need A Slice Of The Best Cake Ever

The Cost Of Attending Weddings Is Going Up So I’m Going To Need A Slice Of The Best Cake Ever

Listen, I don’t need a news alert to tell me that the cost of attending weddings these days is pretty freaking high, but it’s good to know that I haven’t just been hallucinating the money dribbling out of my wallet. A new report says the cost of just going to a wedding — along with various and sundry related activities — is up 10% in the last year and 75% in the last two. I can feel the money slipping away, I tell you. [More]

Brighten Up Your Halloween With A Little Christmas Creep Of Your Own

Brighten Up Your Halloween With A Little Christmas Creep Of Your Own

We here at Consumerist have been writing about Christmas Creep — that phenomenon of Christmas-themed decorations inching earlier and earlier into the calendar year — since the days when it wasn’t yet common to see wreaths, trees, and tinsel on sale in September. So we’ve combined our love of DIY crafts with our not-love for Christmas in July and bring you the one and only Christmas Creep himself!

[More]