The Consumerist (74)

Freight Train Delays Aren't Endangering Supplies Of Pringles And Fries… Yet

There's no need to worry yet, but it's possible that service problems at the freight railroad CSX might endanger Pringles, McDonald's French fries, and the production of other mundane objects that keep our economy running. Cooking oil by truck Freight trains are crucial to our economy, performing ...

Would You Video Chat With An Airline Customer Service Rep?

Sometimes you simply can't get your frustration with an airline across simply by raising your voice talking to a customer service representative on the phone. Now you can look someone in the face via video conferencing — at least at Delta Air Lines.  Delta announced today that it will pilot Delta ...

Stealing Your Identity Can Be As Easy As Stealing Your Phone Number

You're smart about online security, right? Sure! You use two-factor authentication on all your accounts, you don't use dodgy WiFi, you make sure to put a passcode on your phone, and you keep it with you at all times, never out of your sight. Unfortunately, that's not enough to protect you. Because ...

Philadelphia Learns That Soda Tax May Be A Bad Long-Term School Funding Solution

Here's the problem with sin' taxes, like those on alcohol, tobacco, and fizzy beverages: You can use those taxes to raise money for a specific purpose, or to encourage citizens to consume less of the thing being taxed, but you can't hope for both. That's what Philadelphia has learned as its tax on ...

Kohl's Revamping Stores, Cutting Down On Retail Space In Online Push

Your local Kohl's could look a bit different later this year: The retailer plans to revamp stores by cutting down on retail space and moving its focus to online sales. Kohl's announced plans today to enhance its omnichannel' capabilities by opening four small format stores and remodeling half of ...

More Than A Third Of Americans Have Been Unknowingly Enrolled In Auto-Pay Plans

If you've ever been surprised to find you've been automatically charged for a subscription or a service you don't remember signing up for, you're not alone: A new survey says that more than a third of Americans have been enrolled in autopay programs — for anything from a gym membership to a ...

3 Things We Learned About How Netflix Recommends Shows

You just finished watching  Breaking Bad on Netflix, what do you watch next? Perhaps, Switched At Birth? Wait, what? While you might not see the connection between a show about a high school chemistry teacher dabbling in the drug trade and a family drama about two teens switched at birth, the ...

CDC: Backyard Chickens Mean Salmonella Outbreaks, So Wash Your Hands

In the last decade or so, raising backyard chickens has become a popular hobby. Maybe it's due to a receession-era homesteading impulse, or people prioritizing really local food. However, live chickens and ducks have been linked to almost 1,000 known cases of Salmonella, which have sent hundreds of ...

Same-Sex Couple Claims Server Told Them Sharing A Dessert Wouldn't Look Right'

Sharing a dessert with your dining companion is nothing new, but a same-sex couple in D.C. claims that when they asked their server for two spoons so they could split a sundae, they were told such a thing wouldn't be possible, and doesn't go with the ambiance' of the restaurant. A couple who ...

Great Wall Motors Not Actually That Interested In Fiat Chrysler's Jeep After All

A day after Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motors revealed its desire to buy Jeep from Fiat Chrysler, the manufacturer is backing away from the plan, noting that it hasn't yet entered talks with the company.  Bloomberg, citing a filing with the Shanghai stock exchange, reports that officials with ...

Trump Administration Halts Study On Health Risks Associated With Coal Mining

A federal study examining the potential health risks of living near surface coal mining sites in Appalachia has been put on hold by the White House as it reviews its grant and agreements. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced Monday that it had halted the study — ...

Ex-Lottery Worker Who Admitted To Rigging The System Now Facing 25 Years In Prison

Well, ping pong balls and rotating cages it ain't: The former lottery security official convicted of trying to rig the system to pick winning numbers is now facing up to 25 years in prison for the scheme. The $14 million downfall The Iowa man — who was employed by the Des Moines-based Multi ...

Verizon Suspends Customer's Service On Her 84th Birthday

It might be hard to remember, but before Facebook existed, people would call each other on the phone to wish them a happy birthday. A woman who lives near Boston and was turning 84 waited for friends and family to call her, but the calls never came. Verizon turned off the woman's phone due to ...

Feds Investigating Wells Fargo Sudden Account Closures

Last year, federal regulators fined Wells Fargo $185 million for its fake account fiasco in which employees were found to have opened more than two million accounts without customers' authorization. Now, the bank says it's under investigation for wrongly closing some accounts.  Wells Fargo ...

Report: FBI Asks Private Sector Companies To Stop Using Kaspersky Products

Obviously, it's best practice to use antivirus and malware protection on anything you have that can connect to a network — and that goes double for businesses. But a new report says that the FBI is now asking several companies in the private sector to phase out use of products from Kaspersky Labs ...

Jury Awards Woman $417M In Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Three months after a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record-setting $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer linked to the company's talcum-based products, another jury in California has dwarfed that judgment, handing down a $417 million ...

British Airways Passenger Claims He Had To Sit In Urine-Soaked Seat For 11 Hours

There are uncomfortable flying situations, and then there's sitting in a urine-soaked seat for 11 hours. A British Airways passenger who paid more than $1,500 for a flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa tells The Daily Mirror that he spotted a wet patch on his seat upon boarding. ...

The NASA Channel App On Roku Doesn't Work And It Isn't From NASA

Your best bet to see today's total eclipse if you live in an area where it isn't visible is to stream NASA's cross-country broadcast. It's available from some cable providers and to stream on your computer, but what if you want it on your TV screen and you're a cord-cutter? Roku users might download ...

Elon Musk, AI Experts From Around The World Call For Ban On Killer Robots

While there are many benefits to artificial intelligence and robots that can do just about anything humans can do, technology leaders from around the globe are urging the United Nations to ban lethal autonomous weapon systems, which threaten to become the third revolution in warfare.' The UN will ...

Volkswagen Resurrecting The Microbus With New Electric Version

Our love affair with things of the past has spurred the resurgence of several products in recent years — Crystal Pepsi, Zima, Clearly Canadian to name a few. Volkswagen is hoping to parlay this affection for the throwback into big sales by redesigning one of its most emblematic models, the ...

Uber Driver Accused Of Locking Passenger In Car, Demanding Sex

A Chicago Uber driver has been charged with unlawful restraint after he was accused of locking a passenger in his car and demanding that she have sex with him. The incident happened on July 4 after the driver allegedly picked up a 19-year-old woman who'd booked a ride through the ride-sharing app, ...

SCOTUS May Decide If “To Google” Is A Generic Term

Earlier this year, a federal court decided that while googling' is a popular phrase that means to search for something online,' that doesn't mean the company should lose its trademark protection. Now the people behind that case have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, hoping that the ...

Walmart Imagines Floating Warehouses That Could Rain Down Delivery Drones

While Amazon has dreams of delivery drone beehives and parachuting packages, it's not the only one looking upward: Walmart has plans for a floating warehouse capable of launching flying delivery vehicles so it can rain discount goods on you from the skies. Walmart filed a patent for a gas-filled ...

Dutch Bros. Warns Customers Not To Use Eclipse Glasses Given Away At Stores, Offers Free Coffee Instead

If you picked up a pair of eclipse-viewing glasses while grabbing your morning cup of joe from a Dutch Bros. Coffee this weekend, you don't want to actually wear them during today's eclipse event: The coffee chain is recalling the glasses over concerns they might not be safe.  Just hours before the ...

Here's Why Scientists Are Launching Bacteria-Laden Balloons During The Solar Eclipse

While people stand at the ready around the country today with special glasses and pinhole projectors to view the solar eclipse, a group of NASA scientists will be at work launching balloons in an effort to learn a bit more about life on another planet. NASA is collaborating with students to send ...

Could The Jeep Brand Cross The Ocean For A New Home In China?

Nearly 30 years after Chrysler bought the Jeep brand from American Motors Corporation, the seminal SUV brand could be switching hands and continents: Chinese carmaker Great Wall says it plans to acquire Jeep from Fiat Chrysler.  A rep for Great Wall confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the ...

Here's A Giant List Of Solar Eclipse Promotions

On Monday, Aug. 21, people from Oregon to South Carolina will get to experience a rare total solar eclipse, with folks outside this path still experiencing a partial eclipse. And because every notable event must be accompanied by a marketing bonanza, there is no shortage of companies offering ...

Bring Your Own Cup To 7-Eleven This Weekend, Fill It With Slurpee For $1.50

Grab your dog's huge water bowl or your favorite drinking boot: It's time for Bring Your Own Cup day at 7-Eleven. Today and tomorrow, anyone visiting a 7-Eleven between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. can fill a vessel of their own choosing with Slurpee and pay just $1.50. Same as last year, there are a few ...

Facebook Cracking Down On Video Clickbait In The Newsfeed

If you've ever clicked on what looks like an interesting video promising 17 Ways You're Eating Cheese Wrong,' only to find yourself on a spammy website that has nothing to do with cheese, you know how frustrating such clickbait can be. Facebook is now introducing new updates aimed at keeping those ...

Atari Claims Nestlé Ripped Off Classic Video Game For Kit Kat Commercial

A 2016 ad for Nestlé's Kit Kat bars includes a video game that looks an awful lot like Breakout, the classic Atari video game co-created by Apple's Steve Wozniak. Problem is, Atari says Nestlé didn't get permission to make this Kit Kat-themed Breakout clone. In a lawsuit filed in San Francisco on ...

Chuck E. Cheese's Testing Restaurants With No Animatronics

Children today: They still love video games, pizza, and music, but they aren't as into animatronic animal bands as generations past. That's why some locations of pizza and entertainment chain Chuck E. Cheese's will experiment with taking the robots out and replacing them with humans in animal ...

Lawmakers Seek Investigation Into Alleged Attack On FCC Commenting System

When the FCC's new leadership officially began the process of dismantling net neutrality rules, it didn't come as much of a surprise when an overwhelming amount of traffic crashed the Commission's public commenting system. After all, it happened a few years ago when these rules were being written. ...

Victoria's Secret Is Over Bralette Trend, Sticking With Push-Ups

After trying to get into what the cool kids want these days, lingerie veteran Victoria's Secret has decided to stop trying to be trendy, and just stick with what it knows best: Bras with padding, wiring, and the ability to push things upward. Going up Competitors are all about pushing bralettes ...

Old Navy Is Still The Only Part Of Gap Inc. That's Doing Well

As retailers continue to struggle to keep sales up and stores open, Gap Inc. has been able to stay profitable. It's all thanks to one brand, Old Navy. Propped up by the low-end brand According to the company's earnings statement released late yesterday, sales at comparable stores were up 1% across ...

Chipotle May Discontinue Chorizo; Would You Care?

It hasn't even been a year since Chipotle added chorizo sausage to its menu on a nationwide basis, and now there's the possibility it could be going away — but would that many people really miss it? Earlier this summer, Chipotle began testing queso at a small number of test stores, and now ...

Nevada Court Lifts Block On Marijuana Wholesalers Because Stores Desperately Need More Pot

Good news for the recently legalized recreational marijuana industry in Nevada: To help meet overwhelming local demand, a state court judge has opened up the pool of applications for pot distribution licenses. Nevada marijuana retailers have been running low on their marquee product in recent months ...

Watch Out For Great Deals From Brand-New Amazon Sellers

The most effective scams take advantage of our greed, so it's always good to have a reminder that deals that seem too good to be true probably are. The problem is that even if you know that an amazing deal from a seller who just joined Amazon last week and has no feedback is a red flag, Amazon's ...

$183M Settlement Means 41,000 Former Corinthian Students Will Get Private Loan Forgiven

Nearly 41,000 former students of now-defunct for-profit educator Corinthian Colleges will soon receive refunds for the private student loans they received to attend college, after a coalition of state attorneys general and federal agencies reached a $183.3 million settlement with Aequitas ...

Watch Out For Great Deals From Brand-New Amazon Sellers

The most effective scams take advantage of our greed, so it's always good to have a reminder that deals that seem too good to be true probably are. The problem is that even if you know that an amazing deal from a seller who just joined Amazon last week and has no feedback is a red flag, Amazon's buy ...

Court Throws Out AT&T's Effort To Block Google Fiber In Louisville

Competition in broadband and cable is scarce at best. That's in part because when a new player does try to build service somewhere, incumbents like AT&T will pull every legal maneuver they can to try and block it. But one court has now ruled on a contentious case in Louisville, KY, throwing out ...

Science Says Whiskey Tastes Better With A Little Water — Here's Why

For many whiskey connoisseurs, enjoying their favorite brown alcohol any other way than neat is bordering on sacrilegious. But according to science, a bit of water makes the libation taste even better. While whiskey aficionados have long held that adding a few drops of water to your drink will allow ...

Federal Appeals Court Is Okay With Uber Taking Away Customers' Right To Sue

Like companies in just about every industry, the ride-hailing app Uber requires users to agree that they will take any disputes to an arbitrator rather than the legal system. And although you may never have noticed this clause, a federal appeals court has now ruled that customers receive reasonably ...

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Will Allow For-Profit Schools To Continue Offering Programs That Don't Meet Standards

Earlier this year, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revealed plans to reset' the Gainful Employment rule meant to hold for-profit colleges more accountable for the education they provide students. Today, she continued tearing apart the rule, announcing the intention to allow colleges to continue ...

We Left Richard In North Dakota': Belle & Sebastian Abandons Drummer At Walmart

With a gig looming in Minnesota, Scottish band Belle & Sebastian found themselves without a drummer — because they accidentally left him one state away at a Walmart in North Dakota. The band was passing through Dickinson, ND, on Monday night when they decided to stop at a Walmart to grab some ...

You Probably Live Near A Walmart, So It's Depending On In-Store Pickup For Growth

Walmart is out to dominate in e-commerce, but while finding ways to deliver as few orders as possible to customers using the postal service or private carriers. Instead, the company wants to draw customers to its stores with pickup towers or grocery pickup points, or dispatch store employees to make ...

Dish Solves Pending Channel Blackout By Giving Its Customers TV Antennas

While it's news to some consumers that they can, in fact, watch their local news without a pay-TV subscription, carriers like Dish know perfectly well that over-the-air antennas work. And the company, apparently sick of paying retransmission fees in one market, appears to be using those antennas to ...

JetBlue Crew Members Sent To Hospital Over… Nail Polish Remover Odor?

There are a number of odors that might permeate through an airplane that could make occupants sick: fuel, exhaust, travelers' farts, but nail polish remover? That was apparently the case on a recent JetBlue flight, sending two crew members to the hospital.  WCVB reports that two JetBlue employees ...

National Park Service Changes Its Tune, Ends Ban On Disposable Water Bottle Sales In Parks

In a move meant to expand hydration options' for visitors to national parks, the National Park Service is reversing a six-year-old policy that allowed parks to ban the sale of bottled water. NPS announced that effective immediately, the water bottle ban has been rescinded to expand hydration options ...

Zillow Admits It's In Hot Water With Regulators Over Lender Advertising

Real estate listings site Zillow — home of the controversial Zestimate' — is in the regulatory hot seat over an advertising program for mortgage lenders that may violate federal anti-kickback law. Realtors pay to post properties on Zillow, but the website also has a co-marketing' program that ...

Hackers Briefly Take Control Of Some HBO Twitter Accounts

It's been a rough few weeks for HBO: Not one, but two unreleased episodes of its hit show Game of Thrones have been leaked online ahead of schedule, and hackers are claiming to hold massive amounts of the company's data for ransom. And on Wednesday night, a group of hackers temporarily took over ...