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234 Consumer Information Resources

Misc. - Numbers

5 Things we Learned About Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Claims Against Kay Jewelers, Jared
A year after Sterling Jewelers' Kay Jewelers found itself on the receiving end of thousands of complaints from customers alleging the company swapped out their diamonds for fake ones, hundreds of employees are alleging they were victims of sexual harassment and discrimination at Kay and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.
February 28, 2017
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6 Things We Learned About Why Port Of Los Angeles Truckers Can't Afford To Work
By now, most retailers have become sensitive to media reports of labor abuses in their supply chains -- but a new report from USA Today suggests that abuses occurring during the last leg of a product's journey -- from the port to the store -- may have escaped attention.
June 30, 2017
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79 percent of Americans now shop online, but it's cost more than convenience that sways them
Eight in 10 Americans are now shopping online, according to a new study from Pew Research out this morning. That's 79 percent of U.S. consumers who shop on the web or their phones, up from just 22 percent back in 2000. Over half (51 percent) have also bought something from their mobile phone, the study found, and 15 percent purchased after clicking through on a link shared on social media.
December 19, 2016
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400,000 Handheld Massagers Recalled After 15 Users Report Being Burned
A bit of heat usually feels nice when getting a massage; burns and shocks from exposed electrical wires, not so much. Just ask the 15 people (so far) who have complained about being burned by HoMedics hand massagers.
May 2, 2017
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$105M Lawsuit Accuses Heineken of Bullying Its Way Into Bars & Stores
When you think of Greece, you probably think of toasting friends with ouzo or sipping a nice wine, and not putting back a few bottles of Heineken. However, one Greek brewer claims the Dutch company has nevertheless bullied its way into staying on top of the country's beer market and stymied competition over the last few decades in the process.
February 24, 2017
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Misc. - A

Abercrombie & Fitch Shuttering 60 U.S. Stores this Year, Probably More to Come
After closing 53 U.S. locations last year, Abercrombie & Fitch says another 60 domestic stores are heading for the garbage pile as the company continues to struggle to bring in customers.
March 2, 2017
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Abercrombie Hopes Updated Stores, Fancy Fitting Rooms Will Bring Customers Back
Would better lighting and a place to charge your cellphone make you want to spend more time and money at the mall? Abercrombie & Fitch hopes so.
August 25, 2017
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Ad Watchdog Group Calls For Investigation Into Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop
From paying $425 for a cleanse to claiming "healing stickers" are made from material designed for NASA space suits, Gwyneth Paltrow's "modern lifestyle brand" Goop is no stranger to controversy. Now, a consumer watchdog group is asking regulators in California to investigate the product line for deceptive advertising.
August 23, 2017
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Ad Watchdog: Saying Google Pixel Is Available 'Exclusively' From Verizon Was Misleading
If you see an ad that says a product is available "exclusively' from only one vendor, what does that mean? Would you take it to mean that the retailer is the only place where you can buy that product? That's what ads for the Google Pixel smartphone seemed to say about the phone's relationship to Verizon, but it wan't so.
June 27, 2017
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Additional Hoverboards Recalled Over Fire, Explosion Risk
Last year, federal safety regulators recalled 501,000 'hoverboards" from eight manufacturers amid concerns that the not-actually-hovering devices' lithium-ion battery packs posed a fire hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has added another manufacturer and 500 scooters to the recall list.
March 24, 2017
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Affluenza
online companion to PBS show that explores this condition caused by overconsumption and materialism, and marked by stress, overwork, shopping and indebtedness.
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Against the Grain Dog Food Recalled for Possible Euthanasia Drug Contamination
Bad news, puppies: More canned dog food has been found to have the sedative and euthanasia drug pentobarbital in it. another small pet food brand, Against the Grain, has recalled one of its products because it may contain beef contaminated with the drug.
February 15, 2017
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Alexa Has Very Explicit Response to Toddler's Seemingly Innocent Song Request
In what could either be an innocent mistake or a set-up by wise adults, Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa gave one toddler a very interesting answer to his request to hear a specific song.
December 30, 2016
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All-new Affirm app aims to be an alternative to traditional credit cards
The new app features a clean design, easy-to-understand fees, and more.
October 23, 2017
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Amazon adds free ebooks to its Prime membership perks
A nice addition, although the selection looks pretty limited
October 5, 2016
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Amazon Debuts Tool Allowing Parents to Track Kids' Activities
Many parents monitor their child's activity when using a computer, phone, or tablet, but the task of checking individual apps and browsing history can be daunting. Amazon thinks it has the answer, at least for kids using its FreeTime program, in a new Parent Dashboard.
April 12, 2017
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Amazon Go has tremendous potential – once it fixes a few things
Amazon last week introduced a new approach to in-store technology and strategy, with its Amazon Go experiment. on the plus side, it offers a vision of the possible, once it deals with some key LP hurdles.
December 12, 2016
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Amazon May Go After "Porch Pirates" By Delivering To Car Trunks, Inside Homes
Have you ever come home, expecting to see an Amazon delivery waiting by your door only to find that it had been pilfered by "porch pirates" who will swipe any box with that trademark grin printed on it? But what if that same package could be delivered inside your home?
October 10, 2017
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Amazon Prime Members will now Have Access to Library of Free E-Books
In its continuing quest to lure folks to sign up for an Amazon Prime membership, Amazon is throwing another perk onto the pile: free ebooks, magazines, short stories, and comics.
October 5, 2016
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Amazon refunding $70M of kids' unauthorized in-app purchases
Cash back for parents whose kids ran amok buying "digital goods" in Amazon games.
May 31, 2017
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Amazon's latest perk for Prime members includes free e-books and magazines
Amazon Prime members already get free two-day shipping, access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Audible, and unlimited photo storage with Amazon Drive. Amazon is now adding another perk to the program called Prime Reading that lets customers read from a rotating list of over a thousand titles that feature best-selling books, current magazines, comics, and more.
October 5, 2016
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American Airlines' "Simplified" Boarding Process now Has 9 Boarding Groups
In an attempt to better serve passengers and, you know, get things moving, airlines have been revamping their boarding processes in recent years, from Delta Air Lines employees pre-load carry-on bags to Southwest's changes to family boarding. American will soon debut its proposed solution to this problem, by increasing the number of boarding groups to nine.
February 24, 2017
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AMC Dipping Its Toes Into Virtual Waters With Plans For New VR Centers
While virtual reality gadgets can be entertaining, the fun is usually limited to one person at a time -- not counting those who enjoy watching and laughing while you creep around the living room, groping the air). In an attempt to open up virtual reality to more people with new VR multiplexes offering an "immersive" experience.
September 26, 2017
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Angie's List
consumer-driven organization that collects customer satisfaction ratings on local service companies in more than 250 categories.
Provides Information
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Are Airline Systems Crashing More, Or Does It Just Seem that Way?
It feels like every week brings news of another massive outage of some airline™ computer network, resulting in grounded flights and stranded passengers. However, a new report suggests that it™ not that these networks are failing more frequently, so much as it is that the outages are now affecting more people " and those people now have all new venues for airing their grievances publicly.
February 7, 2017
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As Sales Sink, Urban Outfitters CEO Declares Retail "Bubble Has Burst"
The last few years haven't exactly been great for long-time mall retailers, with chains like Wet Seal, BCBG, Aeropostale, and the Limited filing for bankruptcy, while Abercrombie & Fitch and Barnes & Noble struggle to remain relevant. now that two additional mall mainstays — Express and Urban Outfitters — one CEO is saying that retailers have no one to blame but themselves.
March 8, 2017
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Ashley Madison's Penalty for Exposing Details on 36 Million Users? About $.04 Per Person
In 2015, a major data breach at AshleyMadison.com – the dating site targeted at cheaters – exposed information for some 36 million accounts. the company has now entered into a deal that settles federal and state charges that Ashley Madison: misled users about data security and failed to protect user information; charged users to delete profiles (but didn't); and used fake profiles to lure in customers. While the settlement has a price tag of $8.75 million, Ashley Madison will actually pay significantly less than that.
December 14, 2016
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Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA)
provides consumer information, a searchable database of facilities, links, and information for providers.
Provides Information
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AT&T to Start Using DirecTV now to Test 5G Tech
The future is wireless. at least, so all the wireless companies say. Sure, running actual cables to houses and apartment buildings brought broadband this far, but the always-on, always-streaming future is just going to get more and more mobile. and so the current era of 4G LTE wireless connections will eventually give way to 5G, which promises to be faster, better, and stronger in every way.
January 4, 2017
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AT&T, Feds Settle Dodgers Lawsuit Over SportsNet LA; Blackout to Continue
The Department of Justice and AT&T settled a lawsuit claiming DirecTV -- which AT&T purchased in 2015 -- colluded unlawfully with other carriers about their negotiations to carry SportsNet LA, the only cable channel in Los Angeles to air most Dodgers games. But that doesn't mean the cable provider will be adding the channel to its lineup anytime soon.
March 24, 2017
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Misc. - B

Battery packs on second-generation Boosted Boards recalled
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is officially issuing a recall for the battery pack on the second-generation Boosted Board. the news follows two reported incidents of smoking batteries, an issue that Boosted had previously announced it was working with the CPSC to resolve.
January 12, 2017
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Beach Patrol Cracking Down On Those Big Tents Everyone Else Around You Hates
Sure, you may love taking in all the sights and sounds of the beach from the shade of your own personal tent, but let's face it: Everyone else around you is probably annoyed that you've set up a portable shelter that may block others from enjoying the beach. In one oceanside city, beach police have started cracking down on these oversized tents as part of a new law.
July 4, 2017
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Bell Tolls, A
long distance rate comparison, consumer advice, complaint resolution service, and more.
Provides Information
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Benjamin Moore, Three Other Paint Companies Settle Allegations Of Misleading Customers
When repainting a room in your home, color is probably the first thing you think about, but a close second might be whether or not the paint you choose is safe. To that end, four paint companies have settled charges that they misled customers on the safety of products by deceptively promoting them as emissions-free.
July 11, 2017
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Best Buy Is Finally Selling More Stuff, But CEO Says Don't Get Used To It
For the better part of 2017, Best Buy has attempted to dig itself out of a long running sales slump by appealing to customers through revamped, high-tech store displays, and pilot programs, such as try-before-you-buy. These strategies just might be working as the electronics retailer reported higher than expected sales for the second quarter of the year. But will that last?
August 29, 2017
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Best Buy Swaps Intel Mini Stores for Alienware Displays
Best Buy offers customers a range of "experiences" through an array of mini-stores, including those from AT&T, Verizon, Oculus, Samsung, and Intel. Now, the company is revamping one of those concepts, swapping out dozens of Intel store-within-a-store showcases to feature products from Alienware instead.
March 7, 2017
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Better Business Bureau, The
This nonprofit group issues online scam-watch alerts, a reporting form and info about its new Web-watch program.
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Bose Gets Hit with Privacy Breach Lawsuit
Headphone maker Bose has had a class-action lawsuit filed against them, alleging that the company's smartphone app spies on people and collects their data without consent. the data in question mostly concerns the music Bose customers listen to, the podcasts they subscribe to, etc: all the information that goes through the Bose Connect app.
April 20, 2017
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Breakfast Burritos Sold at Trader Joe's Recalled for Plastic Pieces
What goes in a breakfast burrito? According to the label on the store-brand breakfast burritos sold at Trader Joe's, the ingredients include eggs, potatoes, cheese, and turkey bacon on their labels. the label does not mention clear plastic pieces, but at least three TJ's customers have turned up this unwanted surprise ingredient.
March 17, 2017
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Misc. - C

Canadian Consumer Information Gateway
extensive directory of sites and services for consumers, prepared by the Government of Canada.
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Charter Continues to Charge Wildfire Victims for Service they don't Have
Charter cable and internet customers in Tennessee who recently lost their homes to wildfire say the pay-TV giant, which recently merged with Time Warner Cable, is continuing to charge them for services that they can't possibly access, and to return equipment that no longer exists.
December 29, 2016
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Citizens Bank Glitch makes Direct Deposits Disappear, Leaves Bills Unpaid
Citizen Bank customers expecting to see their paychecks added to the balance of their accounts Friday morning were disappointed to find that wasn't the case: a glitch in the bank's system prevented paychecks and other direct deposits from being processed.
March 17, 2017
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Clearly Canadian Promises Remaining Preorders will Ship... Eventually
Two years after fans of Clearly Canadian helped crowdfund an effort to bring the beverage back from the dead, and more than a year after the company finally started shipping out preorders to those who backed it, some customers say their orders still aren't complete.
April 5, 2017
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Cold callers illegally sold Aussie farmers 1,700 years worth of printer ink
Cattle farmers going through one cartridge evey ten months bullied into buying 2040 of 'em
March 10, 2017
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Comcast Snaps Up Watchwith So It can Tell you What's Happening Inside your Show
ietly acquired a smaller, newer company that does things kind of like what the big company already does. it's basically the story of the entire 21st century world of tech in a nutshell. But with every new set of players comes a new set of concerns.
January 5, 2017
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Computer Review
Profiling computer, telecom and new media companies, the CR Review is a printed directory distributed worldwide and on the Web.
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ConAgra Subsidiary Sentenced for Distributing Contaminated Peanut Butter 10 Years Ago
The Great Peanut Butter Recall of 2007 affected peanut butter sold under the Peter Pan and Great Value brands. the company pleaded guilty to criminal charges of the introduction into interstate commerce of adulterated food, and has finally been sentenced. as announced last year, it must pay an $8 million fine and forfeit more than $3 million in assets.
December 13, 2016
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Congress set Up for Showdown Over Consumers' Ability to Sue Corporations
A subject that many Americans don't even know about – until it's too late for them to do anything – is now shaping up to be a battleground between lawmakers in both the House and Senate, where two very different sets of legislation will go head to head to determine whether or not companies can strip their customers of their constitutional right to file a lawsuit in court – and their First Amendment right to speak freely.
March 7, 2017
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Congressmen from California and Georgia Introduce Bill Against Negative Option Billing
Negative option billing is an especially insidious way to make people keep buying things from you, and it's an especially big problem online. Most products promising a "free trial" use it, and the method sells products like credit monitoring, college financial aid help, skin care products, weight loss supplements and shoes. Canceling these subscriptions can be a huge hassle, and wouldn't it be easier if opt-out subscriptions just weren't a thing?
February 17, 2017
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Consumer Guide
includes reviews, ratings, and pricing for new and used vehicles, electronics, home office equipment, and family products.
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Consumer Information Center
full text versions of hundreds of federal consumer publications. from the U.S. General Services Administration.
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Consumer Reports' Surface Laptop flap is based on data from past Surface models
CR says it is indicting the Surface brand as a whole but acknowledges its method is "not 100 percent perfect."
August 11, 2017
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Consumer World
compendium of useful online consumer resources, news, and related information.
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ConsumerAffairs.Com
offers consumer complaints and comments, consumer news, and recall information.
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ConsumerReview.com
product reviews by consumers for electronics, sports gear, computers, and more.
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Consumers' Checkbook
offers information and guides to buying a car, and choosing a doctor, hospital, or insurance. Also includes information on leases, bargains, and restaurants.
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ConsumerSearch.com
reviews, analyzes, and ranks products in various categories.
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Counterfeit Sports Gear is Harder to Stop When Fans Order Directly from China
When you're in the market for a jersey or hat to represent your favorite team, you know that the gear being hawked out on the sidewalk near the stadium is probably not legitimate. Online, things get fuzzier, and sellers of counterfeit merchandise pop back up faster than law enforcement, trademark holders, and even the marketplace sites can knock them down.
February 2, 2017
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Costco Launches Program To Screen Products For Troublesome Chemicals
The products dotting Costco shelves could soon be changing if manufacturers don't ditch certain ingredients, as the warehouse store steps up its scrutiny of chemicals in products.
June 15, 2017
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Couple Illegally Used Amazon Replacement Policy To Get $1.2M Worth Of Electronics For Free
An Indiana couple pleaded guilty recently to their part in defrauding Amazon of more than $1.2 million in electronic devices by taking advantage of the e-commerce giant's replacement policy.
October 2, 2017
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CPSC: Risk of Fire is Real, and we Really Need to Modernize the Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries
You're probably within the explosion radius of at least once device containing a rechargeable lithium-ion battery right now, maybe even holding it on your lap or close to your face. Elliot Kaye, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, wants to make sure that all of the rechargeable devices in your life are safer and less likely to burst into flames than they are now.
January 24, 2017
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Cuisinart Recalls 8.3 Million Food Processor Blades Dating back to 1996
When using the whirling blades of a food processor to prepare a meal, you assume that the common kitchen appliance is not going to put shards of its steel blades in your food, causing you pain and injury. Yet Cuisinart has recalled 8.3 million food processors in the United States and Canada that pose a risk of exactly that kind of problem.
December 13, 2016
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Customer Accuses DealDash of Selling "Cheap, Generic' Products Disguised as Independent Luxury Brands
A California man who spent thousands on popular "penny auction' site DealDash.com says that not only is the company misleading bidders into believing they are can score huge savings, but that many of the incredibly expensive brands sold on DealDash are actually worthless generics from a company with an alleged connection to DealDash's founder and biggest stakeholder.
April 17, 2017
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Customer Says Bose Wireless Headphones Are Tracking what you Listen to & Sharing that Info Without Permission
Listening to music on headphones is supposed to be a very private experience; just you and your tunes, minding your own business. Yet a new lawsuit claims that Bose is improperly collecting and sharing information about users of certain wireless headsets.
April 19, 2017
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Customer Sues Charter for Selling Their Data Without Consent
It may become one of the defining questions of our age: Does your personal data become someone else's asset as soon as you go online? One Charter customer says that he has a right to determine how his data is used, and that the cable/internet company failed to get his permission or disclose that it would be using this information for its own gain.
April 11, 2017
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Customer Sues Over Citric Acid In "Preservative-Free" Lean Cuisine Pizza
"Preservative-free" is a food label that plenty of shoppers seek out, and it's printed right on the front of Lean Cuisine's boxes of frozen pizza. One customer claims, however, that this label isn't accurate. Whether she's right depends on whether citric acid – a chemical that serves different purposes in different kinds of food – is considered a "preservative."
December 14, 2016
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CenturyLink Employee Says She Was Fired After Alerting CEO To Wells Fargo-Like Scam
Most of us have looked at a cable or phone bill and questioned a random charge we felt shouldn't have been there. Usually this is an error, but a former CenturyLink employee claims that some workers at the telecom company were deliberately adding these charges to pad their sales figures. What's worse, she says she was fired after bringing this possible scheme to the CEO's attention.
June 16, 2017
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CenturyLink made millions by ripping off customers, lawsuit claims
ISP added services to customer accounts without authorization, ex-employee says.
June 16, 2017
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Misc. - D

DealNews
price tracker and consumer advocate providing information on current specials for computers, software, travel, electronics, and other products.
Provides a Service
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DealTime
Online comparison shopping service. Compare price, products, models, features, merchants; localize results to your State.
Provides Products
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Debt Collector Accused Of Taking Money From People Who Didn't Owe Anything
As part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on unscrupulous debt collectors, the Federal Trade Commission has accused a North Carolina company of running a "phantom" debt collection scheme that went after people for money that they did not actually owe.
June 23, 2017
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DOJ won't prosecute Redflex in exchange for restitution and cooperation
Red light firm adds "rigorous anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance code."
December 29, 2016
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Dollar Rentals' epic system failure -- technology should have solved this
A recent experience renting (or not) a car reminded me just how broken some systems still are.
December 25, 2016
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Don't Use your ATM Card During a Bank Robbery Unless you Want to Get Caught
There are crimes that stymy, mystify, and otherwise confound veteran detectives for decades. and then there the crimes that are almost too easy to solve, thanks to the overly helpful, not quite so bright criminals that commit them. Like the would-be bank robber in San Diego who demanded money from a bank teller, but not until after he'd swiped his ATM card, providing the bank with everything needed to identify him.
January 5, 2017
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Don't Want Alexa Listening In your Wynn Las Vegas Hotel Room? Unplug that Echo
At first, it might sound pretty cool that the Wynn Las Vegas will be adding Amazon Echo speakers to every hotel room. hotel room. In fact, the idea of a voice-controlled assistant in your room may be something you see as a positive – but it could also be a bit creepy to think that the always-listening device is sitting by your bedside, hearing everything you do while alone (or not) in your room.
December 14, 2016
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Dunkin' Donuts CEO Says There Are Too Many Restaurants, Even As His Company Expands
While a number of chain restaurants like Joe's Crab Shack, Bob Evans, and Logan's Roadhouse have closed locations in recent years, there's still a wealth of options for people looking to dine out or grab a quick cup of java. But that's not necessarily a good thing.
September 28, 2017
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Dunkin' Donuts Customer Says "Angus Steak" Sandwiches Aren't Actually Steak
Yes, the meat in Dunkin' Donuts' Angus Steak breakfast sandwiches may look more like a sausage patty than a porterhouse or a ribeye, but does that mean it's not actually "steak"? One customer says the sandwich doesn't meet a federal definition for that term. But there's a big bird-shaped problem with that definition.
June 30, 2017
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Dunkin' Donuts Ditching the Coffee Coolatta Because "It isn't Good Enough'
Bad news for fans of the Coffee Coolatta from Dunkin' Donuts: the chain says it's killing off the beverage this summer for simply not being "good enough" to stay on the menu.
March 22, 2017
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Dunkin' Donuts Shareholders Want Company to Look Into K-Cup Waste
Dunkin' Donuts has a partnership with Keurig Green Mountain to package the chain's coffee in plastic K-Cups for brewing in homes and offices. the company makes a lot of money from selling these pods, but some shareholders concerns about the amount of trash that results from K-Cups, and they want Dunkin' to put some serious thought into this aspect of their business.
May 9, 2017
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Misc. - E

eBuyingGuides
provides ratings and recommendations on what, where, and how to buy consumer products.
Provides Information
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Energy firm slapped with £50k fine for making 1.5 million nuisance calls
Telephone Preference Service -- check it or feel the ICO's wrath
August 21, 2017
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Energyshop.com
Cost comparison of natural gas and electricity and energy cost calculator.
Provides Information
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Epinions
Read others' opinions of computer products, and leave your own.
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Equifax, TransUnion to Pay $23M for Misleading Consumers About Credit Monitoring
The nation's three largest credit reporting agencies – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – not only collect consumers' financial information to assist lenders in gauging whether or not someone is qualified for a loan, fit for a job, or can afford a place to live, they also provide people with credit-related products and resources that are meant to help them keep tabs on or improve their credit. But, according to federal regulators, Equifax and TransUnion haven't been upfront about the costs and usefulness of these products, and now they're on the hook for a total $23.1 million in fines and refunds.
January 3, 2017
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Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs
EC wants language that gives tech giants legal legroom torn down and replaced
March 17, 2017
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Evanger's VP: Dog Food Recalled for Euthanasia Drugs Contained Horse DNA
An executive at pet food company Evanger's, which recently recalled its own and Against the Grain beef canned dog food due to drug contamination, recently admitted to a Washington state newspaper that the recalled food contained horse DNA.
February 22, 2017
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Even Police can Fall Victim to Card Skimming Devices
You might think that you're too savvy to be tricked into slipping your credit card into a skimming device that steals your account info, but you're probably not. Just ask the Indiana State Police, whose troopers were fooled by one skimmer, and who are now using the incident as a teachable moment for everyone.
January 26, 2017
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Ever Sentinel notifies you when companies change privacy policies or terms and conditions
Changes to terms and conditions or privacy policies happen all the time, and this presents a few problems for consumers. as well as having to negotiate through the often impenetrable language used in these documents, it can be near impossible to work out what has changed, and what the implications are. this is where Ever Sentinel can help.
March 10, 2017
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Experian Fined $3M, Accused of Misleading Consumers About Usefulness of Credit Scores
Two months after federal regulators fined two of the nation's largest credit reporting agencies -- Equifax and TransUnion -- $23 million for misleading consumers about the cost and usefulness of credit monitoring services, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has announced a $3 million settlement with Experian over allegations that the credit agency misled consumers about the usefulness of the credit scores available for purchase.
March 23, 2017
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Misc. - F

Facebook, Google, Twitter Told to Revise User Agreements Or Face Fines In Europe
Operating globally is tricky: you have to know, and follow, the rules not just of the country where you're based, but of the countries and regions where you serve customers, too. and for a major silicon valley trio, the way they serve customers in the European Union is apparently not up to snuff.
March 17, 2017
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Facebook, Twitter, and Google must remove scams or risk legal action, says EU
Navigating your way around the internet may seem intuitive if you've grown up with access to it most of your life -- but for those who are just beginning to use social media platforms, it can be hard to detect scam from the constant stream of information. the European Commission has taken a step to prevent these types of web-based consumer fraud, ordering companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to address and prevent them from appearing on their sites.
March 17, 2017
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Factory that Made Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Batteries Catches Fire (Yes, Really)
It sounds like something straight out of the Onion, but it's true: a factory in China that manufactured batteries for the now-defunct Samsung Galaxy Note 7 line of phones --- all recalled due to their propensity for the batteries to burst into flame --- itself suffered a fire this morning.
February 8, 2017
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FBI Attorney: Tech Companies Are Helping Dumb Criminals by Providing Quality Encryption
Much of the debate about encrypted devices and messaging services has been centered on more sophisticated criminal or terrorist activities, where the people involved are actively searching out ways to avoid detection by law enforcement. However, the FBI's top attorney contends that tech companies may be inadvertently giving dimwitted crooks a leg up by making quality encryption so widely available.
February 9, 2017
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FDA Once Again Finds Elevated Levels of Belladonna In some Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets
Your infant is in pain from sore gums, and you want to do something to ease that pain, so maybe you consider a homeopathic treatment, with its heavily diluted active ingredients. what you may not know is that this seemingly innocuous teething tablet might contain unsafe levels of potentially dangerous belladonna.
January 27, 2017
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FDA: Beware of Bone Treats for Dogs
The FDA is warning dog owners not to feed their pets chew treats sold as "bone treats" after 90 dogs got sick after eating them, including 15 dogs that died.
November 28, 2017
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Federal Safety Regulators Investigating Report of Replacement Samsung Note 7 Catching Fire
Earlier today, a Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville to Baltimore had to be evacuated after smoke and fire began to spew out of a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, one that was replaced and should not have had an overheating battery. Now, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has confirmed that it is looking into this incident.
October 5, 2016
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Feds bring Criminal Charges Against 6 Volkswagen Executives
In a rare instance of criminal charges being brought against executives at one of the world's largest car companies, federal authorities have indicted six Volkswagen employees involved in the decade-long "Dieselgate" scandal and cover-up.
January 11, 2017
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Feds Order MasterCard, RushCard Owner to Pay $13M Over Oct. 2015 Outages
Nearly 15 months after tens of thousands of users of the prepaid RushCard were cut off from their funds because of an apparent technical glitch, the company behind the card, UniRush and its payment processor MasterCard have been ordered to pay $13 million in refunds and penalties.
February 1, 2017
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Feds Shut Down Debt Collector That Allegedly Collected $2.1M In Unowed Debts
Once again, as part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on unscrupulous debt collectors, the Federal Trade Commission has accused a North Carolina company of running a "phantom" debt collection scheme that went after people for money that they did not actually owe.
August 31, 2017
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Feds Shut Down Multimillion-Dollar Debt Relief Scam
A phony debt relief operation that bilked tens of millions of dollars from individuals -- including the disabled and elderly -- based on the promise it could lower their debt burden is out of business after a federal court temporarily halted the scheme.
May 23, 2017
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Fidget Spinners Not Just Exploding In Popularity, But Literally Exploding With Fire
If you have been in the vicinity of any children between roughly ages 6 and 18 lately, you have been in the vicinity of fidget spinner toys. They are everywhere, and so when someone says, "Wow, fidget spinners are exploding" you could be forgiven for thinking they mean it figuratively. Alas, it seems that "exploding" is now true in both senses of the word.
June 30, 2017
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FightBack! with David Horowitz
if you've been ripped off or improperly treated by business, you can register your complaint at this site.
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Fitbit Kills Off Its 'Coin' Payment Service; Devices to Become Useless When Batteries Die
Last year, wearable fitness tracker/fitness watch company made a surprising acquisition, buying the payment company Coin with no plan to continue its products. Instead, Fitbit planned to kill off Coin's own product and integrate the company's payment technology into its own wearable devices.
February 1, 2017
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Florida's Definition of Skim Milk as "Imitation Milk Product" Ruled Unconstitutional
The long-running legal battle over Florida's definition of "skim milk" may have finally come to an end today, with a federal appeals court ruling that it's unconstitutional for the state to require that unfortified skim milk be labeled "imitation milk product.'
March 19, 2017
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Frontier Still Overbilling Some Customers More Than A Year After Aquiring Them From Verizon
In 2015, Frontier announced it would be acquiring Verizon's old-school, copper-wire landline networks in California, Florida, and Texas for a cool $10.54 billion. The transition took place in early 2016, but some subscribers say that 18 months later, they're still having trouble with the handoff.
October 20, 2017
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Misc. - G

Get better customer service by choosing your words wisely
The next time you make a complaint to your cellphone or cable company, don't get personal.
December 12, 2016
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Gildan Knows some American Apparel Customers don't Care About 'Made In USA'
When American Apparel, a brand known for making all of its clothing at factories in Los Angeles, was sold to Canadian clothing giant Gildan, it was obvious that some clothing sold under the brand would be Asian or South American Apparel instead. the company told investors this week that American Apparel will sell both U.S.-made and foreign-made merchandise.
May 4, 2017
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GlobalReviews
addresses the concerns of online consumers by providing independent evaluations of e-tailers.
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Google, Facebook, Twitter must amend ToS for EU users or face fines
Trio given one month to clean up fraud, scams, and make other fixes.
March 17, 2017
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Gov.ie
Find any Irish government website, including:
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Grocery Industry to Let "Sell-By" Labels Expire
Late last year, we observed that while reforming food labels would be a great idea to cut down on food waste, the grocery industry needs no law or prompting from the government to actually make that happen. However, it could create its own standards without the government helping at all.
February 16, 2017
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Gromco
offers sites that compare consumer goods and services.
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Misc. - H

Help Center
consumer information and resources for individuals about when and how to seek help for problems with work and family.
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Here's the List of Payless Stores that will be Closing
Now that Payless has filed for bankruptcy, the shoe chain will be closing the doors of 400 stores around the country. to help shoppers deal with the shutdowns, Payless has provided a list of not only which stores are closing but where shoppers can find stores nearby that will remain open.
April 5, 2017
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Here's The Official List Of Payless Stores That Are Closing Next
While Payless ShoeSource is waiting to hear back from the court and its landlords about more than 400 stores that it may close without a break on rent, the discount shoe chain has released a list of 112 stores that definitely are closing next.
June 1, 2017
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hhgregg Closing 88 Stores and 3 Distribution Centers: Here's the List
hhgregg, a retailer whose name we assure you we have capitalized correctly, is closing a quarter of its stores across the country. the company calls this a plan to "advance turnaround," while its stock has been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange for having too low a share price, and rumors swirl that it's planning to file for bankruptcy protection.
March 2, 2017
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Hobby Lobby Agrees To Turn Over Thousands Of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts That Were Smuggled Into U.S.
Hobby Lobby -- home to glitter glue, crepe paper, and distress paint -- was also apparently in the business of acquiring ancient Mesopotamian relics. However, the crafty retailer says it didn't quite understand all the ins and outs of the whole "importing artifacts from Iraq" process and has agreed to forfeit thousands of items, including clay cuneiform tablets, that the federal government says were smuggled into the country.
July 5, 2017
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Holiday Inn Owner InterContinental Hotels Investigating Possible Credit Card Breach
The Intercontinental Hotels Group – parent company to a number of hotel chains, including Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express – is investigating a possible breach of customers' payment card data.
December 28, 2016
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How Amazon Go (probably) makes "just walk out' groceries a reality
Amazon's new age grocery likely wasn't possible even five years ago.
April 10, 2017
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How Panera Sped Up Ordering And Dispersed Its 'Mosh Pit'
It's not a good sign when you're a fast-casual restaurant, and your company's own chairman wonders whether he should just have just stayed home and had leftovers for lunch instead of driving there. Panera Bread Co.'s Ron Shaich realized that other people would ask themselves the same question, and made changes to the ordering process that are finally paying off.
June 2, 2017
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How to Avoid Losing Money to the "Utility Company" Scam
When the weather outside is frightful, losing your heat or electricity is the last thing you want to have happened. But don't let your fear of such an event push you into falling for a common scam perpetrated by fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as utility company employees on the phone.
February 2, 2017
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Human-less stores are now possible – and it might be the end of retail
Are retailers really willing to consider disassociating from associates?
December 19, 2016
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'Hunk of Beef' Dog Food Recalled
Possible contamination with pentobarbital has led to the recall of certain lots of 12-oz Hunk of Beef dog food.
February 6, 2017
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Misc. - I

IBM & Visa Team Up to Turn Everything Into a Mobile Payment System
Consumers make millions of purchases each year through their phones with systems like Apple Pay, PayPal, Samsung Pay, and other programs. But soon, people might be able to use any number of other connected devices to buy products or pay for services, as IBM and Visa announced a partnership to bring payment systems to a number of "smart" products.
February 16, 2017
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If You're Getting Robocalls About Flood Insurance, They're Scams
The world is full of really horrible, lazy people looking to steal your money while putting in the least amount of effort. Take, for example, the scammers who are blasting out automated, pre-recorded robocalls that try to scare people into believing they have to pay up or lose their flood insurance.
August 31, 2017
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IKEA Investigating Reports Of Shiny Serving Bowls That Can Set Food On Fire
These days, most products involved in sudden fires involve malfunctioning batteries, or poorly built fuel lines. But then there's the IKEA bowl -- and the flaming fruit contained therein -- that serve as a reminder that you sometimes only really need the sun and the right shiny surface to start a fire.
June 21, 2017
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In a first, Consumer Reports won't recommend Apple's newest MacBook Pros over battery issues
The magazine said the machines didn't deliver the promised battery life.
December 22, 2016
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Infomercial Ratings
provides discussions and reviews of infomercial products.
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Insight Central
provides news, FAQs, comparisons, and other consumer information.
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Instacart to Pay $4.6M, Revise Service Amount Description to Resolve Class Action Lawsuit
Back in 2015, and again last year, Instacart shoppers took their growing ire over worker classification, as well as tip and service amount changes, a step farther by suing the grocery delivery startup claiming it broke state and federal labor laws, the company has agreed to settle the class-action suit for $4.6 million.
March 24, 2017
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IRS will Begin Working with Private Debt Collectors this Month
The Internal Revenue Service has released additional details about its new program that turns certain delinquent accounts over to private debt collectors, giving us some idea of when these collection calls will begin, and how many accounts will be affected.
April 4, 2017
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Is Redbox Removing Its Kiosks, Or Just Moving Them?
Reader Jerry noticed a trend in his neighborhood in New York City: the Redbox kiosks were starting to disappear. is Redbox cutting back, is this a local issue, or has he fallen into a Redbox-less alternate universe? He asked us, and we tried to find out.
January 3, 2017
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Misc. - J

J. Crew CEO Says It Was A "Big Mistake' To Bank On Elitist Image
As J. Crew struggles to compete in today's tough retail world and avoid going bankrupt like so many other brands, the company's CEO is admitting that he wasn't quite prepared for how its high-priced image would fail to lure customers amid competition from fast fashion retailers with cheaper clothing.
May 24, 2017
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Jack Daniel's now Sells Whiskey-Flavored Coffee
There are all kinds of flavors of coffee out there: vanilla, caramel, peppermint, the list is fairly extensive. Now, customers will have another option: whiskey.
January 12, 2017
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JetBlue Offering Passengers Free WiFi on all Flights
When traveling by air it might seem like you have to pay for every little thing: checked bags, seats with leg room, among other things. But passengers on JetBlue will now be getting one thing free: WiFi.
January 11, 2017
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Misc. - K

Kiosk-Hogging Complaints Drop 82% After NYC Blocks Porn at Free WiFi Spots
Now that new Yorkers can no longer "inappropriately" use the city's free WiFi kiosks while web browsing, the agency that runs the program says reports of people monopolizing the spots has dropped 82%. Weird.
October 5, 2016
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Misc. - L

Lawsuit alleges Bose spies on you through some headphones and speakers
Following WikiLeaks disclosures on Mac and iPhone CIA hacking tools last month, we are again struck with another headline pertaining to breach of basic privacy and data protection. a claim was lodged in the federal court in Chicago by Mr Kyle Zak, who seeks an order for injunction and damages against audio equipment maker Bose.
April 20, 2017
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Lawsuit Claims CenturyLink Continuously Offers Bogus Price Quotes
From extra, unexpected fees, Broadcast TV charges, or a completely different base price for your service of choice, it's not uncommon to open your cable or internet bill to find the amount higher than you anticipated. One state is taking on these surprise bills by suing CenturyLink, accusing the cable and phone provider of frequently billing customers at higher rates than sales agents quoted.
July 13, 2017
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Lawmakers Try Again to Close Loophole Allowing Government to Make Debt-Collection Robocalls
Once again, federal lawmakers are trying to close a recently opened loophole that allows the federal government — and, by extension, contractors working for the government — to blast out automated, unwanted, possibly incorrect, debt-collection robocalls.
March 8, 2017
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Leaked Microsoft Memo Reveals High Return Rates on Surface Hardware
Last week, Consumer Reports yanked its recommendations on the four Microsoft Surface products it had previously recommended. The organization then compounded the situation by switching the entire Surface product line over to 'Not Recommended' status based on its findings that 25 percent of Surface owners experienced problems with the device by the end of their second year of ownership. Microsoft, unsurprisingly, disputed these findings. Now there's further evidence that the company has not only had problems, it's absolutely and fully aware of them.
August 14, 2017
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Lidl is the new German Discount Grocer In Town
Consumerist's readers are mostly huge fans of German discount grocer Aldi, but are you ready to welcome another discount grocer from that country into your heart and your shopping list? European supermarket chain Lidl hopes that's the case.
February 15, 2017
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LifeGuide
life insurance analysis, survey, comparison and information software and informative consumer information about life insurance and financial planning
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LowerMyBills.com
information and advice for lowering and managing monthly bills, including insurance, utilities, and credit cards.
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Misc. - M

MacBook Pro Battery Life Wildly Inconsistent, Consumer Reports Finds
Expecting some holiday money? Thinking of rushing out to spend it on a shiny new MacBook Pro? After months of testing, our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports say, maybe don't do that just yet.
December 22, 2016
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Marshall's Monitor Bluetooth headphones are crisp but uncomfortable
If you're into rock and roll, then you've probably come across Marshall's audio hardware before.
April 4, 2017
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McDonald's Gradually Expanding Its Use Of Antibiotic-Free Chickens To Rest Of The World
Here in the U.S., McDonald's says its McNuggets are all already sourced from chickens raised without the use of controversial antibiotics. But the continued overuse of antibiotics in overseas farm animals -- particularly in some developing nations where the practice is growing -- also puts people worldwide at risk for contracting and spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria. So today, McDonald's said it is expanding its antibiotic-free program on a global basis -- but not right away.
August 23, 2017
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McDonald's Hopes Mobile App can Super-Size your Spending by Tracking what you Buy
McDonald's is looking for ways to reverse its decline in customer traffic and appeal to younger consumers so it can stay relevant. While fresh beef and functioning ice cream machines are important parts of the fast food giant's future plans, even more important will be a mobile ordering app that will let it collect data on customers and offer them carefully tailored deals and upsells.
April 10, 2017
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Microsoft Tussles With Consumer Reports Over Surface Reliability
Should you buy a Surface laptop or tablet? Well, that's going to depend on who you ask. Consumer Reports doesn't think so. The magazine pulled recommendations for four Surface products--two laptops and two tablets--because it believed 25% of the devices would present their owners with some kind of problem within just two years. Microsoft responded with a statement that said its data refutes these findings.
August 11, 2017
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MidSouth Citizen Site
a citizen friendly site of online small businesses, consumer information, and police tips for Citzens of Memphis and the MidSouth.
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Midwest Off-Price Retailer Gordmans May be In Financial Trouble
So far this year, several national retailers have filed for bankruptcy and closed some, if not all, of their doors. But it's not just mega chains like Kmart, Macy's, and the Limited that are hurting, regional chains are also feeling the pressure. to that end: off-price department store chain Gordmans is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy.
March 7, 2017
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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 streaming service -- without realizing it.
August 22, 2017
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My Identity was Stolen, Then TransUnion Let the Fraudster Unfreeze My Accounts
One of the smart things to do when your identity has been stolen is to contact the three major credit reporting agencies --- TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian --- to discuss placing a temporary fraud alert and credit freeze on your accounts. But as one Consumerist reader found out, all it takes to remove those restrictions is the same information that any good ID thief already knows about you.
February 8, 2017
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MyRatePlan.com
information on, and links to services for finding the best rates for phones, insurance, travel, financing, delivery, satellite TV, and Internet access.
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Misc. - N

National Fraud Information Center, The
Protect yourself against unscrupulous business practitioners. Read daily reports, learn how to protect your personal information and ask questions about fraud issues that concern you.
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Netcheck Commerce Bureau, The
The watchdog group helps resolve disputes arising from electronic business transactions.
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New Hacker Trick: Locking all Hotel Guests Out of Rooms, Demanding Ransom
Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computers and smartphones, encrypting the data on them and locking up the device, making it unusable. this is pretty bad when it happens to your personal device and you have no backup, but imagine an entire hotel full of guests locked out of their rooms because the hotel staff has been locked out of the computer system.
January 30, 2017
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New York Times all Access Subscriptions now Come with Spotify
With so many sites offering news for free, news sources that charge for access are having to get clever about how to convince people to pay for news. to that end, the New York Times is now hoping that it can get people to subscribe to its $5/week all Access service by throwing Spotify Premium into the mix.
February 9, 2017
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No, the FTC Did not Email you that You're Under Investigation
if the Federal Trade Commission is investigating you or your business, they will not send you an email asking you to click on a link for more information. how do we know that? the Federal Trade Commission says so.
December 28, 2016
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Misc. - O

Office of Consumer Protection (Hawaii)
provides consumer information, landlord-tenant information, and deals with complaints about general business transactions.
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Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
regulates national banks. this site offers agency information, releases, publications, software, and consumer information.
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Oh Good, Here's a USB Device that can Fry Even More Electronics
Hey, remember the USB Killer, a device that looks like a thumb drive and lets you destroy 95% of computers by frying them with a quick jolt of electricity? There's now an improved version on the market, which is more powerful, looks more like any generic thumb drive, and comes with micro USB, USB-C, and Apple Lightning adapters, allowing you to fry a wider variety of electronics.
February 17, 2017
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Online Eyeglass Vendor Who Threatened Customers Arrested Again For Running Another Bogus Store
You may remember the bizarre tale of Vitaly Borker, the man who served three years in prison for trying to boost his Google search ranking by harassing his customers online. Federal prosecutors say he's back at it, once again selling eyewear on the internet, and allegedly bullying customers who dare to ask for refunds.
May 26, 2017
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Out-Of-Network ATM Fees Are Up Because Fewer People Use ATMs
Between the rise of e-commerce, credit/debit card use, and mobile payment platforms, the days of "running to the ATM" for enough cash to get through the day are gone for many people. That's one of the reasons why, according to a new survey of banks, out-of-network ATM fees and overdraft charges are hitting new highs.
October 3, 2017
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Owner & Seller Of 20 Lb. Lobster Not Thrilled That TSA Made A Celebrity Of Oversized Crustacean
Deserved or not, the Transportation Security Administration doesn't usually get much affection on social media, so it must have been a nice change of pace for the TSA recently when it had a minor Instagram hit with a photo of a massive, 20 lb. lobster found in a cooler at a Boston airport. Alas, the TSA has not escaped criticism, as the man who owned this oversized crustacean -- and the market where he purchased it -- both say the airport security folks mishandled his future meal for the sake of a photo op.
June 29, 2017
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Owner of Ann Taylor, dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Maurices Could Close Up To 650 Stores
You may not know the name Ascena Retail Group, but you know the stores it owns, like Ann Taylor, dressbarn, Lane Bryant, Maurices, among others. Many of these stores could soon be closing if Ascena follows through on its proposal to shutter as many as 650 locations.
June 9, 2017
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Owners of Discontinued Keurig Rivo Having Trouble Buying Coffee Pods that will Work
When Keurig quietly discontinued its Rivo Cappuccino & Latte System in Dec. 2016, the company said customers would still be able to purchase Lavazza brand pods – the only ones the Rivo accepts – in its online store, as well as from a few other retailers. Soon after, however, customers started bumping into "out of stock" notices almost everywhere online. Whats the deal?
February 27, 2017
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Misc. - P

Parents of Child Killed by Distracted Driver Sue Apple for not Blocking FaceTime While Driving
On Christmas Eve 2014, a driver distracted by using FaceTime on his iPhone crashed into another vehicle on I-35 in Texas, killing the 5-year-old girl in the back seat. the child's parents and her older sister – all also injured in the collision – are now suing Apple, alleging that the company was negligent in not deploying safeguards that would restrict the use of FaceTime while driving.
December 29, 2016
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People favor highly reviewed products, even when they shouldn't
When we're trying to decide which cell phone case to buy or which hotel room to book, we often rely on the ratings and reviews of others to help us choose. But new research suggests that we tend to use this information in ways that can actually work to our disadvantage.
August 21, 2017
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Perdue Recalls Organic Chicken Sausage Due to Plastic Pieces
Perdue's Harvestland chicken sausage advertises that it's made from chicken that's never been exposed to antibiotics, and that it doesn't contain nitrates, nitrites, or animal byproducts. now the product is being recalled because of a problematic additive: Customers have found pieces of blue plastic in their sausages.
May 8, 2017
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Price.com
helps users make product decisions by offering price comparisons for a variety of items.
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PriceScan.Com
Price and product information.
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Misc. - R

RadioShack Creditors Sue Sprint, Accuse It Of Destroying 6,000 Jobs
Just over two years ago, venerable but bankrupt electronics chain RadioShack cut a deal with mobile carrier Sprint to save thousands of jobs and keep 1,740 stores that were formerly part of RadioShack open. Only the unsecured creditors in RadioShack's second bankruptcy now accuse its pal Sprint of using information from the contract to open hundreds of stores near the strongest RadioShack locations, dooming the reborn RadioShack..
June 30, 2017
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Recall: 7 Hoverboard Brands for Fire Risk
The Consumer Product Safety Commission this week announced the recall of seven hoverboard brands because the batteries could explode or catch fire.
November 15, 2017
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Recall: Britax B-Safe 35 Car Seat Chest Clip
Chest clips for more than 100 models of Britax Child Safety cars seats are being recalled over concerns that a tab could break and create a choking hazard for infants.
June 23, 2017
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Recall: Graco Car Seats
Children's products company Graco recalled more than 25,000 car seats after the harness webbing that keeps a child in the seat failed to meet federal requirements for strength.
May 25, 2017
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Recall: Star Snacks Co. Cashews
If you shop at ALDI grocery stores, check your pantry for Southern Grove brand cashews. Two lots of cashew halves and pieces have been recalled by the manufacturer after customers reported finding pieces of broken glass in the product.
June 7, 2017
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Recalled Products from IKEA, McDonald's Made 2016 a Bad Year for Injured Children
There was no shortage of massive, wide-reaching recalls that affected children in 2016: the 29 million top-heavy IKEA dressers that could tip over, McDonald's 29 million Happy Meal fitness trackers that caused rashes and burns, and three million Tommee Tippee's spill proof cups that grew mold. Each of these campaigns -- and many others -- contributed to the largest increase in recalls, injuries, and incidents involving children's products in nearly a decade.
April 4, 2017
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Rising Olive Oil Prices In Europe May Catch Up with Us Eventually
Olive oil is a kitchen staple, used for everything from cooking up veggies to delicately dipping pieces of bread. it's also becoming a more expensive staple due to weather in olive-growing countries Spain, Italy, and Greece. Hot weather, fruit flies, and flooding across those regions mean a much smaller harvest.
February 9, 2017
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Robocall Scammer Faces $120M Fine For Impersonating TripAdvisor, Marriott, Expedia
A Florida man accused of blasting out 100 million illegal robocalls where he falsely claimed to represent companies like TripAdvisor, Marriott, Expedia, or Hilton may finally have to pay for annoying the ever-living heck out of people. The Federal Communications Commission has proposed slapping a $120 million penalty on this obnoxious operation.
June 22, 2017
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Robots now Delivering Food for Yelp's Eat24 Service In San Francisco
Yelp's Eat24 food delivery service is making it easier for some users who want to avoid interacting with humans as much as possible, deploying robots in San Francisco to bring food to customers.
April 12, 2017
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Rue21 Closing 400 Stores, Focusing on Online Sales
Teen retailer Rue21, which has been the subject of recent bankruptcy rumors, has decided to shutter 400 stores and put more of its attention to online sales.
April 17, 2017
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Misc. - S

SafeDragon
offers links to safety information for consumers and businesses.
Provides a Service
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SafeShopping.Org
created to help protect and educate consumers about the legal and practical issues involved in online shopping. from the American Bar Association.
Provides Information
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Saks Fifth Avenue Customer Email Addresses Posted Publicly
The email addresses for thousands of Saks Fifth Avenue customers were sitting on the retailer's website, unencrypted, for an unknown period of time.
March 19, 2017
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San Francisco Suing Hertz for Allegedly Ripping Off Car Renters on Golden Gate Bridge
If you rent a car from Hertz in San Francisco, it'll automatically pay the toll for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. But the city says in a new lawsuit that the rental car company is gouging tourists by fraudulently charging them millions of dollars in extra fees.
March 2, 2017
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Scammer who made 96 million robocalls should pay $120M fine, FCC says
Vacation scam preyed on elderly and disrupted medical paging system, FCC says.
June 22, 2017
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Sears' Empty Sales Floors May be Turning Customers Off
It should be pretty easy to tell a fully operational department store from one that it is closing down, but some Sears shoppers have found that their local store is not doing much to alleviate concerns about the company's death spiral.
February 24, 2017
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"Security as An Afterthought:" 3 Frightening Privacy Claims from Former Uber Staffers
Even if you're a fan of Uber's service, it's often difficult to not take issue with the company's short history of: disregarding taxi regulations, having questionable screening procedures for drivers, taking a casual approach to customer privacy, and forbidding both its employees and users from bringing lawsuits.
December 12, 2016
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Shake Shack Trying Out Cashless Kiosks In Quest To Speed Up Ordering Process
In an effort to speed things up in its restaurants, Shake Shack is trying out a few new things at one New York City location, including cashless kiosks that customers use to place orders monitored by employees.
October 2, 2017
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ShopServe.com
merchant directory with buyer-based rankings.
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Sisters Claim Their Father Died Without Them After Allegiant Booted Them from Flight
It's unlikely that getting kicked off a flight is ever a pleasant experience, but two sisters say that when Allegiant Air removed them from a recent flight, they found themselves in a nightmare, unable to reach their father in hospice care before he passed away.
January 6, 2017
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Skin Cream Scammers Keep Stealing YouTube Personality's Post-Botox Face
Skin cream ads on social media boast that their products are "better than Botox,' and they use impressive "before' and "after' images of a purported customer. The problem: The woman in the pictures didn't give permission to use her image, and the pictures are from before and after her injections of actual Botox.
June 16, 2017
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Someone Sued Because 'Natural' Nature Valley Granola Bars Contain Common Pesticide
Although the term "natural" is not defined by the federal government -- allowing basically any food company to slap it on a product's label -- a judge has decided that General Mills' use of the term to describe granola bars that contain herbicide is not deceptive.
July 18, 2017
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Staples Still Doing Well After Failed Office Depot Merger; 70 North American Staples Stores to Close
While we consumers think of Staples as the brick-and-mortar retailer that we go to when we need a printer cartridge, that's not how the company thinks of itself. After a disappointing quarter of sales while the company is still trying to get over the breakup of its engagement to Office Depot, its leaders told investors that they plan to focus on services, including delivery to offices and to homes.
March 9, 2017
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Starbucks Shuttering Final Two Evolution Fresh Juice Stores
Six years after Starbucks branched out of its caffeinated coffee corner by purchasing juice maker Evolution Fresh for $30 million and eventually opening a handful of juice stores, the coffee conglomerate is closing the doors of the final two remaining juicy locations.
February 24, 2017
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State Claims Hilton Paid Woman Less Than Male Coworkers, Including Her Son
New Jersey's top prosecutor has accused Hilton of unlawful discrimination for paying a female Homewood Suites employee less than her male equivalents, including her son.
February 10, 2017
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State Files Consumer Protection Lawsuit Against Man Accused of Using Facebook to Trick Women Into Sex
Washington state prosecutors are using state consumer protection laws to go after a man – already facing multiple criminal charges of rape – that they claim spent years misleading women about his job, and even his gender, with the goal of misleading women into sleeping with him in exchange for a non-existent shot at stardom.
December 21, 2016
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Strategis
provides detailed Canadian industry, business, and consumer information.
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Streaming Music Revenue Surpasses other Formats for the First Time Ever
Digital music has come a long way: Once feared as the poison arrow that would take down the recording industry, streaming music is now making more money for recording companies than any other format.
March 31, 2017
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Student Loan Servicing Issues Contribute to Older Borrowers' Defaults
In 2015, nearly 40% of all federal student loan borrowers over the age of 65 were in default, thanks in part to issues they faced when it came to the servicing of their debts, including problems enrolling in income-driven repayment plans and accessing protections as co-signers.
January 5, 2017
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Subway Suing Over News Story Claiming Its Chicken is Largely Soy
Subway has already vehemently denied a recent Canadian news report alleging that the sandwich chain's chicken is only 50% meat, but the company is now going a step further, accusing the broadcaster of defamation and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
March 17, 2017
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Supreme Court Allows For Rare Win In Customers' Lawsuit Against Samsung
The Supreme Court has a long history of ruling against consumers when it involves a company's attempt to strip its customers of their right to a day in court, but this week the nation's highest court decided to not hear an appeal in a lawsuit involving Samsung, marking a rare instance in which SCOTUS came down on the consumers' side in this issue.
October 3, 2017
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Misc. - T

Target Pulls Hampton Creek Products From Stores Over Food Safety Concerns
Target, a chain that's popular because "upscale discount store" is apparently not an oxymoron, is a big seller of Hampton Creek's vegan food products, including its not-mayonnaise Just Mayo. But now Target has reportedly pulled Hampton Creek products from its stores and even disabled cashiers' ability to scan these items at checkout.
June 23, 2017
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The FTC Has some Questions About the Bass Pro Shops-Cabela's Merger
Earlier this year, Bass Pro Shops offered to buy up one of its biggest competitors, Cabela's, for $5.5 billion. the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing the deal now, and is raising concerns that this might be too much consolidation in the hunting and fishing market.
December 30, 2016
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The Mall is Following you While you Shop
When you go to a shopping mall -- if you ever do -- there's a good chance you've got a smartphone turned on in your pocket or bag. and if you do, you may be providing valuable data to that property's owners, who can follow you around like a hawk to figure out how much time and money you're there to spend.
March 14, 2017
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These Forms Collect Your Data Even If You Don't Hit "Submit'
If you fill in a web form and hit "submit,' you expect your data to get whisked off into the great ether, and probably from there to be shared with third parties. But you probably don't expect your keystrokes -- and form auto-fill fields -- to be captured and sent away as-entered, before you hit submit. And yet, a new report claims, that may be exactly what's happening.
June 29, 2017
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Ticketmaster Hopes new 'Verified Fan' Program will Weed Out Ticket Bots
While there is now a federal law on the books banning ticket-buying bots in an attempt to give real, live humans a better chance at scoring admission to popular events, these automated scalpers are squirrelly little suckers. In an effort combat this problem, Ticketmaster is launching a new program that will use ticket buyers' profiles to help verify they're actually humans.
March 14, 2017
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Time Warner Cable Customers Unable to Access TV Apps After Charter Merger
It's been nearly a year since Charter officially acquired Time Warner Cable, but TWC customers – now "Time Warner Spectrum" – say they are no longer able to access an array of TV apps that require their pay-TV logins.
February 23, 2017
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Timeshare Users Group
non-profit membership organization of timeshare owners who provide info and reviews on timeshare resorts and ownership; forums, classifieds and more available.
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Tinder Launching a Web Version of Its Dating Platform
Eons ago, online dating services like Match.com and OKCupid were forged in the fires of the internet, only later to evolve into occupants of the app ecosystem. But Tinder was born as an app, looking down on the elder generation and generally swiping left on the idea of a "website." Now, like a teenager who "discovers" their cool aunt's CD collection and can't shut up about Screaming Trees and Portishead, the swipe-centric dating app is going retro with the launch of a web-based version.
March 28, 2017
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Toymakers Owed Millions Brace For Hit After Toys 'R' Us Bankruptcy
Many toymakers say they won't let Toys 'R' Us die after filing for bankruptcy, noting that doing so would be bad for their own businesses. After all, the chain is typically their biggest client. However, it appears there's more at stake, namely, the millions of dollars the manufacturers are owed.
September 29, 2017
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Toys 'R' Us Hopes Playrooms & Augmented Reality Stations Will Bring Customers Back
If Toys 'R' Us is going to survive its recent bankruptcy filing and prevent a domino effect of debt throughout the toy industry, the retailer will need to get shoppers into stores and buying things. The company is hoping that making its stores more interactive for customers -- including try-before-you-buy playrooms -- will help put it back on the path to solvency.
October 2, 2017
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Tyson Foods Under Investigation for Alleged Chicken Price-Fixing
Tyson Foods, the nation's largest poultry processor – and the company behind a dizzying array of packaged foods – revealed this week that federal regulators are investigating allegations of price-fixing.
February 6, 2017
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Misc. - U

U.S. Safety Regulator: Dish Network Techs Shouldn't Upsell TV Service While Fixing Samsung Washers
We recently reported that Samsung had contracted with Dish Network to do in-home repairs on the millions of Samsung top-loading washers recalled in 2016. we also heard from a number of people who said that the Dish techs tried to upsell them on satellite TV service while they were doing these washing machine repairs.
March 6, 2017
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United Airlines Passenger Says Dog Died After Flight from Detroit to Oregon
Three years ago, United Airlines felt the internet's wrath when a photo surfaced showing a caged dog the carrier had allegedly left out in the rain on an airport tarmac. Now, the airline is once again facing claims it harmed an animal, after a woman accused the airline for being responsible for the death of her dog.
February 14, 2017
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UploadVR sued for 'rampant' sexual harassment and discrimination
The event organizer is a hostile 'boy's club'
May 15, 2017
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US Federal Trade Commission sues D-Link for having terrible security
D-Link is facing a lawsuit brought against it by the US Federal Trade Commission for the poor security of its routers and connected cameras. the FTC says the company failed to take reasonable steps to protect users from hackers.
January 6, 2017
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US regulators open investigation into replacement Note 7 that caught fire
Federal regulators are moving quickly to investigate the replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that caught fire on a Southwest Airlines flight today, with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission "moving expeditiously" to find out what happened.
October 5, 2016
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Misc. - V

Verizon Kicking another Round of Data Hogs Off Grandfathered Unlimited Plans
Back in July, Verizon made a move to limit its remaining unlimited data customers, telling them to switch to a limited plan or have their lines disconnected. Now, inside sources report that another round of cuts is underway, this time booting customers who use 200 GB or more in mobile data every month.
January 9, 2017
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Verizon Wants to Merge with Comcast, Disney, Or Pretty Much Anyone Really
Verizon's shopping spree in recent years has mostly focused on snapping up the last vestiges of the 1990s with big purchases of AOL and Yahoo. But now, the company's CEO says, it's ready to go bigger and more modern... and it's not entirely picky about who it wants its new partner to be.
April 19, 2017
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Misc. - W

Walmart to Combat Amazon with In-Store Screens that Let you Buy Things Online
Because Amazon is shipping to customers from a vast network of warehouses around the country, shoppers are less likely to come across out-of-stock items. Walmart, conversely, is infamous for its empty shelves, but the retailer is testing a new program that would allow customers to immediately place an online order for an item that isn't in stock.
March 8, 2017
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Walmart's Jet.Com Charged Me Sales Tax on Tax-Exempt Items. what can I Do?
We understand that sales taxes can be a nightmare for a retailer trying to sell to everyone everywhere at once. What's taxed in one state is tax-exempt in another, and then a third state only taxes that product above a certain dollar value. Most major online retailers have figured out this mess, but what do you do when a website charges you tax on an item that you know is exempt?
March 28, 2017
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Wells Fargo Customers Won't Need a Card to Get Cash at ATMs Anymore
Can't be bothered to carry a debit card, but need some cash on the go? not a problem for Wells Fargo customers with smartphones, as the bank is rolling out its cardless technology at all of its roughly 13,000 cash machines.
March 23, 2017
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Wells Fargo Tries, Fails to Explain Why Customers Shouldn't be Allowed to Sue Over Fake Accounts
Wells Fargo has admitted that thousands of its employees opened fake, unauthorized accounts in customers' names, but the bank is doing everything it can to prevent these wronged customers from having their day in court. we asked Wells Fargo to explain why it believes hundreds of thousands of Americans shouldn't be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to sue.
March 1, 2017
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What can you Do When your Adoption Agency Goes Bankrupt?
Adopting a child can require years of effort and huge financial expenses, with no guarantee that all your efforts will turn out successfully. it's a lesson that thousands of hopeful parents are learning after the sudden bankruptcy of a large, national adoption agency.
March 7, 2017
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Whole Foods Poaching New Customers From Trader Joe's, Costco, Walmart
We know that more people visited upscale grocery chain Whole Foods in the weeks after it became part of Amazon's growing online and offline retail empire, but where did those people come from? Customer data shows that new visitors to Whole Foods stores were likely to be the wealthiest customers from competitors like Walmart, Costco, and Trader Joe's.
October 3, 2017
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Why Are Greeting Cards So Expensive, Anyway?
You may have bought or received a few greeting cards this Valentine's Day, and they all had one thing in common: they were probably really expensive. Why is that? some industry experts argue that the reason why greeting cards are so pricey is that people are buying so few of them.
February 14, 2017
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Why Does Capital One Need My Income To Sign Into Website?
By now you're probably used to going to your bank's website and being upsold on everything from car loans to mortgages to retirement accounts before you can move on to see how your money is doing. But have you ever gone to your bank's site only to be told you must update your income with the bank before going any further?
October 19, 2017
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Why Google can't truly compete against Apple without retail stores
Google's new hardware is promising, but it needs outstanding customer support to make it worth the higher prices.
October 5, 2016
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Why is It So Hard to see What's Inside the "Black Box" Determining what Prices you Get Online?
You're a savvy shopper, a well-educated consumer. you know to shop around to look for the best price on something before you fork over your cash. and after doing all your homework, you find out from Facebook that a friend on the other side of the country got the same item from the same website for less than you just paid. Why?
October 5, 2016
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Why you Should Care About the Supreme Court Case on Toner Cartridges
A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn't sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase "patent exhaustion" is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?
March 23, 2017
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Why you Should Care that all FCC Settlements Must now Go Through Full Commission Vote
ew FCC chair Ajit Pai is a very busy man. After only a few weeks sitting behind the big desk, he's killed off cable set-top box reform, abandoned rate caps on prison calls, scuttled Lifeline expansion, and decided violating net neutrality (which he hates) through zero-rating is officially not the FCC's problem.
February 8, 2017
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Will new FCC Chief Undo Progress on Combating Robocalls?
You hate robocalls. we hate robocalls. Probably even our pets hate robocalls. they are a scourge on modern communications. Even new FCC Chair Ajit Pai hates these auto-dialed, pre-recorded nuisances, but his history on the subject has us wondering if he'll continue the FCC's work in curbing robocalls or give in to businesses who want to use them to sell us things.
February 1, 2017
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Misc. - Y

Your Organic Milk May not be as Pure as you Think
Organic milk sometimes costs twice as much as the rest of the milk you'll find in the supermarket dairy aisle, but you get what you pay for, right? a new report about one of the largest suppliers of store-brand organic milk casts some doubts on the standards of some products.
May 2, 2017
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