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Thanks for Nothing – Fall 2022

We continue our series of little annoyances about ads, offers, and practices that are often real head-scratchers, might make you grind your teeth, or even chuckle.

Example #1 — Air Conditioners – $50

The Craiglist ad offered a giveaway price for air conditioners — only $50.

air conditioners

In the description, a small detail is disclosed along with a “generous” offer.

*MOUSE PRINT:

air conditioner cardboard

Thanks for nothing, Craigslister.


Example #2 — Kitchen Appreciation Fee

It is not just hotels that are adding junk fees to your bill. Now some restaurants are doing it too and they call it a “kitchen appreciation fee.” This tip goes to employees who don’t generally get tipped, and is automatically added to your bill. While there is a fine print disclosure on the menu in many places about the fee, most diners won’t notice it there, and may not even notice it on their bill until after they leave the restaurant. Of course, you can tell the server to take the charge off your bill, but that puts diners in an awkward position.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Kitchen appreciation fee

So, thanks for nothing to all the restaurants that tack these fees onto your restaurant tab without asking.


Example #3 — Not So Easy Returns

An online women’s clothing site advertises on Facebook and its website that its garments are all made in and shipped from the USA. It certainly is unusual to see clothing made here particularly at the low prices this shop charges.

Ryabe - made in USA

When a friend contacted them about how to make a return, she was offered a partial refund but told it probably wasn’t worth doing for a full refund because of the high cost of return shipping that she would have to pay. Why was shipping so expensive?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Ryabe response

There is no disclosure on their website that returns must be sent to Dubai. Thanks for nothing, Ryabe.


Example #4 — $5 a Month Cell Plan

TwigbyMrConsumer got very excited when he saw this banner ad for a $5 a month cell plan with unlimited calls and texts and one gig of data. He’s paying that for only half a gig of data now.

Upon checking their website for the offer, the truth came out:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Twigby 3 months only

Hey, Twigby, at least you could have disclosed that the $5 plan was only an introductory offer in your ad, but you omitted that fact. Thanks for nothing, Twigby.


Example #5 — Macy’s Sale Exclusions

Macy’s is already advertising discounts good through Black Friday, sending 25% off shopping passes to customers. These cards, approximately 3.5 inches wide and two inches high, have a ton of exclusions from the sale listed on the back of the card. The trouble, according to the ConsumerMan, is that the excluded brands are in such small type as to be unreadable. Thanks for nothing, Macy’s.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Macy's exclusions

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10 thoughts on “Thanks for Nothing – Fall 2022”

  1. Example #3 Easy Returns
    If these products ae made in the US, then why are they shipped all over the world and then back to a US consumer. The offer says they will be shipped from the closest warehouse. Unless you live in the south side of Canada, then any of the other locations are not going to be closer.

    Doesn’t make sense to me. Dubai? Wouldn’t you want your returns to be processed in the US?

  2. Something funny about the Macy’s example, when I started my stint at Kohl’s in 2011, as part of the orientation, they showed a Macy’s coupon like this and bragged about how Kohl’s was different because they didn’t have a mountain of exclusions from their coupons like Macy’s does. Little did we know at the time, that wasn’t a business decision. Kohl’s simply couldn’t handle it technologically. A while later when they finally upgraded their systems, you better believe that exclusion list started to grow and grow. Now it’s not far off from Macy’s.

  3. The air conditioners are still a good deal, you can get the side panels for around $20.00 (at some places less than that) at Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, etc. Although I personally would never buy anything from Craig’s list.

    I never buy anything online that cannot be returned for free. Most reputable sites will not charge for returns (unless they are big items like refrigerators, etc.).

    • I forgot to add a comment about the ‘fee’ tacked on to restaurant bills. I think most larger restaurants pool all tips now, those tips are then distributed to the workers. How much/percentage to each employee is I’m sure different from ‘house to house’.

  4. Example #2: Any time I see these fees I deduct them from the amount of my tip. the servers can complain to their cheapskate bosses if they don’t like it. Sorry. Raise your prices if you must, owners, but I will not be guilted into covering them.

  5. There are ways to still get a good deal with Macy’s and Kohl’s discount cards but it takes a lot of work, perseverance and a magnifying glass to do it. I also sometimes have better luck searching the internet coupon sites to find the best coupon to use for each store. And you have to be aware that some brands never qualify for the store discount coupons, but I found out from reading shopper blogs that this may have more to do with the brand than the retailer. Some brands are very proprietary about letting retailers offer discounts and when and if they do is up to them. They may let the retailers offer discounts only a couple of times a year. The trick is to find out when and even with a sale price they might still not qualify for a coupon discount. I still see “no exclusions” on some coupons but it’s getting rarer.

  6. Im the AC advert, If its real. Take it. Take 2
    Medea sold to many stores under Other names, an AC that had a Pull tab to open Venting to outside air. But upon looking into it, all it did was connect back into the fan section. It was in the paper work that it had Circulate, Vent, and exchange for the air. I complained and even took mine apart to show it. (true value) has the connection to lots of smaller Companies and to return it would have Put a Big dent in someone’s pocket. I told them to Sue the company they got them from. Units dropped Price from $500 to $400 real fast.

  7. Want to have some real fun with the workers? Instead of one line on your bill for tips…have two. Here’s how it would read:
    Total food $00.00
    Wait staff tip: $00.00
    Kitchen Tip: $00.00
    That way, if the food was great, but, service was lousey you could reflect that. Or vice versa. Seems like an equitable solution to me.

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