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Thanks for Nothing – Spring 2024

A few times a year we spotlight offers from companies that are real head-scratchers, are actually less generous than they appear, are just plain outrageous, or may simply elicit a chuckle. Here’s the new crop.

JetBlue Adopts Surge Pricing for Baggage

Jumping on the surge pricing bandwagon, JetBlue just began charging more for checked baggage during peak travel times. This is on top of a higher price for checked bags paid for within 24 hours of your flight. And it is also just after the airline implemented another baggage fee increase only a couple of months ago.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Jet Blue luggage fees

Thanks for nothing, JetBlue.


Rakuten’s 15% Cash Back Offer

On April first, Rakuten sent an email promising 15-percent cash back seemingly at a whole bunch of stores.

Rakuten 15% cash back

But, when visiting the website, the offer all of a sudden changed to only 12-percent back.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Rakuten 12% back at stores

Only about half a dozen stores were offering 15-percent back among the dozens offering 12-percent cash back.

Thanks for nothing, Rakuten, except that this week (May 6 – 13) Rakuten is offering a real 15% back at about 500 stores, and on May 6th only, 20% back at several dozen stores. New members get an extra 10% back for purchases the first week. [Consumer World may earn a commission on certain purchases from this link.]


Russell Stover Valentine’s Heart

Last year before Valentine’s Day, we featured two heart-shaped boxes of candy from Russell Stover and Whitman’s that were about 10-inches high by 9-inches wide, but they only contained between nine and eleven pieces of chocolate inside. This year, we found what looked like the same size box, but for this variety of chocolate, it only had five pieces of candy inside.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Russell Stover heart

Talk about over-packaging to make you think there is more candy inside than there really is. Thanks for nothing, Russell Stover.


90% Off Everything at Temu?

Temu.com has captured bargain hunters’ attention with its incredible low prices. And when they recently sent an email promising that everything was 90-percent off shoppers couldn’t wait to clickthrough. Of course, the old adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here.

*MOUSE PRINT:

temu up to 90% off

“Up to 90% off” is far different, so thanks for nothing, Temu.


Malk – $7.99 a Quart?

Grocery prices have just gotten out of hand. For example, a quart of Malk brand almond milk is $7.99.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Malk - 32 oz.

Eight bucks for a quart of fake milk? MrConsumer paid it but only because he was going to get a full price rebate. What excuse does everyone else have for paying such an outrageous price?

Thanks for nothing, Malk Organics.


Pizza Hut – Any Pizza $12?

Pizza Hut says the word “any” a lot in this emailed advertisement for $12 pizzas. ANY pizza… ANY toppings… ANY recipe.

Pizza Hut $12

But Greg L. complained about the smaller print which excluded extra cheese and also their stuffed crust pizza variety. We guess “any” really doesn’t mean “every” in Pizza Hut-lingo.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Pizza Hut exclusions


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18 thoughts on “Thanks for Nothing – Spring 2024”

  1. Hi Mouse Print!
    I do love your articles, but I need to let you know that there are many people, like myself, have a dairy allergy/intolerance and cannot drink cow milk. The nut milks are our alternative. Yes, the prices are high for all brands of almond milk, but using a derogatory “fake milk” statement is not fair for those of us who need or enjoy nut milk.

    Reply
    • Kelly… I am lactose intolerant and can’t drink conventional milk. There have even been lawsuits about the misleading nature of calling almond milk, oat milk, etc. “milk.”

      Reply
    • I was an animal science major (livestock production) in college. The term “milk” referred to modified sweat . So to me anything that doesn’t come from a mammal IS fake milk.

      Reply
      • AGREE> the rest is NUT JUICE. Or macerated nuts with water and salt added. Personally, if I were lactose intolerant, I would rather have my cereal with water. AND eat my almonds joyously.

    • I agree, the term “fake milk”, can sound a little offensive. So I looked up the definition of “milk” and found it to have a broad definition including but not limited to, “Any liquid resembling the milk of animals, as the liquid within a coconut, the juice or sap of certain plants, or various pharmaceutical or cosmetic preparations.”
      Maybe we can stop quarreling at each other and direct our criticism toward the corporations. They don’t care what we think as long as they get our money anyway.

      Reply
  2. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the commissions from Rakuten. They are HORRIBLE. Oh, they’ll pay some at first, and then slowly but surely they’ll fail to pay many, especially the larger ones. This is their SOP. Then if you complain, they’ll magically close your account

    Reply
    • David… I think they pay quarterly after the first check. I have never found it to be a problem.

      Reply
  3. Concerning the Pizza Hut story:
    Did these guys go to the same school that didn’t learn what “Unlimited” means?

    Reply
    • Pizza Hut has been doing the “any pizza” thing for YEARS. I remember getting an ad in the mail for the “any” over twenty years ago. Of course when I went in to order, all the restrictions popped up. I complained to the staff at the counter just to be met with “can’t help with that” spiel. I turned around and walked out.

      Never went back.

      Reply
  4. anytime an app says “up to” I stop reading. 0% would be included. Heck, I don’t know why places say “up to 20% off” when “up to 99% off” is just as true.

    Reply
    • Presumably, it’s because average consumers would become WAYYY too suspicious at “up to 99% off”. There’s a fine line between “consumer advocates complain about it” and “OH NO EVERYONE IS SEEING OUR SCAM RUN!!!”

      Reply
  5. The following words, have “special” definitions in advertising, and can basically be totally ignored:
    up to, any, unlimited, limited time, included, cash back

    Reply
  6. I’ve been ordering from Temu from just about their start. You have to look VERY carefully at their ads to see exactly what you are getting. A good thing to do is look at their “review all” section because a lot of people take photos and post them. Some describe the item wasn’t as seen or announced, which I’ve learned from.
    They have had a minimum order of $10.00 since they started. Recently, however, the minimum has gone up to $15, which I find disheartening because I am a person with one income, fixed, and a house and mouths to feed. $10.00 wasn’t too bad, but $15 every time has slowed me down on ordering from them, especially because the items I order are “like to have” and not “need to have.”
    Once you sign up with them, be aware you will get avg. 2 a day emails from them. I did not sign up on the cell because I didn’t want to be blasted with all those spam texts.
    Thank you for the wonderful work you do for the Consumers. I have followed you for years!

    Reply
  7. MrConsumer, I tried to document this but the numbers aren’t on the boxes.

    My new roll of Reynolds Nonstick Aluminum Foil is thinner than my previous purchases. It feels like the cheap foil wrap from a sandwich shop. But when I look at the packaging, it only gives the width and length of the product, not the thickness, so I can’t even compare the previous packaging to the current packaging. I tend to wash and reuse my foil in some instances and this roll will definitely only be good for one-time use. It won’t stand up to being washed. It tears way too easily.

    Reply
    • Deb… Thanks for trying to figure it out. The only way you can do it is if you have a brand new box and a new revised product box, and then weigh only the rolls (of the same length). That would give you a pretty good idea if the new one is lighter.

      Reply
  8. I bought a very large expensive heart shaped box of chocolate for Valentine’s day and found only about 6 pieces of chocolate in the box. I won’t fall for that again. I’ve learned my lesson!

    Reply
  9. I buy 64 oz almond milk for $2.44 at Wal-Mart. Yes it has gums. Yes it is not organic. But the equivalent 64 oz. MALK would cost $15.98. For that price differential I will risk the cancer.

    Reply