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May 6, 2019

Here We Downsize Again – May 2019

Filed under: Downsizing,Food/Groceries,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:53 am

Prices on paper goods are going up again, but you’d never know it because the packages look about the same and you pay the same at the checkout. But you are getting less in each package.

 

Kleenex Tissues

The boxes are the same size but Kleenex is giving you 10% fewer tissues. Thanks to Leif S. for spotting this downsizing in progress right now.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Kleenex downsized

 

Brawny Paper Towels

Brawny has a long history of downsizing its paper towels. This time, packages are going from 87 sheets down to 80 sheets — almost a 10% reduction.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Brawny paper towels downsized

 

Downy Unstoppables

*MOUSE PRINT:

Downy Unstoppables NOT downsized

P&G recently came out with new bottles of Downy Unstoppables laundry fragrance enhancers. The bottle is slightly larger but the contents actually weigh 25% less. That’s a big downsizing… seemingly. Even more surprising, when tossing these pellets in water, they float, whereas the old ones sunk to the bottom. Checking with customer service revealed what had really changed. The product engineers at P&G removed some of the dead weight from each pellet making them lighter. That cut the net weight of each bottle by a quarter, but the number of laundry loads you get remained the same. So it only looked like Unstoppables had been downsized.

If you spot a new example of a product being downsized, please try to take a sharp picture of both the old and the new packages and send it to: edgar (at symbol) mouseprint.org . Thanks.




 

 

  ADV


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April 29, 2019

Act Fluoride: Alcohol-Free?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:55 am

Bob F., a regular Mouse Print* reader, recently bought a bottle of Act fluoride mouthwash/rinse for kids. The front label of the bottle clearly stated that the product was “alcohol-free.”

Act front

When he looked at the ingredients statement, however, he was taken aback.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Act ingredients

The first inactive ingredient listed was “benzyl alcohol.” What?

Clearly, any parent would be concerned about a child swallowing this candy-flavored liquid if it contained alcohol.

But that is not the case here. When most consumers think of alcohol, they think of the alcohol in liquor. That is actually ethyl alcohol or ethanol. Benzyl alcohol in ACT is chemically different. It is a flavor enhancer and preservative.

So, Act is properly labeled as “alcohol-free” because it does not contain the common type of alcohol that you find in other mouthwashes like Listerine.




 

 

  ADV


• • •

April 15, 2019

Fly to Hawaii for $6 Roundtrip?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Retail,Sweepstakes,Travel — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:10 am

Arby’s is running a promotion offering 10 lucky people the chance to buy roundtrip tickets to Hawaii for only $6.

Arby's contest

There are two opportunities to enter the sweepstakes: last Friday, and today (April 15th) at noon Eastern time. You will be flown first to Los Angeles, spend a night in a hotel, and then the next day, you will be whisked off to Honolulu in either first or business class. All for only $6. What a deal.

Except for one thing in the official rules.

Mouse Print*:

official rules

Your flights to and from Hawaii have to occur on the same day – April 27th. That’s right. Your day in Hawaii starts out with six hours on a plane going there. Then visiting an Arby’s to try three of their new sandwiches and be in a television commercial. And then another six hours on a plane back to the mainland.

As their ad states, “no volcanoes, no pineapple farms… just you, sweet buns, tender meat.”

So, if this is your idea of a fun vacation, hope you’re one of the first five today to win the trip. And here’s one additional consumer tip: You can save the $6 on the ticket by entering the promo code “Aloha.”




 

 

  ADV


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April 1, 2019

Does Poland Spring Water Really Come From a Spring?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:05 am

Here we go again. A lawsuit, originally filed in 2017 (but recently amended) against Poland Spring maker Nestle has been given the green light to proceed by a federal court.

Poland Spring

Plaintiffs allege in a 325-page complaint that Poland Spring water is not “100% natural spring water” as the label claims because it doesn’t really come from a natural spring. Rather, they say, it is groundwater that comes from a series of man-made springs. They contend the original Poland Spring in Maine ran dry in the 1970s.

For its part, Nestle says that Poland Spring water comes from eight different springs in Maine that meet the FDA’s definition of “spring water.”

…water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth may be “spring water.” Spring water shall be collected only at the spring [with] a natural force causing the water to flow to the surface through a natural orifice. –FDA regulations

Their website seems to protesteth a little too much for an innocent company by providing detailed information about the source of their water, including a map.

The judge in the case wasn’t buying some of the company’s arguments. For example, lawyers for Nestle asserted with a straight face in a prior hearing that the result of a previous lawsuit about the true source of Poland Spring water put the current plaintiffs on notice that the company’s claims might be false (and thus they can’t now contend that they were duped). This argument ranks right up there with a standard legal defense used by company lawyers in false advertising cases — “No reasonable consumer would believe the outrageous claims made in our advertising.”

So, it will be up to a court to decide whether the billions of dollars consumers have spent for Poland Spring water over the years was based on a false premise.

Hat tip to TruthinAdvertising.org for the lawsuit link.




 

 

  ADV


• • •

March 18, 2019

Thanks for Nothing, 2019 – Part 1

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Humor,Internet,Retail,Thanks for Nothing — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:51 am

“Thanks for Nothing” spotlights advertising that seemingly promises a great deal, and then lets you down big-time, or makes a product claim that proves untrue, or just makes you scratch your head and laugh.

Example 1:

Buy Dig is an online seller of electronics and other goods. Recently they advertised a pretty high-value coupon online, $50 off.

$50 off

However, if you click-through to see the actual deal, you would no doubt be disappointed.

*MOUSE PRINT:

$2000 purchase required

To save that $50, you have to make a $2000 purchase, saving a mere 2.5% off. Thanks for nothing, Buy Dig.


Example 2:

The problem with this Aunt Jemima syrup doesn’t even require you to read the fine print ingredients statement.

Butter syrup

What? Contains no butter? Thanks for nothing, Auntie.


Example 3:

Nothing turns shoppers off like high shipping costs, but this example takes the cake.

high shipping costs

A cheap, small plastic bottle costs over $18 to ship and the tax is three times the item’s price? Thanks for nothing.


Example 4:

Finally, if you want a quick meal, ramen noodles are about as fast as you can get, and dirt cheap in this offer. The trouble is you could starve before your order arrives.

ramen noodles

Thanks for nothing, Amazon


If you find an offer suitable for a “Thanks for Nothing” mention, please submit it to edgar(at symbol)MousePrint.org .




 

 

  ADV


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