Are King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Really Made in Hawaii?

That’s the issue raised in a new lawsuit filed by two consumers who said they were misled into believing that King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls were manufactured in Hawaii.

*MOUSE PRINT:

King's Hawaiian

These rolls were first made in Hawaii in the 1950s, and eventually they became so popular that tourists would take them back home, or those on the mainland with friends in Hawaii would ask them to send some.

The consumers who have filed the lawsuit say that it was not only the packaging that gave them the impression that these buns came from Hilo, Hawaii, but language on the website that says the company will send the product to the “mainland” (continental US) for free:

King's mainland claim

There are many local and national brand knockoffs of King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls but these consumers paid a premium price which they would not have done but for the fact that they thought they were getting the real thing from Hawaii.

All is not totally sunny in this case for the plaintiffs, however. There is nothing explicitly on the package or on the website that says these buns are “made in Hawaii.” In fact, when reading the history of the company on their website or looking at the back of the package, one learns that their bakery is in Torrance, California.

So, how do you think a judge will rule? Will he or she side with the consumers or declare their claims to be half-baked?

Peloton’s $4000 Treadmills Bricked Unless Owners Pay $39/mo Fee

Tread+Imagine buying a $4,000 treadmill and then being told unless you buy an online membership program for $39 a month, the company will disable the machine, making it a very expensive doorstop.

That is exactly what Peloton, the maker of high-end exercise devices, including the recently recalled $4000 Tread+ treadmill, is doing to its customers who own this model.

The company had to come up with a fix to keep young children from turning on the machine and accidentally getting sucked under its moving belt. So, they now require entering a password on the treadmill’s screen to operate it. And the unit will also stop functioning after 45 seconds of inactivity. To start it up again, the user has to re-enter the passcode.

But there’s just one problem.

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Apparently, to implement the operation of the new locking and password mechanism, a recent software update removed the “Just Run” option from users’ screens. That mode lets users operate the treadmill without the online interactive features and classes that have made the brand so popular.

So, how do users get to use the machine on their own AND have the safety features enabled? They have to buy a $39 a month membership.

Peloton membershipEmail sent to Business Insider from unhappy owner

Customers have taken to the Internet to complain that in essence Peloton is bricking their exercise equipment if they refuse to sign up for a membership.

A spokesperson for Peloton has said in published reports since the controversy erupted that it is working on updates to its software to remedy the problem. Upset users are considering suing the company if a fix is not forthcoming.

Amazon Quietly Changes Terms of Service Dropping Mandatory Arbitration

In a move consumer advocates never thought they would ever see, a major company, Amazon, has dropped from its terms of service the mandatory arbitration clause to settle disputes. This now allows Amazon customers to sue them in court and be part of class action lawsuits.

The change occurred on May 3, 2021, with no announcement or fanfare, as first reported last week by the Wall Street Journal.

The new language in Amazon’s “conditions of use” is short and sweet.

*MOUSE PRINT:

DISPUTES
Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service will be adjudicated in the state or Federal courts in King County, Washington, and you consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in these courts. We each waive any right to a jury trial.

The change came about because some brilliant consumer lawyers used Amazon’s old mandatory arbitration rules to their own advantage. Those rules provided that Amazon would cover consumers’ arbitration filing fees. So what did these lawyers do? They filed 75,000 arbitration cases on behalf of Amazon Echo owners complaining that the smart speakers recorded users without their permission. That move triggered a bill for tens of millions dollars in filing fees that Amazon was asked to pay.

For reference, here is Amazon’s old rule mandating arbitration of claims:

*MOUSE PRINT:

DISPUTES
Any dispute or claim relating in any way to your use of any Amazon Service, or to any products or services sold or distributed by Amazon or through Amazon.com will be resolved by binding arbitration, rather than in court, except that you may assert claims in small claims court if your claims qualify. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to this agreement.

Payment of all filing, administration and arbitrator fees will be governed by the AAA’s rules. We will reimburse those fees for claims totaling less than $10,000 unless the arbitrator determines the claims are frivolous. [Emphasis added]

We each agree that any dispute resolution proceedings will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class, consolidated or representative action. If for any reason a claim proceeds in court rather than in arbitration we each waive any right to a jury trial.

What doesn’t quite make sense is that Amazon’s old rule only promised to reimburse consumers’ filing fees and not that they would pay them upfront. So we asked the consumer lawyer who filed these tens of thousands of arbitration cases and then billed Amazon for millions in filing fees to explain if he really laid out all that money from his own pocket to file these cases. He did not respond.