Thanks for Nothing — Fall 2021

We continue our series of little annoyances about ads and offers that are often real head-scratchers and might make you chuckle.

Example #1 — $10 Off at Amazon

MrConsumer recently received an email from Amazon with a genuinely great-sounding offer that promised $10 off if you tried their delivery service that sends your order to a pick-up location rather than to your home.

Amazon $10 off

The email had a time-stamp of 6:21 p.m. Coincidentally, I was checking email when the offer came in and immediately clicked the “Claim $10 off now” button. The result:

Offer over

What? Offer over? It arrived in my mailbox less than a minute earlier.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Offer limited

So this was a speed test? I had to click even faster than less than a minute after receipt? Thanks for nothing, Amazon.


Example #2 — Pants Under $5 at Gap

It looked like such a great deal — a pair of Dockers slacks for less than $10 and with a coupon, the price came down to $4.97. Who could resist? The disclosure at the bottom of the ad killed the deal.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Gap pants deal

What? Order the pants in October but they won’t arrive until February … if you’re lucky? Thanks for nothing, Gap.


Example #3 — Advertorials Fool Google News

When searching Google News for consumer stories one expects to find legitimate consumer news. But, here’s an excerpt from one recent search.

Google News

*MOUSE PRINT:

All three of these “stories” appeared at local newspaper sites around the country but are really advertisements for keto and CBD pills masquerading as reviews of these products. They were able to fool Google’s algorithm that presumably tries to distinguish between bona fide news and advertisements. (And if you think Bing is any better, think again.) Thanks for nothing, Google (and Bing).


Example #4 — Proof Apple Products Are Overpriced

Apple products tend to be very expensive whether it is a new iPhone for over $1,000 or one of their new laptops just unveiled last week for about $2,500. Also introduced was this polishing cloth said to be good for cleaning all Apple display screens.

Apple cloth

Of course, you should only use genuine Apple accessories with your Apple products. And at “only $19,” imagine the profit that Apple is making on this schmatta (Yiddish for “little piece of cloth or rag”). Thanks for nothing, Apple.


Example #5 — Hanukkah, Passover, It’s All the Same

Speaking of Yiddish, for some people, it is hard to keep all the Jewish holidays straight in their mind. But those folks are the last ones who should design Jewish-themed products or advertise chazarai (Yiddish for “junk”) like this on a national website.

chazarai pillow

Thanks for nothing, Bed, Bath & Beyond and Designs Direct. But do enjoy Hanukkah in December, and Passover (“why is this night…”) in April.


If you find an example of an offer suitable for our “Thanks for Nothing” series, please email it to edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

Thanks for Nothing — Summer 2021

A few times a year we take a step back to roll our eyes at some companies’ practices or promotions that are real head-scratchers. Here is this summer’s crop of sellers not doing shoppers any favors in these instances.

Example #1

If this bag of grass originally sold for a thousand dollars, it must have included a lot of weed.

*MOUSE PRINT:

grass

Thanks for nothing Farm & Home Supply.


Example #2

A consumer on Reddit posted a picture of an unusual warning on the box of the HD television set that he just bought. And it was in pretty big type.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Sceptre save the box

What? Your TV warranty is void if you don’t save the box it came in for possible future use if you need to move the TV or send it in for repairs? I suspect most people are not in the habit of reading those boxes to learn about their warranty rights, or save those huge things at home. Thanks for nothing, Sceptre.


Example #3

Cell companies are busy promoting their new 5G cell networks with both largest size and fastest speed claims. Boost Mobile recently advertised that it had the largest 5G network like this:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Boost 5G

Nothing like a little pictorial misrepresentation to make you think that their 5G network is possibly larger than it really is. Can’t they try to make the map at least somewhat accurate? Thanks for nothing, Boost.


Example #4

Herb W. of Seattle, renown consumer reporter from KOMO radio and Consumers’ Checkbook, sent us a picture of a package of Impossible Foods’ plant-based burger “meat” which is sold at the fresh meat counter in supermarkets.

Impossible Foods

He wanted to check the freshness date on the package, but was having a devil of a time doing so. The date shown on that sticker above is not the sell-by date incidentally.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Impossible date

There it was on the edge of the package, and true to their name, it was almost impossible to read. (And we photo-enhanced the above picture to make it barely readable.) Why make it so difficult for shoppers to see this important information? Thanks for nothing, Impossible Foods.


If you find an advertisement or product label suitable for featuring in a future edition of “Thanks for Nothing,” please send a clear photo or screenshot to edgar(at symbol)MousePrint.org . Thanks.

Thanks for Nothing — Spring 2021

One again we bring you a round-up of products, offers, and advertisements that are real head-scratchers or just too-good-to-be-true.

Example #1

Shoppers are attracted to bonus offers on grocery products and manufacturers know it. Sometimes, however, what looks like a special deal on a product is nothing but a mathematics lesson only indicating that a particular package is X% larger than a smaller one, as we have previously reported.

The latest arithmetic lesson comes from Campbell’s but apparently the math wizards there never quite mastered long division.

Campbell's Tomato Soup

*MOUSE PRINT:

Here, the same 15.2 ounce can of tomato soup is compared to the regular 10.75 one, but the company can’t seem to decide how much more you are actually getting in the bigger can. Thanks for nothing, Campbell’s.


Example #2

Recently Shaw’s Supermarkets seemed to offer a great deal in their “Just for U” coupon section – $5 off a $5 purchase.

Shaw's $5 off

*MOUSE PRINT:

It only looked like $5 off a $5 purchase. The zero after the $5 purchase requirement was truncated and only visible when viewing the details of the coupon’s requirements. Thanks for nothing, Shaw’s.


Example #3

Macy’s had advertised a great price on men’s Dockers pants – only $9.95.

Macy's 1

*MOUSE PRINT:

But, when clicking on the $9.95 offer, the price quadrupled to over $40.

Macy's dockers 2

Thanks for nothing, Macy’s.

If you find a questionable product label or advertisement suitable for the Thanks for Nothing series, please submit it to: Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org .