Thanks for Nothing – Year-End 2020

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Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.

In this series, we look at ads or products that just make you shake your head and maybe even chuckle.

Natrol 3 a.m. Melatonin

MrConsumer has a sleep disorder of sorts where he often wakes up in the middle of the night and has a hard time falling back to sleep. So when he saw this product called Natrol 3 a.m. Melatonin he got all excited. “For middle of the night wakeups” the package said.

Yeah, finally someone was making a product to keep me from waking up at 3 a.m. Presumably the product had some type of heavy-duty delay-release coating on it so it could deliver a big punch of melatonin in the middle of the night. I grabbed a coupon and was about to head out to Walmart, but then I read the instructions on the package.


Natrol 3 a.m.

Oh, so I have to get out of bed at 3 a.m. to take this pill and then it will help me get back to sleep. Thanks for nothing, Natrol.


Amazon – Frequently Bought Together

Amazon and other sellers always like to encourage people to buy more things during their shopping trip. One way is to group things together, such as showing a particular toy along with the batteries that it requires. That can be very helpful. But this recent example from Amazon is a head-scratcher.


Bought together

Yes, I am sure that many people buy a bidet, washing machine cleaning tablets, and a cast iron skillet so they can be used together. Thanks for nothing, Amazon.


From the Installment Sales Department…

Has it really gotten to the point where people have to buy everyday products like underwear on the installment plan?


2xist installment payments

If anything had to be offered on installments it would be this Dyson hair dryer.

Dyson hair dryer

Good news… the price has now dropped to a mere $400.

Thanks for nothing, 2(x)ist and Dyson.

Thanks for Nothing – Summer 2020

Periodically we share offers from sellers that just make you scratch your head or chuckle because of the contradictions in the advertising or surprises in the fine print.

Example #1

In an online promotion, Macy’s promised to take $11.99 off a box of a particular brand of chocolates when you made any purchase. But, when reader William-Andrew went to check out, the system did not take off the full $11.99.


$11.99 off

The Macy’s online call center refused to fix the overcharge, but once stores reopened, the manager there gladly gave our consumer back the difference. Thanks for nothing (at least online), Macy’s.


Example #2

While we’re dumping on Macy’s, reader Gay R. sent in a coupon that promised a generous 25% off for their credit card holders. The back of the coupon, however, noted a list of exclusions in miniscule type that seemingly left little the coupon could be used for.


coupon exclusions


Example #3

Joe W. says he visited the Sears in Danbury, CT and had to send in a picture of a “blowout” deal he saw on some tools while getting his car repaired.


Sears Blowout

He said “at least they were brutally honest.” Thanks for nothing, Sears.


Example #4

And CVS was offering the same amount of savings on these masks that only looked like they were on sale.


CVS masks

Thanks for nothing, CVS.


Example #5

If you didn’t look carefully, you might have thought it was your lucky day to find a genuine bargain on parking downtown.


Parking $4


If you find a funny or oddball offer that could be spotlighted here, please submit a copy to us.

Thanks for Nothing: CVS, Aldi, and Kmart

We once again look at various advertised offers that seemingly promise a good deal… at least until you do a little more investigation.

Example 1:

Last month on December 8, CVS advertised “lowest prices of the season” on 500 count bottles of CVS ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin — bottles were only $9.79.

CVS lowest prices of the season

There’s just one problem. Two weeks earlier, Consumer World’s “bargain of the week” featured a sale on some of the same CVS pills when they were only $5.


$5 CVS Ibu

Thanks for nothing, CVS.

Example 2:

Plant-based burgers are all the rage now with the two leading brands, Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, finding their way into chain restaurants and the meat counter at your favorite store. When MrConsumer saw that super discounter Aldi was now carrying Beyond Burger he got excited expecting to finally find them on sale at an affordable price.

Beyond Burger at Aldi


Here they claim that their price for Beyond Burger is “budget-approved.” But a closer inspection of the ad reveals that for $4.49 you only get two burgers with the package weighing a total of only eight ounces. Even organic beef is cheaper — $4.49 for a full pound (in this large package).

Thanks for nothing, Aldi.

Example 3:

At one of the Kmart stores that was not going out of business at the time, they were having a clearance sale on some items.

Kmart clearance

Wow, what a deal. Thanks for nothing, Kmart.