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October 30, 2017

Death Wish Coffee Lives Up to its Name

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Humor,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:17 am

Death Wish CoffeeSometimes companies take a little literary license when naming their product or company to the dismay of consumer protection regulators. For example, is BJ’s Wholesale Club really selling its merchandise at wholesale prices? Similarly, is Poland Spring water really from a spring? (A recent lawsuit against the company suggests otherwise.)

Now we have a company that calls itself “Death Wish Coffee,” with a skull and crossbones right on the label as part of its logo. Are they saying their coffee is poisonous and you might die if you drink it?

Ironically that could be the case because the aptly named company just issued a product recall for its Death Wish Nitro Cold Brew coffee in 11 ounce cans.

*MOUSE PRINT:

According to the recall notice posted on the FDA’s website:

Death Wish in conjunction with an outside Process Authority has determined that the current process [to make its Nitro Brew] could lead to the growth and production of the deadly toxin, botulin, in low acid foods commercialized in reduced oxygen packaging.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distention and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

So, true to its name, this product could kill you. Fortunately, no one has yet died or even gotten sick, according to the company.

And no, this is not a Halloween prank.

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October 23, 2017

AA & UA Penalize Carry-on Luggage Cheats

Filed under: Travel — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:23 am

A number of the full service legacy airlines have recently introduced “basic economy” fares that are stripped of some usual conveniences. One of the rules of these fares is that you can only take a small personal bag onboard that fits in the seat in front of you. You are prohibited from taking a larger piece of luggage that normally would go in the overhead bin.

How do airlines enforce this new restriction? They’ve started checking at the gate since basic economy passengers all board last. And if they catch you with a piece of forbidden luggage, you not only have to pay the normal baggage check fee but they also assess a penalty for trying to cheat!

*MOUSE PRINT:

Baggage details (American Airlines)

You can board with 1 item like a purse or small handbag that fits under the seat in front of you and is not larger than 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm). You won’t have access to overhead bins.

All other items must be checked at ticket counters and cannot be carried on. If you take them to the gate you’ll pay an extra $25 gate service fee per item plus the applicable bag fee. [Emphasis added.]

That’s the rule at American Airlines. Over at United, they have the same policy:

*MOUSE PRINT:

Full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted

You’re not allowed a full-sized carry-on bag unless you’re a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance™ Gold member. Everyone else who brings a full-sized carry-on bag to the gate will be required to check their bag and pay the applicable checked bag fee plus a $25 gate handling charge.

If you want to avoid these penalty fees and restrictions, remember that Southwest Airlines does not charge checked luggage fees for the first two bags.

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October 16, 2017

Thanks for Nothing, Bass Pro Shops

Filed under: Retail,Thanks for Nothing — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:34 am

Ron H., a regular Mouse Print* reader, recently told us about a pricing problem he experienced in Las Vegas at the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store there.

His wife spied a bargain on a nice sweater as a gift for their son.

sweater

clearance sweater

*MOUSE PRINT:

The price tag indicated that the sweater was on clearance for $59.95, marked down from… $59.95! Wow, what a savings.

Back in their hotel room, Ron’s wife was curious to know how much they really saved on the sweater, so she peeled back the clearance tag to the see the real regular price.

*MOUSE PRINT:

peeled back price

To her shock, the regular price was $39.49 — over $20 LESS than the so called clearance price. The couple marched back to the store to speak to the manager. They were denied that request, but were given back the difference in price.

The customer service person said that this was a pricing mistake at the warehouse. Being the suspicious Mouse Print* reader that he is, Ron checked some other clearance items before leaving the store. Sure enough, he found other examples of inflated “clearance” price stickers put over lower regular prices.

For that, Bass Pro Shops, we say thanks for nothing.

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October 9, 2017

FDA to Manufacturer: If You Make a Product with Love, Don’t Advertise It

Filed under: Business,Food/Groceries,Health,Humor,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:07 am

Some federal agencies have been subjected to criticism lately that they are not policing the marketplace as much as they did in the past to protect consumers. For example, Bloomberg reported two weeks ago that the Food and Drug Administration was sending 30 percent fewer warning letters to companies about serious health and safety violations than they did every year since 2008.

Now comes news that in September, the FDA sent a warning letter to Nashoba Brook Bakery in Massachusetts alleging serious violations discovered when it spent three days inspecting their manufacturing facility.

FDA warning letter

Besides citing instances of unsanitary conditions that inspectors discovered, it noted a serious labeling violation on packages of Nashoba Granola.

Nashoba granola

*MOUSE PRINT:

Love ingredient

Love ingredient

Yes, dear friends, Nashoba Brook Bakery was charged with selling misbranded products because they creatively made their granola with “love” and included that on the label.

John Gates, the CEO of the bakery, explained to Mouse Print* that while they will remedy the sanitary deficiencies cited by the FDA, “we will continue to put care, attention, passion and LOVE at the center of what we do. That’s who we are and who we want to be.”

We say the FDA should concentrate on real health and safety violations like the other findings in their letter. But, have a little heart (and common sense) when it comes to unofficial ingredients like love.

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October 2, 2017

T-Mobile Advertises: Ditch Verizon, Keep Your Phone ???

Filed under: Retail,Telephone — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:43 am

Over the past few months, T-Mobile has been advertising that you can bring your Verizon cellphone to T-Mobile if you switch to them. Here’s one commercial with the offer:

If you know anything about how cellphones transmit your calls and data, their offer might sound impossible because the two companies use two different and incompatible technologies to accomplish those tasks. Verizon uses CDMA and T-Mobile relies on GSM radio waves to work.

So how can T-Mobile make this claim?

*MOUSE PRINT:

Ditch Verizon, Keep Your Phone

Certain phones are dual-network capable. They have both technologies built-in so they can work on either network. But the number of Verizon-branded phones that can be brought from that CDMA provider to a GSM provider is very limited — Google Pixel and iPhone 6S or newer only — as noted in the fine print of the T-Mobile ad.

Apple iPhones account for only about one-third of the market and newer models can be used on both Verizon and T-Mobile. But market-leading Android phones generally cannot. AT&T phones, incidentally, are generally interchangeable with T-Mobile phones because they are both on the GSM system.

So, if you think you can take your old Verizon phone to T-Mobile, chances are you cannot.

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