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Mercedes Promotes New Automatic Valet Parking Feature, But…

Mercedes is introducing a new high-end feature to its luxury vehicles called Intelligent Park Pilot. And just as the name suggests, when you engage the system, the car will find its way to the hotel, airport, or restaurant parking garage on its own.

To introduce the new technology, Mercedes created a commercial capturing something we have always wondered about — what do parking valets really do with your car when you hand them the keys?

This commercial shows them joyriding, speeding, and making daring moves all while you are eating a peaceful dinner somewhere and none the wiser.

The clincher in the commercial is the following disclosure about the automatic parking system.

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Mercedes

So we’ll just have to wait until roads and garages get smart enough to safely guide cars with automated valet parking to a parking spot, and driving laws allow unattended systems like this.

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Is the Domino’s Random Food Giveaway a Lottery?

Domino’s just launched a huge national advertising campaign promising random customers who place an order using Domino’s own delivery service a chance of receiving some additional free food items with their order.

Domino's free


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According to the promotion, one in fourteen customers placing a delivery order will get a freebie along with the food they pay for.

Domino's free

There’s just one problem. Paying a price for the chance at a prize is considered an illegal lottery when conducted by a company even in this context. Oops.

But not so fast. In tiny print in their commercials and elsewhere, those magic words “no purchase necessary” appear as they are required to into order convert what would otherwise be an illegal lottery into a legitimate sweepstakes.

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In the official rules, you can send in a request to get a game code by return mail.

B. Request a Code by Mail:
(i) During the Promotion Period, participate without purchase by requesting an entry code (“Code”) by hand printing your name, home mailing address, valid email address, and date of birth on a piece of paper and mailing it along with a self-addressed stamped envelope [emphasis added] in an envelope with proper postage to “Domino’s Surprise Frees Giveaway,” c/o Merkle, Inc., P.O. Box 5005, Department 848994, Kalamazoo, MI 49003-5005.

So, for your expenditure of $1.10 for postage both ways (soon $1.16), once you receive the code, you will have a 1-in-14 chance of winning an e-gift card worth $13.49.

For those who make purchases anyway from Domino’s, potentially getting free food with your order is a nice extra benefit. But for those who want to play the game for free, it is just a roll of the dice, so save the postage.

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Here We Downsize Again – Summer 2021 (Part 2)

This week we continue our series on shrinkflation — the downsizing of grocery products — everything from toilet paper to shampoo to sardines. This is our biggest display of downsized items ever. (See last week’s part one.)

Bounty Paper Towels

Last winter, paper products manufacturers alerted shoppers that prices would go up this past June because of higher manufacturing and distribution costs. And while some prices might have increased directly, some may gone up indirectly through downsizing. Here triple rolls of Bounty paper towels lost 18 sheets per roll going from 165 sheets to just 147.

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Bounty paper towels


Costco-Kirkland Toilet Paper

After downsizing its paper towels, Costco has now turned to its Kirkland brand of toilet paper. The new roll went from 425 sheets down to 380 sheets. The packages stayed the same price ($19.99 online/delivered), but you lost the equivalent of over three rolls in each package. The label does say the new rolls are “thicker than ever before.”

*MOUSE PRINT:

Kirkland toilet paper


Season Sardines

Thanks to a California reader named Dave, we have some fishy downsizing. He discovered cans of Season sardines at his local Walmart store going from 4.375 ounces down to 3.75 ounces. Aren’t sardines small enough already? We found both cans at Walmart.com selling for the same $3.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Season sardines


Tresemme Keratin Shampoo

We have a repeat offender next. The big black bottles of Tresemme shampoo downsized years ago from 32 ounces to just 28. And around 2018, the red bottles of Tresemme Keratin went from 25 ounces to 22 ounces. Now, eagle-eyed shopper C.S. spotted yet another reduction — this time, down to just 20 ounces.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tresemme history


Ziploc Bags

It is really hard to keep track of the number of bags in each box of these products. Ziploc removed four bags from their boxes of 54.

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Ziploc bags


Walmart Chicken Caesar Salad

Laura G. wrote to us complaining about her favorite Marketside Chicken Caesar salad from Walmart. It disappeared last month and then suddenly reappeared, but in a much smaller portion at a similar price. The package actually went from 14.375 ounces to just 12.1 ounces. She concluded, “not happy with the changes.”

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Walmart Caesar Salad


Tostitos Hint of …

Frito-Lay is once again tinkering with the sizes of their bags of chips. This time, Tostitos Hint of Guacamole shrank by one ounce from 12 to 11 ounces, and Hint of Lime went from 13 ounces to just 11.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Tostitos hint of
Tostitos LIme


Quaker Instant Oatmeal

Quaker is in the process of removing twenty percent of the pouches in some of their instant oatmeal packages. Whereas you used get 10 servings in a box, now you only get eight. Looking at the boxes head-on, they are identical, but sideways, the old one is deeper. On the bright side, they made the font bigger for the number of packets in each box.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Quaker instant


Dial Body Wash

If your Dial body wash bottle seems to run out more quickly, it is not your imagination. Bottles recently lost almost 25% of the contents, going from 21 ounces to only 16.

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Dial Body Wash


If you find a product that has been downsized, please try to take a sharp picture of both the old and the new package and submit them to Edgar (at symbol) MousePrint.org . Thanks.

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