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US Consumers Appear to Be Angrier Than Ever
US Consumers Appear
to Be Angrier Than Ever

US Consumers Appear to Be Angrier Than Ever

National survey finds dissatisfaction (and retaliation) on the rise

(Newser) - If you've found yourself angry at a company or a customer service rep for one reason or another recently, a new national survey suggests you are very much not alone. In fact, the number of people reporting a problem with a product or service is at all-time highs in...

As Delta Surges, So Do Sales of Toilet Paper
The Toilet Paper
Situation Is Back

The Toilet Paper Situation Is Back

Procter & Gamble is shifting factories to a 24/7 schedule

(Newser) - We've apparently reached that point in the pandemic where toilet paper is a hot commodity again. Procter & Gamble, the largest US manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels, announced it is boosting production—operating factories 24 hours per day, seven days a week—in response to increased demand....

Sticker Shock at the Supermarket? You're Not Alone

Price of groceries just saw record-setting spike due to coronavirus pandemic

(Newser) - With most Americans sheltering at home as they wait out the coronavirus pandemic, you may have noticed that while your eating-out tab has gone down, your supermarket bill has gone up. It's not in your head: The monthly consumer price index has been released by the Bureau of Labor...

Your 'CLV' Might Affect How Long You're on Hold

'Customer Lifetime Value' determines how companies treat you

(Newser) - Some people seem to have better luck navigating customer service than others. But as the Wall Street Journal explains, that likely has little to do with actual luck and more to do with something called customer lifetime value, or CLV. If you have a high CLV score, chances are you'...

Under Old Watchdog Chief: 2 to 4 Enforcements a Month. Now: Zero

No enforcement action in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 135 days and counting

(Newser) - In the 135 days since the Trump administration took control of the nation's consumer watchdog agency, it hasn't recorded a single enforcement action against banks, credit card companies, debt collectors, or any finance companies whatsoever. That's likely no fluke: Mick Mulvaney, appointed acting director of the Consumer...

CFPB Chief: Senate Vote a 'Giant Setback for Every Consumer'

GOP senators (and VP Mike Pence) just made it harder for consumers to sue financial institutions

(Newser) - A rule that would have offered consumers a powerful tool against financial institutions by allowing them to join together to sue saw its demise Tuesday night at the hands of Senate Republicans. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that, by a vote of 51 to 50 (with...

Putting a Price on Our Love for Our Pets: $5.28

Survey finds that's what pet owners plan to spend this Valentine's Day

(Newser) - Showering our pets with affection no longer cuts it. A new National Retail Federation survey finds that a "record" 21.2% of Americans plan to buy their pet a Valentine's Day gift. The individual estimated spend isn't huge at an average of $5.28. But all told,...

Those Looong Lines Make Shoppers ... Happy

It gives them camaraderie and validation, say consumer experts

(Newser) - If you're not one of those to wait in line for department store doors to open on Black Friday or to queue up for a new iPhone, you might be the type to wonder, what is wrong with those people? Nothing, as it turns out. In fact, these consumers...

4 Products Going the Way of the Dodo

Bar soap, antiperspirant spray wane in popularity

(Newser) - Another casualty of the recession could be your favorite deodorant: As consumers flock toward store brands and stores in turn look to downsize, the result is the death of some of America's best-known consumer products, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. "As we shrink the size of stores, a number...

Obama: Warren Will Fight for Middle Class

President taps adviser to set up consumer protection agency

(Newser) - President Obama named Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren a special adviser today and tasked her with setting up a new agency to look out for consumers. Calling Warren "one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class," Obama said the new bureau would end abusive practices. "...

Top Complaints About Satellite TV

Watch the fine print on introductory offers, termination fees

(Newser) - It's almost enough to make you miss the old rabbit-ear antenna. The Consumerist rounds up the five most common complaints from satellite TV subscribers to the Better Business Bureau:
  • Early termination fees: They're sometimes as high as $600, with consumers complaining that they were misled or unaware of the policy.

Shopping Sites Use Your Cookies to Vary Prices

 Shopping Sites Use Your 
 Cookies to Vary Prices 

Shopping Sites Use Your Cookies to Vary Prices

Cookies track location, habits to enable 'dynamic pricing'

(Newser) - One of the attractions of online shopping is that items have one price in the digital world. Or we think they do. In fact, stores on the Internet use those cute tracking cookies that remember your password to remember a lot more about you, including your physical location and shopping...

Cold Weather Means Hot Demand for Soup, Boots

Plummeting temperatures lead to marketing opportunities

(Newser) - When the weather turns cold, retailers swing into action, targeting ads toward areas where the mercury's dropping—even in normally temperate markets like Florida. “Marketing into a situation that's favorable for your product” is the key, one analyst tells Advertising Age . Take Campbell’s Soup, which uses a “...

Visa Corners Debit Card Market—With Higher Fees

Fees on signature debit purchases boost banks, screw merchants

(Newser) - In a bizarre twist, the intense competition among debit card companies has resulted in a race to higher prices, which benefit banks at the expense of retailers, not to speak of consumers. At issue is whether you sign for that debit purchase or enter your PIN instead—the former costing...

GOP Opposes Consumer Agency as 'New EPA'

Senate Repubs resist independent agency as a business-killer

(Newser) - Get ready for a bruising showdown over the consumer protection agency the Democrats are trying to create: GOP senators are pledging to kill a standalone body, which is critical to the Dems' plan. A strong, independent CFPA is anathema, says Utah Republican Robert Bennett: "Can you say EPA?" Bennett...

Holiday Shoppers Ditched Credit Cards

Most used cash or debit cards to snag bargains

(Newser) - Recession-strapped Americans may have developed a plastic allergy—only 26% of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers used credit cards. Though consumers proved willing to spend over the holiday weekend, they seem to be changing how they spend: a whopping 39% used old-fashioned greenbacks, with debit cards making up the rest, according to...

Troubled Banks Have a New Benefactor: You

Industry hikes fees on checking accounts, overdraft transactions

(Newser) - Your children aren’t the only ones who think you’re an ATM: Your bank does, too. Facing declining revenues and smacked with tough, new credit card legislation from Congress, banks are hiking overdraft, ATM, and checking account fees, the Washington Post reports. The average bounced check fee rose 2....

Stimulus Boosts Americans' Incomes
Stimulus Boosts Americans' Incomes

Stimulus Boosts Americans' Incomes

Consumers tuck funds away: Savings rate hits 16-year high

(Newser) - Incomes in the US got a big boost from federal stimulus dollars in May, the Commerce Department reported today. But weary consumers stashed most of that lucre away, sending the savings rate to a 16-year high. “Households are reverting to a more sustainable spending path vis-à-vis income,”...

Credit Scores Plunge as Consumers Twist in Wind

Average drops 6 points, likely to fall further

(Newser) - Consumers are caught in the credit crunch, and their scores are starting to show it, USA Today reports. The average TransUnion credit score fell 6 points between the third quarter of 2008 and the first of 2009, and the group’s financial services director expects it to fall even more...

New Credit Card Rules Could Trim $10B From Industry Coffers

Law dials back crucial fees, interest rates

(Newser) - A law President Obama is expected to sign today bringing new consumer-friendly rules on credit cards could cost the industry $10 billion in revenue, the Wall Street Journal reports. The legislation, which dials back various fees and interest rates, will devastate companies that target consumers with checkered credit histories and...

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