Ripoff Alert: Best Buy scamming customers into a $300 HDTV ‘calibration’

via DVICE by Charlie White on 12/30/08


Watch out for electronics retailer Best Buy. The company is reportedly scamming customers, making them think they can purchase a magical $300 “calibration” that can make their HDTVs capable of displaying video with noticeably higher quality. The company is said to be showing its customers HDTV through an HDMI (digital) cable, and comparing that with either standard-def or lower-quality HD over analog component cables.

This is not the first time Best Buy has been accused of such tactics. With more stunts like this, Best Buy could be headed for the bankruptcy junk heap, just like Circuit City. Our advice: look at and touch the electronics at Best Buy, but then go home and compare prices for the actual best buys online.

Via The Consumerist

Mott’s Will Help You Water Down Your Juice If You Like [Sneaky Labeling]


via Consumerist by Chris Walters on 9/9/08

Here’s a perfect example of why you should always approach “healthy” labeling on food products with a skeptical eye. Summer did a quick side-by-side comparison of regular Mott’s apple juice with new Mott’s Plus Light. What she found was that except for a few added vitamins, the Light product was just Mott’s juice diluted by 50% with water—but selling for the same price as the 100% juice.

I’ll start by saying that I’m a fan of apple juice, but I’m not a fan of super-sweet beverages. So, for a few years now, I’ve been buying 100% apple juice and watering it down. 50% apple juice & 50% water is the perfect combo for me.

I was at Giant today in Phoenixville, PA and I found a sneaky little ripoff in the juice aisle. I found Mott’s 100% apple juice selling for $2.69. Then, right next to it, I saw another one of Mott’s products also selling for $2.69 — Mott’s Plus Light. The “plus” designation seems to come from the extra vitamins that they throw in there, that’s all. But the word “light” caught my attention because it’s a term that usually means lower sugar content (which is something that I’m always looking for.)

I checked the nutrition facts on the back of the bottle, and sure enough, it had half the sugar of the Mott’s 100% apple juice! Had I just found the perfect beverage for me?

Not so much. A more thorough investigation of the label made me realize the following:

Regular Mott’s | Light Mott’s
120 calories | 60 calories
240mg potassium | 120mg potassium
28g sugar | 14g sugar

And then, the final straw: I saw that the Mott’s Plus Light was 50% juice! I’m no math whiz, but it seems pretty clear that the Mott’s Plus Light is clearly watered-down apple juice being sold at exactly the same price as the Mott’s 100% apple juice. The Mott’s Plus Light label makes it appear so… so much healthier, and it’s clearly designed to trap carb- and sugar-conscious shoppers into buying half the product for the full price!

I’ll keep watering down my own juice; I don’t need to pay Mott’s to help me out with that one.

Yes, Mott’s Plus Light also comes with more of vitamins C & D as well as calcium, but with less iron and potassium, and you’ll be paying twice the price of regular Mott’s for what’s otherwise just watered down juice.


Friday Consumerist Flickr Pool Finds

via Consumerist by Ben Popken on 5/2/08

Here are five special photos that readers added to The Consumerist Flickr Pool this week, chosen because they’re both neat and could possibly be used in a Consumerist post. Our Flickr Pool is the place where Consumerist readers go and upload photos for possible use in future Consumerist posts. Just be a registered Flickr user, go here, and click “Join Group?” up on the top right, and start hitting “send to group” on your individual photos you want to add to the pool.

Caption: “I hate WalMart.”

(Photo: big-film)

Caption: “out of 11 good/decent shots of the lightning storm I piled them on top of each other”
Comment: “evil descends upon the taco bell”

(Photo: .nutter)

(Photo: Crawfishpie)

Title: gas line sunset 2

(Photo: ennailuj)

Caption: “I had read about this toothpaste in the August issue of National Geographic, and wanted to try it. I thought it’d be easy to find, but after checking out about 10 places that sold toothpaste, I gave up. My aunt called National Geographic in Seoul to track it down and found the toothpaste at a place called Orga Whole Foods about 30 minutes away from metropolitan Seoul in Bundang (?). Bundang!

Charcoal has cleaning and odor-removing properties. That part’s great. The toothpaste left my mouth squeaky clean! Good stuff…until charcoal’s moisture sucking properties kick in. About five minutes after I brushed my teeth, my mouth was as dry as a desert and my lips were starting to chap. “

(Photo: La Mariposa)

Add your shots to The Consumerist Flickr pool, and perhaps they’ll get featured in a future story, or even highlighted in a Friday Consumerist Flickr Pool Finds post.