Lululemon’s Sheer Pants Lawsuit Nightmare Is Over

Our long translucent-hindquarters nightmare is over. Earlier today, the judge in a federal class-action lawsuit brought by Lululemon shareholders released her final opinion, which dismisses both lawsuits brought against the company and its executives for allowing see-through pants to be sold in stores, not warning shareholders about the issue, and also not telling shareholders about the imminent firing of the company’s CEO over the issue.

It wasn’t just the lawsuit that earned the Canadian company a derision, legal trouble, customer ire, and even a spot in our 2014 Worst Company in America tournament. The company’s handling of the problem was problematic, from the top officers down to the lowliest salespeople. It turns out that women who have just dropped more than a hundred bucks on a single pair of pants don’t appreciate being told that a flaw in the product is their own fault for buying the wrong size, or maybe just having big thighs.

There’s been a lot of carnage at Lululemon over this issue: the company’s founder, CEO, and product chief have all left the company in the wake of the scandal and ensuing very pricey recall.

Lululemon yoga pants lawsuits in U.S. win final dismissals [Chicago Tribune]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Cómo influye tu personalidad en el clima laboral #infografia #infographic #rrhh


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Kill Time Before Easter Weekend With This Video Of Cadbury Creme Eggs Being Made

Not all of us — and certainly not all of you — will be celebrating Easter this weekend. But it is a spring Friday afternoon and just about everyone likes chocolate. So what better way to get through the end of the work week than to plug in your headphones (or turn down the volume on your computer) and waste a few minutes watching Cadbury Creme Eggs be brought into this world?

Sadly, there is no clucking bunny (that’s not a euphemism; though it should be) dropping fondant-filled chocolate eggs into waiting foil wrappers. The reality is exactly what you’d expect — chocolate goes into half-egg mold; white and yellow fondant is squirted into chocolate shells; halves of shells are book-molded together to form the Easter treat that introduced many a young child to the term “sugar shock.”

Gooey Goodness: Inside Cadbury’s Creme Egg Factory [Bloomberg]

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

White House Updates Privacy Policy So Everyone Understands Their Comments Are Public

Want to complain about the government on the White House website, Twitter account, or Facebook page? A privacy policy update released by the Obama administration makes it clear your comments are public information, while trying to ease American’s concerns over government surveillance programs. However, some privacy advocates say the revisions aren’t nearly enough.

The new privacy policy makes clear how the government will track and use data from online visitors to the, mobile apps and social media sites, reports.

“Our old privacy policy was just that – old,” officials with the White House blogged on Friday.

While the update doesn’t make any actual practical changes, it strips the legal jargon to make the policy easier to read, so that users understand just what information the White House will store. Data being collected includes the date, time and duration of online visits, the originating Internet Protocol address and how much data users transmit from to their computers.

Since coming into office, the Obama administration has added new interactive features to the White House website, including a petition platform, live online chats and pages on popular social media network. The administration promised not to sell the data of online visitors, but makes no guarantees to visitors on third-party White House pages on social media networks. Additionally, the administration does not give third parties, including the U.S. National Security Agency, access to visitor emails.

“Within the White House, we restrict access to personally identifiable information to employees, contractors, and vendors subject to non-disclosure requirements who require access to this information in order to perform their official duties and exercise controls to limit what data they can view based on the specific needs of their position,” the policy says.

As for use of comments deemed to be in the public domain, the policy allows the White House to use those messages for public advocacy purposes. The administration may also take it upon themselves to direct queries to the proper department.

Privacy advocates have expressed mixed reaction to the policy changes. While some say the policy doesn’t offer enough information, others say the changes are a nice reflection of consumer concerns.

Jeramie Scott, national security counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says the biggest problem involves third-party sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

“Interacting with the White House and its different sites is inherently political, and that type of thing shouldn’t be used for commercial gain,” he tells

“This seems to be one of the better policies, a model perhaps for others,” John Simpson, director for Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project.

White House updating online privacy policy []

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Walmart’s Description Of This Air Mattress Is A Little Off

mattressStandard mattress sizes are confusing and hard to remember. Do you know the size in inches of a queen-size bed off the top of your head? Adrienne doesn’t, but she did notice that this air mattress at Walmart is doll-sized, not human-sized.

Don’t get us wrong. Scale models of camping equipment like tents are super-useful in a retail environment. However, there’s no context other than “Barbie camping trip” in which this product makes sense as described.


Here are those dimensions, in case you’re reading this on a phone:

Length: 14.5″

Width: 11.8″

Height: 4.7″

Weight: 9.55 lbs.

Uh huh. “So, the bed is only slightly bigger than 1ft x 1ft,” Adrienne noted in her e-mail to Consumerist. “Even if they messed up the difference between feet and inches it still doesn’t make sense.” Nope. She compared it to Fuzzy Math, which we mostly spot at Target.

One reviewer on Walmart’s site notes that the size isn’t as described, but not in the way you’d think: it’s more like a full-size bed than a queen. At least a human fits on it, though?

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Why Won’t Those Jerks At Sprint Unlock My iPhone? They Can’t

You might remember that late last year, American wireless carriers adopted some voluntary standards for the unlocking of devices so they can be used on other carriers. Yet Sprint and Virgin Mobile customers have complained to us that their carriers won’t unlock their devices, even when they’re off contract or the customer is moving abroad. What’s the deal here?

Here’s the thing: Sprint and other carriers that use the Sprint network use a different band, CDMA. Some of their devices are capable of being used on foreign GSM networks and even the domestic ones, AT&T and T-Mobile. However, a Sprint representative explained t us, older devices sold for use on the Sprint network didn’t work on GSM networks or have a slot to add a SIM, so it wasn’t possible to unlock them.

This leads to a lot of confusion. One reader wrote to us railing against Sprint for refusing to unlock his iPhone 4, even though the 4 lacks the physical capability to accept a SIM. “I contacted Sprint and the script of excuses and lies began,” he wrote to Consumerist. “I implore you to do what you can to get the story of Sprint’s lone holdout stance known.” Sprint can only unlock the iPhone 4 when they develop time travel. Maybe that will come with the CDMA version of the iPhone 6?

So what about that CTIA thing? While some devices are physically able to be unlocked, it’s not an option for every phone that Sprint and Virgin sell. The thing is, while carriers have finally agreed to some voluntary standards for unlocking devices, those standards don’t go into effect until February 2015. That means that the phone you bought a couple of years ago wasn’t designed or marketed with the capability for unlocking in mind. “We have to develop our new devices to comply with the commitment,” explained Crystal Davis, who works on policy issues for Sprint, explained to Consumerist.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Aereo CEO: Don’t Blame Us Because We Built A Better Antenna

aereo Next Tuesday, lawyers for the nation’s broadcast networks and streaming video startup Aereo will square off in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in a case where a victory by either side carries with it potentially huge implications for everything from over-the-air TV to all cloud-based technology. Since he won’t be the one talking to the Supremes, AEREO CEO Chet Kanojia has been making the interview rounds to make his case to the public.

For those still unfamiliar with Aereo, it’s a service that takes freely available over-the-air broadcast signals and sends them to paying subscribers over the Internet. The broadcasters say this is a violation of copyright, alleging that Aereo is retransmitting their content without permission and without paying the hefty retransmission fees that cable and satellite companies pay.

Aereo’s defense lies in the nature of its system, which uses arrays of very tiny antennae to pick up these broadcast feeds. Each antenna within an array is dedicated to one single end-user. So Aereo contends that this is nothing more than a new version of a rooftop antenna one might install to improve TV reception; it just happens to be connected over the Internet.

Executives at News Corp (owner of the FOX channels), CBS and others have outright accused Aereo of stealing. In an interview earlier this week with Katie Couric on Yahoo News, Kanojia says he understands why the broadcasters are aggravated, but says Aereo shouldn’t be blamed for the networks’ lack of foresight.

“I think [News Corp COO Chase Carey is] absolutely right they have a right to be fairly compensated,” says Kanojia. “If somebody’s come out with a smarter antenna, a clever, different antenna, and you don’t like that evolution is happening, that suddenly more people might use antennas, well I’m sorry about that…I just don’t find that rhetoric to have any credibility.”

Speaking to the AP, Kanojia spoke in more detail about this evolution and the impact that the Web is having on all forms of media.

“[T]he Internet is happening to everybody, whether you like it or not,” he explains. “It happened to books, news people, it happened to music people, it happened to Blockbuster. There is nothing in our Constitution that says there is a sacred set of companies that will never be affected by new technology.”

As for some broadcasters’ ultimatum that they will pull their signals from the air if Aereo succeeds and go cable-only, the CEO is skeptical.

“They can do whatever they want. I think the question becomes on an overall reach basis you’re giving up 60 million eyeballs,” says Kanojia. “That’s how many people use antenna in some way, shape or form, which kind of correlates to about 18 percent of the household basis.”

He expands further on this in an interview with GigaOm, saying, “I don’t think they can [pull their OTA signals and go cable-only]. Just to put it in context, ESPN has Monday night football, and the performance is a fraction of what the broadcasters get.”

If Aereo prevails before the Supremes, Kanojia says his company will expand to all 50 states, but is realistic about any immediate impact an Aereo victory might have on the industry.

“I don’t think anything is going to change anywhere because of Aereo,” he explains to the AP. “What is happening is the entire market base is changing with access to alternatives, whether it’s Netflix or iTunes or things like that. Aereo is simply providing a piece of the puzzle. After we win, it’s not that a sea change is going to happen overnight. It is just going to be that we will be allowed to continue to fit that missing piece in a consumer’s life as they’re evolving. These things take decades to play out.”

We think he might be underestimating the impact a ruling in favor of Aereo might have. It may not lead to a rush in dozens of millions of consumers cutting their cable cords and switching to Aereo, but it will almost certainly result in companies like DirecTV pushing forward with development of Aereo-like technology that would allow them to provide customers with local network channels without having to pay the billions in retrans fees that are a huge drain on cable and satellite companies’ coffers every year.

Regardless, while an Aereo victory could take a while to have a dramatic impact on the market, a ruling against Aereo would force the company to shut down or completely change its business model.

“We don’t have a Plan B” admits Kanojia, “To me, if we optimize for loss or a potential loss, we give up optimizing for a win. If you believe your position, the only thing you should do is play to win. We’ve never been dishonest with our investors. Everybody knows what the risks are.”

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Detergent Pods Shouldn’t Be This Hard To Figure Out

tidepodsgrabLauren is upset with Procter & Gamble, the makers of Tide. While detergent pods are a boon to been laundromat customers and people who dislike measuring things. Some people have had trouble with the pods, though. Detergent isn’t supposed to stain your laundry. It’s supposed to do the exact opposite of that. Yet customers say that it’s discrepancies in the instructions that cause problems for pod people.

We know that some small children have been injured or killed after putting the pods in their mouths, which is scary and tragic. Parents, manufacturers, and even governments are working to put a stop to pod-eating. The pods are intended as laundry detergents, and are not intended as snacks, so what’s going wrong here?

Reader Lauren reports that the pods stained her clothing. ‘When I contacted tide I got a response back indicating entirely different usage directions then what is on their packaging,” she tells Consumerist. Here’s that response, alongside the instructions on the package of pods that stained her laundry:


Procter & Gamble, for their part, insist that consumers are just using the pods wrong. Ignore the needlessly complex water temperature directions and just remember that no matter what, the pod always goes in the washer first.

In an e-mail to our freshly laundered colleagues at Consumer Reports a few months ago, a Procter & Gamble representative explained to them that some common mistakes cause the staining, not inconsistent or confusing directions. Nope, nope, nope.

The most common contributors to the development of a blue/purple stain on fabrics is not placing the pac into the washing machine drum BEFORE adding the clothes and/or overstuffing machine with laundry. This is important to ensure machine has enough space to provide the agitation needed for the best clean and to maximize contact with ‘free water’ in the machine.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

NJ Driver Sues After State Rejects Her “8theist” License Plate

A woman in New Jersey claims the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission is biased in favor of Christians after rejecting her request for a vanity plate that reflected her atheist beliefs while allowing plates that express a driver’s Christian identity.

According to the South Jersey Times, the plaintiff attempted to use the MVC’s website to obtain a personalized plate that reads “8theist,” but her request was allegedly rejected for being objectionable.

However, claims the woman, when she tried “Baptist” on the MVC site, she says it was not flagged by the system.

“There is nothing offensive about being atheist,” she tells the Times. “I should be able to express my sincerely held beliefs with a license plate just like everyone else.”

The driver says her attempts to get an explanation from the MVC went without a response.

A rep for the MVC tells the Times that each plate request is reviewed on an individual basis. Without commenting on this specific plate, the rep says the MVC as an organization has “no objection and [we] continue to issue plates” that express an atheistic position.

However, just last year another NJ driver was initially unable to receive the “athe1st” plate he’d requested from the MVC after a clerk there deemed it offensive. Ultimately, after appealing to the commission, that driver was able to get the plate he wanted, but the plaintiff in the newer case sees this as evidence of a systemic problem at the MVC.

“The commission thus has a practice of denying personalized license plates that identify vehicle owners as atheists,” reads the complaint, “thereby discriminating against atheist viewpoints and expressing a preference for theism over non-theism.”

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Uber To Tack On $1 “Safe Rides Fee”

ubergrab Getting a ride via UberX, a service that pairs up those in need of a lift with pre-screened drivers in the area willing to give them that lift, is getting slightly more expensive, as the company adds a one dollar Safe Rides Fee.

According to Uber, the additional cash “supports our continued efforts to ensure the safest possible platform for Uber riders and drivers,” claiming the money will go to fund background checks, regular motor vehicle checks, driver safety education,and insurance.

Uber and other similar services have been criticized by existing taxi services for allowing non-professional drivers to use their own cars to do the jobs of taxi and livery drivers.

This issue was put into the spotlight in recent months following the tragic death of a 6-year-old girl who was hit by an Uber driver in California. Not only did the incident raise questions about the safety and training of those behind the wheel for Uber, but it has also gotten bogged down in the debate over whether or not Uber is responsible for those times when one of its drivers is not actively engaged with a passenger.

In that incident, the driver was not driving or picking up an Uber passenger, but says he was using the Uber app to see if there were passengers in need of a ride. Uber maintains that since there was no passenger in the vehicle, it can not be held liable for the driver’s actions.

Last month, both Uber and its competitor Lyft announced they would expand their insurance policies to cover drivers while they are between jobs. It seems likely that the additional cost for this insurance is a big reason for the new tacked-on fee.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Craft Store Michaels Confirms Data Breach Affecting 2.6 Million Credit Cards

Three months after craft retailer Michaels announced it may have been the victim of a data breach, the company confirms the worst: nearly 2.6 million consumers’ credit cards are affected.

In January, Michaels, a large arts and crafts chain, warned customers that the company “may have experienced a data security attack.” On Friday, the company announced that sometime between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014 about 2.6 million or 7% of payment cards used at its stores were compromised.

Additionally, nearly 400,000 cards were affected at 54 Aaron Brothers stores, a subsidiary of the company, from June 26, 2013 to February 27, 2014.

While officials say the affected systems contained payment card numbers and expiration dates, there is no evidence that data such as customers’ names or personal identification numbers were at risk.

“After weeks of analysis, we have discovered evidence confirming that systems of Michaels stores in the United States and our subsidiary, Aaron Brothers, were attacked by criminals using highly sophisticated malware that had not been encountered previously by either of the security firms,” Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin says in a statement to customers on the company’s website. “We want you to know we have identified and fully contained the incident, and we can assure you the malware no longer presents a threat to customers while shopping at Michaels or Aaron Brothers.”

Michaels claims that there are only a limited number of fraud incidents have been reported, but the company is offering 12 months of free identity protection and credit monitoring services, as well as 12 months of free fraud assistance to affected customers in the United States.

Customers are encouraged to continue to monitor their payment activity and immediately contact their banks if any suspicious activity is found. The company continues to work with law enforcement authorities, banks and payment processors to investigate the breach.

“We are truly sorry and deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause,” Rubin says in the statement. “Our customers are always our number one priority and we are committed to retaining your trust and loyalty.”

The company first announced the possibility of an attack just weeks after the massive Target data breach that hit approximately 110 million consumers during the holiday season.

Following a string of data hacks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau outlined a number of ways consumers can protect themselves and where to get help if they suspect their information has been compromised.

Shortly after the data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and Michaels were announced the conversation turned to what new technology could help prevent such attacks in the future. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in February, senators discussed the possibility of “smart” chip cards.

The EMV (short for “Europay, Mastercard and Visa”) cards tiny chips embedded in them that encrypt the card’s information. Already in use in Europe, the chips cut back on card fraud because their existence makes cards significantly harder to clone: even if you get all of the information from a card’s magnetic strip, as through a skimmer, without the chip actually being present the card data is useless in a physical transaction.

Officials with Visa and MasterCard announced they hope to end traditional sign-and-swipe credit card transitions and switch to the chip-and-PIN system by 2015. In March, the companies formed an industry group to address payment security issues specifically the adoption of EMV technology.

Important Notice About Certain Customer Payment Card Information [Michaels]

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Disney World Proposes Raising Starting Wages To $10/Hour

While lawmakers in D.C. argue over whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage, Walt Disney Co. has made an offer to the unions representing thousands of employees at its Disney World park in Florida that would raise employees’ starting pay from $8.03 to $10 over the course of the next two years.

Bloomberg reports that Disney made the offer earlier this week to the Service Trades Council, a consortium of six labor groups representing more than 30,000 Disney World workers.

New full-time hourly employees at the park currently earn a wage starting at $8.03/hour, about 75 cents more per hour than the federal minimum wage. The offer from Disney to the unions would gradually increase that amount to $10/hour by July 2016, which is just shy of the $10.10/hour being proposed by President Obama and some legislators.

At the same time, these new employees would no longer be offered a standard pension, but would instead receive a 3% company match in a 401 (k) retirement plan.

The Council says it is “very pleased” with the pay increase offer but plans to oppose the change to the pension policy for new workers.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

Here are twelve of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness.

Our Flickr Pool is the place where Consumerist readers upload photos for possible use in future Consumerist posts. Want to see your pictures on our site? Just be a registered Flickr user, go here, and click “Join Group?” up on the top right. Choose your best photos, then click “send to group” on the individual images you want to add to the pool.

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

ThinkerThing: diseña tus juguetes para imprimirlos en 3d

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