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Social Security Administration Quits Seizing Tax Refunds To Pay Decades-Old Debt

Last week, the Washington Post publicized a disturbing new practice of the Social Security Administration and Department of the Treasury: holding on to taxpayers’ refunds in order to cover old debts. These were decades-old debts, usually Social Security overpayments made to the taxpayer’s late parents. Show More Summary

Amazon’s Algorithm Evolves To Suggest Just The Right Stuff For Drug Deals

Listen, Amazon. There are lots of things a person might use a scale for, various things that need weighing and so forth. But if you happen to be in the market for a particular scale that happens to be popular with drug dealers, Amazon’s purchase recommendations algorithm thinks you might be in the market for say, plastic baggies and rolling … [More]

‘Scroogled’: Microsoft’s Junior High Attempt To Shame Google Comes To An End

Is Microsoft ready to take our advice and devote its resources to developing great products consumer will benefit from? It’s possible, but we aren’t psychics so the future remains a mystery. Nevertheless, now that the company has all...Show More Summary

Science Validates The Role Of Snacks In Keeping Couples From Going To Bed “Hangry”

You know that feeling where if you don’t get something in your stomach right this very minute you are going to chuck the entire contents of this dresser against the wall, so help me? Being hungry can make you extra angry, say scientists who are doing us all a huge favor by validating the phrase “hangry,” meaning you should have … [More]

Startup Offers Free Printing On College Campuses In Exchange For Ads On Pages

Is there any service in your life that you wouldn’t mind getting for free if it were ad-supported? Even as we work in “paperless” offices, some things need to exist as hard copies. For college students, there are enough items in need of printing out that a student-run startup now offers free printing…in exchange for ads plastered on each page.… [More]

Teenagers Decide New Cool Thing To Do Is Make Copycat Airline Bomb Threats On Twitter

I don’t envy teenagers — it’s just so hard to keep up with the coolest trends. Like are we still saying “for shizzle?” Are high fives acceptable? But if all your friends started tweeted fake bomb threats to American Airlines just because one Dutch girl did, would you throw yourself off that cliff, too? Perhaps these rapscallions are ticked … [More]

Now That Netflix Is Paying Comcast, Users Finally Get Decent Speeds… But At What Cost?

The good news: Netflix’s deal to pay Comcast for better access to its network is working. The bad news: This will now set a precedent that Internet service providers can hold content companies hostage with complete disregard to net neutrality. Netflix...Show More Summary

Ask Tax Dad: Doula Deductions, Pension Distributions, And The Sandwich Generation

Historically, our staff Certified Tax Cat has handled readers’ questions about taxes, but he took feline early retirement and hung up his oversized eyeglasses. Filling in for him is Laura’s dad, a retired accountant and real live independent tax preparer. Exclusively on Consumerist, Tax Dad answers your questions. Will writes: My son was born last year. My wife used … [More]

Scam Alert: No One From Netflix Will Ever Ask For Remote Access To Your Computer

Whenever someone you don’t know asks for remote access to your computer, a huge, noisy and very insistent alarm bell should immediately start clanging in your head. Because it’s probably a scam to get access to your personal files, credit...Show More Summary

Someone At US Airways Is Probably Getting Fired After Posting Photo Of Plane-As-Sex-Toy

Among the many insulting, insensitive, rude, crude, and accidental Tweets that companies have sent out over the years, the incredibly NSFW photo (unless you happen to work in the porn industry) that got posted today by the US Airways Twitter account will probably go down as one of the most embarrassing. In a simple response to a complaining customer earlier … [More]

Fewer IRS Agents Mean Less Chance You’ll Get Audited This Year

Consumers with a perpetual worry of being audited each year can breathe a sigh of relief. Okay, maybe not totally, some people are still going to be audited after tomorrow’s tax deadline comes and goes, but the chances of such an audit are unusually slim this year. In fact, budget cuts and fewer agents mean the chances of being audited … [More]

Retailers Put Aside Differences, Band Together To Fight Future Massive Hacks

You know that scene in superhero and/or spy movies (and especially in sequels) where the hero and his/her longtime nemesis must begrudgingly band together, if only for one kick-butt scene, to take down a larger foe that could hurt them...Show More Summary

Life Lessons: Curb Your Love Of Neil Diamond While Your Phone Is Roaming Or Pay $4,300

On the one hand, satiating a burning desire to hear the sweet, sweet vocal stylings of Neil Diamond piped directly into your ear at the exact moment you want to hear them could make anyone act crazy. But one woman didn’t realize that getting Diamond-on-demand isn’t so great for the old wallet if you’re downloading an entire album while your … [More]

Comcast-TWC Merger Could Bring Broadband Data Caps To Pretty Much Everyone

Mobile data caps might be almost universal, but home broadband data caps are much less so. Some providers have them, but many don’t. At the moment, Time Warner Cable is in that “doesn’t” category — but Comcast keeps trying to expand theirs. If the FCC grants the corporate union of the two its blessing, a whopping 78% of Americans could … [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Find Great Deal On AC/DC Rock Band Tunes For PS2

2009 doesn’t seem that long ago, but it’s a very long time when counted in game console years, which are much shorter than dog years. That’s how long this copy of AC/DC’s songs for the game Rock Band has waited for its forever home. If you still have a PlayStation 2 and don’t mind wasting $25 or so, could you … [More]

Google Also Seeking To Hasten Robot Apocalypse With Acquisition Of Drone Company

In a move that can only logically result in a flying army of sentient, autonomous machines intent on harvesting humans, Google announced today that it is buying startup drone-maker Titan Aerospace. Other than hastening the final days of humankind, why would Google be interested in drones? It’s not like Amazon or UPS, where the doom-copters could be used (prior … [More]

Norovirus, Not Brawl, Breaks Out At Chuck E. Cheese’s

Something terrible broke out at a Minnesota Chuck E. Cheese last week, and for once it wasn’t an adult brawl requiring police intervention. No, this time it was something even more frightening: norovirus. Authorities believe that the...Show More Summary

Pot Vending Machine Is Like That Awesome Idea You Had Once In College, Except It’s Real

It was around two in the morning one winter morning back in 1996 — or wait, was it three a.m. in 2001? You can’t remember. All you know is the brilliant idea you had that one time after watching Half Baked and smoking you know, “the reefer,” is now a reality. A new company has debuted its pot vending machine … [More]

Pizza Hut New Zealand Redeems Itself With Crusts Stuffed With Chili Dogs

People all over the world were horrified but also intrigued to learn that in New Zealand, Pizza Hut offers a crust stuffed with cheese (good) and Marmite, a yeast-based paste (ew). Fortunately, the chain’s Kiwi outposts have redeemed themselves with a new offering: the Chilli Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza. Better yet: those hot dogs are actually cheese dogs.… [More]

Intuit/TurboTax Using Non-Profits, Religious Leaders In Push Against Pre-Filled Tax Forms

We can understand why some people might have concerns about receiving tax forms that are already filled in by the IRS. We could understand why some would voice those concerns in a public forum. But is a line crossed when the people telling you to voice your concerns are the very ones who stand to benefit financially from your opposition?… [More]

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