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For many consumers, warranty coverage is one of their primary concerns when spending thousands of dollars on a new mattress. Due to the expense involved—memory foam mattresses cost upwards of $5,000, and even traditional pillow-top mattresses retail for over $1,000—consumers want to know that they can depend on the manufacturer to repair or replace a mattress under warranty for years following purchase. Tempur-pedic and Sleep Number offer twenty-five-year warranties to entice consumers to purchase their products. Serta and Simmons—both of which are owned by the National Bedding Company—also offer long warranties ranging anywhere from 3 to 30 years and include no charge for replacements within the first 10 or so years of ownership.  These long-term warranties should give consumers as much comfort as the mattresses themselves!

Consumers report in droves, however, that Simmons and Serta routinely deny warranty coverage due to the presence of any stain, no matter how small or harmless, on a defective mattress. Don’t believe us? Just listen to some of the incredible stories from affected consumers (postings from www.consumeraffairs.com):

  • After owning a Serta “Beautyrest World Class Recharge Shakespeare Luxury Plush Pillow top Mattress” for about two years, and paying over $2000, the mattress was sagging. So I called Serta, and they send you a “sleep set inspection kit” where you have run a string across the dips in the mattress and take photos from different angles. After doing all this they agreed to replace the mattress. When their team arrived they said that they couldn’t take the mattress because of a small stain!! I called Serta, and was told that the stain voided the warranty because it wasn’t sanitary for their inspection team to open the mattress up and see where the mattress failed. The product was an inferior product with a huge manufacturers defect, and because of a small stain (barley visible) which had nothing to do with the sagging, was a loophole they used to void the warranty. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER SERTA PRODUCT BECAUSE THEY DON’T STAND BEHIND IT!!!
  • We purchased this mattress between 2 and 3 years ago. It has not held up. There are sags and dips plus a back ache to people sleeping on it. It should be covered by a warranty issue except a small stain gets the Beautyrest folks off the hook. Never, never, would I buy from this manufacturer again. This was in our bedroom and we moved it to a guest room buying a replacement. Please note the Beautyrest replaced a mattress which had been in our room over 25 years. Since putting it in the guest room, two different guests mentioned waking up with a back ache. There are other options… Select one.

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As mobile smartphones have become more advanced, they have also become more fragile (the author does not remember being particularly worried when she dropped her Nokia 3310).  With each advancement in security, screen quality, data speed, and so forth, something else is sacrificed—durability, size, and/or battery life.  Most people with smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone, have probably experienced an issue with their mobile phones at some point during ownership.  Speaking from experience—the author of this blog post has cracked the screen of every smartphone she has ever owned.

Upon damaging their phone, many consumers look to third parties to conduct repairs, as such repairs are often significantly cheaper than repairs through the manufacturer.

One issue for which consumers have sought third party support is Touch ID sensor issues related to the iPhone 6 and 6s.  For example, many have speculated that the Touch ID sensor feature on the new Apple iPhone 6 and 6s are prone to causing phone issues, such as the touch screen becoming unresponsive, the fingerprint sensor not registering when users are attempting to use it, and the home and lock buttons failing to work as expected.

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Rock-hard, 6-pack abs … we all want them, right? If you love in America and watch enough late night television, you’ve probably seen commercials for everything from the “Ab Roller” to “8 Minute Abs” and everything in between. And it’s clear why—Americans want to look good, but due to our busy lifestyles we want to do as little as possible while still maximizing results. Enter the Flex Belt, Slendertone and Contour ab belt systems: wearable electrical-stimulation belts that tie around your stomach and force your abdominal muscles to contract repeatedly for anywhere from a few sections to a few minutes. Both products are manufactured by the same Ireland-based company and make identical promises: “TONE, TIGHTEN, FIRM AND STRENGTHEN YOUR ABS” … “Get strong, toned abs in weeks” . . . “Slendertone toning products include everything you need to tone, firm and strengthen your muscles. All Slendertone products are clinically proven to deliver results.” And according to the Flex Belt website:

The Flex Belt will stimulate all your major stomach muscles at the same time providing you with the perfect abdominal contraction – that means your upper abs, the lower abs and even your obliques are going to get worked from The Flex Belt… and it does all the work for you. You don’t have to worry about your form or come up with the time to get it done. The Flex Belt is clinically demonstrated to deliver firmer, stronger and more toned abdominal muscles while you are: at home, at work, watching TV, exercising, folding laundry, helping your kids with their homework, taking a walk… virtually anytime and anywhere.

In short, use the Flex Belt, Contour or Slendertone ab belts, and you can expect rock hard abs in a matter of weeks without any of the sit ups or crunches we all dread. The Flex Belt ads say it all. I mean, who wouldn’t want to look like these models with simply the “push of a button”:

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As we’ve repeatedly covered here on the blog, so called “miracle products” that sound too good to be true—like the X Hose, DeckOver and Grassology—usually promise far more than they actually deliver. Consumers instead tend to wind up with fragile products that break far sooner than expected or simply can’t perform as promised. But miracle products only find their way onto the blog because the target market wants to believe the products work and buys them…… and there is no group that needs and wants miracle products more than new and expecting parents….

Enter the Baby Brezza Formula Pro. The Baby Brezza Formula Pro promises customers hassle-free, warm bottles at any time of day or night. But don’t listen to me, hear it from the makers of the Baby Brezza Formula Pro themselves:

Say goodbye to the time and hassle of manually preparing baby’s bottles. Introducing Formula Pro, the revolutionary new way of preparing your baby’s formula bottles. The Formula Pro uses patented technology to measure, dispense and mix water and powdered formula to the perfect temperature and consistency. With the push of a button, you can prepare a bottle within seconds that has no air bubbles. The water and formula powder are stored right in the machine, so it’s always ready for you when your baby gets hungry. The machine works with all bottle sizes and all formula brands and types. You can also choose the amount of formula you want to make: 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 ounces. The easiest way to prepare baby’s bottles is now right at your fingertips.

To hear Baby Brezza tell it, the Formula Pro will change parents’ lives. “Forget making bottles at midnight, just push a button!”

Unfortunately for new parents everywhere, the Baby Brezza Formula Pro is the newest defective product to find its way onto this blog. The defect seems to lie in the Baby Brezza Formula Pro’s design: the system of tubes that are used to transport and mix water and formula clog during use. Unbeknownst to parents, the clogs may prevent the Baby Brezza Formula Pro from dispensing the right amount of formula, resulting in a watery bottle. And with all that clogging comes mold and mildew, a parent’s worst nightmare. As any parent knows—well, mostly the moms 😉 —watery bottles are no good for baby, and anything that’s not good for baby means more “hassle” for you. From Amazon, to BuyBuy Baby down to Diapers.com, parents everywhere say the Baby Brezza is virtually guaranteed to clog and fail without constant cleaning. Continue reading

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Volkswagen has recently come under serious fire for allegedly fraudulently concealing the true emissions of pollutants in certain of its Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi diesel vehicles.  An announcement by Volkswagen this week is even more troubling for the company and also for those who own Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.  On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced that an internal investigation revealed what it titled “inconsistencies” in both carbon dioxide emissions and fuel economy of an additional 800,000 vehicles, most of which were sold in North America.  The Volkswagen internal investigation indicated the “inconsistencies” may lower fuel economy of certain vehicles up to 15 percent.

Details have yet to be revealed to the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates emissions standards and sets the requirements for fuel economy measurements.  Consumers, too, are left in the dark while Volkswagen continues to not fully disclose this important information.

What Do We know and Which Vehicles Are Affected?  Continue reading

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You miss a payment or two – and wham!   Suddenly your monthly mortgage statement is littered not only with late fees, but with a variety of new charges you have never seen before and may not understand. Among them: Your lender might be charging you for unnecessary property inspections (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-fees-can-the-lender-charge-if-im-late-mortgage-payments.html). Several mortgage lenders and servicers, including Citi Mortgage, appear to be automatically charging borrowers for inspections to make sure their homes are occupied – even if there is no reason to believe the home has been abandoned.

Foreclosure Sign

In a growing number of class actions, homeowners say that inspection fees and other unreasonable, unauthorized fees are being tacked onto their statements automatically when they are late on payments. The mortgage companies allegedly program their computers to order the inspections after an account becomes a certain number of days past due. There is no human review or assessment of the account before the inspections are ordered, according to these lawsuits. And the inspections continue on an automated basis, sometimes as often as monthly.

The property inspection fees are typically small – in the range of $10 to $15. But since they are often charged monthly, they can add up (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/challenging-late-other-fees-foreclosure.html).  Homeowners must pay these fees in order to save their homes from foreclosure.   Mortgage companies typically won’t reinstate a loan and halt the foreclosure process until all of the fees are paid, or even added to the balance of the loan. In some cases, homeowners have to pay these fees even when their homes are foreclosed. They are often deducted from the proceeds of the foreclosure sale. Continue reading

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It started with a sheet of ice on the floor of your refrigerator’s freezer that you possibly did not notice right away. Shortly thereafter, water began leaking onto your kitchen floor under your freezer. Perhaps you looked to the Internet for answers, or called up the manufacturer for help. If so, maybe you learned that the issue was a clogged drain hole in your freezer floor. Perhaps you were able to get a temporary fix by defrosting the drain hole and clearing it out. Unfortunately, that fix did not address the defective design of the freezer and within a few weeks, you once again had a mini Rockefeller Center in your freezer. You are not alone. Hundreds of consumers have complained about this issue.

What Is Happening?

Every few hours, a freezer automatically goes into “defrost” mode. The purpose of this mode is not to defrost your entire freezer (if operating properly, your freezer remains cold enough to safely store your frozen foods). Instead, it helps remove frost and ice build-up from the condenser, and theoretically, keeps your freezer and refrigerator operating correctly and efficiently. If all is functioning properly, when the freezer goes into defrost mode, the frost from the condenser melts and drips to the bottom of your freezer. It then passes through a valve and through a drain and collects in a pan on the floor outside of and under your refrigerator. If all goes according to plan, the water in that pan naturally evaporates.  Unfortunately, this is not happening for many with these refrigerators. Continue reading

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Labor Day is approaching and with it, unofficially, summer is coming to an end.  Summer on the east coast this year has be wet, hot, and humid, resulting in a very mosquito-friendly environment.  If you enjoy time outdoors, you have probably tried every possible remedy to rid your outside space of these pesky pests—citronella candles, electronic bug zappers, or even swatting frantically whenever one lands on your body, hoping to beat the bug to the punch.  The latest trend in bug-capturing technology uses LED lights and titanium dioxide to “attract” bugs and a fan to kill them and suck them into a net when they are close.  In theory, these bug trappers are great.  LED lights provide long-lasting, environmental friendly lighting solution, and bug traps incorporating them are cheaper than many other bug control options.  They also give off a cool purple glow, and sometimes when you buy one, you get a second for just the cost of shipping and handling!

Mosquito_2007-2

As Seen on TV! advertises the Buzz Off, and Amazon and other online sites offer similar products by other manufacturers, such as the Dynatrap.

Do these purported miracle inventions actually work though?  Many consumer complaints about products such as Buzz Off or Dynatrap say no.  The manufacturers claim that the LED lights put out ultraviolet (UV) light that attracts bugs to the trap, at which point a fan sucks them in and kills them or prevents them from escaping.  Some, like As Seen on TV’s Buzz Off, also include titanium dioxide, which the manufacturers claim also attract bugs, such as the hated mosquito, because when exposed to UV light, titanium dioxide mimics human scent.  In theory, this setup could work, but the plethora of consumer complaints indicate that these traps often do not work as promised and guaranteed.  Continue reading

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Dishwashers are EXPENSIVE. Like, really expensive. High-end dishwashers can retail for upwards of $2,000. And LG-brand dishwashers, though not at the top of the price heap, will still set you back a cool $1,000 after taxes and fees. But that’s really a small price to pay for the comfort of not having to hand-wash your dishes, isn’t it? But, wait … what if you spent $1,000 on an LG Dishwasher only to learn that it would stop working in a few years … would you change your view on LG Dishwashers if you knew customers complain they will stop working well because they suffer from a defect that within two years would require repairs so expensive that you would be better off simply buying a new dishwasher?

If you’re like many other LG Dishwasher owners, you’ve probably learned this hard truth by now. According to consumer complaints, the pump motor assembly used in LG Dishwashers is defectively designed. Pump motors are critical dishwasher components, including in dishwashers sold under the LG brand name. As the folks at RepairClinic.com explain:

If the dishwasher won’t clean the dishes the pump and motor assembly might be defective. Once the dishwasher fills with water, the pump forces the water through the wash arms in order to spray the dishes. If the motor is defective, the pump impeller is broken, or some part of the pump is clogged, the dishes won’t be clean. If the pump and motor has power to it and will not run it will need to be replaced.

In simplest terms, customers complain that if your LG Dishwasher seems not to be cleaning well, it may be in the early stages failure of pump motor failure.  As the the LG Dishwasher’s pump motor worsens, you may receive an “LE” error code and the motor will stop working completely and leave you scrambling to get it fixed before you have to go back to using your hands. Continue reading

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Summertime is here, and there are few things better than sitting outside and sipping lemonade on your luscious green lawn. What’s that? Your lawn has patches? And dead spots? And is looking a bit brown? Oh …. Well, I bet you really want to find a way to get save those dead spots by quickly growing some new green grass. Wouldn’t it be nice if the grass were durable and maintenance free, too? Yeah, that would be pretty great. And if you were to hear it from Telebrands, purveyors of all manner of “As Seen on TV” products, miracle grass DOES exist: Grassology.

According to the Grassology website, Grassology is a “patent pending” proprietary mix of dwarf grass that will grow anywhere. Grassology claims that because its product grows shorter and more slowly than typical grass, “Grassology gives you a gorgeous lawn that’s virtually maintenance-free.” And because its roots grow four times longer than average, Grassology also does not need to be watered as often. The makers of Grassology also claim it’s just as easy to plant. “You can use it to fix bad spots, or you can sprinkle it over your entire lawn. And before you know it, you’ll have barefoot soft grass that naturally resists disease, resists insects, and even resists weeds!

Well, like almost every product that sounds too good to be true, consumer complaints suggest that Grassology simply does not grow, does not save your lawn and does not work as advertised.  Simply put, consumer complaints make Grassology sounds like another telemarketing ripoff scam.

http://myfox8.com/2014/06/17/grassology-put-to-the-deal-or-dud-test/ Continue reading