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» Here We Downsize Again – Summer 2020

Here is the latest roster of products that manufacturers have reduced in size in order to pass on a sneaky price increase. Dawn P&G has continually downsized Dawn Dishwashing Liquid through the years. The latest change: they knocked another ounce off their smallest bottle...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/08/03/here-we-downsize-again-summer-2020/


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» Here We Downsize Again – Winter 2020

We start the new decade with an old trick -- inconspicuously reducing the package size of products as a sneaky way to raise prices. You pay the same price but get less for your money. Here are our latest discoveries.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/03/09/here-we-downsize-again-winter-2020/


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» Eye-Opening: Systane vs. Systane Ultra

Continuing our look at line extensions of popular over-the-counter products, we turn our gaze to Systane -- a leading brand of eye drops. Here are two of their lubricating eye drop products: The product on the left is regular Systane long lasting, while the one on the right is Systane Ultra high...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2018/08/20/eye-opening-systane-vs-systane-ultra/


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» Aleve Back & Muscle – A Miracle of Modern Medicine Marketing

Many people like Aleve because its pain relief is supposed to last for 12 hours. Now they have a new product -- Aleve Back & Muscle Pain -- and a new commercial to help launch it. We were curious about the new product and wanted to see what additional ingredients they added.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2018/08/06/aleve-back-muscle-a-miracle-of-medicine-marketing/


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» PayPal Sending Out Unsolicited Debit Cards

MrConsumer got quite a surprise in a letter from PayPal recently. It announced that the company was going to send him a business debit Mastercard to accompany his PayPal account.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/06/15/paypal-sending-out-unsolicited-debit-cards/


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» Get an Extra Year Warranty on Refurbished Items Free

One of the great bargains that shoppers can get is when an electronic item is refurbished. Sometimes these are even brand new products but sold in plain brown boxes so as not to compete with the manufacturer's own regular line.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/05/25/get-an-extra-year-warranty-on-refurbished-items/


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» So You Think You Can Return Any Amazon Purchase to Kohl’s…

Kohl’s made a brilliant move last year by making a deal with Amazon to accept their returns at all Kohl’s stores. According to the Kohl’s press release, the customer can simply visit a Kohl’s store and bring in an item without a box or label, and the department store will box it up and ship it back to Amazon for free.. MrConsumer decided to return a recently purchased and unopened box ...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/01/06/so-you-think-you-can-return-any-amazon-purchase-to-kohls/


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» Barilla Settles Class Action on Underfilled Boxes

Back in 2016, four Italian consumers sued Barilla, the largest pasta maker in world for misleading packaging. They alleged that the company sells specialty pastas like gluten-free, whole grain, ProteinPlus, etc. in the same size cardboard boxes as their traditional pastas.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2019/06/17/barilla-settles-class-action-on-underfilled-boxes/


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Comments on: Midas Hides a Lot of Stuff in the Fine Print

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/07/06/midas-hides-a-lot-of-stuff-in-the-fine-print/ Exposing the strings and catches buried in the fine print. Sat, 11 Jul 2020 00:10 ...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/07/06/midas-hides-a-lot-of-stuff-in-the-fine-print/feed/


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» Frontier Airlines Hides Its Refund Option

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Transportation reminded air carriers that they had an obligation to provide refunds (not merely vouchers for future travel) when a flight is cancelled or is significantly delayed.. One traveler whose flight was significantly delayed by Frontier Airlines posted this cellphone screenshot showing the options he was offered:

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/04/20/frontier-airlines-hides-its-refund-option/comment-page-1/


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» Citi Double Cash Card to Drop Almost All Benefits

Citi had bad news for credit card holders last week. If you have the popular Citi Double Cash Card that pays two percent cash back on all purchases, the bank announced it was dropping most benefits that come with the card.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2019/07/01/citi-double-cash-card-to-drop-almost-all-benefits/


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» Do You Know Where Your Prescription Drugs Come From?

Have you looked at the fine print on your prescription drug bottle lately? MrConsumer decided to check his bottles and made a surprising discovery. *MOUSE PRINT: What? These pills purchased from CVS/Caremark mail order came from India? Yep. And apparently this is not an isolated case.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2018/06/18/do-you-know-where-your-prescription-drugs-come-from/


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» Congratulations, You’ve Won (NOTHING) at Car Dealer

Have you ever noticed the way some car dealers advertise to get you into the showroom? They often promote a variety of sweepstakes with terrific prizes. One such car dealer in North Carolina recently ran a $25,000 Monte Carlo Game.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2018/05/07/congratulations-youve-won-nothing-at-car-dealer/


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» Is This the Way to Give Workers a Bonus?

No doubt, many people are facing personal financial hardships because they have lost their job or are working reduced hours. But many companies are stepping up continuing to pay workers or even offering extra pay.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/04/06/is-this-the-way-to-give-workers-a-bonus/


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» This Advertised $9.99 Oil Change Actually Costs 70% More

MrConsumer loves a bargain and to find an offer for a $9.99 oil change these days is unheard of. But that's what Monro, an East coast auto service chain, advertised. They also run nine other auto service chains in the Eastern half of the country and in California. They are Mr.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2019/06/24/this-advertised-9-99-oil-change-actually-costs-70-more/


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» Laplink PCMover: Use Once, Throw Away?

Getting a new computer is always a hassle because of the difficulty of transferring your programs and files from the old computer to the new one. To make the task easier, some programs are for sale that do the heavy lifting for you.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2007/07/16/laplink-pcmover-use-once-throw-away/


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» Snuggle Softens Better than Downy?

Snuggle fabric softener is running a new commercial claiming that women preferred Snuggle over Downy. Snuggle beat the market leader? How could this be? *MOUSE PRINT: The preference for Snuggle was based on how soft the towels felt wet after just having been washed? Why in the world would anyone j...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2010/06/21/snuggle-softens-better-than-downey/


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Mouse Print

MrConsumer has a toenail problem. Like many people, his toenails have turned brittle, irregular and off-color. He has toenail fungus. Years ago, his doctor said there was a pill for that, but it seemed strange to treat this condition from the inside out (and various articles suggest it is not always effective and takes a long time to work, if at all).

https://www.mouseprint.org/


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» Breyers Converts Ice Creams to “Frozen Dairy Desserts”

When product manufacturers want to cut costs or increase their profits, they can do one of several things. Many don't want to raise prices because of the consumer backlash and possible reduction in sales. So, many choose to downsize the product as we have demonstrated here.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2013/01/21/breyers-converts-ice-creams-to-frozen-dairy-desserts/


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Comments on: PayPal Sending Out Unsolicited Debit Cards

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/06/15/paypal-sending-out-unsolicited-debit-cards/ Exposing the strings and catches buried in the fine print. Sun, 05 Jul 2020 14:03:27 ...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/06/15/paypal-sending-out-unsolicited-debit-cards/feed/


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» It Looks Like Junk Mail, But Ignoring It Could be Costly

Last week, tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents in a couple of cities and towns found letters like this in their mailbox: With a little prior knowledge of what sales pitches from alternative electricity suppliers look like, this appears to be just another one of those letters promising savi...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2017/06/05/it-looks-like-junk-mail-but-ignoring-it-could-be-costly/


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» Clorox: Making a Stink about Scents

Laundry bleach has a very distinctive strong smell that some people like and other people hate. No wonder that major bleach manufacturers like Clorox have come out with scented versions of their liquid bleach.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2007/02/12/clorox-making-a-stink-about-scents/


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» Chrysler’s Lifetime Warranty: The Ultimate Hidden Guarantee

With much fanfare, Chrysler recently announced that it was the first automaker to offer a lifetime powertrain warranty on most of its vehicles starting July 27th. Our trusty mouse wanted to see the fine print of the warranty, just to make sure they weren’t pulling any fast ones. A visit to the Chrysler website provided virtually no details about the warranty, let alone a copy of it.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2007/08/06/chryslers-lifetime-warranty-the-ultimate-hidden-guarantee/


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» Best Buy’s (Not So) Generous Birthday Offer

MrConsumer celebrates his birthday in January and has been receiving birthday offers from various retailers and restaurants. Among them was an email from Best Buy offering a surprise: What could it be? A big screen TV? $100 off an item of your choice? A free major appliance? Clicking through to Best...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2018/01/22/best-buys-not-so-generous-birthday-offer/


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» Is Chevy More Reliable Than Toyota, Honda, Ford, and 23 ...

Chevrolet’s new 2019 TV commercial claims that its cars are more reliable than Toyota, Honda, and Ford. Their fine print proof? Stats on 2015 auto reliability.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2019/01/10/chevy/


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» Corelle: They Only Make It Look Unbreakable*

Corning Glass Works introduced Corelle dinnerware over 35 years ago. It became popular because of its durability and colorful patterns. Today, the often forgotten brand is being rejuvenated with a clever, new advertising campaign.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2007/01/01/corelle-we-only-make-it-look-unbreakable/


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» Is Canada Dry Ginger Ale Made With “Real Ginger”?

Multiple lawsuits recently alleged that Canada Dry ginger ale was not the real thing because it did not contain real ginger as the label proclaimed. *MOUSE PRINT: The ingredients statement says that it contains natural flavor but tests done by the plaintiffs indicate that the soda did not contai...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2019/02/11/is-canada-dry-ginger-ale-made-with-real-ginger/


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» Haagen-Dazs Allegedly Cuts Corners With Milk Chocolate

Haagen-Dazs is one of the premier brands of ice cream, so it is surprising to hear of a lawsuit alleging that the company is cutting corners on the milk chocolate it uses to coat its ice cream bars. According to the complaint, the company mixes in coconut oil to the milk chocolate.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/06/29/haagen-dazs-allegedly-cuts-corners-with-milk-chocolate/


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» Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Guaranteed to Fail in 7 Years

18 Comments I guess I better replace my detectors. It’s been way over seven years and no “end-of-life” signal either. Comment by Peter — October 29, 2012 @ 7:09 am When was that standard implemented?

https://www.mouseprint.org/2012/10/29/carbon-monoxide-detectors-guaranteed-to-fail-in-7-years/


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» Midas Hides a Lot of Stuff in the Fine Print

MrConsumer had his oil changed recently at Midas using a prepaid Groupon making it quite a deal at $13.60 all-inclusive. As part of the check-in process there, the clerk provides a standard printout showing the price of the oil change but that my total would be zero because of the Groupon.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/07/06/midas-hides-a-lot-of-stuff-in-the-fine-print/


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» Don’t Let a Product’s Name Fool You!

MrConsumer has a toenail problem. Like many people, his toenails have turned brittle, irregular and off-color. He has toenail fungus. Years ago, his doctor said there was a pill for that, but it seemed strange to treat this condition from the inside out (and various articles suggest it is not always...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/07/13/dont-let-a-products-name-fool-you/


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» Is it a News Story or an Advertisement?

More and more online news sites seem to be blurring the line between bona fide news and stories that seem more like advertisements. Last fall, we demonstrated how some Tribune newspapers published product reviews naming the “best” products in a particular but sometimes obscure category, while the publisher quietly earned a commission on the sale of each one shown.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/03/16/is-it-a-news-story-or-an-advertisement/


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» The Secret Behind Shrinking Corned Beef

Clara Peller, the feisty senior who famously questioned the lack of meat in Wendy’s competitors’ burgers, could well reprise her memorable line, “where’s the beef,” when it comes to corned beef.. Cooks across the country surely noticed last week that the plump corned beef brisket they boiled for St. Patrick’s Day emerged from the pot only a fraction of its original size.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2017/03/20/the-secret-behind-shrinking-corned-beef/


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» The Catch in Consumer Reports’ $12 Subscription Offer

Consumer Reports is advertising one of the most amazing offers they have ever made for a one-year subscription -- only $12. Here's the webpage promoting the offer: What you can't see clearly in this miniaturized version of the webpage above is a potentially expensive catch on the left side: *MOUSE P...

https://www.mouseprint.org/2012/04/30/the-catch-in-consumer-reports-12-subscription-offer/


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» Where’s the Honey in Honey Bunches of Oats?

For years, we’ve all seen the commercials for Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats cereal where the female assembly line worker waxes poetic about her crispy crunchy bunches.. Last year, a health-conscious California consumer bought a box of this cereal thinking that honey would be a more healthy sweetener to have rather than sugar or corn syrup.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/06/08/wheres-the-honey-in-honey-bunches-of-oats/


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What Major Appliance Manufacturers Don’t Want You to Know

10 Comments Having recently purchased a washer/dryer (about 6 months ago), I did a lot of research into the various products. What I discovered is that (just as for TVs) there was a time frame when manufacturers were using poorly made or underrated capacitors which caused most of the electrical issues (as those capacitors would fail earlier then planned).

https://www.mouseprint.org/2014/08/11/what-major-appliance-manufacturers-dont-want-you-to-know/


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» Cape Cod Potato Chips: 40% Reduced Fat?

16 Comments Maybe Mr. Consumer should read the fine print a little better. You also get 6 more chips per serving. Comment by Gregg — April 13, 2015 @ 7:11 am Might as well slap a 20% Reduced Fat label on the regular bag.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2015/04/13/cape-cod-potato-chips-40-reduced-fat/


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» Clorox Splashless Is Also “Disinfectless”

A Missouri consumer is fed up with Clorox brand bleach. She has been waging a three-year long campaign against one of the company's most popular products that she thinks is being packaged and marketed in a deceptive way. We think she has a point.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2018/11/19/clorox-splashless-is-also-disinfectless/


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» Gov’t Video on Mask Decontamination Disclaims Its Own Advice

With the shortage of PPE continuing in some areas, the Department of Homeland Security just released an instructional video on how to decontaminate N95 masks at home so they can be reused.. They want you to cook them in a paper bag over simmering water in an Instant Pot (a Crock-Pot-like slow cooker).

https://www.mouseprint.org/2020/06/22/govt-video-on-mask-decontamination-disclaims-its-own-advice/


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» Dial Soap: The Incredible Shrinking Bar

Once upon a time bath size bars of soap were all five ounces. Most have now been downsized to 4.5 ounces. The latest move, however, is to go even smaller. Dial for Men is a prime example. *MOUSE PRINT: The 4.5 ounce bar is now 4.0 ounces -- over 10% smaller.

https://www.mouseprint.org/2007/11/05/dial-soap-the-incredible-shrinking-bar/