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IMAGE
April 22, 2012 | By Janet Kinosian, Special to the Los Angeles Times
It's never been easier to feel like a natural woman. The 1960s mantra about getting ourselves back to the garden now applies to an increasing number of beauty products, with some small companies literally going to the garden and farm to bring customers fresh, natural, pure and organic ingredients in their hair- and skin-care items. These products provide an alternative to more mainstream offerings, which over the last half-century have become increasingly laden with synthetics that some would rather avoid.
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BUSINESS
March 5, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Sue is troubled, and not just by all the troublesome things in the world. She says it's come to her attention that the cardboard tube within toilet paper rolls is becoming narrower. Sue isn't saying that toilet paper rolls are becoming smaller. Just the cardboard tube, which she says no longer reaches the edges of the roll. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions And I know what you're saying: "Thank goodness someone has finally had the courage to speak up!"
OPINION
August 22, 2013 | By Charles Duan
Patent trolls are a widely reported problem for big business and technology makers. They are companies that exist primarily to buy up patents and then collect money, in the form of licenses or lawsuit settlements, from alleged infringers of those patents. Trolls take advantage of a patent system with serious flaws, and their abuse of the system is creating, as a White House fact sheet recently put it, a "drain on the American economy. " And, as it turns out, a drain on you, the ordinary consumer.
BUSINESS
April 12, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
Starbucks is knocking down the suggested retail price for its packaged grounds. The discounts, set to begin May 10, will cover the Seattle coffee giant's packaged coffee in U.S. grocery stores and other retailers, but not at its ever-present coffee shops, said company spokesman Zack Hutson. The price drop also covers the company's Seattle's Best brand. Prices will drop an average of 10%, he said. For example, the price for a 12-ounce bag of Starbucks coffee -- ground or whole-bean -- will drop to $8.99 from $9.99, while a 12-ounce bag of Seattle's Best will also drop a dollar, to $6.99.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Bill's daughter recently purchased a house, and it came with a home warranty. Then the trouble started. She took a shower and discovered that water was seeping out of the walls. Yow! Bill's daughter contacted the warranty provider and was told the policy didn't cover plumbing. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Bill asks: Is that how these things usually work? And the answer is: No. Most home warranties cover plumbing, along with most other major systems and appliances.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 5, 2013 | By Meg James
NBCUniversal has hired Russell Hampton, a former top consumer products executive at the Walt Disney Co., to help bolster merchandising and mobile content strategies for the Comcast Corp.-owned media company. Hampton, who until a year ago served as president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, steps into the newly created position of executive vice president of franchise management and global consumer products.  He becomes the second major hire of Lauren Zalaznick who earlier this year became digital innovation strategist for NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Godfrey is fed up with those subscription cards that come tumbling out of magazines. Why do publishers bother using them? The publishing industry calls these things "blow-in" cards, and they've been around for years as a way to attract new subscribers. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In 2009, the New York Times reported that blow-in cards appeared to be falling out of favor as digital distribution grew. But there's not much evidence to back that up. So why does this pesky practice persist?
BUSINESS
December 3, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Kya sells ceramic masks online. A buyer recently instructed her to cash his check and then allow him to pick up his mask later. Kya asks: Is this some kind of scam? Answer: Probably. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions It sounds like a variation of a relatively common scam involving bogus checks -- a racket that the Federal Trade Commission says has become a fact of life online. For details of the scam and my advice for not getting duped, check out today's Ask Laz video.
BUSINESS
February 14, 2001 | NEDRA PICKLER, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The government released rollover risk ratings for 30 more vehicles on Tuesday, giving low marks to eight sport-utility vehicles and high grades to four cars. The ratings of the 2001 vehicles are based on a mathematical formula for measuring the vehicle's center of gravity and width. SUVs and pickup trucks are more top-heavy and thus more likely to get lower marks than a car or van.
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