Consumerist is a consumer affairs blog run by Editor Ben Popken, along with Senior Editor Meghann Marco, Associate Editor Chris Walters and Weekend Editor Carey Greenberg-Berger.
Consumerist is part of the Gawker Media family of blogs. As its name implies, the focus is on consumerism, and it deals with consumers' experiences and issues with companies and corporations. The blog focuses mostly on the U.S., but accepts input from other countries as well. Some of the stories are generated by the editors, but most are reader-submitted tips and complaints. Stories initially reported on The Consumerist have been featured in national media such as CNN and The New York Times. Consumerist often posts phone numbers and contact information for CEOs and upper level corporate customer support, and provides information on how to execute an "Executive Email Carpet Bomb".
Worst Company In America Contest
Consumerist runs an annual "Worst Company In America" contest with the winner determined by a reader poll.
In 2007, the winner was the RIAA and the runner-up was Halliburton. Other notable contestants were Wal-Mart, Exxon and Sony.
In 2008, the winner was Countrywide Financial, defeating Comcast. Also in the final four were Diebold and Wal-Mart.
Usually the first post of every weekday consists of a number of online deals or offers, usually on electronic devices. Companies featured include Woot.com
and the Apple Online Store
A new feature as of late are 'Great Moments In Commercial History,' with a focus on strange and entertaining local commercials. Recent features have included Chicago's Moo and Oink stores, and Eugene, Oregon's Mr. Appliance.
Nazi T-Shirt Coverage
Consumerist was the first site to report Wal-Mart
's selling and untimely recall of T-shirts that contain the insignia of the Nazi 3rd SS Division Totenkopf
, breaking the story on November 10, 2006. Frequent reports and pictures of Walmart stores restocking the Nazi shirts are running as of June 1, 2007.
Vincent Ferrari & AOL
On June 13, 2006, Vincent Ferrari
posted an audio file of himself speaking with an AOL
representative named "John" and trying to cancel his father's AOL account. The AOL representative had resisted Ferrari's request by attempting to keep the discussion focused on Ferrari's reasons for wanting to cancel. After many attempts to get John to cancel his account, the conversation becomes confrontational to the point Ferrari said "CANCEL THE ACCOUNT" repeatedly until John complied with his request. After the recording of this call, Ferrari both posted it to his blog and submitted it to The Consumerist tip line.
When The Consumerist posted this story, they labeled it as "The best story we ever posted."
The Grocery Shrink Ray
The "grocery shrink ray" is a term coined by Meghann Marco for the trend for groceries to be reduced in size while being sold at the same price point. Manufacturers perform these reductions to better manage their own costs, but do not pass any savings on to the customer. Installments of these articles usually included user submitted photographs of the product in question on the shelf, being sold along with a newer and slightly smaller version of the same product. Local and national media outlets such as WTVT-TV
FOX 13 in Florida, and National Public Radio
have interviewed Popken regarding the trend and his attempts to inform the public at large.