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Oh what have I often said....

"That we would be sitting around watching holograms and Netflix would be an "old" invention. When it first came out it had decent movies on it. Now it has movies that I didn’t know existed and movies that just aren’t that interesting to me. They really lowered the quality so of course that meant Hulu was my backup. 


Psst.... don't look at their free cash flow; into deteriorating user perception that could be real trouble...

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2017-07-25 10:43 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 478 references
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It is illegal under FTC regulations to display a "suggested retail price" that never, in fact, was a price you sold at, or which exceeds the actual "suggested retail price" the manufacturer provides.

Not only is this illegal at a federal level it is a rank violation of state consumer protection statutes, which bar deceptive practices.

Now it appears Amazon got caught doing exactly that on "Prime Day", and screwed you in the ass if you bought products during their so-called "annual sale":

Jason Jacobs, founder of Remodeez, a small company that specializes in non-toxic foot deodorizers and other odor stoppers, says he had an agreement with Amazon since 2015 on a suggested retail price of $9.99 for his products and was shocked after the tech giant almost doubled that on Prime Day to make it look like people were getting a discount, when they were actually paying full price.

“They showed the product at $15.42 and then exed it out to put ‘$9.99 for Amazon Prime Day.’ And on the final day, the price was like $18.44. So, we put a support ticket in right away and I rallied some friends through social media to go to their complaint board and complain,” Jacobs tells FOX Business.

There was no "deal" offered at all and in fact it is alleged Amazon showed an entirely fraudulent "suggested retail price."

This sort of practice should land Bezos in prison folks.  It's impossible to know exactly how many times Amazon has done this, of course, but that they did it even once is proof that they will do it.

Remember that retailers are free to set whatever prices they wish, including "surge" pricing, which Amazon has been caught using in the past -- while representing that it is the "best" price.

But this is an entirely different matter.  Suggested retail prices are not Amazon's to determine; they are the property of the vendor and to misrepresent those is a flat-out fraudulent (and illegally so) practice.

“I don’t think they are being malicious about it, it is just something that they need to tweak," he says.

Oh really?  Considering that Amazon gets a piece of every sale how do they get more of a piece?

Jack the price.

I didn't buy a thing during so-called "Prime Day" as I saw it for what it was: Get screwed by Bezos day.  I dumped my Prime sub some time ago, and it will expire never to be paid for again -- I've seen far too many so-called "deals" that really aren't and given that there is utterly no value at all to the $100/year cost.

If you believe this is not the case read this from the comments below:

My desktop PC in my office, my wife's desktop PC in her office, and a phone which for some reason doesn't have any info on it linking it to us, list three different Amazon prices for some items. The lowest price is displayed on my PC, which has a lot of ID info about me. I have **** credit, no money, no Prime membership, etc., so it's like Amazon KNOWS it can only get my biz with the lowest prices (usually a dollar or three under Newegg and other suppliers from which I buy)

Go ahead folks, get ripped off and especially if you buy a so-called "Prime" membership.

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2017-07-23 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 371 references
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Ann Coulter may be one of the most-hated women in America (by half the country, anyway) but that doesn't change what happened with her and Delta.

She paid for an assigned and premium seat.  She was assigned that seat.  The airline then moved her to give that seat to someone else.

Folks, this isn't "overbooking", but it is fraud.

Contract of carriage or no, the facts are simple in this sort of situation.  Today airlines do not give you assigned seats until you get to the airport unless you pay an extra fee.  That is, an assigned seat is no longer part of your "base fare", it is an explicit service for which you pay.

Once you've paid you've had offer, acceptance and an act in furtherance of performance has taken place.

That's a binding contract -- period.

Now the airlines claim there's an "overriding" contract of carriage, but there's a common-law fraud problem with their claim since (1) you can't negotiate that contract; it is a contract of adhesion and (2) the airlines own actions contravened their boilerplate language when they took additional money for said assigned, specific and "premium" seat.

If the airlines want to act like a bus line where there are no assigned seats (ala the now-extinct People's Express) that's fine.  But they want it both ways: They want to charge you for an assigned and selected seat and then refuse to honor the deal on the terms they designed and offered when convenient for them.

That's fraud; knowingly and intentionally inducing you to pay money for something they do not intend to deliver all of the time is in fact fraud.

The argument of exigence (e.g. a legitimate emergency) doesn't apply in this case; that, of course, is a legitimate point if it exists but in this specific case there was no emergency.

Just a desire to screw someone -- and whether it was intentionally aimed at her or not does not matter.

These companies all need to have their executives face criminal prison time for this crap.  They're fully able to stop it and the bottom line is this: If you sell something and collect a fee for it then you're obligated to deliver it absent some legitimate exigent circumstance, not choose randomly to screw the person who paid you and give what that person paid for to someone else.

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The FTC has explicit rules on "reference prices" -- that is, "was $X, now $Y"

You cannot artificially inflate so-called "reference" prices; they must reasonably reflect the actual price at which an item was sold and not be some pie-in-the-sky dreamfest.

Well, it appears that Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group, has found widespread cases in which the actual displayed "references" prices were in fact nonsense.  In other words the allegation is that Amazon is intentionally misleading consumers on what sort of "discount" it is offering.

This practice was explicitly regulated because it was the subject of outrageously misleading practices by retailers for a very long time.  No, Amazon is not exempt.

Apparently someone over at the FTC stopped watching Porntube long enough to take a look....

Oh by the way they got caught in Canada doing the same thing and paid a fine.... I suspect they didn't "admit guilt", however -- nobody these days ever does, right?

This could get interesting considering that the report included a request for the FTC to block their Whole Paycheck acquisition while these alleged acts are continuing....

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2017-07-20 15:38 by Karl Denninger
in Company Specific , 239 references
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How do you stop Zuckerpig's privacy invasions?

Boycott anyone who advertises on those sites -- do not buy and do not do business with in any other way.  How do you know they're advertising?  You see "Sponsored" or any sort of video ad from a given entity.

This post is exempt and will never go away.  I will add to it as I see new companies, and if you do and can confirm it to me I'll add them.  Here's my pledge: If I see an ad from your firm on any of Zuckerpig's properties or sufficient confirmation (e.g. seeing such an ad on someone else's device in the app) I will never buy anything from you.

You choose -- you advertise and pay that company to do so, you lose my business.  To get it back you must permanently pledge to never again advertise on any Facebook-owned property, in public, via a formal press release or other similarly-verifiable and public method.

Oh and you get one second chance, never more.

Advertising is legal.  So is refusing to do business with you because you are the primary and in fact nearly the sole source of funds for a company that does things I consider detestable.

So here is the start of it folks, and yes, it will grow.... check back often!

  • Best Buy (Oh well; I've bought plenty there)
  • REI (this one hurts; I like them.... but no more!)
  • Big Green Egg (Sorry *******s, I was interested but NOT NOW!)
  • Southwest Airlines (all airlines SUCK, but now these ****ers are on my blackball list)
  • Consumer Reports
  • Inked Magazine
  • Runner's World (oh well!)
  • 30A clothing company (oops -- that one's local)
  • The Heritage Foundation (oops again!)
  • Huffington Post (no loss there)
  • A&E TV
  • We Are The Mighty (Military-oriented news org)
  • Orbitz
  • LinkedIN (be a paying customer and you're blackballed - as employer or employee!)
  • iHeartDogs.Com
  • Pensacola Runners Association (ouch; they sponsor races I'd run in...)
  • National Geographic (oh well)
  • CNet (Bleh)
  • 22 Words (Clickbait garbage, but heh)
  • (oops again; and I have bought quite a lot from gearup...)
  • 12 Tomatoes
  • The Penny Hoarder (yeah, another clickbait garbage site, but..)
  • SoWal (oops -- bye-bye Walton County beach businesses..)
  • Innermost House (San Fran Non-profit... good for some west coasters)
  • NTD Television
  • The New York Times (shock - NOT!)
  • Conservative Tribune (news)
  • Netgear (Router/ipCam/etc manufacturer)
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