Inside RedFlagDeals.com

Headquarters Blog

May 09 2012

Recent Canadian Product Recalls

By Kate Musgrove

Part of being a smart consumer is keeping updated on any product recalls that might affect you. Health Canada compiles product recall information online, and in almost every case they have instructions as to how you can obtain a refund (or a repair kit) if you happen to own one of the items. Here are some of the recalled products they've listed lately:

Fortunately, I don't have any of these products in my home -- do you?

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May 07 2012

A Restaurant Sends You a $400 Bill From Two Years Ago -- Do You Pay?

By Kate Musgrove

I was really interested in this question posed to writers Jeanne Fleming and Leonard Schwarz. Basically, the reader got a letter from a restaurant claiming that when he had dined there two years ago, the credit card machine wasn't working and so, he was never charged for his meal -- and the meal in question ran $400! He doesn't remember the issue with the credit card machine and he doesn't even remember dining there! So he's asking, do I have to pay up?

Fleming and Schwarz basically say yes -- that he should check his credit card statements to be sure he hasn't already paid, but that they "don’t see how you can in good conscience ignore the restaurant’s request for payment". I....don't completely agree with them! For me, two years is simply too long to let the bill go unpaid, and I feel that the restaurant should have followed up more quickly for payment. (In this case, the restaurant had a copy of his MasterCard, presumably taken when they realized they were having issues with their machine. They could have run the card the next day or the following week -- but instead, they waited two years, so the card had expired by the time mailed the reader. I think that if you're waiting so long to bill a customer that the credit card has expired, you probably need to tighten up on your bookkeeping.)

On the other hand, I don't completely believe the guy's claim that he doesn't remember the evening -- or even dining there at all! -- especially if they have a copy of his credit card and driver's license.

Poll

Tell us:

would you pay a $400 restaurant bill, two years later? (Background here.)

This poll is now closed.

This poll is now closed.

  • No way -- two years is too long.
    88%
  • Yes, I'd pay the bill if I couldn't remember paying it.
    11%

Based on 2008 votes.

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May 04 2012

Winners, HomeSense and Marshalls Canada Launch a Loyalty Program!

By Kate Musgrove

Winners, HomeSense and Marshalls have launched a loyalty program! It's not a point-based reward program, but it does offer some nice perks, including:

  • Early shopping access to stores
  • Special offers
  • 30-day returns (versus the regular 10-day returns normally allowed)
  • Member-only contests

You can pick your card up at any Winners, HomeSense or Marshalls (Canada) location, but you won't be eligible for all of the perks right away. You have to present your card at the register three separate times to get the early shopping access, for example. They do say that the more you shop the more benefits you qualify for -- I personally am waiting for them to roll out some sort of cash subsidy for my crippling throw pillow addiction.

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May 03 2012

Join RFD on May 10 for a Twitter Chat with Prizes, Shopping Tips & Tricks and Tools!

By Danielle O'Hanley

We had such a great time at our Twitter chat in December, we're doing it again! Join @RedFlagDeals on Thursday May 10 at 12PM MTN (2PM EDT) for an interactive Twitter chat about getting the BEST deals throughout the year! We'll be chatting about what to buy when, how to maximize your savings on your summer vacation and how to shop warehouse sales like a pro.

The crew behind RedFlagDeals.com will lead the discussion with mom blogger Carla Young and a team of panelists who will share their shopping tips and tricks.

Meet The Panelists:

  • Carla Young (@CarlaYoung)
    Publisher of MOMeoMagazine.com, an online resource publication for working and entrepreneurial moms. Carla prides herself on being organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family life. She shares her practical tips and tricks on MOMeoMagazine.com!

  • Marlo Boux (@Marloboux)
    Marlo is the host and producer of GirlTalk -- a radio show featuring women's issues and women's voices. As a busy mother of four, she is always on the hunt for a great deal. When she's not fulfilling her role as a media personality and mom, you can find her curled up with a book, doing Pilates, or running the trails in Winnipeg.

  • Jill Amery (@urbanmommies)
    Jill is a mom of 2 monkeys/stormtroopers and editor and publisher at UrbanMommies Media. Though she's based in Canada, her palette is mostly French and her fashion sense is decidedly Italian. When taking a break from her busy travel schedule, she can be found hosting complicated dinner parties or surfing eBay for obscure vintage gowns.

Learn how key features of the site can help you feel the rush of finding those hot deals, stackable coupons and freebies throughout the year:

  • Discover our forums, where there's over 11 million pages of deals gathered by our staff and community of 500,000+ members
  • Stay Social! – Add us to your favourite stream on Twitter and Like us on Facebook so you never miss another door crasher again. We also give away weekly prizes exclusively to our Twitter and Facebook friends.
  • Our super cool iPhone App - For the person on-the-go, there’s the RedFlagDeals.com iPhone app, ranked one of the top Canadian productivity apps and featured on Apple’s App Store page!

...and much much more!

During the chat, we'll be giving away two Keurig Mini KUB31R brewing systems (with one of our super exclusive RedFlagDeals.com mugs), two $25 Walmart gift cards and two $25 Indigo gift cards.

All you have to do to enter is:

  • Follow @RedFlagDeals on Twitter
  • RSVP in the comments below
  • Join one or both of our #RFDChat chats on Twitter (hint: use Tweetchat to follow along)

About Twitter Chats:

A Twitter chat is an interactive discussion hosted on Twitter using a keyword hashtag to track the topic. Participants and panelists will answer questions and share tips on a particular topic theme adding the hashtag to the end of their answer.

To participate in a Twitter chat, simply follow the hashtag using Twitter Search OR login to Tweetchat using your Twitter ID and the chat hashtag. Don’t forget to add the chat hashtag to all your answers so your response is seen by other chat participants.

Remember to RSVP in the comments below! Include your Twitter handle so we can see who's participating!

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May 03 2012

H&M Announces Designer Collaboration with Anna Dello Russo

By Danielle O'Hanley

Hot on the heels of the Marni at H&M collaboration, H&M has announced their next designer collabroation. This October, Anna Dello Russo will be designing a line of jewellery, sunglasses, shoes and bags to be sold at 140 H&M locations worldwide.

While H&M has paired with fashion designers before, this is the first time they have enlisted a fashion director for a collaboration (she was the fashion editor for Vogue Italia for over a decade).

The accessory line is slated to hit stores on October 4, 2012. If the line is at all like her site, I think we can expect lots of quirky pieces with pops of bright colour. I'll be counting down the days to the launch!

Image credit: Magnus Magnusson

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May 02 2012

Marvel and Visa Team Up for Avengers: Saving the Day

By Kate Musgrove

As far as mash-ups go, I can't say that this is one I expected to see! Marvel Comics has teamed up with Visa to offer Saving the Day, a comic book designed to teach kids about managing money. It features Spider-Man and the Avengers teaming together to fight super villain Mole Man. The comic is cute, and well-drawn, but I was pretty skeptical about a credit card company teaching kids the basics of financial literacy. It's actually well done, though -- they take care to define and describe ideas like budgeting, expenses and interest and keep the credit card talk to a minimum. It's designed for kids in grades 2-7 and fittingly, the information seems like pretty basic, rudimentary stuff.

The comic is available online in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Bahasa Indonesia, but it's not clear if they are printing physical copies.

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May 01 2012

Hudson's Bay Company Plans to Bring Bloomingdale's To Canada

By Danielle O'Hanley

This morning, The Globe and Mail reported that HBC is in talks with Bloomingdale's, possibly in the hopes of bringing the American brand to Canada. Bloomindale's would join other American stores that have recently made the move up to Canada (or are in the process of doing so), including J.Crew, Target, Tory Burch and Neiman Marcus.

According to the article, Bloomingdale's shops would appear within the Bay location on Bloor Street West in Toronto, as well as inside a store in Calgary and Vancouver (similar to the setup they currently have with Topshop).

Bloomingdale's currently offers $9.99 flat rate shipping for their Canadian customers for orders that come to $100 or more, but it would be nice to have a physical store in town! What are your thoughts on the possible expansion?

Comments

May 01 2012

Deal Debate: $1 Soft Drinks From McDonald's

By Kate Musgrove

One of my favourite deals of the year is the $1 soft drinks from McDonald's. Typically the promotion runs from the end of April through Labour Day, and although I indulge once or twice a week, at most, I think it's a great value and a wonderful treat, especially on a hot day. Not everyone is a fan of the deal, though -- some RFD staffers and forum posters feel like it's 12 cents of carbonated water and syrup so you're still not getting a deal, even at $1. And others feel like with the average calorie count of a soft drink, you're better off skipping them entirely.

On the other hand: yes, it's twelve cents worth of sugar and water, but there's no restaurant or store in North America that's actually going to sell you a twelve-cent drink. (In fact, the regular cost of a large drink at McDonald's is about $2.50!) And while you can often pick up 12- or 18-packs of soft drinks in cans at prices that net out to about 30 cents a can, for many people, a canned drink isn't as satisfying as a fountain drink with lots of ice. As for the health-conscious nay-sayers -- they're totally right. Water is a far better beverage than soda, hands down. But soda is a nice occasional treat -- especially at $1!

In summary, I fall squarely on the yay side of $1 fountain drinks. You?

Poll

$1 Fountain Drink Deal

Yea or Nay

This poll is now closed.

This poll is now closed.

  • Yea -- it's a nice summer treat and a great deal!
    84%
  • Nay -- just don't like this deal.
    15%

Based on 245 votes.

Comments

April 27 2012

Adventures in Shopping: Same Store, Same Mall, Two Very Different Offers!

By Kate Musgrove

Last week I dumped a gigantic (truly -- gigantic) glass of water all over my desk here at the RedFlagDeals.com HQ, and my cell phone took the brunt of the spill. My phone was instantly fried, obviously, but luckily our office is very close to a major mall that contains two separate Rogers store locations. (Yes, I'm with Rogers and yes, when my contract is up I will probably hoof it over to Mobilicity.)

Here's where things get interesting: I went to the first location, presented the issue and asked what my options were. The guy behind the counter presented a couple of different suggestions, none of which cost less than $500 and none of which involved me having a phone like the one that had died --he was offering very primitive phones at steep prices. At the second location, the guy behind the counter gave me an upgraded phone (a BlackBerry Bold 9990 to replace the BlackBerry Curve I had) for $150 plus a $50 mail-in rebate. After fees and taxes I was out less than $200 and I had a phone with a touchscreen. (I know I might get some flak for choosing BlackBerry, but I like the way they handle email and I like having a keyboard. And I'm prone to dumping to gigantic glasses of water on myself.)

I have always known that shopping around and comparing prices saves money, and I had certainly experienced a variety of responses when I called Rogers customer service. But it was interesting to me to get two wildly different offers from the same company in the same mall -- I expected there, at least, I would find some consistency in the offers. (Although it's obviously for the best that the second location didn't offer me what the first location had!)

What was your latest comparison shopping adventure?

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April 26 2012

Free Online Storage Options for Canadians

By Kate Musgrove

Google just announced the launch of Google Drive, an online storage service that offers 5GB for free. It's got some neat features, including Google Docs integration, a search engine that recognizes objects in pictures and can read the text in scanned documents and the option to look back through up to 30 days of revisions. Google Drive isn't the only free storage option in town, of course, and since most of us have more than 5GB to back up, here's a look at where else you can store your stuff:

  • Amazon Cloud Drive - 5 GB of free storage.
  • iCloud from Apple - 5 GB of free storage. You need an Apple ID (which is free) to set it up, and although it works best with Apple products it does also work on PCs and other non-Apple devices.
  • Box.com - 5 GB of free storage.
  • Mozy.com - 2 GB of free storage.
  • Dropbox.com - 2 GB of free storage to start, but for each new user you refer, you'll get another 500 MB of storage, up to a maximum of 18 GB.
  • SkyDrive from Microsoft - 7 GB of free storage, but the service isn't as nimble as many of the others and most of the integration support has been put into Windows phones, which just aren't that popular.

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