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 Some of the Dumbest Moments in Business 2007

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Number of posts : 1056
Age : 69
Location : Pretoria - South Africa
Registration date : 2007-10-18

PostSubject: Some of the Dumbest Moments in Business 2007   Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:51 pm

Ah, what a dumb year it was! Fortune chose the
absolutely dumbest of the dumb that the gods of fate and humor
delivered into our laps this past year.

High-tech toilets

Japanese manufacturer Toto apologizes to customers and offers free
repairs for 180,000 high-tech toilets - thrones that feature heated
seats, air purifiers, blow dryers, and water sprayers - after at least
three catch fire. "Fortunately nobody was using the toilets when the
fire broke out," says a company spokesman. "The fire would have been
just under your buttocks."

Electronic voting machines

Diebold tightens security after it is revealed that a simple virus can
hack its electronic voting machines. Months later a hacker uses a
picture of a key from the company website to make a real key that can
open the company's machines.


Disneyland announces plans to close the "It's a Small World" attraction
to deepen its water channel after the ride's boats start getting stuck
under loads of heavy passengers. Employees ask larger passengers to
disembark - and compensate them with coupons for free food.


Australia's Toy of the Year, a bead toy called Bindeez made by Moose
Enterprise, is pulled from stores after scientists discover that the
beads contain a chemical that converts into the date-rape drug GHB when

Cocaine energy drink

After receiving a warning from the FDA, Redux Beverages agrees to stop
calling its energy drink Cocaine. It changes the name first to
Censored, then to NoName.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

A contributor to the website of the Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds complains that he is being censored when a filter in the site's
Microsoft software automatically replaces the word "cock" - the common
designation for a male bird - with asterisks. "As bird lovers will
know," he writes, "a Parus major is a great tit, and while a ****
doesn't get past the forum censors, tits do not cause offense."

Cartoon Network

To build buzz for its animated show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," Turner
Broadcasting's Cartoon Network places electronic lightboards throughout
Boston, triggering a bomb scare that shuts down two bridges, an
expressway, a subway station, and a stretch of the Charles River. The
devices depict a character from the show saluting passersby with an
upraised middle finger.


Rapper Jay-Z, founder of the Rocawear clothing line, is taken to task
by the Humane Society after it finds that the "faux fur" in jackets
sold by his company is actually dog fur.

Judge Roy Pearson

District of Columbia judge Roy Pearson loses a $54 million lawsuit
against the owners of a dry-cleaning establishment that he claims
misplaced a pair of his pants. Pearson argued that the cleaner
committed fraud by failing to live up to the SATISFACTION GUARANTEED
sign displayed in the shop.

Four months later a judicial review committee votes against reappointing him to his post, finding that he failed to demonstrate "appropriate judgment and judicial temperament."


To test Google's ability to block harmful advertising, Belgian IT
security consultant Didier Stevens posts an ad that reads "Is your PC
virus-free? Get it infected here!" It is accepted by Google and
displayed 259,723 times; 409 web surfers actually click on the ad.

Serendipity 3

Just one week after unveiling the world's most expensive dessert - the
$25,000 Frrozen Haute Chocolate, 28 cocoas infused with edible 23-karat
gold served in a goblet with a diamond bracelet at its base - New York
restaurant Serendipity 3 is shut down for failing its second health
inspection in a month. Inspectors find a live mouse, multiple piles of
mouse droppings, fruit flies, houseflies, and more than 100 live

The Defense Department

Exploiting a flaw in a Defense Department purchasing system, South
Carolina parts supplier C&D Distributors rakes in $20.5 million in
shipping fees on just $68,000 in sales. The scheme is finally detected
when a Pentagon clerk spots a $969,000 bill for shipping two 19-cent
washers to an Army base in Texas.


Nine-year-old Shea O'Gorman sends a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs
suggesting ideas for improving her beloved iPod Nano, including adding
onscreen lyrics so people can sing along. She gets back a letter from
Apple's legal counsel stating that the company doesn't accept
unsolicited ideas and telling her not to send in any more suggestions.

Rhode Island Hospital

The state Department of Health fines Rhode Island Hospital $50,000
when, for the third time in less than a year, one of its doctors
operates on the wrong side of a patient's head.

Thomas the Tank Engine

Illinois-based RC2 Corp., maker of Thomas the Tank Engine toys, recalls
1.5 million of the wooden trains because of excessive levels of lead in
their paint (see Mattel).
Consumers who return the tainted toys are then sent free boxcars, some
of which are recalled three months later for the same reason.

Circuit City

In a cost-cutting move, Circuit City lays off all sales associates paid
51 cents or more per hour above an "established pay range" -
essentially firing 3,400 of its top performers in one fell swoop. Over
the next eight months Circuit City's share price drops by almost 70%.

Mummified corpses

A Spanish bank repossesses a house and puts it up for auction -
complete with the mummified corpse of its former owner, who had stopped
making mortgage payments six years earlier. The body, preserved by the
salty air in the seaside town of Roses, is discovered by the buyer.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson stars in commercials for Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites
pizza, then tells Elle magazine that she's allergic to wheat ... and tomatoes ... and cheese.

Jackson Hewitt

Two weeks before April 15, the Department of Justice files suit to shut
down more than 125 franchised offices of Jackson Hewitt, the nation's
second-largest tax preparer. The DoJ alleges that the franchisee had
engaged in a "massive series of tax-fraud schemes" costing the
government more than $70 million.

In one instance, a Chicago
barber declaring $14,000 in earnings claimed a fuel-tax credit for
$50,000 of gasoline, which the DoJ says would "require him to drive
1,370 miles each day, seven days a week ... leaving little if any time
to cut hair."

The Virginia Tourism Corp.

The Virginia Tourism Corp. scraps an ad campaign featuring people
making heart symbols with their hands after it's noted that the gesture
is also the gang sign of Chicago's Gangster Disciples.

Juan Carlos

After Hugo Chávez calls the former Prime Minister of Spain a "fascist"
at a summit in Chile, Spanish King Juan Carlos leaps to his
countryman's defense. His retort to Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?"
becomes one of the nation's most popular cellphone ringtones,
downloaded more than 500,000 times within ten days.

One Laptop Per Child

Nigerian schoolchildren receive $200 computers under the U.N. One
Laptop Per Child program and quickly learn a few things nobody expected
- such as how to find adult websites and how to store their favorite
images on the computers' hard drives. Program leaders say future
laptops will be fitted with filters.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines inaugurates the Airbus A380, the world's largest
jet, with a seven-hour flight from Singapore to Sydney. To the chagrin
of those who forked out $15,000 for one of 12 private,
double-bed-equipped suites, the airline asks its passengers to refrain
from having sex. Says first-class passenger Tony Elwood: "So they'll
sell you a double bed, and give you privacy and endless champagne, and
then say you can't do what comes naturally?"

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