Businesses in the news, for better or worse

Pharmacists aren’t as good about spotting lethal drug combinations as they should be.

•You’ve heard about the Wells Fargo disaster with employees being pressured into adding accounts and services customers didn’t ask for? A labor group says T-Mobile employees were pressured to do likewise.

•Adding accounts is nothing. Buzzfeed charges that a psychiatric hospital chain raises profits by locking up patients on flimsy grounds until their insurance runs out.

•The Navajo Nation has settled a lawsuit against Urban Outfitters that charged the company ripped off Navajo designs.

•You’ve probably heard about the Rolling Stone story on campus rape that collapsed when the rape victim at the story’s heart turned out to be lying. Columbia Journalism Review looks at how Rolling Stone, having screwed up the article, lost the defamation case that followed.

•Yay, a half-dozen retailers, including Aeropostale and Disney, have agreed to end on-call scheduling. That’s where workers have to clear the schedule in case the job needs them, but don’t get paid for sitting at home waiting, or they may show up for a scheduled shift and get sent home early.

•Apparently there’s a market in San Francisco for PIs spying to see if property owners are illegally setting up Airbnb hotels.

•Consumerist speculates whether pharmaceutical companies hired lots of DEA ex-staffers to reduce scrutiny of excess opioid prescriptions.

•How some retailers succeed without much online presence.

•Uber’s self-driving cards have a problem navigating bicycle lanes.

•The National Economic Council says hidden fees such as broadcast fees for cable, resort fees for hotels — hidden because they’re not in the quoted price — are bad for consumers because they make it hard to tell who has the best deal, or what you’ll really be paying.

•Paul Campos of LGM looks at a study of how law firms offer summer associate positions to law school students: upper class men get picked first, then lowerclass women, then upper class women, then lower class men. The appeal of a lower-class woman is that it’s assumed if she’s got a good enough resume, she must be hungry and ready to work; upper class women by contrast suffer all the sexist stereotypes I remember from forty or fifty years ago (she’s not serious about her work, she’ll quit as soon as she gets married, she’ll marry a man who can support her, etc.). In a follow-up post, Campos argues the study proves Big Law is not as meritocratic as supporters claim.

•One of the standard defenses for outsourcing is that the poor people of the third world desperately need to work unsafe jobs at shit pay. Therefore, worrying about the effects of outsourcing on American workers makes you a racist or something. I doubt Bangladeshi protests for better pay will change that defense.

•As a dog owner, I found this article about the corporatization of pet care pretty horrifying.

•When you call a help desk or service desk, a computer may be selecting which rep is best for you.

•After the foreclosure crisis, banks, investment firms and hedge funds became the owners of lots of rental properties. They’re not good landlords.

•Charter customers whose homes were ravaged by the Tennessee wildfires say the cable company is charging them for service they’re not getting and for not returning equipment that’s been burned and destroyed.

•How cord-cutting is transforming the business for networks and TV production companies.

•Cybersecurity against hacking is a challenge for hospitals and medical-device manufacturers.

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