BlackBerry users left without service
BlackBerry smart phones have lost service across the United States, wireless carriers said Monday. In a statement, AT&T spokesman Fletcher Cook said the disruption is affecting all wireless carriers. Cook said the com- pany learned about the problem from BlackBerry maker Research in Motion about 12:30 p.m. There was no word on the cause or how widespread the blackout was. Some users reported being able to access their service Monday afternoon. Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney said Research in Motion also confirmed the blackout to Verizon.
Chinese items pulled
Trader Joe's will stop offering some Chinese-grown food products because of customer concerns about safety, the store chain announced Monday. Garlic, frozen organic spinach and other "single ingredient" food items from mainland China will be phased out by April 1, though products that include ingredients from China and other sources will remain. The company believes the foods are safe but "we will continue to source products from other regions until our customers feel as confident as we do about the quality and safety of Chinese products," Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki said in a statement. Mochizuki did not say how long the products would be off the shelves or how many items were affected.
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EBay to trim fees
EBay Inc. bowed to pressure Monday from some of its high-volume sellers, saying it will cut listing fees further for books, music, movies and video games sold through the online auction site. Monday's move amends a fee structure announced last month and could mean savings for merchants who sell those goods in high volume. Those sellers had expected to lose money under the new plan, slated to take effect Feb. 20. Some had threatened to stop selling on eBay. The company said last month that it planned to cut the fees for listing an item but raise eBay's commissions on items sold. Merchants quickly complained the cuts were not enough to balance the hike in commissions.
Retailers and others who do big business for Valentine's Day say they aren't seeing a drop-off this year for the day marking all things romantic, despite a slumping economy.