Consumer Catch-up: CVS delivery, AT&T and Verizon nix data sharing, NHTSA cease and desist, Marriott rolls out Alexa

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CVS will offer next-day delivery on prescriptions and some over-the-counter items, plus Marriott is incorporating Amazon's Alexa into some of its hotel rooms. The consumer news you need to know for Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

CVS launches next-day delivery

CVS Pharmacy announced Tuesday it will launch next-day delivery from all its pharmacy locations across the country.

Delivery will be available for prescriptions, as well as over-the-counter items like cold and flu medicine, allergy medication, first aid supplies, baby, personal, and feminine care products.

Customers can place a delivery order on the CVS app or in the store.

Delivery will cost $4.99.

Verizon, AT&T pledge to stop selling data

Major telecommunications companies Verizon and AT&T announced they will no longer sell data that could reveal the location of their customers.

So-called data brokers purchase that information, and in turn sell it to other companies. The practice drew criticism from privacy advocates because customers have no way of knowing whether they are being tracked.

Verizon first made the pledge, then AT&T joined to end the data sales.

Both companies say they will stop soon. Each says they need to make sure essential services, like emergency assistance, are not impacted.

NHTSA shuts down Autopilot Buddy driving device

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent out a cease and desist letter to a company marketing a driving device used to trick Tesla's autopilot feature.

The Autopilot Buddy is marketed as a "nag reduction device" for the Tesla. It disables a safety feature in the vehicles that monitors a driver's hands on the wheel and warns the driver when hands are not detected.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King calls the product "unacceptable." She says, "By preventing the safety system from warning the driver to return their hands to the wheel, this product disables an important safeguard, and could put customers and other road users at risk."

The Autopilot Buddy website now has an alert that they are only taking international orders at this time - none in the U.S. The site also has a disclaimer that the product is not intended to be a hands-off device.

Marriott launches Alexa assistant in some rooms

Marriott hotels announced a partnership with Amazon on Tuesday, bringing the Alexa voice assistant into certain hotel rooms.

The deal puts Amazon Echo smart speakers into select rooms across Marriott's family of hotels. In a promotional video, Amazon says guests can do things like order room service and control lighting.

They can also launch typical Alexa functions like playing music and setting alarms. Guests without Amazon accounts will still be able to use the smart speakers.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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