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Tight Fists

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The greatest damage that Allstate suffered from Hurricane Ike has come not from all the claims it has underpaid, but from the massive unmasking of how poorly the company functions as anything beyond a premium collector. Except that they’ll be collecting fewer and fewer premiums from the suckers they’ve ripped off, and they can give up hoping to fool new victims. Up and down our street, through every neighborhood, throughout the Houston region, everybody here knows how dirty those “good hands” are. And the only thing Allstate can guarantee is that inevitably, eventually, everybody everywhere else will know the same truth that Houston had to learn the hard way: Allstate does not want your business unless they can be sure they will never have to pay up on a legitimate claim.

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Written by macheide

28 February 2009 at 9:47 pm

Posted in umop3pisdn

Fool Me Once

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“Free”? Verizon must have practicing their impression of the Administration on how to twist the English language (as in, we’ll set you “free” by putting our next several generations deep in debt). According to a very rude customer rep after an hour’s wait at their Baybrook store, we’d be paying upwards of $300 for their “free” Blackberry device, even before getting around to the extra monthly charge we figured would go with the upgraded service.

The Baybrook rep thinks good customer service means dismissively shrugging that this interpretation of “free” is the same one can anticipate from any other wireless service provider. Like, “Take it or leave it, sucker,” with attitude. There, at least, they have a point. An AT&T executive arrogantly claims, “Good service is not what you pay for,” as if I would then continue to pay just for the privilege of the bad service he acknowledged of AT&T. (In that case, I would rather pay to leave – and take many others with me – than continue to pay to get the nothing he promised if I were to stay.)

But a tip of the cell phone to Verizon’s Jason, reached quickly through a call to Verizon. Instead of the Baybrook store’s kiss-off, Jason took the time to work through a complex web of tangled arrangements to come to a resolution. Still not free, so Verizon’s text message staff need a lesson or two in the seriousness of false advertizing. But whereas we were rather close to redeeming the waste of our time at the Baybrook store by seeking a new wireless provider, credit Jason with making us feel like renewing our contracts for the foreseeable future.

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Written by macheide

26 August 2008 at 6:20 pm

Posted in umop3pisdn

Marriott Nevermore

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OK, about Marriott. For two decades or more I’ve had the sort of brand loyalty that would send me miles and hours out of my way on some trips, just to stay at what had become my home away from home. And not just to stack up award points – although those were a welcome bonus that I have used, I would have been more than willing to patronize Marriott straight out, without any extra payback.

No more. Never again. I am seriously even contemplating shrugging off the accumulated award points currently in my account. It’s not worth it to me to have a few “free” nights under this new anti-business policy they’ve apparently adpoted.

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Written by macheide

13 April 2008 at 4:25 pm

Posted in umop3pisdn

Lights Out for PARI

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emerging from eclipse There’s our moon at 9:53pm CST, just 2 minutes into emerging from its last total eclipse for the next three years. In awe we await the rebirth of the light of the full moon. This side of a total eclipse, rising back up out of the shadow, is in so many ways even more moving than the moon’s darkening was.
lights out And then quite suddenly, without warning, the moon disappears!! What is this, did our bad weather interfere with our military’s aim, making them mistakenly blast down the moon with their missle instead of hitting that defective satellite they thought they shot down?

No, but it’s almost as comically criminal: an astronomical organization that apparently does not know when a major astronomical event is still very much in progress. Quite abruptly, without any advance warning, PARI turns out the lights on its telescope webcam less than 5 minutes into the moon’s emergence from last total eclipse they’ll have the opportunity to show us for the next 3 years. Bye bye, suckers.

I know, I probably shouldn’t be such a pissant, should instead be fawning all over Pisgah for its so very “generous” gift of even this incomplete glimpse of the promised land. After all, that second pic is all we had up in our Houston skies, what with the rainy weather NASA didn’t feel like cloud-seeding away for eclipse-viewers’ benefit.

But that doesn’t excuse an astronomer flipping the switch as soon as the light starts peeking back after a total eclipse Nor was PARI’s little disclaimer to the effect of only committing to showing the event as long as its telescope webcam happened to be turned on – are they so in the dark that they haven’t heard of an automatic timer to plug into the outlet, even if they were going to pack up and leave before the best scene of the show?

PARI’s success is dependent upon volunteers, tax-deductible financial contributions, and donated equipment. PARI is a not-for-profit public foundation recognized by the IRS under section 501(c)(3).

That’s PARI panhandling for donations. Hey, I was seriously so grateful to be able to see the last full lunar eclipse of the decade through the clouds, that I was considering joining the ranks of Friends of PARI. Seriously. But if I had written out my check at 9:26pm CST during the moment of deepest total eclipse, I would have ripped it up just half an hour later. They don’t need friends so much as they need to stop making enemies.

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Written by macheide

20 February 2008 at 10:00 pm

Posted in umop3pisdn

Still Steaming

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Krogers Rents Out Cleaners They Would Charge You Extra If Returned In the Same StateKrogers will charge you an extra fee if you return a rented steam cleaner to them in this condition. But that apparently doesn’t mean that Krogers will make sure that they rent you a steam cleaner that starts out clean, nor will they give you a credit for a dirty cleaner or give you the surcharge they collected from the previous user.

So let me try this one again, just to be sure I have it straight. If I just leave this steam cleaner in the back of my car and don’t use it at all, simply return it the way they gave it to me, they’re going to charge me for returning it to them as dirty as it is the way they gave it to me?

This must be just a way to collect extra income from some customers . . . while reminding customers like me that they really don’t care to have my business. And after this rented cleaner is returned to them, they no longer will.

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Written by macheide

20 January 2008 at 4:39 pm

Posted in umop3pisdn

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Steaming

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SteamingI’ll be steam-cleaning the carpets this afternoon (in between breaks for watching a little football and puttering with a little journaling) and tomorrow morning (to honor the MLK federal holiday).

No thanks to Krogers at the corner of Beltway 8 and Sabo south of Houston, where we rented the steam cleaner. Today, at least, their customer service acts as if they would rather not have customers to service, so risk making sure of that in the worst way: strongly encouraging us not to be Krogers’ customers for at least this service in the future.

Eh, we used to have our own steam cleaner until it burned out this last summer. And a house with as many carpets and as many pets as our probably needs a new steam cleaner of its own, instead of relying on the substandard service Krogers feels like it can get away with on a Sunday afternoon when a guy’s supposed to be watching football anyway, right?

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Written by macheide

20 January 2008 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Adrien, choreograph, umop3pisdn

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Monarch Paper – Not from Covey!

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I’ve been procrastinating ordering 2008 paper for my Covey Monarch notebook for no other reason than that I hate forms so much, no matter how easy, no matter how much I might like what comes from completing the form.Update – And then wouldn’t you know it, Covey would be so prime an example of why I hate forms so much? You’d think that a company that is trying to make “forms for personal and business organization,” so to speak, would have the best in the business when it comes to forms on the internet for someone who’s been a customer for over a decade now. Nope. Aside from the fact that their website took me forever to locate something I might actually decide to purchase for my 2008 pen, their checkout process takes my credit card information, then without any explanation whatsoever merely returns to that same page. If I enter the same info again, have I made a duplicate order? If I leave it as it stands, with no confirmation of my order, have I just wasted my time and made no order at all?

And on top of it all, Covey has this defective shit up 24/7, but only supports their slop during certain hours of weekdays. If and when they manage to make any contact with me on my complaint e-mailed to them, my response will be to cancel any order they might have managed to record. And I will never use Covey products again.

Yep, even after a decade of being a loyal customer, and as much as I’ve loved Covey products in the past, that’s all it takes. If a company supposedly specializing in organization can’t keep better organization themselves, I have much more reliable options easily at hand.

And without having to fill out one of those idiot forms, too!

Further Update: “Thank&nbspYou!” LOL – That was what Covey’s website says when I unsubscribe my e-mail from their stuff.

They couldn’t have said it any better.

Good riddance. (Why’d it take me so long, really?)

Final Update: Upon receiving my complaint about their website taking my credit card information and then quite clearly fouling up the order while – as I very clearly stated in my complaint to them – giving me no indication of the problem, Covey’s idea of customer service is to ask me what error message the website gave me. Uh, which word of “no indication” did they fail to understand? Actually, that’s crediting them with too much intelligence, when the problem was that they never bothered to actually read my complaint before responding. Consistent, that is, with the rest of their service.

But that is the final update from me on this one. I solved the problem by picking up my paper from a competitor, since there are many from whom one need not put up with poor customer service in exchange for what I guess they apparently have the arrogance to think to be the privilege of having their precious paper beneath my pen. Bye, Covey. You just blew away a customer who had loyally splurged on many of your products for over a decade.

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Written by macheide

29 December 2007 at 9:01 pm

Posted in formaphobe, umop3pisdn