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In A Pickle

I have a lot of food allergies so there are very few places I can either A) AFFORD or B) Eat safely. There is a Red Robin about 20 minutes from my house that in the past has been GREAT. And on the food allergy angle, they are. But... I hate pickles. I loathe them. They are disgusting. Foul. And I always tell them BURGER. Lettece. Tomato. Onion. Only. And in the past everything has been fine.

But now it's gotten to be every damn time they put pickles on my burger. I'm on my 5th or 6th burger now. Yes, I call and they make me a new burger or comp me one, but this is just getting ridiculous. I spoke to the manager and said this is getting out of hand. He agreed. I do love the staff there but someone in the kitchen needs to learn to READ. And now I'm going to have to remember to check my order because the 40 minute round trip for a burger isn't getting to be worth it.

But there are just some nights I am sooo tired and too tired to cook. I wish there was a closer one.

Falsifying Signatures!

I work by myself on Fridays because we run a Monday-Thursday schedule here at our warehouse for production guys.

So I don't receive freight on Fridays. I don't drive a forklift and most of the time I'm not even here all day long.

Today I was an idiot and left my office door unlocked when I ran to get some lunch across the street. I took my car, since I've been ill and walking longer than necessary in the heat is not a good choice. My point of that is that the parking lot is completely bare of cars. No cars. No people in sight.

So I get back from lunch and I have a delivery receipt from UPS FREIGHT. These are deliveries that always require a signature. It just says "Dropped in bay area.". I look into my shop and there's a pallet, in the middle of my bay area full of heavy crap. I'm extra annoyed because I was planning on using that bay today too, I was going to ship out things. So I had to go dig a pallet jack out of the warehouse and figure out how to use that in a cramped space, thanks for the work-out though?

Naturally I'm enraged and called to file a complaint. I will give UPS Freight customer service and their local terminal manager the respect of handling the situation well. Especially when we found out this dingleberry signed for the shipment under a false name. It has the last name was "Smith" in their electronic system. Nice move, I see you picking a really common name and hoping it works. You would have won if you were here twelve years ago, the last time we had a Smith who worked here. I however am a one person office and have less than a dozen guys working here that I do payroll for every week. So yeah, you tried and you failed. Have fun with your write up for falsifying a delivery receipt, bro.

Well that just takes the CAKE.

I've been meaning to complain to our apartment for awhile because of things that are minor but very annoying. We moved here on Christmas Eve and were told the closet doors in the master bedroom were too small and would be replaced shortly, for example, yet we've lived here five months and still haven't gotten the new doors. Another complaint is it taking 3 weeks for the screens for our living room window to be delivered and replace.

But now, what takes the cake, is they're raising the rent when our lease is up. But not just a typical jump. Y'see, when we moved in we got a special price of $875 for rent and $75 for Water/Sewer/Garbage. (Normally it's $950 for rent and $75 for W/S/G, but because we were being referred by the sister complex of our apartment, where we'd been accepted initially, they were willing to do $950 total.) They're now raising it to $1,050 and $85 W/S/G, not included.

We... we just can't afford that. There's three of us, but all three of us are disabled and live on two fixed incomes. So we're going to talk to the manager tomorrow and see if there's a way we can fix this, but I'm not terribly hopeful.

Other problems include:
how the neighbor downstairs and across the hall from us pounded on our door one night because my 2 year old had woken up screaming at 11ish from tooth pain;
that same neighbor smoking in the hallway when it's a no-smoking facility;
our neighbor across our landing having a very loud, very obnoxious visitor at four am;
our downstairs neighbors having dogs that bark at everyone who walks passed their apartment or door, at all hours;
and the fact that the previous tenants were drug dealers and so we occasionally get their former customers at our door.

...Also, this place is not worth $950, let alone over $1,000.

Needless to say we're all a mite upset. And I'm actually quite panicked. (Though as soon as I heard our leases would be 6-month increments, I suspected this sort of underhanded shit would come down the pipeline.)

Am I the bad seller?

Just putting this out here in the community, as I'm not sure whether this qualifies as bad service or just... idk.

I'm selling heaps of old stuff on ebay because I inherited my grandfather's house. Fifty years and two generations of stuff from a three bed house = tons and tons of stuff. As a consquence, I'm on ebay an awful lot.

I sold a jumper for £1.20, and listed it on the description as

A smart blue jumper from a well known and reliable brand, this M&S item is from their Blue Habour Range. It fits a size large or 41-43 inches across the chest. It's made from a cotton blend, mostly cotton. Is in great condition!

I took the sizing straight from the label, and left it as that as I had no reason to suspect otherwise. Come back today, and got this message from the buyer:

"Hi [Snow]

Jumper arrived, it's nice, in good condition, and got here quickly, but ... " It fits a size large or 41-43 inches across the chest." Afraid not. It measures 25" a/p to a/p that's a 50" actual chest size, way too big for for a M&S L (41-43), more like an XL (44-46") despite what the label says. I blame myself for not having asked you for the a/p to a/p dimension. Please if you sell any shirts/jumpers in the future don't say "suitable for" tell people what the actual dimension is. I only paid £4.15 (incl postage) so it's not the end of the world, just a bit annoying.

[Buyer McBuyerson]."

So... the label said 41-43 inches, and because I don't have deal with men's clothing on a regular basis apart from this, was I wrong to base it on the label? I didn't know you had to measure rather than just trust it. Women's clothing is more like a lottery so... I dunno.

What says you, B_S?

Gardening from the Wrong Perspective

We're cultivating a newly cleared plot of land at our house. Filling it with plants has meant patronizing both Big Box Stores™ and small local nurseries alike. Mostly it's a labor of love, but a couple of merchants have inspired moments of real WTF-ery.

About ten days ago I placed an online order with a nursery in the Pacific NW, which seemed to be taking a long time to process. After an email query they finally put the cc charge through, but chastised me that I "should" have specified the plants were needed ASAP. That was the first warning sign.

Three business days later, no tracking number had been generated (delivery to my region is strictly 3-day UPS.) I started to pull up some of this company's online reviews to see if maybe I'd gotten myself into a bad business transaction.

Oh, dear. :/ Collapse )

UPS Bad Service

So I had about 6 packages coming to me via UPS. Most were clothes, but one of them was the materials for my bar review course and very important. So, anyway, my apartment complex requires everything to be signed. The UPS guy used to always come between 3 and 4, but the last few weeks they have not been following any sort of schedule.

So I'm expecting the packages Wednesday, so I come home as soon as I can. I get home at 2:15 and there is a notice on the door. So I missed the driver. However, the notice says that it is the second notice for one of the packages. Only I did not get any notice on Tuesday.

So since there is no way I can be home on Thursday, I call the phone number. I give them the info number from the notice given to me. That notice says that 4 packages were attempted to be delivered. So the person on the phone says the only thing I can do is pay $6 to have the packages delivered to the UPS store.

Now, the UPS store here is not easy to get to. I have no car, and there is no bus that goes there. But I figured I could find a ride, so I said fine and paid. And I did find a ride there today. Only to discover that only one of the packages was sent there.

So I went online, and I was able to get the tracking number for the bar review materials. I went on the website and saw that supposedly the driver made an attempt to deliver it on Thursday. He left no notice. Again. And now it is being returned to sender.

So I called customer service and tried to explain what was going on. The lady on the phone only said that even though the info notice included this package, it really didn't and it wasn't their fault that only one of the packages was sent to the store. And then she hung up on me before I could even finish.

I've emailed them. Their stupid email system only allows 500 characters, but I tried to make it as strongly worded as possible. We'll see what happens. But I'm really pissed off. I need those books. I'm mad at the diver for not leaving notices and for the person on the phone not doing what he was supposed to do and for the second phone person being unhelpful and hanging up on me.
Firstly, thank you all for your comments, I've never been through this before, and I have learned a valuable lesson about using my cc online (especially with Walmart!). I will never shop there online again.

This is an update about this post.

Rang my cc issuer. They said to keep an eye on things, it usually "expires" after 5 days if they don't "settle" and collect the money (which would be bad), but call Walmart, anyway. If they settle and collect the money, then I'm to call back and they'll escalate me to dispute the transaction, they'd send me paperwork in the mail, I'd have to fill it out, and send it back, and then once they get it, it could take up to three weeks to see any action. Uhhhh... I thanked them for their time and called Walmart. They said since the transaction on their end was cancelled, the money's still technically in my account, hence the "pending" status. Gave me an invoice # and an authorization code, and said it could take up to 4 hours for it to drop away. I called my cc issuer back, they said no, that if they don't touch the money in 5 days after the transaction was cancelled, then it'll kick back over to my cc, that they can't do diddly about it. Alright, fine. Tomorrow is day 5. They have till dinner time (9p my time) to get it back on my card. If my card does not reflect that "pending" transaction as being "expired" and that $1,007.28 is NOT back on my card, I will call back and escalate it to someone who will help.

I do not do running in circles. I do not have the time, the patience, and I am not willing to tolerate it.

To be continued.
Looks like I have to call today when I wake up and get lucid. :( The other night, I was going to order a new laptop and a new Chromebook online. The total came out to $1,007 and change for two laptops and a Chromebook (IT WAS GREEN!) but Walmart canceled my order. I still have the e-mail from them saying my order had been canceled. I went to Walmart to the store itself and bought the two laptops I was going to order, in person, and what I thought was a Chromebook but it's a Netbook Stream (which is fine, I can use that one for work, as I work from home). HOWEVER, I just looked at my account online for my card, and it's still saying "pending cash transaction" for that amount that I was going to be charged for the online order??? The hell??? The purchase I made in person went through fine. It was a little more than the $1,007 and change that I spent in person, and that's fine, and I'm glad it went through, but if cancelled my order online (and I can back it up with the e-mail should they inquire), why is it still saying "pending" on my card history? I'm going to get to the bottom of this, but I need to be caffeinated and have slept first, or I am going to get evil and it isn't the poor rep's fault who answers the phone.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar to this, not necessarily with Walmart, but with other business transactions similar to this one? I'm confused.

This is the e-mail they sent me the other night just a little while after they"d thanked me for my orderCollapse )

I'm going to call both my card issuer AND and find out how to fix this.

To be continued...

(edited to include e-mail verifying cancelled order)

ASDA returns shambles

I bought a bunch of clothes from ASDA online and had to return three things because they didn't fit. They provide a free returns service via Collect+, a courier service accessed through small local shops (i.e. you can drop your parcel off at the corner shop where you buy your milk or whatever). Handy!

A few days later I got an email from ASDA confirming they'd received my return and that they would issue my refund shortly. The same day, I got a refund via Paypal for £10 (the value of one of the items). Fifteen minutes later, I got a refund for £4 (the value of another of the items). I was waiting on another £4 for the last item but it didn't come.

I emailed their customer service department and they called me back a couple of days later (maybe it's just me but it bugs me when companies don't reply in the way you contacted them - if I'd wanted to sort this on the phone, I'd have called you!). The thing I can't get my head around is that they refused to refund me because I couldn't provide the Collect+ tracking reference. They had already confirmed the parcel arrived, and refunded me for 2/3 of it, but wouldn't do anything else if I couldn't give them a reference - the only function of which would be to confirm they'd received my parcel. Which they already knew.

I couldn't find my receipt (I think I got rid of it when I got the 'return received' email from ASDA) and insisted that they find a way to refund me without it. I was put on hold for a minute and hey presto, they agreed to issue my refund. Still waiting on the refund email from Paypal though...

Bad Haircut

I generally go to the Toni & Guy salon in Birmingham for haircuts.  However, this time I decided to go to the one in Solihull, which is closer to where I work, because I figure it'll be easier to get to for follow-up fringe-trims.

In which I am patronised, have uneven hair, and am invited to pay to fix itCollapse )

Do what?

So, yesterday I was supposed to go to the hospital for a simple blood draw. I do not have a car, so I arranged transportation through my insurance. Thursday night the transportation guy calls me and leaves a voice mail on my cell phone that he was going to be here at 1245 to pick us up yesterday afternoon to go get my labs done, right, I didn't see the phone message until my fiance' got home, b/c he had my cell phone with him.

Well, yesterday at a quarter after eleven, we get a phone call from the guy saying are we ready to leave? No, because you said 1245. He argues that he said 1145 in his voice mail. Uh, no. I have the voicemail, I can back up what I'm saying, I will show you. He said, Fine, be ready by 1145. So, we had to rush to get ready to leave, get our dog walked, and be out the door. Come 1145, he's not here. He called and said he was outside. We go outside, and he's not there. Nowhere to be found. I call him, he says, "Oh, my bad, I didn't pay attention to the numbers. I'm going to go pick someone else up, I'll be back, is that okay?" No, it is not okay! I tell him so, and he says he'll be back, but he's rude about how he's talking to me, like because I'm a female, I cannot stand up to him and call him out on his mistake. That was his tone. Real condescending. That pissed me smooth the fuck off, but I held my tongue. He goes, "I'll be back at 1156. Be ready." He hangs up, I held in my anger until the call ended, and I let out a snarl. 1156, no driver. I call again, and he goes, "I'm on my way. Be ready." I told him, "You said first 1245 last night, you dared tell me today that you said no you didn't say that, that you said 1145. I can prove to you that you are in the wrong. Then you tell us you're outside, we come outside, you're not here. Then you said you're going to pick someone else up because you didn't pay attention to the numbers on the buildings. This is not acceptable, and I am reporting you. I want a new driver." I hang up on him, tell my fiance' what happened, and he's by now getting pissed, too, and he's usually pretty mellow. Just as I'm about to call my insurance to talk to Access to Care, my phone rings. I answer, and it's Access to Care! Some manager person copped a tone with me about how I'm no longer welcome to use their service because I threatened to report the driver. I called him incompetent and that's not alright. I told the driver I did not appreciate being talked down to because I am a woman, and that's not alright. Somehow that is a "racial slur." What?! Okay, whatever. I've got a couple friends I can give gas money to, and I'll coordinate around their schedules. It's your karma, dude.

Anyone who knows me knows I am in no way a racist. How, I ask, is it a racial slur when I tell the driver I'm reporting him for this mistake?! How is it alright to take the word of a driver who can't do their job right over the customer!? No. Just . . .no.

Church's Chicken bad_service

Today, my fiance' and a friend of ours and I decided to go to lunch. We hadn't had Church's in a long time, and our friend hadn't ever had them before, so we decided to go there.

Now, we get it that there's a such thing as lunch rush. That's not the problem. The problem is, when there's two people manning the counter, and there's only one person working on orders, that is an issue. The spare person at the counter wasn't even running the drive through, she was just standing there with her thumb up her ass.

We were there for nearly 15 minutes in line waiting for these people to see us standing there. One gal was getting ready to leave for the day, and the manager was bitching at her about someone else they had working on the schedule tonight that might call off and she was complaining about that. In front of customers. We were all really uncomfortable standing there listening to this.

After about 15 minutes, I got sick of waiting and waiting and we were all hungry and my sugar was starting to drop (yay, hypoglycaemia!), so I suggested to my companions we go next door to Wendy's for lunch, instead. The girl that was just standing there behind the counter just gave us a nasty look as we thanked them and politely left. I don't know if I should call corporate and lodge a complaint? I know that this area isn't the greatest neighbourhood, but that is not an excuse to just stand there and do nothing when you are being paid to work. When you have customers, paying customers who want to order, don't just stand there, do your job. The manager just stood there and was complaining to one of the workers about the other worker that might or might not call off tonight and if he does, he's not going to be working on the schedule Saturday because one of the other gals that evidently works there won't work with him Saturday if he calls off tonight. Uh, how is that appropriate conversation to have in front of your customers? I don't get it.

Maybe it's just me and I'm wrong, but this is bull. And my companions all agreed, we're not going back to that Church's.

Apr. 21st, 2015

We've used the same vendor for paint supplies for decades. A great track record of always paying on time, they always ship immediately, it's a great relationship!

Until just now.

I didn't realize I hadn't received an invoice for our last order. It must have gotten lost in the mail. I've worked in bookkeeping for over a decade, it's rare but it happens, it's the USPS after all. That's why we contact each other after an invoice is past-due to ask "Did you receive this? Let's make sure that our books match". That's why most companies send you an account statement if you have open invoices.

Instead of calling or emailing or re-mailing an invoice/statement/request for payment about six weeks after the fact, they just put a freeze on our account.

So what happened was I put in another order, instead of shipping immediately I get a call from the "Controller" of the company. The message just says "I'm looking for your accounts payable, please call me when you get a chance." No extra information, since that would be too easy so that I would have the answer when I called back and get to the point. Most messages in this fashion should say "I have a question about a past-due invoice" or something. My books show I have no past-due or open invoices in general, so I could have immediately responded with "We don't have a copy of it, send it over and I'll send you a check immediately!" It's pretty standard procedure for any company to company transaction regarding AP/AR.

I understand collections, I am also a huge fan of freezing accounts when they are repeat offenders and magically drop off the face of the Earth when you try to contact them. However proper manners tend to to give someone at least one warning and it usually takes more than a couple weeks past due to freeze an account. That's tacky, inconsiderate and lazy in my professional opinion.

I called Customer Service, asked them nicely to cancel the order. Then once it was off our pending orders list, made sure to let the Controller know that there are too many other options for what they supply to put up with that sort of behavior. No response from them about my annoyance.

This isn't the worst bad_service by any means but it's obnoxious poor bookkeeping and business behavior!
My city (Halifax, NS) doesn't have the best transit system in the world, but it's my only mode of transportation besides my feet so I suck it up. In order to get to work, I have to take a bus over the bridge and transfer at the terminal. The bridge by the terminal is closed for construction most evenings, has been since February, and will be for at least the next year and a half. On those evenings, there's a shuttle that takes people over the other bridge and to the terminal by taking the long way around. The shuttle goes every ten to fifteen minutes, but it's a longer trip than going directly over the first bridge. I prefer to err on the side of caution and take the earlier shuttle, rather than the one that's supposed to get to the terminal at almost the exact same time as my connection. When you take transit, ten minutes is a huge difference.

Last Monday, I was waiting at the bus stop for the shuttle that was going to come at 9:20. My connection leaves the terminal at 9:55 (and only goes every hour after 9 pm), so I thought that would give me plenty of time.

When I wait for a bus, I typically stand at the edge of the sidewalk and look in the direction it's supposed to be coming from to try and make it as obvious as possible that the driver should stop. I was doing just that when I saw the shuttle coming toward me. I had my bus pass in hand and was all ready to board when the driver just drove right by me. I immediately started running after it, since usually when they drive by people (not an uncommon occurrence tbh) they'll stop when they realize their error.

Not this guy.

There was no way he didn't see me at all. Like I said, I was standing right at the edge of the sidewalk and then started going after him. The night before, the driver of the shuttle drove by me at my stop as well, but he stopped when he realized I was there and let me catch up (he didn't even apologize for driving by me though).

I get this is a new route and all, but it's been in place for almost two months now. When the bridge is open, a ton of buses service this stop.

The 9:30 shuttle did get me to the terminal in time to make my connection--by about a minute. :/ I sent in a complaint, since I don't think it's unreasonable to expect buses to stop at bus stops.
I decided to participate in a Reddit snack exchange, and on Wednesday this week I shipped two boxes of goodies to the US via Royal Mail. I've posted stuff overseas many times, so the boxes were correctly addressed and had their Customs stickers; I also paid extra for tracking, not only to give myself peace of mind but because in Reddit exchanges you're supposed to prove that you actually shipped something.

Cut to this morning, when I decided to check the tracking - and discovered that while one of the boxes is already in the States, the other one is in India. Yes, India, you read it correctly. I rang Royal Mail's customer "help" line as soon as it opened this morning, and was once again stunned by the sheer awfulness of their service. First of all, they won't even let me fill out a form reporting a problem until twenty working days have elapsed, although they could tell by checking the tracking number that the parcel is currently on a completely different CONTINENT than it ought to be, which takes me through to the third week in May - by which time there will be absolutely no chance of finding out what's happened to it. The dimwit at the other end of the line told me that it was "entirely possible" that the box would be sent on to its correct destination, but I told them that given that the British postal service had not been able to handle the parcel correctly I had no confidence in the postal service of a country where English is the third language at best being able to do any better. What I think IS "entirely possible" is that some thieving postal employee in Delhi or Mumbai is already tucking into two kilos of British snacks and washing them down with some of the Irish Breakfast Tea that my snack recipient had specifically requested - yes, you guessed it, the box that has gone astray is the one that had the bulk of the goodies in it. So despite having sent me a wonderful assortment of American treats, what my exchange partner will receive in return is a small box containing the six bags of crisps which wouldn't fit into the other box without putting it over the weight limit.

I am now going to have to wait a month to even fill out a form reporting the parcel missing, following which there will be an investigation by Royal Mail that will be spun out in the hopes of me giving up in frustration and abandoning my claim so they don't have to pay out. If it sounds to you as though I've been through this before, you're right; I had hoped that privatisation would improve Royal Mail's performance, but I was wrong.
The fan on my laptop has been making loud noises and needed repairing. I had no idea why it was doing it, and didn't know whether it was damaging my laptop. So I booked it in to the Curry's repair centre, Knowhow. I had to pay an initial fee of £50 and if it needed any new parts or they couldn't fix it for under £50, they'd ring me and let me know. I never got any phone call so was in high spirits. But with ne, nothing seems to run smoothly. And it happened again. Got the laptop back today, didn't have to pay any extra, thought to myself, this is running too smoothly, lol. Got it home. And it's still making that horrible noise.

The letter that came with it said that the laptop had been repaired successfully, that no parts needed to be ordered. But it didn't explain what they had actually done.

I can't fault the guys at the shop. They were lovely. But I am really annoyed at the repair centre and that I have spent £50 on a repair that never happened.

We're going back tomorrow to see if we can get it sent off again for free, or get my money back so we can get it repaired somewhere else. I paid £500 for it so it needs fixing.

Btw I realise I should have extended my warranty, but I didn't and that's my own fault. But It's wrong that I should pay £50 for nothing.


My mum and I took the laptop back to the shop where my situation got dealt with without any problems. A sales assistant heard the noise the fan is making and also told us that the technician who'd serviced it removed a blockage in the fan, and it's likely that it damaged the fan. It's gone back to the repair centre free of charge. We'll just have to pay for any parts that need replacing. So, a good outcome. I just hope it comes back fixed this time!

Apr. 16th, 2015

A couple short ones:

We went to Florida end of March for Disneyworld and Universal with the kiddos. My husband called Rogers before we left Canada to get a roaming package put on his phone. He chooses a $40 package that gives him cheap data and texts without the roaming charges.

We cross the border - and his phone just stops working. My work phone, which I put a roaming package on, switches to AT&T. My personal phone, which I did not put a roaming package on but wasn't planning on using much, switches to AT&T. His phone? No connection. No switch. Nothing.

He tries calling Rogers but his phone won't even let him do that. He basically had a very expensive paper weight for the duration of the trip. He could take photos, and would upload to facebook and whatever at the hotel by wifi each night, but couldn't use his phone at all. Which sucks for us, because we have us and two children to look after, if we lost each other at all we would have no way to get a hold of each other in the park.

So we got back, and he calls Rogers, and he was told that "Oh, some employee put a roaming block on your phone two years ago!" (My husband has never left the country except for now, so no clue why that was). So they let him put a roaming PACKAGE on, but never thought to tell him that there was a block on.

So they tell him, they will credit him back the $40 roaming package. My husband says, he wants 2 weeks free from his normal plan too, seeing as he wasn't able to use his plan AT ALL for 2 weeks.

The worker pipes up "Uhm, but you said you were able to use wifi, so that's using your plan.."


We laughed and explained that Wifi is not their plan, Wifi was given by the hotel and you could use any device without a plan with wifi, they can hardly take credit for that.

So we escalated it, and supervisor gave $35 off the monthly bill, which still isn't great, but we took it because we were headdesking at this point. Even she mentioned that he WAS able to use his phone on WIFI.

2. I ended up needing the emergency room in Florida. Now, I definitely feel for people wo can't afford care in the US. I'm lucky enough that my regular work benefits also provide 100% coverage for me and my family even on personal travel outside the country. So I called up my benefits, told them what hospital I was going to, they faxed over a letter saying I had 100% coverage for everything.

I got care, I went to leave, and the hospital asked for a $1,100 deposit or we couldn't go. They highlighted on their forms where I signed that said they could ask for a deposit "if insurance could not guarantee 100% coverage". I argued for about half an hour, that the fax they were sent that says right on it, 100% coverage, should legally mean I do NOT have to pay a deposit. They would not budge. I ended up calling my insurance and they had to write this huge document about 100% coverage meaning no copays, no out of network, no exclusions, etc, etc, etc, etc before the hospital would let me leave.

That was crazy. Now I'm back in Canada, where I ended up back in emergency, and got surgery and it was all free. I even told the girl at the hospital, in Canada I could go get in a huge accident, spend 3 months in the hospital getting countless surgeries and it would still be free when I walk out. She thought THAT was crazy. I thought her way was crazy. I know we have some meds and stuff that we do pay partially out of pocket for, but I wouldn't trade health care for anything, I can't imagine having to face a huge hospital bill on top of being sick, or having to choose between whether or not I could afford to get my kids or myself seen in an emergency.

Apr. 7th, 2015

We've got a saying here in the UK which describes a person or group of people who are inept at their job - "Couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery", and it certainly applies to the organisers of a 'pop-up' event - 'Annie The Owl' - in London. This event was given mega saturation coverage in the media, and after almost a dozen friends forwarded me details I thought I would sign up.

The event was due to take place during the third week of March, and entry was by ballot - meaning that if your name was drawn, you would be able to purchase a ticket. I duly signed up online, and several days later received an email saying that the event date had been changed to the second week in April. I wasn't thrilled about this, since it meant that due to work commitments there would only be one possible night that I could attend, but since I really wanted to go I decided to hang in there. The ballots were drawn on Sunday, and I - along with all the other applicants - received an email telling me that I would be hearing from the organisers very soon. I received an email this afternoon, and got very excited - until I got past the first sentence. The ballot was not now going to take place, because due to the organisers having received so many applications for tickets they wanted to devise a system for distributing the tickets that would "ensure that they went to people who really wanted to go". What I, and the other 1,000 "successful" applicants were now expected to do was download an app onto my phone and use it to hunt for clues which would divulge the website where tickets for the event were being sold - and if we were one of the first 500 people to log on to this website, we would be able to buy a ticket. Thing is, I do not own a smartphone due to the cost involved, so I now have no chance of attending this event at all.

My major gripe is that if these people had made it clear up front that only people with smartphones would be able to attend this event, I wouldn't have had an issue with it; it would have been a requirement I did not meet, ergo I would shrug my shoulders and move on. But to keep changing the goalposts while the 'game' is in progress, and to finish up by telling people "sorry, if you're too poor to own a smartphone we don't think you really want to attend", strikes me as the worst kind of sharp practice.

Credit card payment bad service

I pay a set amount off on my credit card by direct debit every month, on the 28th. Last month, on the 20th, I changed to amount of my direct debit payment using the bank's online banking service. I got a confirmation email repeating what their online banking website had told me:

"Thanks for choosing to pay your ***** Bank credit card ending **** by Direct Debit. We'll make this change, however this cancels the existing payment with your bank.  Your new Direct Debit will not come into effect until your next statement so please make alternative arrangements for this month's payment."

So, I made that month's payment manually, by debit card.

I just checked my credit card account online, and they took the new direct debit on the 28th! So much for cancelling it. I used to work with direct debits and this reminded me that setting up a direct debit can take weeks, whereas just amending the amount of an existing direct debit can be done much more quickly. My bank doesnt seem to know how to distinguish the two when communicating with their customers, as clearly they amended it instead of cancelling it and then setting up a new direct debit.

The reason I changed the payment amount is because I'm a bit short of money at the moment, so the fact that I paid twice (by debit card, then direct debit) has left me out of pocket. The most annoying part is that when I phoned them to complain, they told me to file a direct debit indemnity claim with my bank! After they fucked up, and I've sat on hold with their not-cheap customer service line, they want ME to fix it? Nuh-uh. The person I spoke to kept on trying to put me off getting them to fix it, saying it could 'take a very long time'. I insisted, and it turns out that the 'very long time' business day.

So fingers crossed I'll have the direct debit payment amount back in my current account this week. I wish I'd remembered my experience working with direct debits earlier, so that I could have kept an eye out for this, but they seemed pretty adamant that it wouldn't be good to go until next month, and stupidly I trusted them.

AT&T DSL Bullshit

I'm so frustrated with them I could spit. Let's see if I can write this concisely.

December 2014: We've bought a new house! Yay! Had Uverse, but it's not in the new area. Settle for AT&T DSL. Call and set up an account for when we move in.

2 days later: Settle on Directv for TV. Realize they have a deal with AT&T for $10/month. Cancel account #1, go through Directv for account #2.

2 days after that: Discover that instead of canceling account #1, they signed us up for account #3.

Cancel all extra accounts except account #2. Turns out, they kept account #3, not #2. With an activation date for a week after we needed it. Call. Speak firmly. Get account #4 with the correct activation date.

Now have 4 modems. Send back the 3 extra. Get DSL set up.

January 2015: Apparently one of the accounts cancelled was the one linked with Directv. $10/month credit gone. Ugh.

Feb. 2015: Random $150 charge on account. According to their records we had a Technician Visit for House Rewiring on Jan 16th. Um, no. Definitely not. Call, told that the charge would be removed.

March 2015: Charge still on bill. Call again. They can see where I was told it was going to be removed, but that it was still there. Promise this time they mean it.

Late March 2015: STILL THERE. Call AGAIN. They can see where I was told it was going to be removed, but that it was still there. Promise this time they mean it.

Tonight: STILL THERE. Attempted internet chat (bored, I guess?). Guy kept trying to explain *why* the charge was there, and *what* the charge was for, without bothering to listen that I'd been through all this before.

Tomorrow: Look for new internet. I'm completely done with this.

Teleflora WTF and Suck

So this week, my friend was in the hospital. I was freaking out because I just lost someone I had kind of drifted off contact with this past year and there was a TON of guilt involved, and this current friend and I had both been busy and hadn't been in touch for a few months. I'm in Texas and she's in California. She was in the hospital and everyone local was out of town or unavailable so she was all by herself. This was unacceptable and I at least wanted her to have some physical representation that people care. So I may have been a bit more emotionally involved than usual, but I think it was ridiculous anyway.

So late Tuesday night, when I found out, I put in an online order through Teleflora for delivery on Wednesday. I ordered an arrangement and teddy bear and paid whatever it was for same-day delivery. Got my order confirmation and everything seemed fine.

She never posted about it, so I called throughout the day to check their automated system about delivery. Pushed an option asking about delivery confirmation and the system assured me that the florist would update me. Did that happen? Hell no!

Around 6 Central, I called and this time the system sent me to an agent. After 5 minutes of holding, I finally spoke to a woman who told me that the florist had put a note on the account that my friend had left the hospital and they wanted an alternate delivery address. Except... she hadn't left the hospital. The woman continued to tell me that no, she'd left, and they wanted another address for Thursday delivery. I told her I would call and double check and she offered to call me back. Of course I called and verified she was still in the hospital, and called Teleflora back because I wanted them to go back and deliver. It was barely after 4 in California and since it was their screw-up and I'd paid for same-day, I didn't see that as unreasonable. Apparently it is, according to them!

The second person I spoke with kept talking over me, arguing and arguing and insisting that because the florist's note said my friend had checked out, it must be so. Because obviously my friend would stage an elaborate ruse where I call through the hospital switchboard and they send me to her cell phone where she's sitting on her couch eating bonbons, right? I finally got her to get me a supervisor, which took about 10 minutes of arguing, holding, arguing, and holding again.

Finally the supervisor gets on the phone and apologizes for taking so long. She said that she called the hospital to verify my friend was still a patient, and then called the florist. These people argued with Teleflora and demanded the supervisor speak to a nurse on the actual wing, which they did, and then they spoke to my friend in her hospital bed, and called the florist back. Florist still refused to deliver and would only do it "first thing" Thursday morning.

By then I was pretty ticked off, but tried to stay cool. Then the call went really stupid and sour and I'll never use Teleflora again.

They offered me a 20% refund for all the foolishness. I still wanted that delivery because I honestly don't think 4:20 is too late to fix your own error. I asked for the florist's number, because I wanted to speak to them directly. They had supposedly "attempted" to deliver at 2:30 local time! Nobody ever called me, nobody called my friend, there was no notice whatsoever! I'd had to chase down these flowers, which I think is ridiculous. If they had bothered to pick up the phone and call SOMEONE listed on the order, they could have fixed it in time to get it delivered and I wouldn't have been so upset. I think that's what had me the most irritated that they didn't care whatsoever.

Well, the supervisor tells me they can't give me the florist's name, due to "security purposes." I get that they don't want me going direct because they don't want to lose their middle-man business, but a lot of this could have been resolved if they'd just let me talk to these yahoos. I asked her how I avoid them using this florist in the future, and her answer was that I can put in the special notes of future orders in that area not to use the same florist as 4/1/15 and they can look it up. Otherwise, it's super top secret.

Their "first thing" was around noon. They snuck in while my friend was having a procedure, which was just kind of the final laughable thing about it because I had asked her if she would try to see which florist it was that delivered because honestly I wanted to review them and give them a piece of my mind for their lazy customer service work. At least she finally got the flowers and teddy bear. It just shouldn't have taken me over 30 minutes in phone calls to get it done.

Oh, and I still haven't received that credit. That's going to be another phone call.

Apr. 4th, 2015

My mum got some bad service today. I was at another till at the time, being served by a nice cashier. My mum got a not so nice cashier. My mum's cashier was talking to another employee who seemed to be doing nothing. Apparently they were talking about their private lives, as opposed to work related things. My cashier asked me if I wanted my coat hangers, but my mum's cashier did not. She also wrapped my mum's clothes scruffily around the hangers and shoved them inside the bag while her head was turned because she was too busy talking to her colleague.

I mean, I've been a cashier for ten years and have worked with clothes for as long, and you just don't do that. You don't have to be an expert at folding but for God sake don't treat your customer's new clothes like trash. And focus on your customer. Don't ignore them, and especially don't talk to your colleagues instead.

I said we ought to go back and complain to a manager, but my mum didn't feel like she had the energy.

USPS Employee Curses out a Customer

I was just at the post office and got to witness a USPS employee calling a customer an asshole and telling him to "get the fuck out of his post office" over basically nothing.

From what I witnessed, the guy stepped away from the window after getting his money order for half a second to grab something (a pen maybe?), but still needed to ask the employee a question and had communicated to the employee that he still needed help. The employee told him to get back in line (knowing this post office, it takes 40 minutes to work through a 5 person line).

The person got upset, but the worker started cussing him out first, and after the guy left the worker continued to talk about what an "asshole" the customer was and "fuck that guy!"

This is the same post office where they have interrupted a customers transaction in order to allow their friend to check out with his package ahead of the entire line. And yes, I complained and literally nothing came of it.

I attempted to call USPS just now, and the phone line says "customer service is not available".

Time Warner, Again, Because Of Course

God forbid anything ever go right with Time Warner.

I called in Feb. 25th-ish trying to cancel my account. They told me to just bring my stuff to a TWC office and they'd close it for me.

I go in March 2nd (I think, or it might have been March 1st) with the equipment in tow, wait 40 minutes to get to a rep, give him my stuff and he tries to put in my cancellation. It tries to put it in as March 25th; whoops. He runs, gets a supervisor, is gone for another 5-10 minutes, comes back and closes the account, and has me pay $30 pro-rated for the cancellation date he puts in. He says everything is groovy, I'm all paid up and don't have to worry about anything.

I'm moving, so things are crazy. Suddenly I get a collection agency notice from TW for $30. Wtf, I think, I already paid this.

After speaking with them on the phone, basically, the last rep was "mistaken" and I have to pay the extra $30 because of some mistake THEIR rep made. So, his fuck up is somehow my fuck up, and I have to pay extra for it?

This isn't my first encounter/issue with them. Last yearish I dealt with them for THREE WHOLE MONTHS trying to get a very simple issue fixed. THREE. WHOLE. MONTHS.

They're refusing to take responsibility and stand by what their rep charged me. :v Because, of course, this is Time Warner. God forbid they give anything back to the customer. They desperately need my extra $30.

ETA: Wow. The rep I just spoke to said I was given credits on my account that I didn't deserve. I cannot make this up.

ETA: Okay, two supervisors later and this is resolved. o _O; Geez. I don't really get why there was such a fight put up when the last sup was like, "Duh, our rep said that, we'll give you that. Done." Sheesh.

Honestly, I was really pissed when I wrote this, and I'm gobsmacked that the last guy was so easy going about it, haha. I was totally expecting it to take longer than the nearly-two hours it's already taken me from start to finish. :P

Bad Service

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