July 31st, 2006

La Quinta, Spanish for crappy hotel.

So I was meeting up with a friend and we decided to go to a hotel (yeah, it was that kind of friend). We decide on this place called "La Quinta", I'd never stayed there before but they had rooms available and were close to where we needed to be. He goes in and we get a room key and stuff and go up. We go in and find an unmade bed and a Gatorade on the night stand. Um...ew. Okay, they fix it relatively quickly by giving us a new room. It really starts getting retarded after that though. Mind you, it's pretty late while we were there so this is taking place at like...5 or 6 in the morning. We're doing our thing and someone tries to open the fucking door. Thank God, I just randomly decided to put the latch on the door, I never thought someone would try to come into our room while we were in there but for some reason I put the latch on. They didn't even knock or anything, they just tried to barge in. It scared the living shit out of me and had I not put the latch on they would've gotten an eyeful. Does it end there? Nope. At around 7am we get a phone call from someone at the front desk. They're calling and saying we're in the wrong room. Apparently some idiot forgot to key into the computer that we switched rooms, causing them to almost barge in on us and then causing them to call at 7 am and see why we were in that room. There was this whole confusion over us being in the wrong room and booking two rooms but only staying in one. I just couldn't believe they decided to call THAT early. Obviously they had to see the time we checked in and they saw that we paid for one of the rooms, was it so incredibly important that they couldn't wait to call and bitch to us about their mistake at a decent hour?

Okay whatever so we go to check out and they tell my friend that he didn't pay enough. Buh?? The girl at the front desk said the room rate was like 100 bucks or something and he didn't pay tax. Rather, they didn't charge him the tax when he originally checked in and were trying to do it now when we were leaving. My friend got understandably pissed and mentioned all the problems we'd had with being disturbed in the middle of the night and then at an ungodly hour of the morning in addition to the dirty room they gave us in the beginning. The front-desk girl just flatly asked "You want to speak to a manager?" He said yes and the manager came out. He didn't seem to understand that we didn't believe he should have to pay the tax now because of all the crap they'd put us through. (Mind you, we were planning on complaining regardless of the tax situation) Instead the manager winded up giving us like $2 and some change as a "refund" for the tax we never paid...and tax on a hundred dollar room would undoubtedly be more than 2 bucks. My friend tried giving the money back but the guy just said for us to take it and that it was okay, he actually didn't listen to much of the complaint and just started keying things into the computer before opening the register and giving us the money. That part obviously wasn't bad service, it was just...odd.
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(no subject)

Background: I work for an animal nutraceutical company (in other words, the company makes vitamins for pets, but that doesn't sound as fancy). We only sell our products to veterinarians, but consumers call and email in all the time with questions. In this situation, a consumer called in and said her normal cat vitamin smelled different than usual, and her cat wouldn't eat it. Being the uber-strict quality control company that we are, we issued a UPS call tag to pick up the vitamins. We were also nice enough to send out a replacement, since she wants to keep giving the product to her cat, but was just cautious about that bottle.
Alrighty. So this is where the fun part starts.

Usually call tags are a pretty simple deal. Basically we fill out the pickup info for UPS (where it is getting picked up from, approximate weight of the package, where it is being sent to), and a friendly UPS guy/gal shows up, slaps a sticker on the package, and takes it away. That way the company pays for the shipping.

So mid-July I issue a call tag to her address in NYC. Let's say that she lives on River Street (not even close to the name of her actual street, but ya know I don't want to tell random people where she lives). About a week later UPS still hasn't picked up the package, which is a bit strange. I have accounting give them a call (normally I am not allowed to call UPS directly, because I am just a sales rep), and UPS promises to pick up the package that day. Swell, right?

Not so much. So the next day I email the consumer to make sure that UPS picked up the package, since when I checked the tracking number it had shown that it was picked up late the previous evening. She emails back that she still has the package. Hmmm.
So accounting calls UPS, and they claim they DID pick up the package, from Livingston Street. Yeah, except they were supposed to pick up the package from RIVER Street. So UPS decides to re-issue the call tag, and promises that they will pick up the package in the next few days. I wouldn't be surprised if I get a random package from Livingston Street...

Consumer emails me back a few days later, UPS still hasn't show up. I check the new tracking number, and yet again UPS shows they picked up the package. Umm, OK. Finally I call UPS directly (screw the rules, I was getting pissed off), and they claim up/down/left/right that the package will be picked up TODAY. I also confirm the address, and yes they are planning to pick up from River Street. The UPS woman was also nice enough to give me the local NYC UPS distribution number.

Toward the end of the day (this has been about two weeks since I originally issued the call tag) I call the local UPS number in NYC to triple check on the status of the tag. They guy who picks up claims that the package was picked up a couple of days ago. Umm, actually NO, I set him straight, that was some sort of a wonky error, and it wasn't actually picked up. He humms and haws for a bit, and says he can send out a driver this evening to pick up up. He asked "And this is getting picked up from Grant Street, right?"

Cue hysterical laughter on my part. Grant Street?? Where the fuck did you pull that address out from?? Pick it up from R.I.V.E.R. S.T.R.E.E.T. UPS guys is all confused, says that all his records show it is getting picked up from Grant Street. We double check the tracking number, but everything else matches up. Remember, I had confirmed the address that morning with the main UPS folks, and this is now the THIRD time we have provided the correct address.

The next day I receive an email from my consumer (at this point we have been emailing back and forth for a while with all the logistical chaos, and are getting along swimmingly -- she is quite possibly the nicest consumer I have ever dealt with, and she would have EVERY right to be irate). So UPS did finally show up, but they didn't have the actual call tag, it was just some sketchy dude who took the package, and didn't leave a receipt or tracking number or anything.
I can only hope that the package ends somewhere in Vermont in the next decade. But I have to admit, it doesn't look promising.
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    amused amused
Friday yet

Can they do that?

I live in the UK, and I go a tanning salon once a week, mainly because it helps my minor skin problems - though yeah, a light tan looks nice too.

The thing is, I went into the salon today for my usual 8 minute session, and there is a big sign up on the wall informing clients that the salon is closing on September 1st and we all have to use up our pre-booked minutes by then as they won't be giving refunds.


I paid in advance a few months ago for 250 minutes tanning time, I still have like 130 minutes left, so unless I start having loads of tanning sessions over the next four weeks (which I don't really want to do) I'm going to be out of pocket when they close.

How is this right... and can they actually legally do this?
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    The All American Rejects - Move Along
WoD - Just Frenzy

lazy-ass service.

Tonight my family and I went out for a nice dinner at the supposedly upscale, very nice place - the Dockside Restaurant in York, Maine. While the Bad Service we received wasn't the worst service I've had in a restaurant, it was pretty weak all the same. Let me tell you our story.

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So, worst experience ever? Not really, not compared to a lot of the stories here. But I'll be damned if I'll go back there again. Just one crappy thing after another.