September 8th, 2008

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Follwup to some craptacular service from First American Home Buyer's Protection

Just an update to this post

Called them up today and got the scoop from the rep who was there. They show me as being on the emergency list from 5pm on Friday and not before regardless of what the other two people said. Being put on the emergency list doesn't mean you'll get any service faster or have a toilet working within 3 days.

I pointed out to the rep that as far as First American Home Buyers Protection knows, I've had 4 people (2 adults, 2 kids) without a pot to piss in and a toilet sitting in the middle of the floor for the past 4 days. I got a bunch of "I do apologize"'s back from them.

I had her look at the service record for the thing and on Friday what they had done was they decided to deny my claim (around 11am) and then put the call to me in the queue of calls to make to inform me that I was being declined coverage because they couldn't find a sewer access cap. As of 11am Monday that call has still not come and supposedly it's in the queue - they will call and tell me I'm declined at some point.

The rep I talked to was a brick wall basically, it seems their entire job is to not let you bother the people above them, and the last time I did manage to get above them (I had a serious problem with one of their contractors last year) I got the name-repeater guy (the person who says you name over and over and over every single sentence to baffle and disarm you)

I told the rep I called back at 9pm on Saturday when they had not contacted me and they were closed. She said "no we're not" I told her to call her office at 9pm on a Saturday and see if they're open, the "we're closed" answering machine seemed to indicate they were, in fact, closed. She then asked me what number I called and I told her the main number, she said I had to call a different number and I asked her how I was supposed to know that considering it's not in my documentation nor had anyone bothered to tell it to me, or call me back when they said they would. She didn't have an answer but offered to give me the number and I asked her what good this was going to do me now.

I got the fax number for their reimbursement department and was told to have the contractor state on the receipt where the sewage access point was, I asked if they wanted a photo attached of the point or me to email a movie of me walking from the street to it, they said no.

I talked to the contractor who cleaned the thing out, he said the foreign object they hit was most likely a 90 degree turn followed by another and that there was no way their little snake reached to the clog and if they had even looked at the plumbing they would have realized what they were hitting. Not to put the plumbers First American sent down, any company that does solar panel installation as their primary work I don't think is up for the task of a serious clog.

So anyway, that's it. I will get the receipt from the contractor in a few days, fax it in, and see if they want to deny it. I have 5 contracts with them on various places, 2 of which expire in a month. I'll be canceling the other 3. I had those contracts so that when things went wrong I could get them repaired by a reputable company and not keep dealing with the slime and price gougers I keep running into. Turns out they're worse.
cat kill you

Chili's and Italian Restaurant Bad Service

I've got two stories of some restuarant bad service.

My husband and I decided to go to the local Chili's for dinner the other night. Now, this particular Chili's isn't the best, as it's typically run by a bunch of teenagers and I swear I've seen the place go through about 3 or 4 managers, but I live in a small town, and there isn't much choice for places to eat late in the evening on a weekday.

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Pizza Hut Bad Service

I normally let most bad service go; I can understand getting lost trying to find an obscure apartment, I can understand being new to the job, I can understand things getting backed up at the store. These are all things that are beyond our control, and I don't blame a delivery-person for not being OMG PERFECT.

But when you:
Take nearly two hours to prepare/deliver my food,
Park on the other side of the street from the dorms,
Forget half my order,
Arrive with the half you DID bring only lukewarm, when your restaurant is five minutes away by car,
Bring the other half of my order crushed AND cold,
Proceed to waste my time with excuses like, 'I didn't check what was supposed to be in the order, I just grabbed the bag and left",
I'm going to be a bit peeved.

My friends were not happy with their crushed, cold food, either.
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Smoky flowers

I'm one of those people who cannot handle cigarette smoke.  It makes me cough for hours and hurts my eyes and if I'm around it too long, I get a sinus infection.  I lived with my dad (4 packs a day) and stepmom (2 packs a day) for 15 years, and now that I've been away from it for at least 10, I can't handle it at all.

The other day, I went to a local flower shop to get an arrangement for a friend whose grandfather passed.  I walked in and to my left was a huge display of plants and to my right was a huge display of flowers.  You think I'd be able to smell flowers, or at least some kind of greenery, right?  Wrong.  All I could smell was cigarette smoke.  A lady came out to greet me with a lit cigarette in her mouth, and another guy was walking around behind the counter with a lit cigarette.  I didn't want to be rude and walk out, so I stayed and asked a few questions about pricing, etc.  After about 2 minutes, I couldn't stand it anymore and said "I'm sorry, I have to leave, I can't handle the cigarette smoke."  The woman apologized and went to put her cigarette out, but I really couldn't stand it anymore.  I coughed for about 2 hours. 

Nothing says "Sorry for your loss" like a bouquet of roses that smell like Marlboros.  Won't be shopping there again.  This may not be terrible SERVICE, because she was mostly polite, but the fact that they're selling flowers, which are supposed to smell good, and I couldn't smell a flower at all in their shop, is really awful.

This is more general, but I can't stand seeing CVS employees standing right next to the front door smoking.  You'd think that a drug store would have higher standards for that.  I've sat and waited in my car for people to finish before walking my 2-year-old former preemie through a cloud of smoke.  I talked to the manager about it once, just asking if he could ask his employees to move it down about 10 feet.  He said he'd talk to them, but I saw him standing outside the next day smoking right next to the entrance. 

At what point (and to whom) would you complain?

I just moved to a new area.  The grocery stores around here aren't very nice, have crappy expensive produce, and overpriced meat that is multiple colors.  The only one with good produce and good meat is Jewel, but Jewel is more expensive, so I only go there once a month or so to stock up. 

In the past I have seen: teen employees gathered around text messaging, giggling, and shreiking; employee pocketing a pack of gum, employees ignoring the self-scan while elderly customers stand around confused, and employees actually yelling at each other in the doorway.  I really haven't had the urge to complain, because none of it was actually HORRIBLE, just unprofessional.

Until today.

I got a weeks worth of groceries, around $64 worth.  After walking up to an openI use cloth bags (they're easier to carry, and I hate when I have a million plastic bags hanging around the house), and when I handed them to the cashier, she sighed loudly, yelled for a bag boy, and threw them at him.  I tried to hand her my Preferred card, but she was quickly scanning my food, throwing all of it down to the bag boy.  So she finishes ringing me up and says the total, and i say "here's my Preferred card", and she sighs again, and rolls her eyes as the discounts ring up.  I finish up on the PIN pad so I can pay. 

Not so bad yet, right?

Well, as I look up, I notice her throwing an apple into my cloth bag, without it being in the plastic produce bag.  Since there was also raw chicken in that bag, I ask her to please put ithe apple back in the plastic baggie.  Then it dawns on me:  did the apple fall on the floor?  So I asked her.

"Yep", she replies, handing me the bag.
"And you just put it back?" I asked
"Yeah, they said people wash their produce and stuff, so we don't have to tell them if it falls"
"Yeah, but it can bruise when it falls on the ground"
"I'll get you another apple if you want one"

The apple didn't look bruised, and I didn't want to risk an angry worker messing with my apples, so I said "no thanks, but you really should tell people when you drop their food".  Then, she and the bagger proceeded to pepper me with requests to get another apple.  "I'll get you another apple, I can get you more apples, let me get you another apple..."  I was suspicious of their sudden desire to get me more apples!

So that was weird.  The bagger also only put half my items into my cloth bags, giving me three overflowing plastic bags, and two half-empty cloth bags, and one overstuffed (as in, my bagels are squished) cloth bag.  My bananas were also on top of my bread, and the meat was placed on top of a bag instead of underneath anything (chicken juice and all that). 

So, bad_service...would you complain?  And if you would, who would you complain to?  The store manager, who may have said that it's OK to drop people's food on the ground and not tell them?*  Or corporate headquarters, who may want to know about the craziness that occurs at this particular store?  Or am I overreacting entirely, and I need to accept that food dropping and eye rolling are all a part of produce acquisition?

*I realize much worse happens to produce, but I picked apples that had no bruises, and I prefer not to see the crazy stuff that happens.  And yes, I always wash them.
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scam alert

Just received a scam call on my cell phone (doubly-illegal) about a bogus car warranty. They made it sound urgent and as though I was at fault, provided no identifying information about themselves, and wanted me to provide information about myself which if they had been legit they would have already had. Furthermore, the only company I have a car warranty with is my car's dealer.

Some links:
A better description of their scam
Discussing the scam

Posting this in case anyone experiences the same thing. It's definitely a scam.

Meanwhile, I've reported them to both the Do Not Call Registry and the Federal Trade Commission, since it's both a DNCR violation and a scam.

I've been a telemarketer and I know the law. Do not fuck with this bitch.
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