September 9th, 2008


Shoe Shopping...

This happened to my best friend several months ago, and the story below about the security guard/bag issue reminded me of it.

My best friend and her then-boyfriend were in the mall looking for a new pair of shoes (I think it was for Prom, b/c her boyfriend was still in high school, but I really don't remember).
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  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical
i has flavor

More of my dealings with First American Home Buyers Protection

Figured since I am still pretty miffed at them I would give a recount of 4 years of fairly bad service. Since they've limited it to about once a year for the insanity I hadn't really realized the levels to which they had pissed me off.

Anyway, so my name is Paul, I am a slumlord and own a few properties. Over the past 4 years I have had First American Home Buyer's protection on 5 of them as when something goes wrong I want it fixed asap and to keep costs at a fixed rate.

Here are a few stories from the past few years for anyone thinking of dealing with them.

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There was a time with a leaky faucet they denied me because there were no water pressure regulators on the house.  After those were installed at my expense the plumber who was out looked at the leaky faucet and told me the thing was actually just old and bad and had the first plumbers looked they would have seen what the damage was.  FA denied the claim because of something unrelated.

There was this last incident where they left me and my tenants hanging waiting for an emergency plumber they decided to cancel and not tell me about.  Sewer gas, small children, and fun.

Gah, seems like there are more.  But I have forgotten them.

veiled dancer

Admissions and Records at Community College

I just called my cc's Admissions and Records office, hoping to have a question clarified that I can't seem to answer myself with their online resources. I need my general education signed off on a certain slip of paper for the University I'm transferring to, and I'm not sure if the transcripts I had sent from my past collegiate forays had made it to the cc. In order to get my general education signed off, these transcripts would need to be in my file at the cc.

I don't want to go all the way down to the cc campus more than once if I can avoid it, so I tried to call. I wanted to ask if my transcripts had made it in. I had sent an email once before about this, but had received no response.

When I dialed the number for admissions and records, I listened to a very long recording detailing the days in June and July that the office will be closed. It's now September. I was then given one of 3 options, and I chose to hit "O" for an attendant as instructed.

It rang about 6 times, then I was informed by a recording that all available lines were busy. If I knew my party's extension number, I could leave a voice message. Otherwise, stay on the line for the next available attendant.

I stayed on the line.

3 rings later, another recording picks up along the lines of "Thank you for calling, but no one is available. Please call back another time. Goodbye."

I thought it might be a fluke, so I tried again 15 minutes later. Exact same run around.

I picked other menu options, such as "For questions about Transcripts, Press 2."

Every other option led to a recording. For example, when requesting information about transcripts, I was informed that I could request them online, fill out a slip located at such and such web address, or come in. Right after the recording would be the "Goodbye" heard at the end of my first call.

I am really frustrated. I need a question answered, but it's inconvenient for me to show up at the cc's office if I can't get my general ed written off then and there by an academic advisor (If i have to show up, be instructed to get my old transcripts, and come back).

Here's the kicker - I could have had my new university assess my general education situation, if my cc transcripts had shown up in one piece. They didn't. I had been informed by the same office with the terrible phone service that all cc's within my district showed up on the same transcript (that attending two community colleges campuses in one district showed up on a district-wide transcript). This was in fact wrong, and the nice (informative and accessible!) people at my university have been kind with pointing me in the right direction, and feeling sympathy on my transferring soul.


Who else hates the bureaucracy and office staff at their community colleges? What's up with that? Why do we always let them get away with predictably bad service??

Badcock Bad Service

Ugh. When we were shopping for bedroom sets, we asked what the shipping times are like - they said they could have it in by Monday. When we purchased the set, they said they'd call Monday afternoon to schedule a delivery Tuesday. When they called Monday, they set up a time (between 11AM and 1PM) to deliver it.

So why did they wait until 9:15AM Tuesday to tell us "oh, we only have the bed frame, the other pieces are on backorder"?

It's a minor thing, obviously, but it irritated me. They said we should have it by NEXT Monday; if not, we're going to go back and get our money back and shop elsewhere. Don't they have an inventory system on the computers I saw at the registers that could say "this unit is on backorder, allow extra shipping time"?
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    irritated irritated

Macy's bad service

I joined this community to post this because I'm so frigging irritated right now.

I live in Norway right now, and Norway is insanely expensive. I really need new clothes right now and while shopping for my husband's birthday present, I found out that Macy's was having a One Day Sale and I could get a ton of clothes (10 shirts and a winter coat) for the same price that two sweaters I bought here cost me. We are going back to the States this month, so I planned on just bringing an empty suitcase and having everything shipped to my mom's house. I picked out what I wanted, showed it to my husband and then... got distracted forgot to order it. Not a big deal, because the sale technically started Saturday.

Saturday evening, I try to check out with my clothes and the whole website has gone to hell. It's freezing, reloading, giving me error messages about site traffic... etc. Apparently, the One Day Sale is reeeally popular. We tried for about three hours to order the clothes, even getting so far as to input my credit card info but then the whole thing crashed and I couldn't even get to their front page anymore. We finally gave up and went to bed, though my husband did wake up at 6am to try and check out for me. Still no luck.

On Sunday, I got a generic email from Macy's Customer Service department saying that I could check my order status online. However, there was no order number or any other emails that indicated the order had gone through. I logged back on to Macy's and my cart was still there (and had gone up $200 in price, grrr) like the checkout had NOT been successful. I was confused and logged on to my bank to see whether or not Macy's had actually charged me. And they did. Three separate times, thus causing my account to be over-drawn.

I immediately called Customer Service (and had a hell of time actually getting through to a real person) and explained what had happened. She was very nice but told me that they could not do anything about the charges for at least 3 days. WTF? She said that there wasn't any info in their system yet about what happened so they couldn't do anything to reverse the charges yet. She could see that an order had been attempted on my card, but said that the computer was saying it was never completed. She did say that they would honor the sale price though... if I wanted to try and order again when you know, I wasn't -$100 with the bank. She said if I really needed to use my debit card, I could try calling my bank to see if they would remove the charges. However, I've had to do this a couple of times in the past and the bank has always made me get an entirely new debit card. >: ( This is a huge pain.

Since we rarely use my bank account, I would rather wait to see if the charges are removed soon, like she promised... but it's now Tuesday, and still nothing. I'm also not entirely optimistic about the sale price being honored but will see.

But seriously, what if I had needed to go grocery shopping or pay a bill immediately?

Bad Bus Service.

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TL;DR - Bus driver refuses friend a courtesy/discount ride. Bus driver doesn't allow another passanger to give my friend change. Strands the bus and calls for police assistance. Friend and my family have a history with the company and know this is against the rules. We get kicked off bus. Next bus driver has no issues with giving a discount ride.
Firefly - Not All Who Wander

Community College annoyance

Like I said, just an annoyance, not the worst service veer, but it could be.

I applied for graduation in January 2007 to graduate May 2008 with an associate degree. They sent me the list of the classes I still needed. At this point, they told me that there were two graduation ceremonies per year: one in May, one in January. They say if I cannot finish my classes by August 2008, I will have to graduate in January 2009 instead. No problem.

So I take my classes, have to take a few twice due to unfortunate circumstances, and I can't finish my classes by the end of August, so I figure I'll be graduating in January after I finish classes in December. I send an email to the appropriate department about it, they say I don't need to re-apply, it'll be no problem.

One of the classes that my audit form says I need is a natural science class. There is no such thing listed in any of my college's class information, and so I ask a counselor about it. She says I DO NOT need a lab class, just 3-4 credits of natural science, and that Backyard astronomy counts for that without a lab. That's what I took over summer semester.

Cut to two weeks before the May 2008 graduation ceremony. I find out that a) they no longer do a January grad ceremony and that b) if I can finish my classes by the end of december, I can walk in the may ceremony. Too bad it's WAY too late to walk in that ceremony, and so I was very anxious about not getting to do that. But a counselor said it would be no problem, I could walk in the next year's ceremony since I wasn't done with my classes yet anyway, but I would have to re-apply for graduation. So I did that, to graduate May 2009.

This summer, I got an email from someone saying that I would not be allowed to walk in the May 2009 graduation ceremony because I had the opportunity to do so in May 2008 and I had chosen not to. I have no idea who this person is or why they thought to send me this info, but it could have been connected to a few different things.

So I'm trying to figure out what to do about that, when I realize I can get another certificate by taking one more class next semester. Which allows me to walk in graduation, thereby meaning I don't have to argue with them about that aspect, and I don't really care what they say I graduated with as long as I can walk and do all that picture stuff and have my family there. Cool. I COULD finish that class this semester, but life is crazy and I'd still walk in may 2009 if I do it next semester so whatever, one class, no big.

Today I get a piece of mail that was supposedly sent August 1, 2008. Telling me that I still need a natural science class, and that my graduation date has been postponed to May 2009 and that I do not have to re-apply for graduation. It lists my backyard astronomy class as *1* credit and not the 3 I had signed up for, as a class that does not go toward my degree.

WTF? This is really making me kind of mad....

Coffee Shops

A couple of things about some of the coffee shops around here:

- I'm 20 years old, and I really do not like it when the employees at one place call me "Sweetie" and talk to me in a cutie/baby tone of voice, the way you would talk to a child. I'm not short (5'6"), and I wear the same casual clothes from Target/Goody's/Kohl's/stores in the mall that a lot of other people wear. It's not like I'm wearing a Hannah Montanna shirt or something. I don't see them doing this to many other people my age, so I don't know what it is. If I'm standing in front of you and dangling my car keys in my hand, I think you can conclude that I drove a car here and must be at least 16.

- When I order a [whatever kind] frappuccino with whipped cream, I don't like being told, in a snobby tone, "It comes with with whipped cream". In the past, when I've ordered a frappuccino at other Starbucks locations, they've asked if I want whipped cream on it. I've just gotten into the habit of adding "with whipped cream". Please tolerate me saying three extra words.
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    okay okay


This is not so much terrible service as completely baffling service, but it's the US Postal Service, so it's to be expected.

On Friday I received a "delivery attempt" slip in my mailbox for my expected package from I have absolutely no idea why they couldn't just leave the package, as I live in an apartment building with a secure package cage for which USPS has the key, and I have received packages from before, which were left in said cage with absolutely no problem. (EDIT: Fixed the double negative!) Anyway, there was a space on the form to sign authorizing the post office to redeliver, with a space saying when you would like redelivery and where it should be left. I signed the slip, wrote "Monday" and "cage under stairs" and taped it above the buzzer in the entryway.

Saturday and Monday passed with no sign of the package (although my slip did migrate from the wall to the door and back again). I figured it was a hopeless cause and went down to the post office at 9 this morning and got my package with a medium amount of hassle. Postal worker looks at my slip, looks at my driver's license, compares the identical, clearly written names on each and says, "Who's Oriel?" Uh, that would be Arielle, and that would be me. She then says, "Well, why'd you sign it here?" I said, "Because I wanted them to redeliver it, but they never did." "No, honey, that's where you sign it if you want someone else to pick it up for you." "Uh, okay." (It was not; there was another clearly marked space on the form for that purpose. Because obviously there would be space to write the redelivery date and where you want the package to be left if that were the case. Because that makes sense.) I got home with my package, tried on my new clothes, and all was well.

All this would not merit a bad service post, though. The baffling part came this afternoon, when I arrived home from grocery shopping around 3:00, collecting the mail from our box as I did so. I found a "Redelivery Attempt: Final Notice" slip for the package which I had collected from the post office at 9 am. There was no redelivery attempt. There could not have been either a redelivery (the package was in my apartment) or even an attempt (my husband was home all the time I was out and no one rang the bell). The Postal Service left me a notice for a package which they did not have in their custody and which they could not have even attempted to deliver. I'm honestly still trying to wrap my brain around it, and we have scanned the delivery notice for posterity.
  • Current Mood
    hugely confused