November 26th, 2011

Weeping angel

Bad bus service

The recent post about bad bus service reminded me of my own terribad bus service from a few years back. My mother and her husband moved from our town into a tiny village to run a pub. To visit her, I had to catch a train to Oxford, and then came a choice between catching the bus that went to the village, or catching one that went to a crossroad in the middle of of a duel carriageway. This bus stop sat opposite a pub, which was the only building around during the three miles walk to the village.

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  • charuby

Coucil people can be very rude

I'll start off with an experience that I had with a nasty woman I talked to on the phone a couple of years ago. She was from my local council and from the housing department. She rang me up to offer me a council flat and because I was unsure of a few things, I said that I'd just get my mum to clarify a few things for me as we went through the conversation. She said,

"This has NOTHING to do with your mum. Why do you want your mum anyway? You're a grown adult, old enough to know what you're getting yourself involved in!"

I said nothing. I was just shocked and appalled that this woman was berating me like I was a small child! I had never moved before in my life and because my mum also works for the council (in a completely different department. She doesn't know the woman involved) I just wanted her there in case I got stuck. The woman started talking to me again and said,

"Are you there?"

"Yes," I said, fighting back tears.

Then she told me more about the flat, but said it in really simple terms and then said, "That wasn't so hard to understand, was it!"

I put the phone down and burst into tears. My mum ended up complaining and got told that this wasn't the first complaint that this woman had received, and that she was notoriously harsh and that she would be dealt with, and that this couldn't keep going on. She must have racked up a LOT of complaints.

Then, last month, my mum got a phone call from the housing department. Completely different circumstances than the story above. Basically, me, my brother, his girlfriend, my mum and my grandparents want to move into a four/five bedroom house and at first we thought about renting another council house. Well, some woman rang my mum up and told her that there was NO WAY we could get a four/five bedroom council house because we didn't have five or more young kids in the family. Okay, understandable, but my mum said she was really snotty about it. But then, the kicker happened. She said, "And besides, because your parents are old, there's no way they'll manage the stairs."

I told my gran and she was fuming! She's fit for her age! And my grandad, at nearly 80 years old, still climbs up ladders and does his own DIY and doesn't even break a sweat.

I'm sure there are some really sweet people in the housing department, but unfortunately, me and my family have never met them.
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Sheryl Nome

So... what do you do all day?

I have to catch the bus to get into and out of town. When coming out of town I always catch my bus from the station, for various reasons. There are always security staff standing around, usually right outside the toilets (where they mainly seem to stop people from hopping over the barriers into the loos without paying 20p first) and outside the shop.

I was walking to my bus' bay the other day when I spotted an elderly gentleman leaning against the big sign/timetable stand at the end of my bay's seating section. He was shaking and generally looked like he could fall down any second. This sign, and the gentleman, are literally directly across from a pack of three security guards... who are looking in his direction and not even moving.

I spoke to the gentleman, asked him what was wrong and whether he needed a seat. He explained that he'd just got off one bus and needed to catch another but he was having trouble getting moving again. Myself and another lady supported him down to the bay where the bus he wanted to catch was, all the way at the other end of the station (we were at Bay 16, he wanted a bus in either Bay 6 (queue all the way to the exit doors of the station) or Bay 4). The driver had just closed his doors, but he opened them again when he saw us approach and he even poked his head round his cab-screen-thing to make sure there was a seat for the gentleman.

On my way back to the bay for my bus I was intercepted by the largest of the three security goons who'd been doing nothing. He basically told me to mind my own business next time, leave elderly people who are struggling alone no matter what and that if he sees me interfere with someone again he'll call the cops on me.

What happened to being a decent person or, if you can't be bothered to/aren't allowed to be by your boss, letting other people be decent?

Mobility, that's not a Black Friday sale!!

Went Black Friday shopping this weekend, had a blast. The suck hails close to home, where a lot of companies don't know how to have a Black Friday sale. (Recently, Canada has been trying to keep customers from crossing the border I suppose by having it's own Black Friday this year, but the sales aren't near as good as the States, and the taxes and environmental fees also make it less of a good deal, even with duty). Mobilicity, a cellphone company, tweeted about it's Black Friday sales, cheap unlimited talk and text plans, and 50% off phones. Sweet! I need a new phone, after mine got damaged, so I was sending my husband in to grab a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 for $200 (normally $399). On the website, and from my understanding of a Black Friday sale, this price was open to everyone, new and old customers alike. Nothing said otherwise.

Husband went in, and tried to buy the phone, but was told, "Sorry, that price is only available for new customers." Bwuh?! So husband explains nowhere in their advertisement at all is there fine print stating that, and this is essentially a bait and switch. Cashier replies, "Sorry I don't do the advertising, I'm just a lowly store clerk, I can't change the policy." Husband thought maybe there was a miscommunication between this one store and corporate, so he tried a second one but to no avail.

Tweeted Dave Dobbin late last night too but no reply yet (as I suspect he hasn't come on for the day, yet), but I am hoping this is all a big miscommunication or something between corporate and the stores. I hope he does the right thing and fixes this, otherwise, Black Friday sales =/= new customer sales, Canada - you're doing it wrong!

[Let me take a moment to clarify what kind of company Mobilicity is. Mobilicity is nowhere near the evil that Rogers, Bell, and so many other companies have come to be associated with. They don't charge you extra unless they are being charged (free long distance, unlimited texting, no extra charges unless you're roaming because they have to pay other providers $ for usage on their lines,unlimited data, no contracts, tabs or hidden fees etc). They're customer service has always been awesome, anytime there's a problem. So this snag has really come as a shock because Mobilicity has been really awesome to us, and I'd expect such shenannigans from Rogers or Fido, or Bell, but not them. Also, there's no contracts so the sale price can't be explained as a "sign up for 2 years, get 50% off" thing).
  • duae

Old Tea Store Bad Service

So I was looking to order some tea for Christmas and remembered an old suck. I'm a huge tea drinker, although not a very snobby one, and last year I was excited to discover a store that sold tea and tea accessories in a town that's an hour away from where I live, but that I was driving through every weekend for a job. I stopped in, spent some browsing the loose leaf, picked out four different teas I liked, and went to have them measured out and pay. The owner was very happily chatting about tea with a person at the counter, so I smile and I'm being friendly when I put down the jars, ask about what he thinks of them. I get a stare, a grunt, and a "They're ok I guess." I try a couple more time to start conversation, stuff like "I have the basic electric kettle, but I've thought about upgrading to something better. What would you recommended?" "They're all good." I'm put off, but still trying to be nice.

I say "I'm glad I found a place like this that sells loose leaf tea, and I drive through every Friday for work, so I'll be coming in again often."

And he turned to the lady he was talking with before and said to her, not even looking at me "No she won't." And they both laughed.

Well, sir and other customer, you were absolutely correct. I have not been in there again. Yes I like being able to see and smell the tea, and the instant gratification of buying it in person, but I can find the same tea online without the douchebaggery.
Country girl

Best Buy, you're awful.

My husband has been eyeing a PS3 for months now, and when he saw that they were going to be on Black Friday specials, he was all excited. He was even more excited when Best Buy announced early ordering of the BF specials for Silver rewards members. He would be able to order his PS3 on Tuesday and avoid all the crazies.

He ordered it on Tuesday, which was an ordeal and in of itself, but it's not the suck here. He got a confirmation email for the order and then another email stating that it was shipped and the tracking number. He checked it on Wednesday and saw that his package was in Ohio. Yay, it would probably be here on Friday or Saturday!

He and his friend went out at midnight on Black Friday just to see the crazies. While he was out, he noticed that the stores had plenty of PS3's, but no problem, he has one coming in the mail probably later Friday. He checked his email after waking up on Friday and lo and behold, the PS3 is now magically back-ordered.

Back ordered? WTH? It was supposed to have been shipped already? What's with this tracking number? Wasn't it supposed to be in Ohio?

He went out on Friday evening and bought one from Target for the same price. Best Buy hasn't exactly proven trustworthy in the back-ordered department for us in the past, and he didn't want to take the chance of the order being cancelled. At least this way he has one in-hand.

Mailman snafu

OK, we have a dog.  A dachshund, to be precise.  And yes, she's a mouthy little cuss, UNTIL I tell her to settle down, especially if you're banging on the door.  

We're on an in-town rural route, sort of -- the post boxes are on posts, and ours is across the street, but we can see it from the door and have a good wide half-circle driveway so IF the postman needs to drop something off, there's a minimum of hassle for him.  Most of the postal workers in this area carry dog biscuits, even.  Also the UPS and the FedEx drivers.

One day, while I'm between jobs, the dog is IN the house with the door closed.  Can't get out.  This is important.  

I'm working in the flowerbed bordering the driveway; you can see my rather generously sized fundament from the street, no problem.
One reason I'm outside is that I'm about 90% expecting a package today, and it's a Saturday, so if I miss the delivery, I'm out of luck until Tuesday as Monday is a postal holiday and I'd like to get my project started, TYVM.

The mail truck whooshes up to the box on the pole across the street, I wave and start heading for the street, he doesn't wave, he tosses a bundle into the box and whooshes off.  Well, looks like the package didn't get here.  Disappointed, but what the hey.  I go get the bundle out of the box, and right on top is an "attempted delivery of parcel" slip.  The reason given?  

"Dog on porch."

Notice he had to have had this already filled out -- there was no time for him to write that down in the two seconds he was stopped at the box, and he didn't even look over at the house as far as I could tell.

ETA: Resolution

Called the postmaster -- "Yeah, I just got a slip with this on it. Trouble is, _I_ was on the porch, not the dog." Explained situation.

Postmaster -- "Ooops." Also apology.

Postmaster chased him down and hand-delivered my parcel within a half-hour.