Tuesday, April 25, 2006
I am a huge believer in giving and getting personal recommendations. I tend not to believe what I read on commercial sites about how good a product, service or company may be. I usually ask friends for recommendations before making big purchases (I wish I'd done that this time), and I'll always share my experiences - good and bad - to all that ask.
Occasionally, there are companies that need a swift kick in the corporate groin. It's my turn to kick, and I'm wearin' steel-toed boots.
As you'll see below, I tried to spend a decent sum of money with Best Buy online. They lied and cheated, and tried to steal. Here's a copy of the letter I just fired off to these idiots:
Based upon my experience with Best Buy so far, I'm going to guess that no one will give damn about this complaint, but I'm going to take a whack at it anyway.
This past Saturday, I spent over $3100 at your online store.
Here are the order numbers:
The first order was for a big-screen TV, stand and massage chair. The second order was for a high-end clothes dryer.
I placed both orders online, after first checking the available dates for delivery. Your online system told me that everything I wanted was available for delivery on 4/28, so I completed the order.
Almost immediately, I got a delivery confirmation on the dryer, but nothing on the TV, stand and chair.
Sunday, I went back online and checked the delivery availability on the TV, and it was still good to go for 4/28. But still, no delivery confirmation.
Monday, you sent me an email saying that there was a problem with my order. You didn't say what the problem was, just that there was one.
So, I get on your site again, and check the delivery scheduling for the TV. It now says that 4/30 is the earliest. I check my order status online, and it says I'm set for delivery on..... May 15. I'm now getting pissed off.
I call your "help" line (Notice the quotes? You often use those when you're making fun of something. That's what I'm doing right now) and am connected with the ever-pleasant Kim, employee number 37606. Kim is clearly not from, nor is she located in this country. Think curry. Communication is not her forte.
So I ask "Kim" (notice the quotes again?) if Best Buy is trying a bait-and-switch scam by fooling people into buying a product under certain terms and conditions, knowing full-well that they can't meet those conditions.
She tells me, "Oh no, there's been a mistake, I've just updated the system to have your order delivered on 4/28". She says that I'll get an email confirming this. I tell her I don't believe her, and want her name and employee number.
Here's a shock for you: The next morning, I check my email, and there's nothing (gasp!). I check my order status, and it's unchanged (5/15 delivery). I look at the TV delivery schedule and it is now showing May 2. Hmmm. Why won’t mine get here until the 15th?
So I call "the continent" again, and this time I get Shane #350300. Still thinkin’ curry. I go through the whole bit - again - with him. He tells me he can confirm the 5/15 delivery date. I literally laughed out loud.
Shane tried diligently to save the order, but it was way past that point. I told him that if he couldn’t put it in writing that I’d get my stuff on 4/28, we were through. So, he cancelled the order, and I actually got an immediate email confirming the cancellation. I told Shane that he was the first entity at Best Buy that had done anything correctly.
I then told him to cancel my order for the dryer. He asked why, as it was confirmed for delivery already. I told him (as best as I can remember), “I’m canceling this order because I will not reward an incompetent bunch of boobs with my money.” He completed that cancellation flawlessly as well.
Here’s my guess: You only seem to be able to cancel, not fulfill, orders correctly. This must be cause you have so much experience with this. You screw up your orders so completely, then lie to your customers, they must cancel their orders in huge numbers.
You should all be proud that you can do something right.
As you might guess, I will never buy anything, ever again from Best Buy. I will be telling all of my friends about my experience. I will be posting this on my internet blog. I will be hunting down “consumer experience” web sites and sharing my news.
It is one thing to screw up an order. Everyone does it. Good companies step up to the plate, and set things right. But to lie to your customers, both in person and with your sales systems, is inexcusable. You need to be put out of business, and I’ll do my little part to help in the process.
Have a nice day.
Do yourself a favor and shop elsewhere. These guys are simply horrendous.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
I heard this on the news last night. They're charging the Hu Heckler with a crime.
Federal charges were filed Friday against a heckler who interrupted an otherwise highly scripted ceremony welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House the day before, berating him for the persecution of the Chinese religious sect Falun Gong.Now, I don't know anything about this Falun Gong, or any other kind of gong. I know the ChiComs hate them, so they can't be all bad.
But that's not the point.
We're in America. The bar for what I can say about a politician -foreign or domestic - is WAY higher than what I can say about a common citizen. I can say the president is a Satan-worshiping moron. I can call the Secretary of Defense an ill-equipped, power-hungry psycho. I can certainly protest against the practices of a foreign government.
Unless, I guess, it interrupts, "an otherwise highly scripted ceremony".
WTF? The head of a repressive regime comes to our country, and we can't call him the bastard we believe him to be? We need to curtsy and bow and suck his dick?
Wen Yi Wang, 47, was charged with harassing a foreign official, a federal misdemeanor punishable by six months in prison and a fine of $5,000.The federal law is designed to protect foreign dignitaries and official guests, and prohibits attempts to "intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass a foreign official or an official guest or obstruct a foreign official in the performance of his duties.
Think about all of the protests against Tony Blair when he comes to the US. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or not (and I don't), this guy has been the epitome of the word "ally". Yet it's OK to crap on his parade, but not on some commie, pinko SOB?
But that shouldn't matter at all. Whether they are friends or not of our government is still not the point.
What is the point is that our government abridged our A-Number One, Top O' The List amendment with a stroke of the pen, and a click of the shackles. And this lady was part of the press corps, so didn't they abridge the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, all in one fell swoop?
They do shit like this in ChiCom. Maybe the Federal goons were just trying to make him feel at home.
Excuse me. I have to go vomit.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
When I was younger and faced a possible fist-fight with one of the kids on the block, my mom (not my dad... hmmm) taught me to look them straight in the eye and say, "You throw the first punch, I'll throw the last". The inference being that if you come after me, I'll kick the crap out of you.
Just the attitude of this strategy kept me out of many a fight. If we did get into a tussle, you'd have to pull me off, 'cause I'd kind of "lose it". That reputation kept me out of fights, too.
America used to have that attitude and reputation as well.
It probably started with our war of independence against the British. We tried to work with them, but they kicked sand in our face, so we beat their collective asses. Same thing with World Wars I and II. Someone else took a swipe at us, and we pounded them.
Desert Storm had a similar feel to it, in that we were coming to the aid of an ally. We were standing up for the little guy.
We counter-punched and dropped them with a wicked left-hook, so to speak.
This stance gave us the moral high-ground and got most Americans behind the war effort. Regardless of how we prosecuted the war, we had the world and the American public behind us. The country scrimped, and rationed, and bought war bonds to show their support. Anything to do their little part for the Just Cause.
Korea was the first war that had us posturing more as an aggressor. America and the communist USSR were trying to show who was the toughest kid on the block. When China went commie in 1949, Truman was worried that the whole world might flip to communism. None of the Big Boys wanted to risk a direct conflict, so we used our proxies - North and South Korea - to host the event. Unlike Saddam invading Kuwait, we embraced and encouraged the conflict on the Korean peninsula.
The same happened with Viet Nam (gotta stop the spread of communism) and now with Iraq (gotta stop the spread of terrorism).
This aggressive stance now seems to be our modus operandi. Identify a potential threat, and attack before they turn into an actual threat. Sounds logical, but it's a strategy rife with weaknesses.
This strategy places too high of a premium on "intelligence" or intel. Information from spies, satellites, wire-taps, signals intelligence (anything that is broadcast) and other methods. The problem with intel is that it takes a human to evaluate and assess the information. As we sadly found out with Iraq, it's a tough job.
You can have faulty intel, faulty evaluations, and outright lies from "sources" that have their own agenda. If any of these parts are incorrect, the decisions you make will be flawed.
When you're a counter-puncher, there is no such ambiguity. You attack us, we know who you are, we retaliate. And annihilate.
We may take one on the chin, but we've got a good chin and stout heart, and will surely prevail in any conflict. We're Americans.
Afghanistan is a perfect example of what to do right and wrong. The Taliban, the sponsors of Osama bin Laden, were in Afghanistan. We told them to turn him over, or we'd attack. They chose not comply, so we attacked. That was good.
But we weren't forceful enough. Afghanistan needs to still be a glowing, orange ember from the pounding we administered. Our response needed to be grotesquely out of proportion to the original attack. They killed 3,000 Americans. We needed to kill 30,000 in retaliation. We needed to carpet-bomb a major city (not the capital of Kabul) and any area where bin Laden might be. We then needed to send in 50,000 troops with bayonets and get pictures of us goring mujahideen fighters on Al Jazeera television. We should have salted the fields where they grow opium poppies. Then packed up our gear, and gone home.
Don't ever fuck with us again. We will kill you, and everything you love.
Instead, we hear, "The stakes are too high", or "We're living in a different world" or some other such rubbish that is the rhetoric of an clueless government and the whimpers of a craven populous. Protect us. We're frightened.
We have no backbone, no self-confidence, no spirit. We worry about "the hearts and minds". We're frightened by a tin-pot dictator in a back-water sandbox. We tremble at the neighboring mullahs because of what they might produce.
We rattle the sabers, but the fear no longer exists. Nor does the moral high-ground because we act as the neighborhood bully.
Real Americans don't initiate conflict. They just finish it. Perhaps we can become Real Americans again, and regain our stature domestically, and with the rest of the world. I'm not hopeful with the clowns in office, or the candidates waiting in the wings of either major party.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
With all of this flap over illegal aliens, I can understand the position of the illegals and the business interests (I vehemently disagree with them, but I can understand their position). The illegals want a better life and the businesses want higher profits. Both of these are noble goals.
You just have to break the law to meet those goals, and that is only one of many reasons why I detest illegal aliens.
What I don't understand is why some groups, with clear agendas or stated purposes, are proponents of illegals and amnesty.
This makes no sense. Illegals are taking jobs from union members, thus making it more difficult for the members to pay their dues (That is the only thing the unions care about. They're just like a government. The only reason the Feds care about us is for our taxes. But I digress...). Also, if businesses see that union labor will seriously increase their costs - which it will - they will just fight against unionism that much harder. If more union workers are employed, the unions get fat and happy, and don't do as much new organizing.
This one just blows me away. Typically, union members are the un- or under-educated members of our workforce. Sure, sure, sure, there are exceptions for some specialized trades, but for the most part, laborers, roofers, auto workers, cement masons and teamsters have not completed college and may not have completed high school.
That's the same educational profile of most illegal aliens. Yet, you see union members out there "supporting" the illegals. HEY! You stupid dumbasses! These guys are eating your lunch, and you're inviting them over for seconds. Good luck with that strategy.
Historically, when you emigrate to another country, you start out at the bottom of the economic food chain. You bust your ass working two jobs, sleeping four to a bed and save your pennies to send your kids to college. They are the first generation that gets to benefit from the riches of America because their parents sacrificed.
With illegals, though, the wages of the parents are artificially held down because of the influx of cheap labor. This influx tips the economic scales in favor of the businesses that can now get the same job done, for less money.
That American Dream gets put off for another generation, or more....
The Democrats are supposed to be the party of the Common Man. Making sure Big Business and Big Government don't squash the little guy.
By supporting illegal immigration, they're actually acting as recruiters for Big Business to continue using illegals and holding down wages. Big Government is actually adding to the plight of the little guy by not protecting our borders and allowing market wages to prevail.
It makes no sense. But that's never stopped people in the past...
Thursday, April 06, 2006
That Lumbar Pain Has a Name
Oh, man! Dubya took one in the back today when former VP Chief of Staff Scooter Libby revealed that the leak of classified information was authorized by..... DUBYA hizzelf!
Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide told prosecutors that President Bush authorized a leak of sensitive intelligence information about Iraq, according to court papers filed by prosecutors in the CIA leak case.Wasn't it Bush that said something to the effect of, "If someone illegally leaked information to the press, they'll be fired from this administration"? Does this mean he's going to resign, or will he weasel out by saying that since the Prez can declassify information, no laws were broken?
The filing by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald also describes Cheney involvement in I. Lewis Libby's communications with the press.
Yeah, that's my guess, too.
This quote by Howard Dean (who normally makes me want to retch) expresses exactly the way I feel:
"The fact that the president was willing to reveal classified information for political gain and put the interests of his political party ahead of America's security shows that he can no longer be trusted to keep America safe," Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said.Tell me, please, that there aren't any conservatives that are actually still drinking the koolaid and believe anything that comes out of this bastards mouth....
Old joke: Hey, did you hear about the riot at the prison? Yeah, they were fighting over who was going to ride Scooter first.....
Only In California
One more reason why I'm leaving this asylum called California:
Treasurer Phil Angelides staked his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor yesterday on a bold, if politically risky, proposal: raising taxes to fully fund schools.He's actually using the fact that he'll raise taxes as a positive aspect of his candidacy. No discussion that we already spend over 40% of the budget on education. No discussion about cutting some fat out of the budget to allow those funds to pay for his BS idea. Just cut straight to the chase: Elect me, and it'll cost ya.
Message received, loud and clear. He'll probably get elected....
Monday, April 03, 2006
Wow, April fools day was my 2 year anniversary with this
Thanks for droppin' by....