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wtf canon?

July 12th, 2009

You f-in greedy bastards. The MP830 printer is a total piece of crap that guzzles ink. Even when printing in black and white it defaults to using color inks. Those flawed chips you put on your ink cartridges that regularly malfunction make the printer massive paper weight on my desk because I can’t print a thing. Are you that desparate to squeeze every last dime out of consumers with your overpriced ink cartridges? Look everyone knows ink is where you make the money – do you have to screw consumers over with products that break trying to enforce your ink cartel. Printer manufactures might as well start an ink cartel like OPEC.

Thanks for totally f-ing me over when I needed to print something Canon. Last time I ever buy one of your products.

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wtf treyarch?

May 10th, 2009
Restricted Call of Duty

Restricted Call of Duty

Treyarch, how do you mess up one of the best gaming franchises? Call of Duty : World at War has so many bugs and glitches it is ridiculous. I can deal with a lot of them (glitches on xbox live), but the fact that there is a bug with saving games makes me curse the day your company was founded. After spending hours, yes hours, to make it to some of the checkpoints on veteran I need to take a break. My game is saved so I take a break and turn off the machine. A few days later I fire up the old 360 and go to continue where I left off – only wait – what’s this I see?

Save game data is incompatible with the current version of the game. You may continue from the beginning of your most recent mission or exit to the menus.

WTF?! How many months has the game been out and the problem is still not fixed. After some digging through three “official” sites (treyarch, CoD and activision), I found this solution for the save game problem. This unfortunately doesn’t always work. I think today I will skip the video games and go outside and play frisbee with my CoD : World at War disc.

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wtf is with facebook adding fan pages to people you may know?

April 11th, 2009

The title says it all. Why is Facebook listing fan pages for totally random crap on the discover people you may know page? I don’t know, nor am I a fan of Chris Pan (Marketer), the Pittsburgh Pirates, The Ellen DeGeneres Show or the U.S. Embassy. WTF is with these suggestions? Based on these recommendations I can come up with a pretty humorous version of myself as seen by Facebook. Using the recommendations as your guide, tell me who I am in Facebook’s eyes – add your thoughts to the comments.

companies, etc. ,

wtf, are you sirius?

April 4th, 2009
Sirius-ly Screwed

Sirius-ly Screwed

I used to champion Sirius Satellite Radio. I loved the programming, the commercial free music, the selection, being able to record songs I like on my Stiletto 2 and killing time channel surfing. I got my first account when I bought a new car that came with a three month free trial. I enjoyed it so I signed up for a year. A little while later I bought another car for commuting. This car, while easy on gas, was light on creature comforts like satellite radio. The hours of listening regular radio were taking their toll – thankfully I was given the Stiletto 2 a few months later as a gift and my commute became bareable.

Don’t get me wrong, I had my gripes – the Stiletto 2 is a bit buggy at times, the audio quality can sound compressed and the ocassional signal loss when you went under an overpass or large tree. But I loved Sirius for what it provided – hours of entertainment for whatever mood I was in.

Then came renewal time. The first time around they auto-renewed and auto charged my credit card without notification and without permission. When I prepaid the first year I specifically stated that I only wanted one year and that I didn’t want automatic billing. I had planned on renewing, but the fact that they ignored my request didn’t sit well. I called their customer service and asked them to make sure this didn’t happen again. They basically told me it was still my fault, but agreed to send me a renewal letter the next time around.

Fast forward a few months to the Sirius/XM merger. I have to admit I was in favor of it. I still liked the liked the service (minus the billing practices). I hoped the merger would keep satellite radio in business. I hoped the combined company would offer even more selection. I was wrong. First thing they did – drop three of my favorite channels and change the programming on another. Aggressive billing was one thing, getting rid of the programming I listened to most effectively killed what I loved. I took the time to write a respectful, but to the point letter about how disappointing their programming changes were. No reply. Not even a canned response. By this point it was obvious to me that they didn’t care too much their customers’ wishes.

I didn’t intend to keep both subscriptions this year and was still debating whether I wanted to drop Sirius all together. I’ve got enough podcasts, mp3 and audio books to fill my need for in car entertainment without satellite radio. If I want news, there is always AM radio. Well… my service just kept going. Then they mailed me a bill. With an “invoice fee”. I ignored it. I don’t want to renew and I sure don’t want to pay an invoice fee. Then another bill with two invoice fees. Then an email threatening “Service Interuption”. Then a few more emails and letters. The gears slowly start turning in my head… wait… wtf? Seriously, did sirius auto-renew me? That was question I posed to the customer service rep who quickly replied that it was standard practice.
-Can you look up the notes on my account? Do you see where it says “Do not auto-bill, do not auto-renew”?
-But sir, we auto renew every account – you need to call and cancel.
-Uh, but it is prepaid and has a defined end date. Money ran out, turn it off.
-That’s not how it works.
-It was when I talked to the rep last year.
-Sorry sir, you still needed to call us.
-Ok, I would like to cancel.
-Please hold while I transfer you.

And so I was placed on hold for 10 minutes (not a ridiculous amount when compared to calling BofA). The woman who answered had a pleasant voice and said she would gladly process my request. Then she offered to renew the account for $50. Hmm. That is less than 1/3 the $160 they were trying to charge me. Let me think for a second. Oh, and you will start the year today and not back date it two months to the renewal date.

I’m a sucker for a deal, what can I say. But it didn’t have to be that way. I would have gladly paid regular price had they just listened to me as a customer. My requests weren’t outrageous. I wasn’t asking for free hardware and free service. Just that they handle my billing properly and take two seconds to address my concerns over the merger. I know they have bigger issues to deal with with all of the doom and gloom surrounding Sirius, but if they forget about their customers they will never survive.

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wtf hsbc?

March 18th, 2009
the worlds yocal bank

the world's yocal bank

This morning I went to use my HSBC credit card to pay for some gas and was told to see the attendant. That’s odd I thought, but since I was in a hurry I tried another card and everything worked fine. I didn’t really think much about the incident and figured it was just an issue with the payment terminal… until I got home and found a letter from HSBC. The letter, dated two days earlier, stated:

This is to inform you that we will be sending you a replacement HSBC credit card with a new account number due to a security breach. Although this breach was not caused by us, we are taking this precautionery step to reduce the risk to your Account. Providing our cardmembers with a safe and credit card experience is one of our top priorities.

The letter then goes on to say when I can expect my new card and how to activate it. No explanation of what happened or how my account was compromised. Way to step up and take responsibility HSBC! WTF? You turn off my card and use snail mail to notify me. Somebody, but not you, got hacked and my info was compromised – but you give me no details on how this happened or which company was breached. Was it a partner? Was it someone you contracted with? And how much of my personal information was possibly stolen? Way to be upfront HSBC! Doing the bare minimum required by law to inform me of the situation shows me how truly dedicated you are to making security a “top priority”.

UPDATE: 

The most trusted transaction made publicly available

The most trusted transactions made publicly available

Turns out that Heartland Payment Systems, a payment processor, was the company that got hacked. Heartland is now being sued for damages by the banks and credit unions impacted by the data breach. The breach has already affected over 500 financial institutions and may be the largest ever disclosed. Banks started replacing cards back in February, but I guess it wasn’t a “top priority” at HSBC until mid-March. More information about the breach is available from Heartland at the appropriately titled  2008 Breach website.

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wtf is up with people who won’t answer direct questions?

March 14th, 2009

This is something that has really been getting on my nerves lately. You ask someone a question and they don’t answer. This can be face-to-face, over the phone, by email, on facebook or wherever. You ask a question and the other person ignores it or answers with a question. For example, you ask the simple question “What would you like for dinner tonight?” and the response “What would you like for dinner?” Is that an echo I hear?

Every day I deal with sales people trying to sell me this or that and they are the absolute worst about answering direct, clear as crystal questions. For example, a common question might be “How many unique visitors does your site have?” and the typical response “We are the greatest thing since sliced bread and you know, [insert their competitor’s name] isn’t even in our class.” Did I ask about your competitor or sliced bread? A simple “We have 30,000 visitors per month,” would have sufficed. Heaven forbid you ask more than one question over email. You might as well have sent a blank email because the response will have nothing to do with anything relevant.

A perfect example is a salesperson who I had to deal with this week. It was Friday afternoon and they suddenly got it in their head that they had to do a deal in the next two hours. Mind you, this isn’t the first time they’ve pulled this stunt. “You need to sign this contract right now because I’ve got three other people waiting to take this spot if you don’t want it… and oh yeah, it is 10 times more expensive than last year and everyone else is willing to pay full price.” Several things are wrong with this tactic – but I will save that for another post. In the response to their kind offer (they, after all, took the time to email us out of “courtesy” because we already work with them), it clearly stated there are several questions that need answering before we can make a decision. The almost instantaneous response failed to answer a single one and went straight back to “Now or else!”

Well – I wish them luck selling their crap ad space with the oversupply of ad inventory that exists and the crummy economy further depressing prices.

companies, people, rant ,

wtf is with comcast?

February 28th, 2009
crapcast

crapcast

This rant has nothing to do with cable prices, waiting all day for a technician to show up or a dvr not recording my favorite show (the things most comcast customers would likely have an issue with). It has to do with running a pointless test of the emergency alert system during primetime on a cable channel. Seriously – WTF?! There I am, happy as can be watching Burn Notice on USA on Thursday night. It’s the last 2-3 minutes of the episode and Michael and Fiona are just starting a serious discussion about their relationship. What happens next… I’ve got no f—ing idea because my TV suddenly is showing me nothing but snow with some 1970s style text scrolling over it telling me that this fancy special defect is part of a weekly test of the emergency broadcast system. Comcast – test all you want during a commercial break or at 3a.m. – but test over prime time again and I’ll finally get off my rear and switch to DirecTV or Dish (which I want to do anyway but inertia and/or laziness have prevented).

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wtf is g?

February 16th, 2009

Just some stupid gatorade ad campaign.

companies, food ,

wtf is with… yelp?

February 8th, 2009
yelp - censoring reviews?

yelp - real people, removing your reviews?

Ok, first off, Yelp is a cool idea and I used to think it was a cool site, but… wtf is up with censoring negative posts? And while I’m at it, wtf is up with celebrating people who write hundreds of one sentence posts? How is that helpful or useful except in stroking that author’s ego? It seems like a lot of people just doing reciprocal clicking on “cool” or “useful”. You click my ego, I’ll click yours.

So let me go back to the censorship part for a second. Let’s go back about a year… I was really getting into reviewing all types of businesses, both good and bad. Mind you, these weren’t one or two sentence posts, but full on five paragraph essays. So one weekend I had a really awful experience at a T-Mobile store (surprise, surprise) and decided to write it up. I made sure to follow their guidelines, referring to them several times as I wrote yet another masterpiece. Well, I logged back in two weeks later to check a restaurant review and to my dismay the post was gone… vanished… it had ceased to be. WTF yelp?

Needless to say, that was the last time I wasted any time on  yelp. If they are removing well crafted reviews and celebrating one sentence gibberish, I will find honest reviews elsewhere.

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WTF is with medical billing practices in general?

February 3rd, 2009

So if I get some tests done and I am uninsured, the the lab will bill twice as much as if I went through insurance. You can always see the negotiated rates cutting the bill in half. Would not it make sense to give discount to cash patients for whom you don’t have to do all this extra insurance billing?

companies, etc., products ,