Jul 19

What the Hell has happened to Kmart?

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Kmart has been tanking for so many years, so I don’t understand why they bought Sears when they couldn’t get their shit together in their own stores.   After a few bad experiences at different Kmarts, I wrote them off my list and hadn’t been to one for quite awhile.

But the other day I thought I’d pop into a Kmart in the “good” side of town, just to see if they were turning

Tagged in the 90's, this was actually a good deal at half the Amazon.com 2013 price!

things around.  And I walked through the doors into a freakin’ Time Warp of old fixtures and product!   And it Smelled Awful!  I can’t even identify the smell, but more than a couple of things must have died in that Kmart and were still there.
Without looking very hard, my friend and I were able to find items for sale that had been priced 10 to 15 years ago, using old pre-barcode tags.

There was a fire alarm in a age cracked blister package from 2001 that had already exceeded the recommended 5 year life of a fire alarm.  There was car deodorant from 2004 and other items dating as far back as the 1990′s!

The selection of “new” items wasn’t much better and included overpriced crap TVs and some VCR decks.  There were some brands that I’d never head of before, and that I expect to never see again.

Much of the candy was expired, and there was “fresh” product placed in front of old.  (But even the most recently added candy was nearing their expiration dates.)  And the pricing was 30% higher than the Walmart price for the same item.  For instance, “Extra” gum was $3.29 at this Kmart, and it is $2 at a nearby Walmart.

The store was filthy, the shelves were falling apart, and the floor looked like it was covered in flaking asbestos tile.

It made me sad to see an American icon like Kmart in such a sad state; but it was also entertaining as Hell!

10 years old, age cracked package and expired batteries!

Tune your "sate of the art" 1995 Home Theater System

"New" from Scentco (in 2002)!

Jul 05

Really need lungs? Then you die.

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I feel for Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old girl who has had 2 lung transplants.   She got a raw deal with the Damned cystic fibrosis, and even more so with her parents, doctors, new media and lawyers who had a hissy fit and demanded that she be tortured and two sets of adult lungs be wasted on her.

And two adults must die because the lungs that they’d waited for were thrown away on a little girl that they didn’t fit.  (Perhaps a third set will be trashed too, if the lawyers get their way.)

Right now there are thousands of adults who are waiting for lungs for awhile, and it’s not just the sickest top 2 that are the real victims of this debacle.  Every current or future organ patient is now at risk of the same sort of Shit being done to them.

Stupid, self-absorbed people will demand exceptions to do an end run around the law, just like Sarah’s parents did.  And if you’re an adult patient waiting for an organ, you might as put a bullet in your head, since all of the viable organs will be going to children they don’t fit.

Cutting up and smushing wrong-sized lungs into this little girl sets a precedent that will cause so many people to suffer and die.

The reason there is an adult list and a separate child list, is because the large organs of an adult don’t fit into a child.  For the big lungs to “fit” Sarah, her doctor cut them up into bits and squashed them into her.  The failure of these operations on this poor tortured little girl demonstrate that this doesn’t work.

THERE ARE TWO FUCKING LISTS BECAUSE ADULT ORGANS AREN’T SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN! 

And now that this 2nd set of lungs is failing, be ready for them to demand that a third pair of lungs be confiscated from someone else in order to be wasted.

Someday if the laws of physics change, then they can change the list.   Suing the Hell out of everyone doesn’t make the Damned adult organs compatible with kids.  The Greedy doctors and lawyers made a fortune at the expense of this poor little girl — and two UNOS patients who had their lungs misappropriated.  And a bunch of media outlets got some good stories.

I’d love to seem them take the lungs out of the Bastards who did this and give them to the patients who are desperately waiting for the opportunity regain the chance to live that was stolen from them.

Instead what we’ll see is more adults dying as organs meant for them are “shaped” into garbage and then shoved in the chests of children.  But as long as the doctors, lawyers, reporters and hospitals all get paid, that’s all that’s important, right?

Jun 28

A Brief Word About Service Surveys

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lol @ me being “brief” right?   It seems that everyone wants you to do a fucking service or product survey.

Kudos to the little surveys on the back of fast food restaurant receipts that offer a free item or discount.  The receipt surveys are short and they proffer little rewards.  But my love of service surveys ends with them!

It REALLY PISSES ME OFF that companies NEVER EVER respond to you regarding your survey answers no matter what you put in them.  You can report in a survey that the food you ate was poison or the customer service person screamed and then hung up on you, but you’re not going to get a response.  It seems like your comments fall into a black hole.

Additionally, some of these surveys take awhile to finish and don’t offer any incentives.  If you want me to spend the time on your damned survey, then give me a prize instead of asking me to donate my time to your company.

But my real gripe about these surveys is that I know they’re being used to fuck over the consumer:

1) Your information may be used to try sell you something else later.

2)  A negative response may be used to implement even worse changes than the bad shit they’re already doing.

3)  Responses that you had a good experience are used to justify the reduction in the quality of the service/product and an excuse to increase the price.  So if you say you like what they’re doing, they’re going to change it and make it worse, because they know they have the margin to do it.

You should also know that call agent surveys are used mostly to punish the poor shmuck who had to take your call by decreasing their compensation for low scores.  This only benefits the executives who wind up with bonus money.

So the bottom line Is that it is never to your advantage to cooperate.

Brief enough?

Jun 14

The Netflix Blu-ray plan is CRAP!

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I’m torn about my feelings for Netflix and haven’t said much about them except to comment briefly about Reed Hastings running the company into the ground.  I enjoyed Netflix DVD + streaming before they split them apart and doubled the price, and I still enjoy the streaming even though much of the content is stale.

But recently I had an offer for a free trial of the Blu-ray service and I thought I’d give it a shot since there are some movies I’d missed seeing.  I also thought it would be nice to be able to see some 3D titles (since Netflix is holding the cable companies hostage and not streaming 3D unless they agree to the Netflix demands).

During this month I discovered a few critical things about the Blu-ray plans.

#1 None of the discs are 3D.  Not too much more to say about that.  Just like with the streaming service, you’re not getting 3D with Netflix.

# 2 The post office has gotten worse about disc delivery or Netflix has gotten worse about sending them.  Either way, the end result is during the one month trial, discs traveled slowly and one disc was “lost” in the mail.  I know that the mailmen steal thousands of these discs, and maybe that’s gotten worse as the rest of the USPS has declined.

# 3 These discs are all neutered to remove most additional content.  Things like alternative endings, etc. yield a pop-up that says, “not available on this rental copy, buy the original.”  Netflix, if I wanted to buy the disc, why would I rent it from you?

I’m also disappointed that when I canceled the service there wasn’t even an opportunity to give this feedback to them.  Netflix just doesn’t care about improving, which is the cocky-ass-attitude that Reed Hastings has always had.

Jun 07

An Eye for 3 of Yours

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Recently I heard about a Saudi Arabian man sentenced to be paralyzed because he stabbed someone and caused that man’s paralysis.   Now generally I consider Muslim countries as uncivilized and savage, but when I heard about this punishment, I thought it was almost fair.

A more fitting punishment would be to blind and deafen him the offender as well as paralyze him.

Unfortunately, it seems the Saudi Arabian Justice Ministry is now stating that the reports of this punishment are not true and they’re backing down from it.

I don’t have much to comment here except to say that if you blind me in one eye, I want both your eyes and an arm.  If you steal from me, I want back what you stole and then additional compensation.  I think it’s absolute BULLSHIT that most people think that it is Justice for a victim to only get what was taken for them.  Or, in most cases, not even that.

If you don’t want to be subjected to punitive measures beyond what you do to someone else, then don’t do the crime.

May 24

A Freakin’ Public Service Warning!

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This girl got fooled, hoodwinked and tricked!  I’m not too proud to tell you too, so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to you!

Most companies these days don’t want to support their products; that’s why they contract phone calls out to untrained representatives in India or to companies like Arise Virtual Solutions rather than train people to handle them properly.

But they’d rather you not even get to talk to a poor substitute, so they hide their phone numbers.  You’re often stuck rummaging through support databases of useless outdated files, contacting online chat or sending an email.

If you’re like me though, you really do want a live person, so I had always found that the best way to find that secret company support phone number was to Google something like “Netgear phone support” to get a phone number.

However, turns out that’s a dangerous thing to do, as today’s Blog illustrates!

We already know that Google suspends websites that do advertising for them at the drop of a hat, and steals all the money earned.  However, Google doesn’t care about kicking off fraudulent advertisers who use Google advertising to impersonate the company you are looking to contact.  Google a company and instead of giving you the correct number, you get hit by a barrage of ads with toll free numbers to scammers instead of the real company support line!

So guess what happened to me when I Googled “Netgear phone number” earlier this week?  I reached con-artists pretending to be Netgear support!  They had an automated hold system and phone tree and really played the part.  I even had to wait on hold for a few minutes.

After the imposter Netgear representative connected remotely to my computer he found “backend server viruses and corruption in my network connectivity files.”  In other words, Gobbledygook.

However, the guy put on an impressive light show and I showed me diagnostics proving that my computer was all fucked up.  (It was all phony, of course.)   I suggested I could do a system restore and he became firm and insisted I need a Certified Network Engineer to fix my problem.  He said those “backend server viruses could come back!”

Then he connected me to a “verified 3rd party provider that might incur a fee.”  And of course, that guy wanted my credit card to bill me for God-only-knows how much and  to install God-only-knows how many viruses and spyware.

I disconnected from them, system restored the PC and then virus checked.  When I spoke to the real Netgear, I determined my problem on that (very old) PC was that it needed a lower security setting to connect with the router.  And then everything worked fine.

I’m a pretty savvy Bitch, but what got me here, was that I thought I was talking to Netgear, because I thought I’d called them.  And also the setup man spent almost an hour with me before connecting me over to his partner for the kill.

But the bottom line is that you really do need to go to a company’s website or another trusted source for phone numbers and NOT trust that what you’re going to see on Google.

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