Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm annoyed at Home Depot

At the beginning of September, I bought a Black and Decker sander at the Home Depot in Richmond, B.C. to help me fix my bathroom walls.

After using it for a couple of weeks, it broke. There is a plastic dust canister on the back of the unit which holds a filter that is supposed to catch the dust (it does not do this particularly well). You can open up the canister to remove/clean the filter, and the plastic housing where you do this became loose, so that every time I used the sander, it fell off.

On the instruction manual for this sander, there is a message in large letters which says "Before returning this unit to the store, call Black and Decker." So I did that.

The person there was very nice, took my name, address, etc. and said that I would be receiving a replacement canister in the mail.

I waited over a month and didn't receive anything. Normally it takes 2-3 weeks to get a parcel from the States (which is where this part was coming from) ... especially if it has to go through Customs.

So I phoned Black and Decker again. The woman there was also very nice, but didn't have an explanation as to why the part never reached me or whether it actually was sent out. So she said another part would be sent.

After waiting for a month, I still had no part. This was dumb

On my receipt from the Home Depot near the top it said "Return Policy" with a date of 90 days and the expiry date (I had asked about this before I left the store).

So with the expiry date looming, I took it back to the Home Depot.

There is a further condition on the receipt, by the way: "Home Depot reserves the right to limit/deny returns. Please see the return policy sign in stores for details," plus on the WWW site: "The Home Depot reserves the right to limit or refuse to accept the return of certain merchandise at any time and for any reason."

When I got to the store, I checked a sign which is by the Returns cashier. It had basic information on it like "if you are paying by credit card, money will be refunded to your credit card, if you pay by cheque, you will get a cheque, etc." (This information is very similar to some similar conditions on a page on their WWW site.)

The cashier called over some guy from the department where the sanders are sold.

He told me that I had to take it to Black and Decker in Vancouver for warranty service, and that there was only a 30 day exchange period for tools.


Annoyed, I went home. But then I phoned back to the store, since there was a phone number at the top of the receipt, supposedly for the manager. After manipulating my way through the usual voice mail prompts, I got some woman who didn't speak English particularly well. I expressed my annoyance over the date for returns to her, but I got the impression that she didn't understand what I was talking about. Her attitude was like "That's the way it is, and I can't help you."

I then checked the Canadian Home Depot WWW page and called the toll-free customer service number there. The woman who answered my call was very nice, and she was puzzled about this "30 day return" policy for "tools." There is NOTHING about such a policy on the above WWW site FAQ page under returns. She suggested that this might have been some policy particular to the local store. However, she also told me that the return policy only applied if the item I purchased was returned "new in box." There is also NOTHING about this condition on the WWW site or the receipt.

Anyway, I told both this woman at the Canadian customer service and also some woman at the head office in Atlanta to whom I was forwarded that I could have saved a lot of time if the receipt had specifically said there was a 30 day exchange for tools. After all, they are using computers to scan in the item which can be used to determine that it is a TOOL and print the appropriate return terms on the receipt, can't they?

As well, the receipt, without turning into "War and Peace," could say words to the effect that the return policy only applies if the item has not been used. Is that so difficult?

As to where this 30 day tools return policy is stated ... I have no idea. Maybe it is somewhere near the cashiers in the store?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What if cars were cel phones?

You would buy a car without taking a test drive, based on information which you gleaned from your friends who owned a similar model or WWW sites (the latter having their own interests at heart), with no recourse to getting any kind of adjustment if it didn’t meet your expectations.

Oh yeah, speaking of cel phones, the iPhone 3G is coming to Telus tomorrow. The blab I got says "What every pocket wants." Yeah, especially Telus's deep pockets!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Isn't this a bit ironic?

This organization provides "therapeutic environments where individuals and families experiencing addiction can gain support and guidance to restore themselves to mental, spir...itual, physical and emotional health."

Yet to raise money they are having a raffle for a "pimped" Hummer ... a serious vehicle choice for drug dealer wannabes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BC Cel Phone Ban

The British Columbia government is going to be introducing legislation regarding cel phone use in cars. Some people claim that using a cel phone in your car is worse than driving while drunk.

Before going further, I should say that I totally agree that texting while driving is dumb. It is worse than dumb – it is insane. Texting while driving is like having sex with an AIDS-infected person while driving backwards blindfolded at high speed.*

That said, how are you going to monitor people using cel phones in cars? If someone has the cel phone to their ear, that will be easy to spot, but there are hands-free devices and other inventions. Some people actually make use of this technology. For example, you can “dial” your phone by voice activation and you can get the phone to answer automatically after several rings, etc.

Unfortunately, most people are technologically not so aware (or just lazy), so everyone has to suffer because of the usual lowest-common-denominator approach to lawmaking. The result is yet more levels of bureaucracy and police enforcement that could be avoided if people just used common sense.

According to news reports, the B.C. government is going to be breaking the ban down into multiple levels, i.e., texting is totally forbidden, cell phone use while driving will be prohibited with an exception for experienced drivers using hands-free devices (Huh? What the hell does that mean?), new drivers will not be allowed to use them, etc., etc.

Personally, I think that large-breasted women should be banned from walking down the street, because they are also distracting. They should all be forced to wear burqas.

Likewise, no passengers should be allowed in cars (despite what people like David Suzuki might say) because you could have an argument with your wife or girl friend (for example), and also be seriously distracted, resulting in an accident.

* This metaphor reminds me of when I described the slowness of my first Internet service provider as like "two snails having sex in a bowl of molasses on top of a glacier" in a public forum on that provider. This earned me everlasting enmity from the woman who co-owned the place with her husband.

Fraser Health Authority Hypocrisy

The recent cuts announced by the Fraser Health Authority are disturbing, but not as much as some of the salaries for administrators and other bigshots connected with this outfit, which range from $200,000 to $400,000 and even more when pension and other benefits are factored in. I don't recall seeing any news about these people offering to take a salary cut. If they collectively reduced their salaries by $25,000, for example (the amount being cut from Cythera Transition House Society, which provides group and individual counselling for victims of violence and adult survivors of sexual abuse), would they not be able to feed their families or live in the manner they are accustomed? If they could not, and the salaries were reduced accordingly, is there no one in the entire world who would be willing to work for this lesser amount?

How to make a lot of money

Park outside a gardening (a.k.a. hydroponic) store.

Write down the license numbers of all the Hummers, BMWs and Range Rovers that park outside.

Report these numbers to CrimeStoppers.
I am convinced if you don't have Google ads on your blog here, then your blogs will not show up in Google, or at least not as high up on the pages in Google!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I got this spam this morning from "Michael Stone":

Am in a state of emergency now as i write you this letter,Just wanted to seek your help on something very important,you are the only person i could reach at this point and i hope you come to my aid.Something very terrible is happening to me now,please i need a favor from you now,I had a trip to United Kingdom Unfortunately for me all my money got stolen on my way to the hotel where i lodged along with my bag were my passport was ,And since then i have been without any money i am even owing the hotel here. So i have limited access to emails and calls for now,please i need you to lend me about 1000.00 pounds so i can make arrangements and return back home,i have spoken to the embassy here but they are not responding to the matter effectively, I will refund to you the money to you as soon as i get home,I am so confused right now.
Your faithfully,Michael

[My reply:]

Uh, how do you know me? Furthermore, if you have no money, how can you connect to the Internet?

Let's face it, pal, you are full of shit.

[He replies!!]

i had to plead to some one to allow me use her internet in order to send you this message,Please i am in a state of emergency and i need your help

[I replied again, with more abuse; strangely, he did not follow up]

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Did you ever notice that when some crook from a country like Nigeria (or someone trying to pull a Nigerian style scam) sends you an e-mail, the subject line is almost always in capital letters like "VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE"? Maybe this is like a major clue that something is amiss?

Oh yeah, I'm just curious how many people actually respond to this kind of trash. I do frequently, using lots of bad words. It's a good way to relieve stress. I don't think I ever got a reply ... not that I have checked.

Friday, August 14, 2009

On a local radio station recently there is a commercial for some car repair place. They are advertising shock absorbers, and if you buy three, you get the fourth one free. The announcer says, "This is like saving twenty-five percent." DUH!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I purchased this flavored water at London Drugs the other day called Pureiän. (Don't ask me why there is an umlaut in the name -- maybe they are trying to be like Mötley Crüe?)

A news article on the WWW, presumably based on a PR release, says it is produced by NatureLand Products Ltd., a division of Pacific Western Brewing Company in Prince George, B.C. (many years ago the company that produced "Uncle Ben's" beer).

According to their WWW site at (no umlaut), this is organic flavored spring water (cranberry, mango and natural flavors), which is sweetened with blue agave, the base ingredient for making tequila.

The cranberry product tastes OK, but the mango one is kind of weird (not bad, just weird). The natural and cranberry flavors (not the mango one?) have reportedly qualified for sale in BC schools because they are healthy and natural, unlike soft drinks.

Interesting news, but I think it is very unlikely the flavored drinks will be a hit with students!

Monday, August 10, 2009

CTV.CA's WWW site has a story on Charles Manson connected with the 40th anniversary of the murders that he and his followers committed.

The story reads, in part:

Among the victims was Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time, and four of her house guests.

They were killed by Manson and his three followers, all young women, on Aug. 9, 1969.

This is incorrect. Manson was NOT there.

The people responsible for the slaughter were Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel.

It really wouldn't take CTV much effort to get these facts straight.

[UPDATE: After I complained about the above, CTV revised the one sentence to read "They were killed by Manson's followers, including three young women, on Aug. 9, 1969."]

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some cop was interviewed on the local radio news this afternoon. He said, "We had a complaint of a body in the Fraser River." So what was the person complaining about? "There's a body in the Fraser River, it's making the river polluted"?
Last night I went to a restaurant. The food was very good, though kind of excessive. This morning I decided to look up some "reviews" of this place on the WWW. There were some negative (mostly to do with the slow service) and some positive ... overall rating was about 85%. I was just wondering -- if the negative people had a problem with the place, did they say anything while they were actually there? Few of the reviews suggested that they had done this. I wonder why they wouldn't? Did they think the chef might have suddenly emerged from the kitchen, enraged, and stabbed them with a butcher knife? Or maybe spat in their dessert?