Late delivery

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Could FedEx possibly be the worst delivery company ever?

I bet there are a few other people asking that question after their orders didn’t get delivered in a timely manner before, during, or after the holidays.

I ordered something that was supposed to be delivered on 12/24/21. Cutting it close to Christmas, but it was actually for a birthday on the 30th so not a big deal. Or so I thought.

Tracking a package these days shouldn’t be all that difficult, but that also seems to be a challenge for FedEx. They has some service called “SmartPost” which apparently has the package transferred to USPS for final delivery, or started with USPS and then transferred to FedEx for final delivery. The explanation on the website is less than helpful.

But here is the kicker of the whole thing.

The package arrived in Kent, WA on 12/20. That’s four days before scheduled delivery. Timing was looking good. Now, keep in mind Kent is approximately 2.5 hours (with traffic) from my home. It’s actually less than that but trying to give some benefit of doubt. Anyway, that’s a Monday and scheduled delivery day was Friday, meaning they had all week (yes, it was the week before all the snow and ice) to make the delivery. But, once it was scanned in at Kent it seemed to have disappeared as there was no more tracking of the package at all.

I was planning on having someone stop by and pick up the package while I was out of town so it could be delivered to the birthday person on time. I waited, and waited, and waited…nothing. Nothing!

I checked all of the following week. Nothing. Not delivered by New Years. Not delivered the day after New Years. No tracking. No alerts. Nothing.

On Monday the 3rd, I checked again before I was going to actually call and raise hell. Suddenly the package had been scanned in the next town and was out for delivery…by FEDEX.

The truck that dropped off the package was FedEx.

WTH?!?

Maybe FedEx just hates me. I shared a video on here way back where the FedEx driver walks through my flower beds to get to the front porch. Not just one driver, but several have done it. So, now an untimely delivery I guess just adds salt to the already irritated wound.

It literally took 13 days to deliver a package that was scanned at one point only 2.5 hours away.

Way to go FedEx. Way to go. You have earned the “Worst delivery service ever” in my book.

Don’t use this company if you care about your packages.

They don’t care about them.

Just saying.

Shopping sales

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It seems Black Friday started at the beginning of October this year. I guess we are living, supposedly, in perpetual “Black Friday prices” land for the foreseeable future. Today is Cyber Monday and best I can tell they are just the Black Friday prices recycled. Anyone else feel that’s the way it’s been for the last several years?

Yes, I am paying attention to the sales, though I haven’t yet left the house to go to any…because, why? Why leave home for a sale when you can get the same thing online? “It’s for the experience.” LOL Been there and done that in my younger years. Wasn’t worth it. No one needs that experience. Besides, there isn’t anything that I want that bad.

Oops, did you catch that in the last sentence?

“…anything that I WANT that bad.”

Hence, the problem with shopping the sales this time of year. Anyone else have a hard time not shopping for themselves?

As I look through the various sales, I inevitably find things that I want – either have been looking at in the past and was waiting for a sale or it’s something completely random and I just WANT it.

I typically resist this urge, but at times it is difficult. This time of year sucks because the budget can only handle so much (even with planning) and then all of the sudden I find myself thinking, “It’s on sale? Sweet, just what I have been waiting for!” Half of my browsing is seeing things I want to buy or would buy if I was Christmas shopping.

Anyone else’s shopping dominated by thoughts about just buying stuff for yourself?

It’s a problem and I don’t like it. Not because I don’t have the money, but because my discipline is seriously eroding with each passing moment.

Payment plan

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Just curious here…

What do you think of those “Buy me a coffee” buttons?

Are they annoying? Have you considered “buying a coffee”? Have you “bought a coffee” for anyone?

Do people really make money with those things? WordPress is advertising this type of thing again and I am wondering what people think of this?

What kind of content do you think warrants a “donation”?

Truly curious if you have used them (on your site) or if you have thought about it or if you have have used them (on someone else’s site)?

What do you know?

Start early

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Here comes the flood…

The flood of corporate emails from CEOs and marketing departments and advertising agencies, etc., that are pleading, begging, everyone to “shop early” and “shop often” because of the supply chain issues and the possibility of products not being in stores in time for Christmas.

The basic message, “Buy now. Spend money now. Give us your money now.”

Anyone else baffled by this? I have seen tv commercials pleading the same thing. I see internet ads extolling the “virtue” of shopping now so you don’t lose out on gifts for the holiday.

Not sure if you have noticed (you probably have, you’re not blind), but Christmas started two weeks ago. I am not talking about the “early in, early out” stores like Costco and others that bring in decor early. I am talking about the fact that stores are already promoting “Black Friday” sales.

It makes me curious, though. If I shoot my shot now, what happens when I see something in a month, or two, that I want to get at that time but I already blew my budget because I panicked and bought early, like they would like me to? Oh, wait! That’s what they want to happen. They want us to spend out money now and then forget that we already spent our budget and then overspend as the season continues. They want us to spend the money we don’t have because they enticed us early and often, created a panic buy situation earlier than ever, and then when it comes time to get what we really wanted instead of settling for something we bought early we get ourselves into buying that we can’t afford.

I see what you’re doing here. Unfortunately, so many people don’t have any idea what is going on.

Guess what will happen when we get closer to Christmas? All that product sitting out there on those boats will magically show on shelves everywhere. Just like it would have in every previous year.

Manufactured crisis? (LOL pun intended) It might very well be.

So, are you going to spend your money early or are you going to hold on to it in hopes of actual products you may want (and probably even better sales to get rid of all that stuff that came in “late”?

Better off?

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We’re coming up on an election again – Nov 2. As I look at the ballot sitting on the counter along with the Voter’s Guide, I am forced to stop and think about where we were a year ago. The question that keeps coming up in my mind, am I better off this year than I was last year? Maybe it’s an unfair comparison, maybe it isn’t. How are we to judge our politicians if we don’t look at it through that lens?

There were lots of promises that were made from the Democrats – LOTS of promises about making things better for everyone, if they could just get rid of the evil, orange man in the White House. Well, they were able to swing the vote (one way or another) to get their guy into the office, along with a whole bunch of other offices, with a promise of “Build Back Better” and it’s time to survey the land for improvement.

I don’t see any. None.

We’re coming up on a year and, quite frankly, I am not better off. I am actually noticing a lot of changes that are making life just a little bit more uncomfortable. The changes are slow in most cases, but there are some rather obvious ones that haven’t been slow at all.

I don’t know if you have noticed….of course you have noticed, jeez, you’re not blind…but the cost of EVERYTHING has gone up. Like everything! Automobiles, food, fuel, electronics, you name it. There isn’t a single thing that I have notices where the price has gone down. It’s more expensive to buy anything and everything. Those bills are creeping higher and higher. This wasn’t the case a year ago, so I am not better off there.

The government keeps reaching into my pocket and taking more money. Taxes have gone up on payroll, the ones that already existed before this administration took office (at the national level and the state level). But since then, there have been new taxes (not ones I asked for or voted on) have been added to my paycheck. So, nope, not better off here either.

Here’s something to think about too. About a year ago, most everyone was unvaccinated because the vaccine was just being approved and getting ready for rollout. Hospitalizations were high, but there was no claim that they were overwhelmed at that time. Now, more than 2/3rds of the country is vaccinated and they want to blame everything on the unvaccinated. Supposedly the hospitals are overwhelmed and there is now a mandate for workers to be vaccinated to keep their jobs and businesses want proof of vaccination before you can spend money at their place of business. I am near certain I am not better off now than I was last year at this time.

The media doesn’t report the facts, they report agenda. The “fact checkers” don’t check facts, they check against an agenda. Social media suppresses speech it doesn’t agree with, factual or not. Tolerance, across the board, is at an all time low. Natural rights are being taken away in favor of government granted privileges. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” seems to only apply if you are falling in line with the group-think. Think outside of that, well, you’re a hateful and intolerant bigot and you don’t deserve the same things being claimed all people deserve when they weren’t in charge. Again, I am not better off here either.

The border crisis is at epic proportions. China is flexing it’s muscle across the globe and making things less safe and testing supersonic missiles . There are cyber-spies or hackers under every rock (seemingly) these days. Afghanistan was a freaking disaster, where the Taliban have regained power and a safe haven for terrorists is now open for business again. North Korea is launching more missiles. Iran is doing their own thing with nuclear development, again. The world isn’t getting any safer, so I don’t feel better off on this front either.

Sure, some would argue that the Republicans are blocking everything the Democrats are trying to do to make things better for all
Americans. If they would just let the infrastructure (and other pet projects of the Liberals) bill pass…all I can say to that is that you’re dumb if you think that is the answer. Sure, the infrastructure needs some definite improvement, but you do realize that the money has to come from somewhere, right? The government is either going to reach real deep into your pockets (especially if you’re rich and worked hard for that money or made wise choices to get it) or it will be grabbed from businesses who will pass along the lost revenue due to taxes on to the consumer via higher costs on the goods you buy every day. YOU are going to be paying for that giant price tag, one way or another. So, no, that plan doesn’t really make my life better either.

So, What do you say? Do you like the way things are going so far? Are you truly better off today than you were a year ago?

Whose fault?

Alright, it’s time to find out who is to blame for this stuff. I analyze software as part of my job, but I have always been an analyst of sorts – even as a history teacher. Now, I am all about “root cause” and, frankly, I wanna know who to blame for the travesty that is grossly flavored coffee beans.

Who wakes up one morning and says, “Ya know, I think I would like some carrot cake coffee.” If you thought that, I call BS. This back of coffee grounds showed up by the community coffee maker and now I have to look at it every time I go to get more coffee. Why are they sharing it with others?

So, who is ultimately to blame for the existence of such crap? Is it the person/company that makes the beans, or is it the consumer who actually spends good money on the final product?

Would you buy this…garbage? If you would, WHY would you? I certainly wouldn’t, as I am sure you can tell by now.

Put a vote in to comments about who is to blame, company or consumer? What other gross flavors have you seen on the store shelves and thought, “WTH?”

The fine print

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Don’t you just hate it when businesses offer something to their customers, only to find out “the fine print” would exclude you from receiving the offer?

Over the last couple of days I have been considering an upgrade on my cell device, an iPhone 8 Plus. I have done my research and I am ready to make the leap and upgrade to an iPhone 12 Pro. I have been watching the sales, the promotions, and looking at a different carrier so see if that would make a difference in the offer. I am currently with AT&T, and honestly I haven’t had any issues with them other than the cost, which seems steep in comparison to some of the others at the moment.

Anyway, I finally decided to pull the trigger after talking to one of the people at the phone kiosk in Costco. They told me that I could get the iPhone 12 Pro, 256GB, for only about $15/month with a trade-in of my current phone. That basically worked out to about an $800 trade-in value for my 8+. WOW! That’s a pretty good trade, which I have never done in the past because it just wasn’t worth that much and I could get more from selling it myself. Trigger pulled…I started the process.

So, I spend about an hour with the guy and we were most of the way done with the process and then I got, “Oh, wait, I didn’t see in the fine print of the ad that you have to upgrade your phone plan. Are you wanting to do that today too?”

WTF.

Is it “bait & switch”? I don’t really know, but it sure feels like it.

Why the hell do these phone companies give deals to new customers but really don’t care much about retaining their current customers? That is what really rubs me the wrong way. They do very little to incentivize you staying with them. There is no loyalty program – I’ve been their cellular customer for probably close to 20 years. No discounts or special upgrade deals for those who have been with the company for a long period of time.

Ultimately, I am going to end up doing what I have always done. Upgrade and then sell my current device privately.

It could have been so easy, except for that fine print. That fine print always makes easy not easy. It gets you every time.

Take my money

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Every had something you really, really, really wanted to buy but couldn’t because they can’t keep it in stock? I am sure you probably have, so that is kind of a silly question.

To throw a whole twist to the situation is that it is only available online, which is more convenient than having to go into the store to check the inventory but it still causes an issue because there is no way to find out when it is back in stock. Like, there is no way to sign up for a notification when it is in fact back in stock. That’s seems weird because, ya know, technology…but it just isn’t an option for this retailer.

I do have some information that it will be restocked “at the end of May,” so there is that to go on. It was also previously not showing up on the website when it was out of stock the first time, but now it is again. That leads me to believe that it could be stocked at any time. So, now I am reduced to checking every hour to see if it pops up.

A similar item was in stock, then out of stock, then magically appeared as in stock, only to be out of stock less than 6 hours later. It wasn’t what I really wanted, but seriously debated the purchase as it was close and did I want to risk waiting for the other one I really wanted? I decided to wait. Which might pay off, but the waiting is excruciating.

I just want to give them my money. Why do they refuse to take it? Hell, I’ll even pre-order it, but they won’t even accept that either.

So, I am left to checking the website….OFTEN…in hopes that it suddenly appears in stock.

Frustrating and exciting at the same time. Know what I mean?

Registered?

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Lots of companies want you to register the product you purchased. Probably so they can track you or something, but hopefully it is because they want to provide you with excellent customer support when the product breaks or malfunctions or something.

Why then, if they want you to do this, does it have to be so difficult?

I went to the Ryobi website to register a product and to make sure the warranty was going to be there if needed. I signed into my account and the very first thing I noticed was that EVERY page I went to the “live chat” box popped up, even after closing it. Annoying…

When I finally got to the product registration page and inputted the model number, the correct product doesn’t come up. WTH? I searched through everything that was suggested and they were the right type of tool, but not even close to the correct model.

So, I had to use the “live chat” after all…only to have to agree to have them send me an email so they could get all the pertinent product details and then they would register the product for me and confirm via email that it was done.

I am still waiting for that email.

Again, this is a large tool company. It’s their website.

Think it should work correctly? Think it is good customer service to have the customer go to your website and then they can’t do the thing they were directed to do on the website in the first place?

Not even remotely.

I hope I get a satisfaction survey…

Sirius-ly annoying

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Does it astound you how companies or corporations or whatever you wanna call them when they assume the customer is stupid? Does it astound you that they don’t realize in today’s world that there are other options that you, as the customer, have when it comes to entertainment? It frustrates me. Gets me all pissy, and stuff. Guess I am in the right place…

So, the subscription to SiriusXM is up in my car. Well, in another month, but basically I have gotten the renewal notice already. Knowing there is a “game” to play with these companies I called and went through the stupid hassle again. The whole point here is that as the customer we shouldn’t have to play the game in order to get the best deal. Sirius-ly.

When I got the car I had and used the free trial. When the trial was up I cancelled the service. I wasn’t going to pay $20+ a month for radio in my car when I can literally get it for free or use whatever streaming service I have on my phone. Sure, there are lots of choices available via the service but they a pretty much the same as the apps I can get on my phone and they are actually better than listening to the regular radio because there are no (or rarely) commercials. So there is some give and take when it comes to features.

After about eight months and multiple offers at different pricing tiers, SiriusXM finally hit one I couldn’t pass up. It was better than some of the streaming services on the phone, Amazon, and Apple. So, for just over $6 a month I felt it was worth it. After a year at that price, and a pandemic going on, they offered another year of the service at the same price. Of course I accepted it have enjoyed it more since used it nearly every day while working from home.

Now, two years later, its that time to renew again.

I did the messaging online and long story short, they didn’t offer me the same deal to start with. They instead offered just six months and then back to their “regular” price.

Uh, I just said if I wasn’t going to get the same price I was going to cancel. Did you not believe me?

So I told them to cancel it.

Oh, wait, suddenly now the same price is available again…weird…

No, not really. They just like to yank people’s chains hoping you’re stupid enough to pay any attention to the deal you’re getting. It’s irritating. Sirius-ly.

Anyway, I renewed at the same price I have gotten for the last two years. Do you supposed since I have had the price for three years that it should now be the “regular” price?

Probably not. And I’ll have to cancel again next year.

Or not.