Credit where due

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I suppose we all hate those large corporations .
Today my Internet connection kept cutting out so I called AT&T this (early) evening.
Within two hours they were out and replaced the modem
no charge
Credit where due
not too much to complain about here
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On 10/24/2015 5:30 PM, philo wrote:

I don't think size is the issue. I think its more related to how *callous* they are towards their customers (assuming ourselves to *be* those customers).

Purchased a new bed (mattress/box spring). The "cover" (which is essentially an integral part of the mattress) was soiled when the delivery monkeys dropped it in the street.
[Guys, the mattress comes packed IN A BOX for a reason. Why not carry the boxed mattress *to* the door so there is less risk of the plastic bag that acts as an inner layer of protection FAILING (tearing) and exposing the mattress to the dirt in the street, yard, etc.?]
Complained to the store the next morning. They were sympathetic; immediately stated we shouldn't have to accept a soiled mattress (nor should we have to remove the cover, wash it and reattach it; we purchased a NEW mattress and should expect a new one!).
Said they would replace it (the mattress) claiming that they can't replace JUST the (removable) cover.
OK, fine. If you want to send out a whole new mattress and incur those costs, so be it. "But, let's keep THIS mattress in the box until it gets to the front door! It's been raining, lately..."
Replacement shows up and its not even boxed *on* the truck! Hmmm... sure looks like someone is trying to slip us a "used" mattress! And, cover on this "new" one is actually *torn*. "Sorry, guys... take it back!"
Call manufacturer to complain about the treatment from this "dealership".
Next day, replacement *cover* is in the post. "Put the defective cover in the box that the replacement arrives in, attach this label and call UPS for a pickup. We're sorry for the inconvenience and hope you enjoy your new mattress..."
So, its not the size of the firm (the "dealership" is a national chain; the manufacturer is a nationally known brand) but, rather, the specifics of your relationships with each.
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On 10/25/2015 03:10 AM, Don Y wrote: X

You are right.
I once made the mistake of taking my bicycle to a repair shop even though I could have fixed it myself.
Lazy I guess.
It fell apart on the way home so I had to walk it for several miles... then do the right thing and fix it myself.
Called the owner to complain and all she said was,
"Aw isn't that too bad."
Very glad when they went out of business within the next year or so.
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On 10/25/2015 3:18 AM, philo wrote:

I haven't been able to come to a conclusion as to which *sorts* of businesses "should" be more concerned with their "image", in this regard.
On the one hand, you can argue that small, locally owned businesses should place a higher premium on their image as they tend to be *individuals* known in the community -- not wanting their PERSONAL images tarnished by the perceptions others form of their businesses.
OTOH, they can "fold up shop" and move to another town/city... or, just reopen under a new name and start over. Very little "invested" in their "business image".
Or, you can argue that large, national entities run the risk of a "bad rep" becoming a widespread assessment of their organization and then they have "no place to hide".
In our "mattress" case, we had two opportunities to seek a remedy; with the retailer or with the manufacturer. So, thankfully, when one fell flat, the other picked up the ball.
[I suspect there is actually a third entity involved: the firm that the local retailer contracts with for *deliveries* -- the true culprit in our scenario! The local retailer *may* get smart and find another firm to provide this service. Or, may just want to bottom feed...]
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On Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 6:18:39 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:

In some cases management is dumb enough to totally piss off customers when it's very easy to do the right thing. My favorite example was Mother's Day weekend last spring. A bar/restaurant that we visit every couple months sent us an email about their promotion. They had a buy one brunch, get the second free deal for Sat and Sun. This place is part of a small chain, maybe 25 total. We happened to be near the restaurant that Sat and I remembered the offer. To make sure it was for both days, etc, I pulled up their website on my phone. The offer is right on the homepage, says it's for both days, at the end it says "Make your reservtions now". Now, IDK how you would interpret that, but usually, if reservations are *required*, it would say that. I assumed it just meant that you should make one if you want guaranteed seating.
so, we drive over and it's Sat, like 2 PM, the place is mostly empty. We get a table, they bring over menus, and there is no mention or sign of the offer, what you can choose, etc. So, I ask the waitress. She says, "oh, that's only for tomorrow, Sunday". I tell her that's not what the offer says. She says she'll go check. She comes back 5 mins later and says that it is for both days, but you need a reservation. I tell her that it doesn't say a reservation is required on the website. So, I tell her in that case, we're leaving. She says "sorry". At the main entrance, as we're leaving, I spot the manager. I go over to him and tell him what just happened, and he just says "bye".....
So, now I'm fuming. We had one more stop nearby to pick something up, so, I figured out I can play their game. I call up, make a reservation for 20 mins later. We do our stop, go back, get seated, making sure to tell the hostess that we have a reservation. The same experience starts all over again. Different waitress, no mention or sign of the brunch deal. Ask, her and tell her we have a reservation, she says that she doesn't know about it, etc. So, she has to go check. She comes back and finally tells us how it works, etc.
So, here you had a really dumb manager that would rather piss off regular customers than give them the promo that the restaurant had invited us too. Even if their intent was that you had to make a reservation, with the place mostly empty and us standing there, would it have been so terrible to just say, "No problem Sir, we're happy to have you?". When we were done eating I was keeping an eye on the manager, because I wanted to tell him on the way out that I hoped he was happy now, treating us that way, etc. But he had disappeared into the kitchen. When I got home I went to the corporate website, filled out a complaint. I told them how their manager had totally alienated two customers that were regulars, when the correct solution was simple. I told him that IMO, it was shocking that guy was even in the hospitality business, let alone a manager. Within two days I had an email from the GM at the local restaurant, apologizing and admitting that it was all their mistake, the crew had not been properly trained, etc. He offered to send some gift certificates, which he did and a few days later I had two $10 gift cards good for 6 months. Just used the last one a week ago. Which is a funny thing. After the incident, I was OK with them again, but still didn't go back for almost 6 months. Not on purpose really, it's almost like a subconscious thing, they were off my radar. Which shows you the damage some dope can do. Those two recent visits, no sign of the idiot manager either.
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On 10/25/2015 07:04 AM, trader_4 wrote:
<snip>

Fortunately I've only had one bad restaurant experience where they did not honor some published special.
Rather than let it ruin my day by arguing with them, I went home and posted a bad review on Yelp.
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On Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 9:18:45 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:

In my complaint, I mentioned that I had always had excellent experiences in the past and that I had posted good reviews online. I figured they could take the hint. And if I hadn't gotten satisfaction from the complaint, I would have posted negative reviews, citing the experience. It's interesting that a rare few establishments actually respond to negative reviews online tell their side, apologize, etc. Most there is nothing, you don't even know if they read them, give a damn, etc. Lots of reasons why so many restaurants fail and you can see some of them from the reviews, lack of response, etc.
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On 10/25/2015 4:10 AM, Don Y wrote:

Recently had a good experience with Samsung. According to the printed warranty, it ran out a month before a problem occurred. I went on line and they have a chat thing so I asked about the phone. They asked for the serial number and said it was covered. They emailed a prepaid UPS label for 2nd day air. Gave me updates as it progressed in their system and six days later had the phone back
They are set up for good customer service and they seem to really want satisfied customers.
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On 10/25/2015 7:02 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

We had a not-so-great experience with them -- but, large appliance (where they probably don't have to be as competitive/friendly as they do in profitable cell phone market!).
FL Washer door lock/latch failed ~18 months of LIGHT use (there's just the two of us here and I *live* in jeans & a T-shirt!). In fact, the machine tracks the number of wash cycles so I can tell it's run an average of roughly TWO per week.
The original part -- in a role that sees LOTS of mechanical abuse (you are pushing the door *into* it each time you open/close door) was made out of flimsy plastic; the two "snap-together" halves of the assembly simply falling "apart" from each other as the "snaps" failed (because they were in-line with the stressed applied instead of at right angles to those stresses!). The part on the door that mates with this PLASTIC assembly is *cast* -- I guess they figured *it* would see lots of abuse but it's MATE wouldn't?
[Note the spring that governs the assembly is stiff enough that manipulating it outside of the assembly requires a fair bit of force! Yet, the assembly was intended to constrain this]
Out of warranty so I went looking for a replacement part to install myself. Ah, Samsung service shows two parts as replacements for the broken one in my hand! One having the exact same part number; the other, a different number. "Perhaps the different number is an upgraded assembly? Sure as hell don't want another flimsy plastic part *if* there's a better replacement. OTOH, don't want to order a part and discover it has some other incompatibility (that isn't explained in the trivial "parts list" on-line.
OK, take advantage of on-line chat. Maybe they have access to more information than I do!
Ha! Nope. Just repeating what the web page is already telling me. Can't explain the differences between part numbers 23423542 and 42423424. So, the chat has simply been a waste of time (I guess it's there for people who can't read?)
After *forcing* the on-line chat person to escalate the issue, (kept wanting to repeat the two part numbers that I could *see* myself!) they agreed to send out a local repairman (which was more than I was asking for -- I just wanted a DEFINITIVE statement as to which of the listed parts was the *correct* part for me to ORDER)
OK, fine.
Local kid shows up, very polite, prompt, etc. Turns out there are *7* versions (revisions?) of this particular model. So, any guess I made was likely to be just that -- a guess.
He looks at defective part and sees how it has failed completely. But, the replacement appears to be identical -- plastic hasn't been beefed up in the areas where the snap-together tabs failed; hasn't been redesigned to snap together left-to-right instead of front-to-back; hasn't been cast out of metal or even formed sheet metal. I.e., start the clock; expect another 18 months before it fails...
Mentioned this to the librarian who had initially recommended the unit (washer and dryer). Her reply: "Oh, we've already replaced *both* the washer and dryer (due to failures)". Wunnerful.
So, my opinion of Samsung? "A" for their handling of the event AFTER I had escalated it. "F" for a bad product design and "expected" support (ambiguous web page).
They make a refrigerator in which we would be *very* interested. But, with this experience behind us, we won't even consider it (the dollars involved are substantial). Similarly, have been casually looking at TV's and routinely pass the Samsung units by. Also notice how often we see one at the "returns" counter at Costco.
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On Sun, 25 Oct 2015 11:46:19 -0700, Don Y

Few people can objectively judge something they paid money for. Some, but few.
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On 10/25/2015 5:43 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Someone recently wrote a "popular" title regarding how prices are set (and manipulated) and how we decide what something is "worth". Title escapes me, at the moment. Something like: "blahblahblah Why we pay what we do".
It was an interesting examination as to how we think about "value" and how marketeers leverage those practices to manipulate us into thinking favorably about *their* price points. It also tried to address whether or not *everything* in life has some sort of "price" associated with it ("mating", reproducing, voting, etc.)
Some of the examples given were entertaining, if nothing else!
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How much rental do they charge for the modem every month?
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On 10/25/2015 02:06 PM, Neill Massello wrote:

Very good question. It's $7 a month. I do know that I would have been better off to buy my own and was just thinking of doing so prior to this problem.
Now that you brought this up I see maybe my "good deal" was not so good as I've paid $70 this year to rent it...and I bet I can get one on eBay for that price.
Well, I guess now would be the time for me to buy my own equipment
thanks for bringing up that point.
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they upgraded the standard speed from 15 to 50 meg bits or whatever.
The modem I had bought was new and only $ 25 shipped form ebay. It works fine at 15,but not rated for over 30 or so. With the upgrade, I found someone on ebay that had a new modem like the TWC recommended one for $ 50 shipped. They usuallly run about $ 65 to $ 70 shipped.
Easy to install. Just hook up the modem and wait for a short period of time and the computer screen connects to the internet and asks for a few numbers off the modem and then it starts up.
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On 10/25/2015 04:00 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

No problem installing a new one as one of the things I do is computer repair.
Even though I'm aware that I'm getting "ripped off" so to speak to rent one the fact that I got it replaced within a couple hours of my call...on a Saturday night yet kind of makes it worth it.
If I had my own and it died, it would take me a few days to get one from eBay.
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On 10/25/2015 5:18 PM, philo wrote:

Time is money. You can get one same day from Staples or Best Buy, but you will pay more. $70 to $100
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On 10/25/2015 04:46 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Now that I can buy much of the stuff on-line...I find it a PITA to drive to the store and wait in line etc.
But yes, if I need something locally there is a computer store near here.
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On 2015-10-25 5:18 PM, philo wrote:

day, I got it the following morning. I assume that option exists in the US, but this is in Canada.
--
Froz...

Quando omni flunkus, moritati
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 10/25/2015 04:48 PM, FrozenNorth wrote:

I probably can do that if I want to spend a little more money.
I suppose I could also buy a spare...I pretty much have a spare...everything.
Must have at least 20 computers in the house and boxes of spare parts.
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On 10/25/2015 4:58 PM, philo wrote:

Old computers still retain functionality. An old modem may be a doorstop once your ISP "moves on". I have several pricey (> $1K) dialup modems -- e.g., Telebit 8840's -- that are *barely* useful as doorstops!
<
http://hancomputer.com/media/product/2a/telebit-fastblazer-8840-f9.jpg
Likewise, many DOCSIS 2.0 devices effectively rendered useless by the move to DOCSIS 3.0, etc.
It rarely pays to make long term "investments" in technology -- esp commodity products!
Find an auction nearby (police, city/county, university, large business, auctioneers, etc.) and pick up what you want for a song, typically.
I need a "new" (IDE) DVD writer for one of my computers. I'll pick up a scrap computer for $3 next week, pull the DVD drive, RAM and hard disk -- then toss the rest in the recycle pile (not worth salvaging anything beyond this level of "detail")
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