Archive for the ‘customer service’ Tag

07-05-2014 Journal Entry–Internet Shopping Nightmare!   Leave a comment


My week of freedom is almost over and in a another two days things will be back to what we call normal with the arrival of my better-half from LA.  My week of loafing is ending and thankfully so has the rain and wind of Arthur.  It wasn’t until the third day of rain I even knew about Arthur because I was ignoring the television as much as possible.  My only connection to the outside world was my phone and I was desperately trying to ignore that as well. I spent a lot of time on the  Internet trying to resolve issues with the Adobe Corporation and a purchase I made.  Here’s my sad story which should be a warning to you all about their company and it’s approach to customer service.

Last week I made the mistake of attempting to buy software on-line and to download it direct to my computer.  I’ve been using Adobe’s Photoshop Elements for years to catalogue and store my photographs.  I decided that maybe it was time to convert from Photoshop Elements 7 to the new version Photoshop Elements 12.  That was my first mistake.

I checked a few retailers on-line and found the price to be hovering around $100.00. I told my better-half that I wasn’t comfortable with downloading the program directly and I drove to Best Buy to see if they had it in stock.  I found Adobe’s Premiere Elements 12 and made the purchase for $75.00. I headed home very proud of the money I’d saved.  I got home, installed the software and surprise, surprise, it was the wrong product. Adobe in it’s typical retailer wisdom named two products in a similar fashion and I was I unobservant enough to fall for it.










Premiere Elements 12 is a program for cataloging and editing videos and not still photographs.  I felt stupid and a bit embarrassed by my mistake and decided to let it go and take the loss. But Adobe suckered me a second time with a pop-up add during the install to download the product I was actually looking for a price of an additional $99.00. Being frustrated and pissed off I gave them my credit card number and began the download. I’d now spent $180.00 dollars.

That was the beginning of three days of BS in trying to deal with a company that has turned over the majority of it’s customer service duties to a live on-line chat only.  It’s almost impossible to talk to a human being except in chat mode.  I was at my wits end because the download wasn’t working as advertised and their method of copy protection was pure insanity.  After hours of frustration and waiting on the telephone for forty-five minutes I finally connected with some company representative who’s grasp of the English language was almost non-existent but was to expected when you live in the suburbs of New Delhi, India. I became a bit rude and belligerent and demanded an effing refund since my credit card had been immediately charged $105.00 for that second product.

It took two days for their investigation to verify I didn’t have a working copy of their damn Photoshop software and my refund was finally posted 48 hours later. By then I was feeling highly agitated, used, and abused. The biggest problem in this whole scenario is that their product is the best on the market and I still wanted it.  I tried not to think about it anymore because it was sending my blood pressure through the roof.

Another week passed and I was still looking around for a solution to my problem when I found a site that would permit me to upgrade my existing copy of the Adobe Elements 7 at a cost of only $69.99 as a direct download from Adobe.  At no time during this fiasco was that option every mentioned to me by Adobe which pissed me off all over again.  I refused to be baited a second time with another download and let it go once again.

Two days later I happened upon a deal I couldn’t refuse.  eBay came to my rescue when I found a vendor in the Midwest selling a package deal of photo editing software. They offered Adobe Photoshop Elements 12, a Roxio editing program, and a Font package, for $49.00.  I made that purchase and it’s now on it’s way to me as we speak.

I have only two things to say to end this rant.  Adobe Photoshop software is the best around but the Adobe company and it’s employees suck.  That is my humble opinion and I’m positive they could care less. Their approach to business is to make as much money as possible as fast as possible and the hell with the customer. My second comment is a warning for anyone buying on-line.  Many companies use the Internet as a device where they can disconnect from their customers. Shop around for the product your wanting to purchase but don’t buy directly from the manufacturer.  It’s similar to going to a car dealer to get your car repaired. The only certainty is that you will be overcharged and treated as a second class citizen.

In all my years of Internet crawling and making purchases this was my absolute worst experience.  I’m stuck using Adobe software but I won’t buy any new products from them in the future. Just an awful few days that could have been handled easily by a company that actually cared about their customers.

Thanks for nothing Adobe. 

05-28-2014 – Flying the Unfriendly Skies   9 comments


I love passing along information that will possibly help some of you travelers out there in making your vacation or long weekend trips worth doing.  I’ve just spent the Memorial Day weekend in Dallas and it was one of the best holidays ever. There always seems to be a few bothersome  issues when traveling which tend to gripe my ass and that’s the topic for today’s discussion.

I really only have one travelers tip for you based on my recent travels.  Never fly the freaking friendly skies of United because believe me they’re not that damn friendly.  United Airlines sucks and I intend to spell out the entire nightmare they put me and a few hundred of my fellow travelers through on Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night, Wednesday’s wee hours of the morning and into Wednesday afternoon.

My trip began perfectly with a flight to O’Hare in Chicago last Friday, on time and no problems to complain about.  I was filled with holiday cheer and was having good thoughts about the entire world and everyone in it.  That lasted approximately two and a half hours until the United Airlines curse began.  I was due to land at Dallas/Fort-Worth at 11:15 pm and my ride was waiting patiently for me. Honest, he really had nothing better to do than to waste his time waiting for United to get their act together.  Finally after some typical airline BS I arrived in Dallas late.  Being the forgiving soul that I am I cursed quietly under my breath and just let it go. I really do hate to be forced into any situation being controlled by any airlines but since it’s one of those times when they have you by the cojones , you’re screwed.

My holiday weekend was terrific with barbecues, tacos, and smoked steak headlining the menus.  Unfortunately the fun had to end and as we drove to the airport for my return home I began to have premonitions of the coming disaster.  As we flew out of Dallas a storm front arrived and eventually extended all the way to Dulles in Washington making for a really bumpy ride. We landed just ahead of the front and I had only thirty minutes  to make my connection for the second leg of my journey to Maine because we arrived a little late.


United in their indisputable logic required me to run like O.J. Simpson across the terminal, jump into a shuttle bus to  reach another terminal where I arrived out of breath and barely made the flight. All of us cattle herded ourselves into a small version of the Boeing 707 that held approximately a hundred idiots like me.  Starting out the steward had difficulty making his safety announcements because his microphone appeared to have a loose wire of some sort.  It was screeching from the feedback so loud no-one could understand him.  Then the pilot announced a fan equipment failure and a half hour delay.  That delay caused us to miss our take off window before the storms hit and we then had to sit through a wall of thunderstorms trapping us on the tarmac.  Two hot and sweaty hours later the pilot tells us the flight has been cancelled because of other maintenance issues. 

We were directed back to the terminal into the supposedly capable hands of the oxymoronic "Customer Service" crew.  They herded us into a line of almost two hundred other people and offered only three Customer Service agents to handle all of our problems.  As we waited endlessly in that line they announced we should call 1-800-UNITED1 for additional ticketing help. 


To make a long story short the morons had me on hold for one hour before I got to talk to a human being who then told me there were no flights to Portland until Thursday with very few seats available on them. He then passed me along to another so called expert who  put me on hold again.  My phone ran out of power at that point and I was forced to stand around for another hour in that line to get help from their three overwrought agents.  I felt bad for them but unfortunately this nightmare was about me. Also during that time my luggage, a small carryon that I had been forced to bag check in Dallas, had been sent into the black hole that is the United baggage claim system and disappeared.

Their first recommendation when I reached an agent was  that I upgrade to a first-class ticket for an additional $226.00 and they could get me on a flight to Boston within the hour. Then I could rent a car and drive the rest of the way to Maine at my expense of course. I won’t repeat exactly what I said  because it was extremely rude and crude. Lets just say that agent immediately understood I wasn’t interested.

I’d like to take a moment here to thank the lovely and friendly blonde lady from Yarmouth, Maine whose name I never got. She was sweet and calm and kept me from erupting into a full blown maniacal rant while we stood in that line. As I promised her, I have nothing but nice things to say about her. I told her about this blog and she  was worried I might say something derogatory.

I strong armed that United agents into finding me a flight on another carrier, US Airways, but I had to shuttle across Washington DC  to Reagan National Airport ($30.00 for a fifteen minute ride) and arrived there at midnight.  I should also tell you that United refused any compensation to any of the travelers even though most were forced to get motel rooms that averaged $150.00 a night (I wasn’t one of them to be sure). They claimed the cancellations were totally due to the weather and never mentioned any of the maintenance issues we’d been told about by our pilot.  Maintenance issues require them to compensate travelers so I wasn’t all that surprised when they didn’t hesitate to screw us all.  A bunch of lying, uncaring, arrogant assholes to categorize them as nicely as possible.


I have to tell you that I had a lovely night sleeping on the floor of the terminal at Reagan National airport with eighty of my now closest friends who also refused to be coerced into paying out of pocket for motel rooms.  I finally flew home to Portland today with US Airways and arrived at three o’clock this afternoon. Along with all of the other BS, I lost my Kindle Reader as I was scurrying around  trying to get  home. I hadn’t had a decent meal for thirty hours and I had the pungent aroma of a disgusting farm animal or so I was told by my better-half when she picked me up.

Thanks for nothing United Airlines.  May you and your entire operation rot in hell.  You’ll never see me again.

05-04-2013   Leave a comment

I’ve mentioned in the past that my better-half works for Lowes Home Improvement.  She’s worked there for a number of years and is what I would consider an honest and loyal employee.  That being said she then becomes a huge target for my sarcastic wit.  I worked in big box retail for a lot of years myself so I know exactly which of her buttons to push to make her a little crazy. I’m dedicating this posting to her and all of the other loyal slaves at Lowes.

I’ll be supplying her with a number of copies of this that she can distribute amongst her cashiers and service desk employees. After all knowing your customers is the best way to develop those in-demand customer service skills. Read and learn girls!

* * *

You’re in the middle of a few spring projects: putting in a new fence, yard cleanup, putting in a new garden. You’re hot and sweaty, covered in dirt, lawn clippings, and paint. You have your old work clothes on. You know the outfit — shorts with the hole in the crotch, old T-shirt with numerous unknown stains on it, and an old pair of tennis shoes.

Right in the middle of these projects you realize you need to run to Lowes for supplies.  Depending on your age you might do the following:

In your 20s: Stop what you’re doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, floss and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex. Add a dab of your favorite cologne because, you never know, you just might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout line.

In your 30s:
Stop what you are doing, put on clean shorts and shirt. Change your shoes. You married a hot chick so no need for much else. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror. Still got it. Add a shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell.

In your 40s:
Stop what you are doing. Put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in the crotch of your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Brute is almost empty, so don’t waste any of it on a trip to Lowes. Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking-in than flexing.

In your 50s:
Stop what your doing, put on a hat, wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don’t want to get dog crap in your new car. Check yourself in the mirror and swear not to wear that shirt anymore because it makes you look fat.

In your 60s:
Stop what you are doing. No need for a hat any more. Hose the dog crap off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50s. You hope you have underwear on so nothing hangs out the hole in your pants.

In your 70s:
Stop what you are doing. Wait to go to Lowes until the drug store has your prescriptions ready too. You don’t even notice the dog crap on your shoes. The young thing at the register stares at you and you realize your balls are hanging out the hole in your crotch.

In your 80s:
Stop what you are doing. Start again. Then stop again. Now you remember you need to go to Lowes.  You go to Wal-Mart by mistake. You went to school with the old lady greeter.

In your 90s & beyond:
Something for my garden? Where am I? Why am I reading this? Did I send it? Did you? Who farted?

* * *

My mission for today has been accomplished.  As always, you’re welcome.

04-20-2013   Leave a comment

Everyday seems like an adventure to me and not always in a good way. I constantly people watch like everyone else but most things that make me the craziest occur in retail stores, specifically at the checkouts.  I worked for retail companies for almost twenty years and hated every minute of it. Companies are always preaching "Good Customer Service" but it never seems to happen.  The reason is simple.  You need good people as customers to start with.  Here’s a partial list of recent things that make me want to scream and run from the building.

  • Store Checkout Lines – Just once I’d love to get into a checkout line and be rung out immediately and leave smiling and happy.  I’ve been waiting for that for decades but it never seems to occur.   It’s always the wrong lane for me.  I could have one guy in front of me with six items and as soon as I line up behind him the cashier has to page for a price check or has to send an employee back into the store for a price because no one responded to the damn page. If it’s like this for everyone else then we have an even a bigger problem than I first thought.
  • Express Lanes – Don’t even get me started.  Fourteen items or twenty items, it doesn’t matter how many. I guarantee the person in front of me will have fifty freaking items.  If you say something then you’re the asshole.  If you don’t then you end up being pissed off all day and taking it out on someone else either in another store or at home.
  • Line Jumpers – The store opens a new register when your third in line at a busy one.  Before you can react, the people five places behind you in your line dash to the new register. I have a new term for you to mull over, "Store Rage".  It’s these little things that begin to accumulate over the months and result in bigger and more interesting arguments at the most inopportune times.
  • English Speaking Cashiers – I love diversity as much as the next guy but you can’t hire people who don’t know the language of the customers they’re taking care of.  Simple right?  I guess not. Part of the problem is that out of every five cashiers hired, four either fail the background check or the drug test.
  • Chatty Cashiers – I hate to say this but they’re normally a chubby women in her fifties who wants to be everyone’s best friend and confidant.  She spends more time yakking about stupid stuff than checking your purchases out. Please, shut the hell up, smile, and get me the hell out of the store.
  • Stupid Customers- Don’t show up at the registers with a bunch of products that are either missing bar codes or price tags.  Don’t ask the cashiers to do price checks for you while there are twenty people in line behind you. Could someone be any more  ignorant?  It happens all the time.
  • Coupon Freaks – I love nothing better than being behind a women with forty items in her cart and a stack of thirty coupons that must be checked individually.  The only thing worse is when the cashier discovers that more than half of the coupons are outdated or the customer is trying to scam her using incorrect products.  Do your freaking shopping at three in the morning for God’s sake where you take all the time you like sorting through your bag full of coupons and the women with Food Stamps behind you can just wait. She’s probably just buying booze and cigarettes anyway.

I could continue this rant for another thirty paragraphs but I hope you’re getting my point.  This posting was prompted by my last twenty visits to Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and a host of others.  I actually feel a lot better after venting like this but it’ll start building again as soon as I go shopping the next time.  I really don’ t anticipate any improvement so expect another posting just like this in September.  It’ll take that long to really piss me off again.

The straw that broke my back this time came to my attention from my better-half who still works for a major retailer.  She’s front-end manager who’s required to babysit a large group of girls (not women) in their late teens and early twenties who really don’t want to work.  They apparently live for drinking, partying, and screwing everyone they can get their hands on. The turnover is high as you’d expect but hiring really good employees is difficult when they pay slave wages.  They recently  hired a cashier who barely spoke English and who didn’t understand our monetary system.  And they wonder why their customers are outraged when a cashier can’t make the correct change even after the register tells her how much it is.

I won’t even start with my experiences with the bastards using cell phones and texting while I wait impatiently in line behind them.  Kill me I’m begging you. 

Thank God for Amazon, Ebay, and Internet shopping.

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