Friday, December 17, 2010


If there is a reason to deal with an individual and not a conglomerate, today proved it in spades.
A customer notified me that I overcharged him a few dollars on a book he ordered this morning. Fair enough, he was right. My accounting program did not have the same price for the item that a sale list had. My mistake. I refunded his credit card payment, recharged him, he wrote back and was happy about the quick fix... end of story.

Now to me:
1) I am looking at the link to determine which plans I need for Medicaid. My doc recommended it. What a miasma of mishmash stuff. After almost every item there is a blue question mark (where one can get more information which will inevitably make you check another place, and on and on). To get back to the original home page I basically had to quit and start over. The only drug I take is BP medicine (I wonder why). Yet, if I don't sign up for supplemental coverage and I need to enroll 5 years from now there could be a 60% penalty (not mentioned in the copy by the way) and shell out as much as $1500 to buy $120 worth of stuff as generic. I'll check with another source next week. Unreal. I dread this.

2) I paid via PayPal for a program which was due to expire on Dec. 3rd. I resigned it on Dec 1-2 to prevent them from autocharging something I didn't want after one month (yes, I did read all their terms). You guessed it. They did anyway. I complained to both them and PayPal. All that amounted to was more grief. I contacted Customer Service and they do an auto keyword search to my complaint and send me an email faster than I got out of my browser! The information was NOTHING I didn't know and nothing about how to resolve my refund issue.

3) Recently I had a reason to go to the US Post Office's website to file a complaint against the local postmaster who purposely keeps the counters understaffed at 2 people instead of the former 3. We had lines almost to the parking lot. The employees are pissed and stressed not to mention the customers. One of them told me to say something to the postal officials via their website. I tried. I checked dozens and dozens of links some of which appear to be circular (a favorite trick of PayPal's). I found where one could send "compliments" but no place where you could complain about lousy service. If you tried "customer service" it was all marshmallows and cream. I never could find a place to "bitch" about something that has been bothering me since last summer (it's not about the Christmas Season--don't get me started on that).

You might ask, "Yeah Bob, but how does this relate to chess?" You shouldn't have asked because I am going to tell you. This morning I got an email from NIC about a video they prepared on the New in Chess magazine. I clicked on play and everything went into freeze mode. Yes, I have DSL and it locked up everything anyway. I think there is a reason for YouTube and this would have been it. I had to FORCE QUIT this so I could do other work.

Lest it sound like I am everyone's answer to their prayers--well... I am! I will get your problem solved if there is one. I work with people who claim to know what they are doing technologically and when I put up my web site if there are any recommendations, etc. I will link you to YouTube, somehow.

It's not just callousness nor arrogance (well, maybe) it is the "assumption" (and you know that one) that YOU (Mr. Big Shot at such and such company) KNOW what you are doing because YOU ARE WEALTHY. As a matter of fact, you might know something about $$$ but chances are that you know anything else are pretty dubious--that's why those with dough often consort with others who know what they are doing in the first place and they aren't afraid of that connection. You might think it is worth saving $200 to do it yourself. But to a wealthy person, it is cheaper to hire a "geek," get the problem solved, pay the $200 and get back to making $1,000 per hour! If you are really with it, you might have TWO duplicative systems (business, technological, practical, customer service...).

I am HOPING this afternoon goes smoother. Really. I think hi $IQ and high IQ in general is inversely proportional to having a clue. There's all kinds of reasons which I won't go into here, but I had to get this off of my chest. Most of the time "I eat it" and then never do business with that outfit again... just not worth it.

How hard is it to make it right, right now, and save time and money and keep future business?

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