Archive for the ‘consumer’ category

J. C. Penny on-line

January 5, 2010

We found some interesting jewelry on the J.C. Penny website and decided to investigate. There was no way we were going to do an on-line purchase after being cheated on Amazon, so we called Pennys customer service.

No answer. Guess maybe they were still at the Christmas party. It might do well to note that advertising a customer service feature that is unresponsive is a sure way to loose customers.

We submitted an email inquiry instead. Two days later we get an email telling us the item is not available in stores. This after we informed these morons that we do not purchase jewelry on-line due to the fraud potential. Oh well. It appears that J.C. Penny is still as ambivelent to prospecitve customers as it was several years ago when we were in the market for a new TV set.

They had a TV set, reasonably priced and with freatures we wanted. Unfortunately none were in stock. They offered to sell us the demo unit at regular price. I was not interested in buying a used TV at new TV prices.

We finally found a decent TV at Wards.

Might wonder why we did not go to Best Buy or any other major electronics store, their prices were higher than we wanted to pay.

Buying things a Best Buy is not always ‘best’ from the customers perspective. I remember purchasing a hoover upright from Best Buy many years ago. It was a cheap vacuum priced under $100. The sales lady wanted to know if we would be interested in purchasing an annual maintenance warrenty for $50.

We have been avoiding Best Buy ever since.

We also have not been back to Wards and will certainly avoid Pennys and Amazon as well.

A good place to buy electronics is at Sams or Wall-Mart. Department store just are not competative any more. They never have been competative but during an economic downturn they are positively rediculous.

Amazon and Jewelry

January 5, 2010

Recently we found some interesting jewelry on Amazon. The item we bought was offered by one of many third party vendors doing business through Amazon.

This item was a amethest pendant reasonably priced under $100. When it arrived it turned out to be a $15 piece of kids trinket.

Only a fool would buy jewelry on-line from an enlarged picture.

Evidently the vendor suspected we might be less than happy with the purchase because included in the package was an applicaton for refund. Refund minus shipping and handling. Guess that free shipping is a one way deal and good only if you let yourself get robbed.

Buyer beware and beware especially of jewelry crooks scamming folks on Amazon.com.

You would think that the folk at Amazon would have higher ideals. After all, crap like this reflects on them as much as on the vendor perpetrating the fraud.

We are conflicted about applying for a refund because we do not need store credit to a crooked organization.

We may just take the hit. Write this thing off as a loss and warn our friends not to buy jewelry on-line from Amazon or any other on-line vendor. The temptation to defraud is just too great in an on-line transaction.

Savings 1.7 percent annual return

November 19, 2009

I recently received an offer from a savings bank to open an account with them. They would not charge me to open the account and pay me 1.7 percent interest on my deposit and there would not be any minimum deposit restriction. Oh, and the FDIC would protect my ‘investment’. I guess these bankers don’t know that the FDIC is broke.

Wow! Needless to say I triped over my shorts in my rush to get to the phone and take advantage of this superb offer…NOT!

Looking at this from a new perspective, the savings bank is asking me to loan them whatever money I can, at a 1.7 percent interest rate. This is about as close to free money as anyone has ever come without being a bank robber.

Lets turn the tables on this nonsense. Lets see what the banks reaction would be. My offer is for them to loan me as much money as they have at an annual rate of 1.7 percent and I will not charge them for the priveledge to do so.

Do you suppose their reaction would be as dramatic as mine to their nonsensical offer?

Things look a whole lot different when the shoe is on the other foot.

You see, when you are in a business that does not produce anything worth marketing, the only way you can make money is to defraud the public.

Endorsements

November 15, 2009

I recently purchased replacement transaxles from an on-line vendor of car parts. Imagine my surprise when he e-mails me asking if I was satisfied with the product.

My first thought was ‘ how nice, thank you for asking’.

Then as I looked over the form provided I found several ‘REQURED’ entry slots and emphasis not to use my real name. Too late. They already have my e-mail address and my IP so any reply was not going to be anonymous anyway. Why would they imply it might be?

I came away convinced that this was some sort of new scam fishing for information they were not entitled to and wasting my time. I pulled the plug and set up to block any future crapola.

GM

October 26, 2009

We used to joke that GM stood for generous motors. Today it is no joke that GM stands for government motors. It was too big to fail but the general succumbed anyway.

We hear lots of ads about GM. Chevrolet, for instance, is very proud of their new Impala. They say it looks a lot like a Camry. We currently own a 1995 Camry with nearly 200k miles on it. An LE, four cylinder yet plenty of power. It sips gas at a rate of 32 miles per gallon. Probably closer to 29 in town. We bought it used for $10k when it was two years old. It has gone through two brake jobs, one power steering rebuild, one timing belt replacement, and two CV joint jobs. Total maintenance cost over 14 years comes to $4k. Currently it needs another CV join job, new brake shoes, timing belt replacement, new struts and shocks, and a minor oil leak fixed.

It still runs fairly well. Comfortably seats four adults even on long trips. Plenty of truck space. Can easily accommodate car seats for kids and the original air conditioning (which has never been serviced) can still put frost on a pumpkin.

Should we consider a replacement we would first look at a new Camry LE.

We did and it comes in at just under $20k.

That is a little more than we would want to pay so maybe we should consider a lease instead? But first lets look at the impala.

We did and we are still trying to recover from sticker shock. The 2010 impala comes in three flavors, expensive, more expensive, and rediculous. It starts at $24k and goes to $30k. link

It does not look so much like a Camry now, does it? ( I can use that $10k difference to more than pay for my medical insurance. We prefer medical insurance over so-called health care insurance because we care for our own health.)

Not sure about the impala’s reliability or resale value, but I am inclined to believe it cannot be better (or even equal) to the Camry. Sort of like its gas mileage record. Chevy claims high teens city and high twenties highway for the impala. I find it hard to believe that there could be almost 10 miles per gallon difference between highway and city mileage. I also found it interesting that the more expensive model of Impala gets the worst gas mileage. (I guess they figure if you can waste your money like that, you won’t mind wasting it on gasoline either.) My Camry gets an average of 30 mpg, city and highway combined.

I can still get $5k for my current Camry even after 14 years. Even though the Camry has not been a model performer when it comes to maintenance, considering the use it gets a $4k cost for maintenance over a 14 year period is entirely acceptable. Future maintenance will be of the do-it-yourself kind since I can now get quality parts at discount prices delivered to my front door. link

For instance, replacing both front axles and CV joints now costs $180 instead of $500. (Of course it is going take me the better part of a day to do both axles but it is worth $320 to me). Yes, I have the tools and I know what a bolt looks like.

Since I consider the impala seriously overpriced, there is no point in investigating its possible purchase any further. Why even the new, basic, Volvo station wagon is only $22k! If I lost my mind, had my brain fall out, or became a Liveral, I would still opt for a mini-cooper convertible over an impala!

Sorry, GM. You need to take a second look at your pricing structure.

It used to be said that as GM goes, so goes the nation. I wonder if maybe the reverse is true. The national economy certainly looks like it is on a slide to hell. Apparently it is going to be taking GM with it.

Too big to fail? No, the truth is that the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Building a Smarter Planet

October 23, 2009

Are we always going to be plagued with the dumbest of the dumb seeking to accomplish the impossible?

One particularly annoying radio ad has a famous company offering to help build a smarter planet.

I find it more than just amusing that anyone, anywhere, would have the arrogance to imply that they could build a planet. Never mind a ‘smarter’ planet.

These folk would do well to build a smarter company by getting rid of the arrogant morons they have working in their advertising department.

Perhaps it is not arrogance. Maybe it is just stupidity. People who are so deranged as to claim they can build smarter planets need to do so in a padded cell.

Whatever their qualifications may be, real or otherwise, they certainly do not qualify to provide goods and services to the public.

SALES

October 22, 2009

20 percent off, 30 percent off, even 50 and 70 percent off. When I hear this nonsense I take 100 percent off by ignoring this foolishness.

I am not interested in mechants admitting their stuff is overpriced. I already knew that. All I need to know is how much they want for what I might consider buying.

It is called the bottom line and piling a bunch of crap on top of it is not helpfull.

Besides, I have never seen sales on stuff I really need.