ramblings from the noisedoctor

May 19, 2009

not impressed with the arbor day foundation

Filed under: gardening, lame companies — Tags: , — noisedoctor @ 11:34 am

I decided to “join” the Arbor Day Foundation (TM). To be accurate, I decided to take their 10-flowering-trees-for-$10 offer that I keep getting in the mail. And, for responding right away, I was to get a free bonus bush of some type. Yippie!

Now, I’m a realist. I know for $10 I wasn’t going to get massive, local-nursery-quality trees in the mail. I expected to get a box of bareroot, dormant trees. The key words in my mind were: box and trees. Okay, trees and box.

What I got was a plastic bag with tiny sticks. I’ve used bamboo skewers that were longer and thicker than these alleged trees. That’s not really the problem. As long as they grow (it looks like maybe half of them were actually showing hints of life, the others I’m skeptical), I’m cool with that. If I wanted big trees now, I’d go to the nursery and plunk down $100 and have it. I don’t mind waiting.

What really ticked me off the most was that none of the trees had any kind of label. I have 2 each of 5 different varieties of flowering trees (assuming they live) and no way to know which is which. It would be nice to maybe have some sort of plan to how I put them around the yard. Also, assuming some don’t live (not a stretch to me), I have no way to request them to send me replacements since I don’t know which is which.

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting amazing size and quality here for $10. But… if you can’t label the trees… come on, charge what you need to in order to do a decent job.

February 12, 2009

bad bunny!

Filed under: lame companies, useless junk — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 11:37 am

Here’s something I have been meaning to post for a while. Last year, after my son was born, we started using all sorts of toys/gadgets/gizmos to entertain the little guy–all of which eat up batteries. I dislike standard batteries and prefer to use rechargeable ones when possible. I had a good stock of AA and AAA rechargeable batteries. I did not, however, have any D batteries. My son loved a battery-powered swing and I wanted to get some rechargeables for it.

So, I snagged some Energizer rechargeable D batteries at a local store. I’ve been pleased with their AA and AAA ones. But, thankfully, when I got home I decided to comparison shop and make sure I wasn’t overpaying too significantly. One of the first things I hit was at Amazon, and the reviews there pointed me to something that was right on the label, but I neglected to notice and process it correctly.

It clearly says 2500mAh. Wow. That sounds like a lot, right? Not really, especially if you realize that the Energizer AA rechargeable batteries rate at 2450mAh. Also note that the price for 2 D batteries is roughly the price of 4 AA batteries.

What does that mean? It means that they took an AA rechargeable and stuck it inside a big chunk of plastic and sell it for twice the money–hoping people will be (like I almost was) dumb enough to fall for it.

Bad bunny! You should be ashamed of yourself.

February 10, 2009

so voluntary, it’s required!

Filed under: humor, lame companies, soapbox, unclear on the concept — noisedoctor @ 3:39 pm

The company for whom I have worked for the last 1.5 years was bought up at the end of last year. So, we’re going through the process of applying for jobs within the “new” company. No big deal, right?

So, as I’m completing my profile today, I reached a page that said “entering your sex and race information is strictly voluntary…” and “failure to provide that information will in no way affect you…” So, I decided not to enter it. I clicked the “continue” button.

I’m sure you can guess what happened next. Yup. took me back to the page with a red warning message: “You must enter all the information on this page before proceeding.”

So, it’s voluntary for me to provide that information–but it’s required. Brilliant! I’m applying for a job at a company that can’t tell the difference between optional and required. If I were just a few years older I could work as a greeter at Wal-Mart…

January 25, 2009

avoid big city direct

Filed under: lame companies — Tags: , , — noisedoctor @ 12:15 pm

I’ve been meaning to get around to posting my experience with Big City Direct as a warning to anyone who is considering buying from them.

Around 4 months ago, I was shopping for an HP iPAQ rx5915 Travel Companion. It’s a Windows (yeah, I know…) Mobile device w/GPS Navigation (Tom-Tom) built in. I was looking at refurbished items to save some cash, since at the time, it wasn’t much more expensive than a mid-level GPS unit and would give me some benefits as a Pocket PC as well.

I found the best price ($199) through buy.com. I honestly didn’t pay attention to the fact that this was one of their “Marketplace” sellers. Buy.com took my order and sent me a confirmation. The next day, I got an email stating:

We are confirming that the seller, Bigcitydirect of your Buy.com Marketplace order has cancelled the following item on your order…

I emailed buy.com and got a canned response:

If you have any questions regarding your Marketplace shipment, we ask
that you contact the seller directly. The seller’s contact information
can be found in the order detail located in your My Account or in the
email we send to you confirming the purchase of this order.

So, I emailed them and got nothing. I called them and was told: “The order was canceled because we no longer sell that item.”

Okay. If that’s true, I can accept that. I still think you should have some better inventory systems in place to not advertise an item you can’t sell (isn’t that considered “bait and switch?”). However… the kicker is that a week later, guess what was advertised on buy.com? Yup. Same item, same condition, $299. Oh, so I guess you do sell the item, you just don’t want to sell it at the price you advertised.

Bad company. Bad. And buy.com, shame on you for having such a company as part of your network. I used to have the utmost respect for you as a company. Now, not so much.

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