Saturday, March 27, 2010


I was fixing up my porch and wanted to make it look better.
It was built in the 1950's by my father. Time to "upgrade"
Clean the floor, clean the screens. Repair the holes, and patch.
Then I looked up at the ceiling. YUCK! Green and white vinyl strips connected with aluminum struts. What to do? I didn't want to use a brush and scrape and scrape.
So, I researched spray paints. You are saying, just get a can of Rustoleum. Nope. They don't have a product for vinyl and metal.

Krylon does! It is called Fusion. And, it is made exactly for what I want.
So, I went to Home Depot: all they had was Rustoleum, and it wasn't good for both surfaces, and they don't sell Krylon. I went to local hardware stores and no one carried this product. So, I looked them up on the internet and checked out their site.
I read about this Fusion spray paint and it sounded perfect. But, the stores that carried Krylon did not carry the color I needed. (What else is new). Can you order it, I asked? They could only order a case of the cans. I didn't want a case, only a few cans. The merchants said they could not sell the rest, so I had to buy the whole case. Needless to say, I was not very happy about this.

Hello, customer service?

Remember, always be nice, talk softly, never yell, don't curse. Explain the situation calmly, as my mother always said, "you more flies with honey than with vinegar".

After a few transfers I was spoke to a customer rep. and explained my frustration about purchasing their product.
After a little bit of conversation, and a little sweet talk and story telling. She offered me 3 cans of the paint for free. I never asked for anything free! She offered them to me.
At that point I just said, Thank You.
 Now that is customer service! I told her that I didn't want anything free and she didn't have to do that. I just didn't want to buy an entire case of paint.

She insisted and I thanked her profusely.

This experience with Krylon actually made me feel good. How refreshing that a company actually is interested in their customers.

Because of this, I will look to Krylon for all my painting needs first.

It doesn't always have to be a bad experience!

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Cable Guy Truck Driver Knew Best

How many times have you called your cable company and:

1.Kept on hold for ever.
2.For English press 2
3.Even though you enter your phone number they all ways ask for it again, or
4.It doesn't match their records.
5.You get disconnected.
6.You try hitting 0 for the operator and the message says..."Goodbye"
7.You start all over again

They also tell you they must go to your house or apartment.
You are dealing with people that are just reading off a computer screen and have very little if any knowledge about Cable television or how to repair a problem.

Always ask for a Supervisor, and get that person's name and ID info.

One time I called about a problem. If you have ever seen a bar, about 3 inches wide gliding up your TV screen, it is called a 60 cycle hum bar. It is not an audio problem but a video one.

I called and after quite awhile I got a human to talk to me. I told her I wanted to speak to a technician at the "Plant" as they call it. She informed me that I had to let her solve the problem and she refused to pass me on.
I told her she would not know what the problem was and that it was not taught to her in Cable Customer Service school.
She didn't like that.
I told her I had a 60 cycle hum bar on my Television. Her reply was, "oh, you have an audio problem".

I asked her if she know what I was talking about. She firmly said yes, I was experiencing an audio problem with the cable system.
I tried to explain to her what it actually was and that I needed to speak to a technician.

It was now 20 minutes into this call, and I was getting nowhere.

I always try and do speak softly and slowly. If you yell and curse, you won't get anywhere.

Finally, I guess a light went on in her head and she said that she needed to transfer me to a technician.

He wasn't sure either.
So, they would have to get back to me and research it.
About 3 days later I get a call from the head of the "Plant".   He and a supervisor wanted to come to my home to see the problem. We set up a time and they all came over, the head of the "Plant", the Supervisor, some executive in a suit and the cable truck guy arrived.
No, I didn't serve cake and coffee.
I remained calm.

They checked the cable going into the apartment building, the line from the box on the corner. The great minds we confused.

Nothing was working.
Then the lowly truck driver/tech had an idea.
Why don't we upgrade the cable box?
A chorus of nooooo came out of the performers. That won't work.
I said, "why not?" you have no idea what's going on.

Well, guess what? Ta Daa, it worked.
The picture was clean and bright and everyone was embarassed.

I told them to give the truck guy the supervisors job.

Since then I have been given a number when I have had problems to call.
NOT, the general one.

Always ask for a supervisor.
Be firm in your requests. Research what may be the problem so that you have some idea of what is going on.
Google the problem, it really works!!

Other Cable Company stories to come.

Keep Those Receipts and Read the Warranties

It is so important to keep receipts. Obviously not every receipt in the world, but for basic things.
Example: TV, Stereo, i-pods, Sports Equipment, etc.

You may want to throw them away quickly: DON'T!
And, read the receipt and the warranty all the way through. Don't let a salesperson hurry you. If you are signing your name to something...READ IT!

Here is an example and what happened to me.
I had bought a bicycle computer (speed-distance-etc.) and after a number of years it just stopped working.

I went back the bike shop I bought it at and told them what happened and wanted it fixed or replaced.
Yea, right, sure you do, was the reply.
I informed him that it was covered under the limited warranty and would like it either fixed or replaced.

In a very sarcastic tone said I needed to have the original receipt.
"Oh, you mean this one?" I answered.
His face just dropped and he muttered a single word, s**t, you would have that.

Well, he said, it's old and they don't make that model anymore.
I then showed him the warranty that said if not available one of equal quality or value has to be provided.

He was not a happy guy. I'll have to get in touch with the manufacturer. About a week later I received a phone call that he had indeed found the same bike computer, bring in your bike and we'll install it at no charge.

I was happy.

Save those receipts and read, read, read.
And by the way...if renting something READ the conditions and take your time and ask questions if you need to and don't be afraid to ask for a change in something you don't like.

The worst thing is he or she will say no and you can take YOUR business somewhere else!

SONY is Baloney

Recently my 3 year old 40inch Sony Bravia died.
Just a green fuzzy screen appeared. I was quite upset seeing as though it was only 3 years old and a great set.

I called SONY to see what they could come up with. Customer service had me go through the usual steps. Unplug and replug the set...nothing. Reset the television...still nothing. The great mind on the other side of the phone said... "I think it's gone". They recommended that I call a certified Sony repair company to check it out. Sony Corp. could do no more.
I did call one company and they want to know if it was hanging on the wall or on a table. Why would that matter when all I wanted them to do was check out the set, and they wanted $145 for the home visit and $195 if ti was mounted to the wall. I called another company Sony suggested. They only wanted $107 and would count that toward the repair bill. That seemed better.

The repairman showed up a few days later and looked at the set. His response was.."that doesn't look good. Also it's the panel that's out and it's to expensive to repair". He got a price for the repair...hold on to your seats...$1,330. YIKES

At that point I was even madder, so I called SONY, and asked to Speak to the CEO Howard Stringer. You have to go through steps. 1.Do you have the original receipt? 2. Do you have the quote from the repair company? Yes to everything. I always do my homework.

I did get a call from the CEO office asking if I knew Mr. Stringer. I did work with him at CBS and hoped he would remember. But alas, I never got to speak with him.

I explained to someone who represented him that this was a 3 year old set. A SONY set. These things are supposed to last. I believe my research said the LCD should last 100,000 hours.

This is supposed to be a great set. At CBS these things run forever and ever. I am a life-long SONY consumer. Everything I own is SONY. The only thing they offered me was that they would pay for half the repair. $660.00. Yea right!

So much for quality of the SONY Product and how they care about their customers.
Those I know at CBS told me they they have all gotten away from SONY and even maintenance people told me they are not even close to what they used to be.

SONY was best to buy from. You bought a SONY and you knew you had quality. They stood behind what they sold. But no more. They are a company that does not care for the consumer. Their offer to me was baloney. They should have, at the least offered to pay for the repair. The set was only 3 years old!
Once it's out of the door, they could not care less. That is the problem with business today. They don't care! And we, as the consumers. must stand up and show them that we will not stand for their practices. The best way to do that is with our money. Don't buy from a company that has treated you badly. You have the power.
Many people ask me about electronic products. i.e. TV's, computers etc. I will never again recommend a SONY TV. EVER!
When I told a friend of my SONY problem, he said that was good enough for him and he bought a VISIO TV with me.

So, bye bye SONY. you are full of BALONEY!!!!!

I checked out the VISIO Product. Now this is a great deal. I'll tell more about that in another post.

You can see the funeral of my SONY :( No one came, no one mourned.