Category Archives: Bad Business

Business’s with bad customer service

#SomethingTerrible is still happening

Have you been following the whole Dean Trippe Drama? I have out of some kind of morbid curiosity. It’s been radio silence from him on Kickstarter since his last update in May. However, digital rewards FINALLY went out, since he can’t take me off the backers list, I got the email saying to go get it and go get the new version of his ever delayed comic full of characters that other people created.

Kickstarter Trippe up
See the date on this email? July  21 and it says “Check back Monday at the KS page for a new update on the shipping date of the hardcopy. I wonder which Monday he was talking about because July 27th SHOULD have been the date but he said nothing. And he hasn’t said a thing on August 3, 10, 17 or 24. His fans have, they’ve said a LOT.

Kickstarter comments. 

Oddly enough, back at the end of last year when I started questioning Mr Trippe, his delays, his lack of communication and his use of funds for whatever he wanted, I was thrown to the wolves. Mr Trippe drug me in the mud and tried to bury me there.  And his “fans” joined in, I was a naysayer, I was mean, I was only in it for the rewards, I didn’t understand anything, etc. But honestly here we are almost 9 months later and there are people asking for refunds and being ignored. People are asking for updates and being ignored.

As for Mr Trippe, he’s still active on Twitter, on Facebook on Tumblr and he’ll talk to you as long as you don’t ask about his Kickstarter project. If you sing his praises, then he will talk to you.  And the latest plea for pity? He’s asking people on his facebook fan page if they know of any good cheap therapist because he’s ready to move on and through his past. Really. Because asking complete strangers on Facebook is the BEST place to find a new therapist.

trippe shrink

 

 

And if you want to know how he spends his time instead of shipping out all those books that people bought.

trippetimeonhishands

And if you have downloaded the “updated comic” I hope you have noticed the updated copyright…it’s now 2015.  And his picture with his bio…it’s the one he included in his LAST kickstarter update in May.  To recap, according to him in the risks, the project was already complete, it just needed minor layout tweaks. And he had already purchased shipping materials on Uline. (Of course, the majority of people backing his Kickstarter had no idea about his failure to complete commission drawings from DeanCon. So we believed him and threw money at him.)

trippe risksAnd then since we were throwing money at the screen he decided to ADD to the comic.

trippestretch
Have you read the “BRAND NEW EPILOGUE”? OMG talk about a seriously over inflated ego and a god complex, the new epilogue says it all. Lets recap, in the “Something Terrible” comic, Batman saves Dean Trippe after he was sexually molested. In the new epilogue, Dean Trippe goes back in time and saves Bruce Wayne’s parents. Stop and think about that. He repays Bruce Wayne by saving his parents, Bruce Wayne became Batman because his parents were killed. So if Dean Trippe saves his parents there would be no Batman to save Dean. Guess he didn’t think that one out completely. Perhaps it was the ego was in the way and he couldn’t see the big picture.

My point, don’t use Kickstarter to publish your book. Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. Keep it real, keep your word. My second book was late, but I didn’t hide from anyone, I didn’t block people when they asked. And I didn’t take money for it. In fact, I donate the money I make from the books to charity.

@ATTCares stepped up and proved it

Just got off the phone this morning with Misty. And she really stepped up and proved that AT&T does indeed value their long time customers. She looked over our bill and understood what I was saying when I said that old customers pay for new customers discounts. It’s nice to know that there are people at AT&T that are all about customer service and not lip service! After two weeks of “I’m so sorry for the inconvenience” and not doing anything about it, Misty was a breath of fresh air!

What did she do that was so great? First she didn’t just reach out with out doing her research. She read the first blog and knew what was going on. She had background information. I didn’t have to repeat everything AGAIN. That was nice. Second I didn’t have to beg, she said I see what you have, I see what you have been through, here’s what I’m going to give you and here’s how I’m going to make it better. She took ownership of the nightmare and wiped away the bad dreams.

My bill is lower now. It’s back to what it was last year before all my promotions ran out. So I’m happy about that.  And I feel that I’ve been fairly credited for the amount of time that I’ve spent on the phone, in chat, troubleshooting with and without agents and having spotty service.

So from someone who previously excelled in customer service, I would say Misty is currently excelling in customer service. AT&T needs to take heed of how she is handling things and give her a pat on the back for a job well done.

For my part, Misty, if you are ever in my area, look me up, I’ll treat you to dinner. 🙂 Thanks for everything, you made me remember why I’m an AT&T customer.

@ATTCares really? Prove it

OMG so if you have known our house for longer than a NY minute, then you know that we have had enough AT & T Drama to last a lifetime, to last our children’s lifetime and to last our granddaughter’s lifetime. But it would appear that AT&T didn’t think so, they this month, they gave us MORE drama.

Nothing will EVER beat the Uverse install. That’s true. How many people can say that the installation of a service in their house resulted in free service for a year, an employee fired, criminal charges pressed against him, all your electronics being fried, a $2k check and mysteriously winning tickets, with backstage passes to a meet and greet to see your favorite artist who’s tour is sponsored by the company that is providing all the drama? Really, NOTHING can top that.

Since then, I’ve been happy with AT&T.  Sure after that free year, I did notice that the price was high, but I called, threatened to go with Comcast, they gave me a discount, we dance that dance every year. I usually get the bill down to $200 for phone, tv, and internet. I never get the great deals that the new customers get. I never get the new equipment that the new customers get. And our speed will NEVER go up. The only option I have is when the contract is up, not give them a chance, just call the cable company and get them out here. Does Comcast run on Cat5e now?

But wait, I haven’t even touched this year’s drama have I? Oh it’s good. On May 3rd, the phone rings, I answer and it’s someone with a real strong accent that I can barely understand wanting to know how our service is working. Well, a month earlier, we had problems with the DVR and I had to complain til they replaced it but otherwise the service was good. I did explain that I was unhappy with the price. She said there was nothing she could do about that but she would be happy to send me over to her co-worker who could help me with that. And transfer me she did, right to someone else I could barely understand. Did I want to drop any of my services? No, well then there was nothing he could do. So I say “Oh but wait, since all of my promotions are up, that means that I’m no longer under contract and can cancel my service since Comcast has been BEGGING me to come to them right?” And suddenly he decided that there WAS something he could do, he could transfer me to “Saves”. The department that will say and do anything to get you into another year contract so they don’t lose you to another company.

She started with the well, do you want to reduce your services? No, we watch all five million television channels that we have and yes, we really do need all five boxes. No, the phone service is fine, I don’t want to be charged by the minute. No, we are very tech heavy in our house and we don’t want to reduce our speed. Oh so there’s nothing you can do. Okay thanks, I’ll give Comcast a call.

BUT WAIT LORI, I can offer you $40 off a month if you are willing to keep your services the same and stay with us for a year.

Bingo, I said the magic words, I’m leaving. And she found a way to save me money. At this point in time I had been on the phone for 45 minutes. So I got my $40 off a month and went on my merry way.

The next day for the first time in a VERY LONG time, the service dropped. I reset the modem, the service came back. The next day, it happened again. This went on every day with me resetting the system until I got frustrated and contacted them on the 8th via Chat.  Oh they were so very sorry, they would send a tech out on Sat and he would fix it once and for all I would NEVER have the problem again. (Yeah, right, whatever.)

Saturday, the tech comes, he walks into the master bedroom, pushes the reset button the battery, twice. The system comes back up, he looks at the box outside. He leaves.

Saturday night, guess what. You guessed it! The system went down. And every single time it would go down, the time on the DVR would be wrong. Isn’t that odd. So I reset it. Sunday, same thing. Off to chat. Monday, same thing. Off to chat. Monday night, DVR won’t record, won’t pause, won’t rewind, won’t do anything but show tv. Back in chat. Angry. Oh we are so so so sorry, we must reset the box.

We reset the DVR it worked until the next day. Same thing, this time I called. Oh the soonest we can get a tech out there is Friday. Now I start asking about credits because clearly we are paying $9.10 daily for a service that is NOT working correctly. They offered $10 total. I laughed. I asked them if they paid full price for the wrong coffee at Starbucks. Or for watered down soda. They said they didn’t. But since I had only called in ONCE that was the most credit they could give me.  So because I used chat, I was being punished. No credit for me because I didn’t use my voice! Yes, I yelled. Yes, I got a supervisor, Yes, I got a $33 credit.

Yes, I retired from the tech industry and yes I know I’m *THAT* customer. But I also know that AT&T doesn’t care about the long term customers. If they did we would be treated just as well as the new customers. They would say “Hey, you know what, we know that you were the first customer in your neighborhood to get UVerse and you have really old crappy equipment, can we schedule a time to bring you new equipment that isn’t going to break, especially since you lease the equipment from us?” I’ve been paying a least fee on boxes for 4 years now.  I’ve paid $192 in lease fees for EACH tv box in the house, but yet I have the old boxes.  Now I’m paying the same lease fee that the new customers pay for the wireless boxes, mine still have wires. Does anyone see anything wrong with that?

And the icing on the cake? Dish Network saw me complaining about AT&T on Twitter, said “Hey, it’s not right the way the treat you! Follow us back and we will give you a $25 Amazon gift card.” So a company I’m NOT with cared enough to give me something to read while a company I am with can barely stand to credit my account for down time.

Sad.

Vet declaws kittens and cats before adoption.

We all know I like to shine the light on bad business practices and recently one was brought to my attention that makes me sick. I’m an animal lover, I rescue cats, I care for wild animals that I find, I care for animals PERIOD. So when stories like the “vet” in Texas hit the news it makes me sick. I hope they take away her license. But I digress, last night a dear friend of mine alerted me a situation in Livonia, MI. Let me hit you with the facts. Declawing is cruel treatment.

  1. Declawing is already banned in the following countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland,Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark,Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand.

  2. Declawing is the removal of the first joint of a

    cats

    toes.  In very few cases does it do anything to benefit the cat. There are cases where a cat has allergies and instead of giving steroids that will shorten the

    cats

    life with each dose, a vet will recommend declawing to stop the cat from being able to scratch it’s skin off along with other

    non life

    ending methods of soothing the allergies.

  3. Declawing removes a

    cats

    natural defenses. Even if the cat is an “indoor only” cat, what happens if the cat manages to escape, it has no way to protect itself. It can’t even climb a tree to get away!

  4. Declawing is painful. Think about having ten amputations at the same time. Think you would like that? I think it would SUCK. And the phantom pain can last for weeks and months.
  5. Declawing can lead to biting problems. And the cat’s human may find themselves at the end of the bite.
  6. Declawing can lead to litter box issues too. A declawed cat can associate the pain from digging with the litter box itself and choose the nice soft carpet instead.
  7. Cats need their claws to help them exercise their muscles. Watch a cat stretch, whether horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tall scratching post. He will grab the carpet or sisal with his claws, using the resistance to pull and stretch his muscles. Cats’ claws actually play a large and positive role in their amazing muscle tone and agility.
  8. Cats walk on their toes. If you cut off the first joint of their toes you are altering their gait. This can cause problems later in life in all the joints in their legs. It can result in arthritis in their hips and other joints.

So when it came to my attention that there was a litter of 7 kittens being offered on Petfinder that would be declawed before adoption I started checking into it.

This has been removed because of the number of emails they received about it.
This has been removed because of the number of emails they received about it.

 

So I started looking into it. The only information you can find on this “rescue” is a PO Box and two email addresses.  lesannpayne@yahoo.com and kmwrob@aol.com  The first email traces back to LesAnn Payne, a vet tech at Allen Animal Hospital in Livonia, MI.

Ms Payne's staff profile and picture from the animal hospital.
Ms Payne’s staff profile and picture from the animal hospital.

 

The second email address traces back to one of the co-owners of the vet clinic.  Karen Wroblewski.

Second offender
Second offender

 

So here we have two women, who are TRAINED and EDUCATED in animal science and should know that declawing a cat is cruel. Just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean that it’s right. And on top of that, they are charging $195 per kitten to help cover vet fees. I bet they are doing the surgery themselves, they are getting everything at cost, so it’s not a rescue, it’s a money making business for them. It’s a scam! And it gives actual rescues a black eye. The AVMA has this to say on the subject: (find the information HERE )

Declawing of Domestic Cats

The AVMA strongly encourages client education prior to consideration of onychectomy (declawing). It is the obligation of the veterinarian to provide cat owners with a complete education with regard to the normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure itself, as well as potential risks to the patient. Onychectomy is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery. The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owners in consultation with their veterinarian. Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s).
  • The following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure regarding declawing:
  • Surgical declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in most cases. While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks and complications with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to, anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, infection and pain. If surgical onychectomy is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anesthetics and perioperative analgesics for an appropriate length of time are imperative. Pain management is necessary (not elective) and required for this procedure. Multimodal pain management is recommended, and there should be a written aftercare plan. The surgical alternative of tendonectomy is not recommended.
  • Scratching is a normal feline behavior, is a means for cats to mark their territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning (“husk” removal) and stretching activity.
  • Owners should provide suitable implements for normal scratching behavior. Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall or long enough to allow full stretching, and be firmly anchored to provide necessary resistance to scratching. Cats should be positively reinforced in the use of these implements. 
  • Appropriate claw care (consisting of trimming the claws every 1 to 2 weeks) should be provided to prevent injury or damage to household items.
  • Temporary synthetic nail caps are available as an alternative to onychectomy to prevent human injury or damage to property. Plastic nail caps are usually applied every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Declawed cats should be housed indoors and allowed outside only under direct supervision. 
  • Scientific data do indicate that cats that have destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanatized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.
  • There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities when the behavior of declawed cats is compared with that of cats in control groups.

 

While what this “rescue” (and I use that term very lightly here) is not illegal, it is unethical. To declaw a kitten before any attempts have been made to train it or before it has even shown any behavior problems is cruel.  They aren’t helping these cats, they are setting them up for a lifetime of pain.  The number one reason that a cat ends up in a shelter is litter box problems, declawing can cause litter box problems, they are setting these kittens up to end up in a shelter. Once in a shelter another rescue will come along, post and share their story, take up donations, rescue them and find good homes for them. Do we really want to spend resources rescuing cats that should not end up in shelters because of this type of behavior from vets running rescues? Do we really want to encourage ANYONE to declaw a cat?  Let LesAnn and Karen know how you feel. I did. Allen Animal Hospital Phone: (248) 476-0570

Their mission statement is crap.
Their mission statement is crap.

 

Refunds are rolling for people in #SomethingTerrible

If you are using my site to keep up with the “Something Terrible” nightmare on Kickstarter. I’m happy to report that more people are reporting that they are receiving refunds! It’s about time. It seems to be the most vocal that are getting the refunds. Those of us that have been hounding him via email. So if you are looking for a refund from him that seems to be the way to do it. Just keep emailing him and he gets the point.

But remember, he also needs to be held accountable for his actions. As it stands now, he held our money for over a year, interest free and all we got out of it was a hard time, publicly shamed for asking for updates and bullied. It will be interesting to see if any of his backers get their rewards at all. He keeps claiming it’s done but keeps pushing the date back further and further and keeps raising money on Ebay. Is he raising money for refunds or raising money for the project because he’s out of funds? Hmmm. Does make you think doesn’t it.

You can see his list of ebay actions if you click here.

An open letter to GoDaddy

Dear GoDaddy,

Not that you will ever read this blog entry and not that you care, but hopefully someone out there will read it and it will spare them some heartbreak. Fourteen years ago on a warm March night, I became a customer of yours. I was tired of my current hosting company, there were problems and you had great prices on domains. Plus you were still a small company and you cared about how you treated you customers. I’m not the kind of customer that needs hand holding or a lot of cheering. At one point, we had such a great relationship that you asked me to try new products and gave me things to try them.

And then things started changing. Prices started going up and up and up. In the beginning, you would email me codes to get a little something off. And then I needed hosting again, my brother-in-law was getting out of the business and I had to pay for hosting again. Most of the time I keep hosting just to keep my skills up to date, not for anyone to really see the websites, not that I even care if they do. And my domains, I have them because they are special to me, you know, like the ones with my name. That’s helpful since I’m an author. But princessgeek.com, I’ve had that since 1999.  PrincessGeek is my nickname. So yes it’s special to me. So I get that I’m not an important customer. I get that I’m not a high dollar customer. But that doesn’t mean you can treat me like crap.

Last year (2014) I made a mistake and cancelled a domain. It cost me dearly to get it back. And then there was the issue of Moodle. I needed a new hosting plan because the one I was on couldn’t handle the latest version of Moodle which I needed for my client, a teacher. Or at least that’s what I was told on the phone. Twitter support told me something different. The end result of that mess? All my websites were lost and I was charged twice for hosting. It was a lot of complaining before I managed to get a refund. And then it was even more of a fight before they agreed to refund it back to my card instead of store credit.

And then you didn’t hear from me until this year. A whole year went by and you never heard from me. I didn’t complain on Twitter, I didn’t call, I didn’t email. We were good. I did what I needed to do online and I was okay. And then I knew that my hosting was coming due again. I kept waiting to see if I would get a “renew and safe” code. Nothing came. And then on the 6th, I got the email that my hosting was due that day. Still no “save money” code, so I called. I got some guy on the phone and he said he could save me 15% but I had to renew for 10 years. There was no way I was ready, willing or able to do that. And even if I did have that kind of money laying around, I don’t know what the next 10 years is going to hold so why would I want to lock in hosting for 10 years? That’s just insane. We went back and forth for a while and he said that he could save me 44% but ONLY if I changed hosting plans. Well come to find out it wasn’t really changing hosting plans because it was the same plan, it was just moving everything to a new server. So $150 later, I had 2 years of hosting, renewed 2 domains and renewed the current hosting for 1 month to give me time to get all my files off the server and moved. I was okay with that, I wasn’t thrilled. But I didn’t have to deal with anything for 2 years so I could deal.

The next morning, I get up and I have an email from GoDaddy, “Save 50%”. Not 44%, but 50%. Now we aren’t talking a large amount of money, we are only talking about $9. But it was the principal of the matter. I qualified for the 50% because I got new hosting, that’s how he was able to give me the 44% off. So I called. I got some female on the phone and I was explaining that I was a long-term customer, that I stuck around during the elephant disaster and all the feminist issues. Well before I could finish the sentence about how the negative attention affects their clients too, she cut me off with “Yeah, I get that you’re upset but what’s your problem?” I was FLOORED.  So I told her that I was angry that yesterday the best customer service could do is give me 44% off but today I got an email offering me 50% off. Things went from bad to worse. While she didn’t say I was a liar, she implied it. She said “He didn’t give you 44% off, I’ve never heard of that.” and then she started looking at my account. She also wanted me to read her the “fine print” of the email. I did. And of course, she was bitchy enough to explain to me (since I had no clue, I’m just a lying stupid customer who’s angry) that the longer you renew something for the bigger the discount that’s why he was mentioning the 10 years.

Then she realized that he indeed give me 44% off and told me that she was going to make me “very happy”. She told me to log into my account, I already was. Then she told me to cancel the hosting, she said “the first one”. And this is where ALL THE PROBLEMS COME IN. If you were looking at the list of items that I could cancel the first thing was “GoDaddy Auction” from where I messed up and canceled the wrong domain the previous year, the second item I could cancel was my domains that I had renewed the day before, the third item was the first one that said hosting, so I clicked it and hit cancel. Oh wait, that was the wrong one. All my websites were GONE. She put me on hold, came back asked me if I had backed them up, couldn’t even get to the part where I had tried the night before and couldn’t get it to download before she hit me with the “Oh you can have a back up for $150 but otherwise, they are gone because you canceled the wrong one.” I was LIVID.  We argued back and forth and finally I told her that was it, I was done, I was moving all my stuff.

She realized I was serious, asked to call me back later that day and see how I felt. Knowing I would not change my mind, I said sure and we hung up. I vented on Twitter, got a lead on a new host, started moving domains to Google Domains. She called back and I told her there was nothing she could do.

But over on Twitter I found out that I was not the only one that had the problem of lost files. There was a lot of bitching, moaning and arguing back and forth on Twitter between @GoDaddyHelp and I but the outcome was summed up in two tweet conversations:

They clearly do not care about the customer.
They clearly do not care about the customer.

 

And this one:

I'm done.
I’m done.

 

As you can see, GoDaddy is done with me and I am done with them. I was with GoDaddy longer than I was with either set of my parents but now we have parted ways. All my domains have been moved. I have nothing left there but a customer number.

 

The moral of this post, if you need a domain or hosting and want decent customer service, pretend that you are a race car driver and race away from GoDaddy. You may get a decent price to begin with but in the end, you’ll just get screwed and you won’t even get a kiss, candies or an “I love you”.

 

Thanks GoDaddy

Hi there! Welcome to a new site. Again. Yes, that’s right, i just went through this a year ago. GoDaddy did it to me again. Lost my files, jacked the price, was rude, nasty and hateful. So after 13 years, I decided it was time to divorce them.

A big HUGE shout out to Adam at http://www.inmotionhosting.com/ for getting me hosted again. And thanks for Google Domains for being there to handle my domains.

And a major THANK YOU to @TBWHS on Twitter for the heads up about In Motion Hosting!

Now let the fun begin of rebuilding.

GoDaddy will NEVER be forgiven for losing my tribute to MimmyJoe.