Stupid Ass Companies and Not Stupid Ass Companies

  1. Stupid Ass Company Number One (MacWorld Magazine): I got my current issue of MacWorld (my subscription expires September) informing me I’d been signed up for Automatic Renewal Privileges. They gave me a list of these and it’s mostly stuff that benefits them and not me. Neither here nor there. The renewal rate is $34 per year for which they will kindly send me a bill. I called this morning and asked why they signed me up for a service I didn’t ask for to which they had no answer. Further, I asked why would anyone in their right mind WANT to when the subscription price advertised on their website is $14.95 a year (or $19.97 at Amazon)? The lady said she’d honour that price if I wanted but it’s for new subscribers only (nowhere does it say that if you care to check). I told her to cancel my subscription. I’ve been subscribing since the damn thing came out. No more. I dislike someone taking advantage of a loyal customer. MacWorld can stuff it.

  2. Stupid Ass Company Number Two (Western Digital Part One): I have been hinting on and off that my WD 1TB hard drive was ill. I’ll share the story. The drive was born 1-1-07 and is just over a year old. It blew out in spectacular fashion last month. After consultation with their tech support people, we determined the bridge was damaged and not the drive. So I said, that’s awesome I’ll send it to you and you can put the drive in an new case. They don’t do that. They just replace them. [Note that this drive is actually two SATA drives in a RAID configuration which makes a simple case swap very complex. I didn’t know this when I got it.] They suggested a number of data recovery services. Because it’s a RAID drive they all quoted prices close to $2,000 to $3,000 for a recovery mission. On a drive that’s under factory warranty. I found one company for $999 to do it and they have it and have recovered almost all of the data. It should be here tomorrow. The story gets better. The guy at the place called me today and (I’ll plug them after I get the drive back) said in the recovery process they found tons of files on the drive I didn’t tell them about. We discussed them and they weren’t my files! They were recovery files from someone else! Really. WD sold me a drive that was reconditioned previously. I fully intend to file a complaint with Federal Trade Commission. Normally a warranty protects the seller from incidental and consequential damages, but since WD engaged in what I consider to be a deceptive and illegal business practice (selling something as “new” that wasn’t), I intend to wage war for recovery of my $999 plus round-trip shipping.
  • Stupid Ass Company Number Two (Western Digital Part Two): So I called Western Digital this evening to get an RGA to get the drive replaced. After all it is under warranty whether or not the rest is resolved. They are obligated to replace it. After nearly 20 minutes on hold, I get a call center. A very nice lady in India. She puts me on hold repeatedly because there’s “a problem” with the drive even though we all agree it’s under warranty until 1-10-10. The new drive I bought at the Apple Store in the Falls (Miami, Florida, USA) does not have a valid warranty because, get this, the drive serial number was assigned to the EU and there’s NO WAY I could have bought it here in the USA. Without a receipt they will not help me further. She gives me a case number and apologises repeatedly after checking again with a supervisor.
  • Not Stupid Ass Company Number One (American Express): I call Amex and explain the situation. Because of the age of it, it’s not in their system. But the guy wants to help me while muttering how he doesn’t understand why WD even cares where the drive is sold. He puts me on hold and gets us on a three-way conference call with the corporate assistance department. We locate the exact date of sale — and it’s on a different Amex than the one I thought — and discover it’s “Falls Store” and not “Apple Store” as the name on the bill. I ask for a copy of the actual receipt be faxed to me which they cannot do, but they promised they will send me a letter via mail immediately explaining the receipt is being located, and hopefully WD will take that until they find the receipt which can take 3 to 4 weeks. American Express wants happy customers. WD does not.
  • In the good news department, the company working on my hard drive expects a recovery of close to 100% because the data except for one file seems to have been recovered. The data that is not mine I instructed them to NOT recover as I don’t want it.

  • I have hiccups right now and I hate them. It’s hot in my house and I wonder why. I must investigate. I had tuna for dinner and Scooter was the beneficiary of same. I will make a car decision shortly.

  • Another airline has added the $15 per bag surcharge. I’m running out of options to fly if I don’t want to pay that fee. It’s offensive. Raise the price of the damned ticket. I hate being nickeled and dimed to death. Airlines wonder why everyone hates them? This is why. Airlines suck.

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