Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category

Does anyone speak English there?

I have a hate/hate relationship with Comcast/Xfinity, whatever. They are really the only good choice for high-speed internet in this part of the world. I was one of the first people to have cable internet in Denver, back when it was called @Home. Then, I moved to Littleton, and was the first person to get it there. You’d think that loyalty and longevity would mean something to them, but that’s a ridiculous notion you should put out of your silly little head, right now.

Although I have an email address  with them, I never use it for anything other than paying my bill. Never have given it to anyone. However, even though it’s an unusual username, I’ve started getting more spam from them than usual. Checked and found there was a spam filter that needed to be turned on. Did it. Spam didn’t stop.

I could just filter it out with my antivirus software, but that’s not the point. Their filter should keep it from getting it to my inbox in the first place. A notion that was impossible to get across to the “analyst” assigned to help me in chat.

  • Problem: I turned on the spam filter in my email, however, I’m still receiving spam. Did Comcast (Xfinity, whatever) sell my email address to advertisers? If so, I want to remove my email address from all such lists.
  • Ma Lizlie > Hello B, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Ma Lizlie. Please give me one moment to review your information.
  • B > My Issue: I turned on the spam filter in my email, however, I’m still receiving spam. Did Comcast (Xfinity, whatever) sell my email address to advertisers? If so, I want to remove my email address from all such lists.
  • Ma Lizlie > How are you doing today? (I really hate it when they ask dumb questions like this, just to stall)
  • B > Does Comcast sell my email address to advertisers? I never give this email address out, and only use it to pay my bill online.
  • Ma Lizlie > I understand that you are having issue with spam emails coming in on your inbox, B.
  • B > That’s correct (isn’t that what I said, twice?)
  • B > I have already turned on the spam filter, but it’s obviously not working
  • Ma Lizlie > I understand how frustrating this might be, I apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured I will do everything within my means to address your concern today. (I feel so much better now)
  • Ma Lizlie > Are you using the Norton antivirus which is supplied by Comcast? (No, I use good antivirus software that I paid money for, but that’s beside the question)
  • B > The issue is NOT on my computer. The issue is in the email coming from your server. I can check the email online, and it is there. I don’t want to filter it AFTER you send it to me. The filter is supposed to stop it ever getting sent my way.
  • Ma Lizlie > The Norton antivirus can be has the feature to stop spam emails coming your inbox. (can be has?)
  • Ma Lizlie > This is a free version of Norton which is provided to Comcast customers. (Used it before, and it was worth exactly what I paid for it)
  • B > Duh. That is a different issue. What Norton does is filters the email as spam AFTER it is sent from your mail server. The spam filter on your server is supposed to stop the spam from ever getting sent to me.
  • B > The original question remains: Does Comcast/Xfinity sell email lists?
  • Ma Lizlie > Is your spam email filter on the Comcast email account won’t work, please do contact our Customer Assurance team to be able to enable it on your email account.
  • Ma Lizlie > Here is the contact number: 856-317-7272
  • B > One final question: Are you a human?
  • Ma Lizlie > Yes, B.
  • Ma Lizlie > I’m a live person.
  • B > A native English speaker?
  • Ma Lizlie > Yes.
  • B > The reason I ask is because you don’t seem to understand any of my questions.
  • Ma Lizlie > I understand that your concern is the spam emails coming in on your inbox and you have already set your spam filter for your email acocunt but this does not stop spam emails from coming in on your in box.
  • Ma Lizlie > I suggest that you use the Norton antivirus supplied by Comcast for the spam filter capability of it. (Still doesn’t get it – I want them filtered BEFORE they are sent to my Outlook. Novel idea, but effective.)
  • B > What about the question about Comcast selling email lists?
  • Ma Lizlie > But if this won’t work, I have refer you to our Custiomer Security Assurance to be able to check your emial account and the spam that keeps on coming your inbox.
  • Ma Lizlie > We do not sell to advertisers your email account. (Spoken like a true native English speaker)
  • Ma Lizlie > Our Customer Security Assurance can be able to check why youe email acocunt keeps on receiving spam emails.
  • B > So where in India are you?
  • Ma Lizlie > I’m sorry but I am not located in India,.
  • Ma Lizlie > We are located here in the Philippines.
  • B > That was my next question. Thanks. You’ve made my day.
  • B > Isn’t the official language of the P

…and that’s when my Comcast service went down, so it looks like the joke is on me. When it came back up, the chat session was closed. Surprise!

On a related note, for your enjoyment – Tech Support: Foamy the Squirrel

Am I, or am I not?

I sent Comcast an email requesting that they put me on a “do not contact” list so that their salespeople would stop coming by to attempt to sell me cable tv. I explained very clearly and succinctly that I don’t want cable tv, and the salespeople, in addition to giving me incorrect information, are wasting my time.

Got a reply a few hours later, and I’m not quite sure whether I have been opted out, or not. You tell me.  (The highlighting is mine.)

Dear Barbara,

Thank you for contacting Comcast, home of the Triple Play. You have reached Xfinity TV email support. My name is Gerardo and I will do my best to assist you with your concern.

I understand that you would like to let us know about your request to put you on the list to OPT-OUT of sales people coming to your door to sell you cable TV. I know how important it is for you to get rid of these people coming to your door to sell something and I will be glad to assist and help to guide you to this information in a timely manner. I apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

Rest assured that we, at Comcast, are dedicated to provide you quality service and will diligently work to resolve all issues in a timely manner. We need to hear about any unsatisfactory situations in order to correct them and to enhance our level of customer service. I am glad to assist you with this matter. Rest assured that I will provide you with the information regarding your feedback.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are continuously working to increase customer satisfaction and are putting a tremendous amount of resources into improving our customers’ experiences with us. We want to assure you that we do in fact recognize and acknowledge that we have room for improvement in our customer service, and that we are working diligently to ensure we can deliver a great experience to every customer, every time. Our goal is to deliver a positive experience to every customer we handle, every time.

We appreciate that you took the time to help us keep our commitment to quality customer care.

You may send your comments, suggestions, or any concerns that you might have by using the customer feedback form at the link below. Your feedback is important to us as we strive to improve our products, services, and overall customer experience.

http://www.comcast.com/customers/feedback/default.cspx

As part of our Comcast Customer Guarantee, you can always contact us at your convenience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-800-XFINITY (1-800-934-6489) or chatting with us online.

Thank you for choosing Comcast. We value your business and have a great day, Barbara.

Sincerely,
Gerardo
Comcast Customer Care Specialist

I really appreciate that Gerardo is “glad to assist and help to guide you to this information in a timely manner.” and that he is “glad to assist you with this matter. Rest assured that I will provide you with the information regarding your feedback.” What’s missing is the “information” he’s so happy to provide. Am I opted-out or not? I guess I’ll have to ask the next Comcast salesperson who shows up at my door.

I only need one!

I get crappy pitches from companies that want to pay me a few bucks to put crappy ads on my blog for their crappy clients. I never accept any of them because, well, they’re all crap, and could get my blog blacklisted. I’m on enough lists already, and having been 86’d from at least one bar in my lifetime, I like to be careful who I (on or off my blog) associate with.

Since they won’t leave me alone, and since sending them a photo of Wil Wheaton collating wasn’t exactly the correct response (since they actually claim they’ll pay me something), I decided a special email was just the ticket.

Hi Georgina,

I would love to reserve some space for your advertiser.

Since the site you requested is highly visible and valuable, and we’re very picky about who we let advertise with us, I’m willing to sell you space at a dollar per pixel (or character) per day, and set that up on an annual contract for you.

For example, a banner ad that is 125×125 pixels (our most popular size!) is just $15,625 per day, with one hyperlink included, absolutely free of charge.

Text ads are a real steal. For example, the average 255 word ad, at an average of 7 characters per word, run $1785 per day. Quite a savings over the image ad! Popular add-ons are larger fonts (an additional $250.00 set-up fee, and only $1 additional per pixel per character per day (PPPCPD), over the standard 10 pixel screen size) and bold (a great deal, at just $100 more per ad per day (PAPD), plus $1 per character per day (PCPD).)  Want to direct the site visitors to your
website quickly and easily? Add hyperlinks to your ad for just $150 per link per day (PLPD). Wire transfer discount applies on text ads, too!

All ads are subject to approval. The rate for review is calculated at 50% of the setup fee.

The standard setup fee for either a text or banner ad is equal to one day’s listing fee, paid in advance, with the remainder of the full contract due the day the ad goes live. If you use Wire Transfer (our preferred payment method), you’ll get a .5% discount!

We have other advertising options available. Let me know if you’d like the rates on ordering the full rate card. It comes in full-color PDF, and we offer a  .25% discount for multiple orders.

As you can see, we’re anxious to partner with you, and at these rates, you can’t lose!

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

I was really hoping Georgina would take me up on my offer, because I would be SET FOR LIFE, but unfortunately, she wrote back:

Thank you for your email. I regret to inform you though that the client we had approved for your site has now fulfilled their targets. I’m sorry we can no longer go ahead with our proposal.

However, we’re close to netting a few more clients. In line with this I’ve kept your site in my own database and should there be a new client that suits your website, I’ll immediately contact you.

Also, if you or anyone you know has any other sites registered that you would like us to consider for advertisement, then please don’t hesitate to recommend them to us. I would be keen to see if they would suit one of our clients.

Thanks again for taking the time to work with us. I appreciate your efforts. Here’s hoping we could do successful business soon.

Regards,
Georgina

I could write back and define “sarcasm” for Georgina, but I think there’s still a chance one of the new clients she “nets” could be my retirement plan, so I’ll let this roll.

HOWEVER, if you know any other sites that would like to advertise here, I’ll make them the same offer. And pay you a .05% finders fee for your trouble.

It’s not the cat’s fault

Husband sent me a link this morning to a story on Mother Jones, titled: Are Cats Bad for the Environment? I’m really sick (and tired) of all the people who tell me I need to protect the environment, stop doing things I love to “save the planet,” and other stupidity. We can’t hurt the planet. It’s been around billions of years, and will be here long after we’re gone. She can pretty much take care of herself.

Here’s the chart that has me all riled up:
birds and cats

“Domestic cats, officially considered an invasive species, kill at least a hundred million birds in the US every year—dwarfing the number killed by wind turbines.” Since there are way fewer wind turbines than cats, this comparison is ridiculous. There are probably more cats than buildings, so in birds per cat, or birds per building, buildings are more efficient than cats at killing birds.

Oh, and I’m just getting started. Cats are the only organic thing on the list, and aren’t we supposed to be Pro-Organic? If you add up everything else on the list, which are all man made, man kills way more birds than cats do. The eventual solution? Get rid of everything man-made, and we’ll have plenty of birds to go around.

Don’t you dare blame my cat for any of this. The only time she caught anything living (a mouse), she put it on my bed so she could play with it. And not “play” in the “torture it for my amusement” normal cat way, but in the “oh, watch, it’s running all over the place, isn’t that interesting” sort of thing. If she needed to kill in order to eat, she’d starve. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why you always see cats hanging out in ruins. If they don’t have people to feed them, they let the building do the killing for them.

Because I love bullet points:

  1. Cats are wild animals, who allow us to be their slaves. When left to their own devices, they show their true selves. Feral cats are just that: wild animals. And, organic. We already covered this.
  2. Birds are pretty cool, but are they really that much more important than cats? Petting a cat is good for your blood pressure. Assuming, of course, the cat wants to be petted. There’s no corresponding research with birds, so my natural conclusion is that birds are not good for your blood pressure. High blood pressure kills, therefore, birds are evil.
  3. After getting rid of cats, buildings will be next. Once the #1 killer is dead, bird lovers will work their way down the list until we’re all eating grubs and berries, and living in caves. No way am I giving up indoor plumbing for our feathered friends.
  4. If we remove all threats to birds, will all birds be protected? Because, last time I checked, chickens and turkeys were birds, too. Just saying.

The only way to preserve life as we know it is to first save all the cats. Every last feral kitty out there. Protect the cats, or prepare to lose everything last shred of civilization you hold dear. It’s only a matter of time.

The Joke’s On Me

April 1st is my second-favorite “holiday”, and my third-favorite day of the year. I’ve been playing silly tricks on people for nigh on 40 years. They’re always juvenile and transparent. I like the “victim” to laugh along with me.

This year, I sent out an April Fools email, hoping people would “get” it, and catch me in the prank. Sadly, less than 4% of my friends clicked the link, and even fewer got the joke, which ended up with me backpedaling about 100 times.

Worst April Fools Day joke, ever.

Here’s the over-the-top, pompous, self-promotional email I sent:

You know how much I love public speaking, but probably didn’t realize I’m also a singer-songwriter. I’ve been keeping this hush-hush for several months now, but the documents were finalized today, and I now have a record deal to release my first single.

So, in addition to being a web developer, online marketing specialist, social media consultant, founder of BW4W, and professional public speaker, I can finally add “Singer” to my list of accomplishments.

I’d like to share this special day with you by giving you a sneak peak to listen to my first single: “Do you know what day it is?” – http://bit.ly/eMn5Ua

Anyone who’s been on the internet for any length of time would know what they’d get when they click the link. But not my trusting friends. Not the people who believe in me. The people I totally betrayed with a simple joke that they didn’t get.

I’m such a jerk.

So then, to all the people who sent congratulations without clicking the link, and all the others who responded to tell me the link went to the wrong video, and not mine, I sent another email:

LOL! Happy April 1st. You’ve been Rickrolled. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rickrolling

Nobody; not a single person replied with “Ha ha, you got me.” Obviously, I’m the most hated person in my social circle right now.

Wait just a minute… I’m not a jerk.

How big is the rock all these people have been living under ??? That Rick Astley video has over 31 MILLION views. I’m not the only one doing a bit of rickrolling. Are my friends the only people on earth who have never been rickrolled? For crying out loud, even the Mets and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were rickrolled. If this meme has gone on so long that things as All-American as Parades and Baseball have been rickrolled, how have these people never heard of it?

I am boggled. Absolutely boggled.

Of course, husband (Mr. Voice of Reason) said not to do the Rickroll. Naturally, I didn’t listen to him, which means he has a whole wad of “I told you so’s” he’s waiting to drop on me.

Fine.

I was making fun of Google for giving away the punch line too early in this years’ April Fools joke, and as it turns out, mine didn’t even have a punch line.

To my friends, and family, feel free to borrow my pick and shovel to get yourself out from under that rock, so you can join the rest of the world. Don’t say I never gave you anything. Besides chicken pox.

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