Posts Tagged ‘rant’

Today’s reason to hate Time Warner Cable

A few days ago, I received a postcard from Time Warner Cable. I was prepared to ignore the innocuous-looking missive, but out of curiosity, I glanced at its spare single-paragraph message:

Dear Time Warner Cable Customer:

As of October 15, 2012, an Internet Modem Lease Fee will be applied to Time Warner Cable-provided modems, at a rate of $3.95 per month. If you would like to use your own modem, visit for a list of approved modems.

Thank you.

I stared at this message in a state of disbelief. I’ve been using the same crappy Toshiba cable modem that came with my broadband Internet service several years ago. Now, all of a sudden, TWC wants to charge me $4 a month for the privilege of letting that lump of junk sit on my desk?

To spare the uninterested, the rest of this rant lies behind the cut. (more…)

I hate UPS

Those morons at UPS have done it again. Another package I was waiting for was scheduled for delivery today. I knew it would probably arrive while I was out at a weekly appointment, but I didn’t worry about that, since I figured they’d redeliver tomorrow. But when I got home, I saw no note from UPS, and I hoped the delivery might show up later in the afternoon.

Then I checked its delivery status online. Once again, UPS claims the package is “delivered” — signed for by someone named “Phil.” No one named Phil lives in this house or the one next door. No one downstairs or next door knows anything about our missing package. Once again, UPS has misdelivered something that belongs to me. That’s twice in two months.

Of course, reporting the misdelivery to UPS does no good. They accept no responsibility for their errors, ever. They tell me to contact the retailer, which makes no sense since it wasn’t the retailer who lost my package.

Goddammit, I hate UPS. They claim their name is an acronym for “United Parcel Service.” I don’t believe them; I think it stands for “Useless Piece of Shit.”

LG Premium Service is anything but

Long story short: last night my LG 37″ HDTV joined the choir invisible. Total main board failure. Bummer.

But I wasn’t too worried. A few years back, when I first got the set, the screen went wonky, so I called the service number, they sent a tech, and he fixed it on-site in one day. Since then, I’ve paid for the extended premium service plan. So I figured this was a minor annoyance to be dealt with, but not an impossible one.

Today, I called the toll-free LG “Premium Care” service number. First they told me my service plan had expired. I fixed that by reading them the contract number off my current certificate (which is valid through 2013).

Then, after I described the problem, they said the recommended service method is “Depot Service.” In other words, they ship me a big box, which takes 3-5 business days to get here. I put my HDTV in the box and ship it to their service depot. It takes 3-5 business days to get there. Then it takes them 7-10 business days to repair it, provided they don’t need to back-order any parts. Then they ship it back to me, taking another 3-5 business days.

Let’s assume the best-case scenario: 3 business days for a box, 3 business days to get there, 7 business days for repair, and 3 business days to get back. That’s 16 business days: Over three weeks.

But since when do these things ever go as perfectly as possible? I think the worst-case scenario is far more likely:

It takes 5 business days for their box to get to me, 5 business days to get to their depot, 10 business days for repair, and another 5 business days to return to me. That’s 25 business days: five calendar weeks. Over a month.

Apparently, an on-site technician is not an option, they tell me. If I want to take advantage of the service plan I paid for, I have to let them take away my television for a month, and maybe longer.

Really, LG? I have a different solution: I’ll go out to Best Buy and purchase a better television — and NEVER BUY ANOTHER LG PRODUCT AS LONG AS I LIVE.

Another reason to loathe Facebook

For reasons that have long surpassed my understanding, I have for some time maintained two separate but very similar pages on Facebook. The first is my personal profile page, and the other was my Official Author Page.

Ostensibly, the benefit of the latter type of page is that anyone can join it — for instance, if they like my work but don’t necessarily want to to “friend” me and reveal all of their personal data in the process. I was okay with this.

Then Facebook had to go and ruin it all.

Facebook, on its own initiative and without asking me first, changed my Official Author Page to a Community Page, a sort of public forum that anyone can create. This removes certain features, takes its content out of people’s newsfeeds, deprives me of official control over the page, and generally makes it sort of useless. It also makes it harder to distinguish from Facebook’s automatically generated info pages.

I might have restrained my response to an angry sigh and a shrug except for one thing. In the page’s top bar of information, they altered a key piece of information. It now reads “Community Page about David W. Mack” — complete with that link. That’s right: those morons at Facebook linked what had been MY OFFICIAL PAGE to one about the OTHER David Mack, the creator of Kabuki. And they did this FOR NO REASON. And left me NO MEANS OF FIXING IT.

As anyone who has ever had a grievance with Facebook knows, this $50-billion-valued corporation has no live chat support, no customer-service phone numbers, and no real means of submitting detailed complaints. They just run roughshod, do whatever they want, and unless one happens to be a megastar with a million Twitter followers or a TV or film celebrity or a major politician, there’s nothing one can do about it.

If I delete the page and try to start over, they’ll probably bar me from using my own name on an official page, since it’s already taken by this community page, which apparently is about someone else, anyway.

How I despise Facebook.

Medical aggravations…

Finding a good doctor in  my neighborhood or even in Manhattan is getting more difficult every day. To get an appointment with a new doctor can mean waiting up to two months, in some cases.

I had found a good specialist to treat a condition with which I’d recently been diagnosed. To my irritation, she had office hours in my neighborhood only on Mondays. That was inconvenient, but I was able to make it work.

My last appointment was about six weeks ago.  My next scheduled appointment was next month.

I had to call the doctor’s office this morning to try to clear up some difficulty with getting a prescription filled by my mail-order pharmacy. I’m not sure what the problem is — maybe they can’t read her handwriting? — but they need to talk with her ASAP or they’ll cancel my prescription.

While leaving a message for the doctor, I was informed that today is her last day at the office in my neighborhood.

“But,” I said, dismayed, “I have an appointment with her there next month.”

“Today is her last day in this office,” replied the automaton.

Nice of someone to let me know. Schmucks.

This is the glorious medical system the teabaggers want to save from reform? Give me a fucking break.

Well, this is vexing…

Last week, I ordered from an unfamiliar web site some novelty items to be used as props at the upcoming Shore Leave roast of Michael Jan Friedman. As of today, more than a week later, having received no confirmation of my order being shipped, and unable to reach the vendor through its customer-service phone line or e-mail, I contacted my credit card company and filed a billing dispute, after which I canceled my order with the vendor.

A few hours later, well after the vendor’s stated business hours, I receive a flurry of responses from the vendor informing me that my order shipped yesterday via USPS priority mail. Using the tracking number, I confirmed that to be true.

Adding to my frustration, I’d already ordered the items from another more reliable vendor, and that order is now officially too far along to be canceled.

The first vendor tells me that I can cancel the original order by refusing delivery, but then I am subject to a “restocking fee” equal to 25% of the original purchase. However, I now feel that I have an obligation to contact my credit card company and rescind the claim of fraud and my request for a billing dispute.

So now I face the prospect of being stuck with four of these otherwise useless items when I really needed only two (one plus a backup). Not to mention I’ll now be out twice as much money. I can probably think of uses for these ridiculous items, but man this is just annoying. And it all could have been avoided if only the original vendor had bothered to provide even rudimentary customer service.

Random News from the Future

Hey, everyone. I’ve just returned from a mind-blowing jaunt to the year 2159, and I thought I’d share a few of my observations.

  1. America still exists, but only as a conglomerate of wholly owned subsidiaries of WalMart, which has also become the world’s largest defense contractor. (Apparently, the U.S. was forced to break up in 2078 after being sued by Canada in federal court for violation of its own antitrust laws — by monopolizing global superpower status.)
  2. There is only one bank for the entire planet, and it’s called The Bank. Ironically, even though The Bank owns all the property, all the assets, and all the debt on the entire planet, the global economy is still in a recession due to a “credit crunch.”
  3. The number one restaurant chain in the world has a Mandarin name that two-thirds of the world’s population can’t pronounce without making native speakers of Mandarin laugh their asses off, and its menu is all about vegetables as entrees. However, to make its products sell in the American territories, all the vegetables are rolled in nacho cheese, wrapped in dough, and deep-fried in superbeef tallow. (You don’t even want to know what that is.)
  4. Lastly, the number-one bestselling holonovel in the world is, alas, yet another fucking vampire book.