Sunday, January 25, 2009

MicroCenter Update

So about a month ago I complained about BestBuy and MicroCenter.
MicroCenter actually read the blog, and a customer service rep contacted me to make things right.

A very impressive display of customer service, and I was pleasantly surprised.
So maybe their customer service is more like post-Perestroika Soviet Union, rather than the current Russian mob and KGB run Russia of today.

Or maybe the analogy just doesn't hold.

Anyhow, let's take a few important lessons from this:
  1. My blog is so damn famous customer service reps throughout the land read it
  2. My blog is obviously "cool" and therefore companies want me to endorse their products
  3. Best Buy is still staffed by rapists and ex-cons, and their customer service representatives rarely talk to you. Here's how it went for this customer who was having trouble with his phone:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yay! Incoming!!!

Just got notice that my Comcast Showcase was shipped today.
May have it on YouTube by the end of next week!!
Woo hoo!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Feline Conspiracy

I googled "why do my cats eat boxes" - first hit: Why do my dogs eat cat poop out of the litter box?
Probably a google-bomb smear campaign from some tabby.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A few minor skirmishes with computer stores

Best Buy's Geek Squad is the modern day equivalent of a shyster mechanic from the 1970s. Every time I've been forced to deal with them since they became the Geek Squad has angered me.
They thwart me every time I want to do something. I'd attribute it to incompetence, not malice, except it feels so much like malice it hurts.

Yesterday I was in a Best Buy buying network cable for my wife's business. I'm also trying to connect my computer to my stereo, so I ask them if they have any cables to do so. I can't find anyone in the home audio section, so I have to deal with those pox-ridden maggots in the Geek Squad.
First Geek Squad (FGS) jerk: "Can I help you?"
The Hero: "Yes. I'm trying to connect my computer to my stereo, and am looking for cables to do so."
This is like asking a mechanic, "Can you look over my car and tell me what work I should do?"
FGS thinks he has a mark. "Let me go ask a senior employee." He leaves, probably already at half-mast thinking about the comission he's going to get on this sale.
He confers with a tall skinny kid who looks as if he's mentally handicapped, but it turns out he's just really ugly We'll call him Really Ugly Skinny Kid (RUSK).
FGS says, "RUSK says you're going to need a software solution for this."
This is tough to deal with. If I had the time, I can probably get to the right answer by using the Socratic method.
Me: "After I have the software solution, how can my stereo see what my computer's software is doing?"
FSG: "Well you'll need these cables."
And I'm out the door with the cables.
But I'm so damn stunned that someone would try selling me software when I came in for a cable, I had to talk to RUSK.
RUSK, honestly, did catch me. "Digital or analog?"
"Digital" I lied. At the time I had NO IDEA. But I figure the computer's BRAND NEW and top of the line, so it can handle digital. The receiver's pretty damn new and takes XM connections, so I'm 95% certain it can take digital too.
RUSK: "Well, digital's not on many computers we sell. Which one were you looking at buying?"
"I have a computer and a stereo already. I'm trying to buy some cables."
RUSK then proceeds to Judo Kick me all over the floor with technical stuff, and tries to get me to go ask Home Audio for a 3x5 Card Connector Cable and a Sky Hook.
I realize I need more information to battle these noxious nabobs, so I go home and figure out what kind of cables I need, how long it's gotta be, etc.
I'was NOT going to return to Best Buy for this, so I checked Micro Center. They're a pretty cool computer shop, lots of great hardware to tinker with. Their customer service, however, is the worst in the Whole World. Yes, even worse than RUSSIA.
The trick is this: I need at least 30' of SPDIF Optical cable. This is hard to come by in stores - they normally sell 6 or 12 foot versions.
I call Micro Center, I'm put on hold 4 times while they try and get someone to help me. I ask for the specific kind of cable, and tell them that I need 50 feet of it. They say "yes, we have that" and tell me they'll hold it for me for 72 hours.
I drive in to pick it up, the woman says, "oh, sorry about that, we only have 12 feet of it but didn't have your number to call you."
That's when I started shooting the place up with my pistols of justice.

Actually, I just turned around and walked out. What am I going to do, let the manager know that I'll never shop there again? At that point I'm no longer a customer. They already stole a couple of hours of my time from me, and made no effort to make it right. What could a manager possibly do except commit seppuku right in front of me?
Come to think of it, maybe I should have asked for a manager. He might've been Japanese.

I hate editing posts (hence having the tag "Yet Another Public Apology") but in this case I'm going to edit with an update because of the circumstances.
MicroCenter Done Right By Me.