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So we ordered a desk for the new office from Best Buy at the end of June. It’s an oversize item, so delivery was scheduled through the Best Buy home delivery service. We’ve dealt with them before (when we got the massive TV of doom in 2003) and I remembered the service as being prompt and easy to deal with.

A lot can change in three years, apparently.

First, we got a call two days before the confirmed delivery date (the 17th of July) from the warehouse. “It’s weird,” said the delivery guy, “but it’s just not here. We’ll call you in a couple of days to reschedule.”

Okay. Well…okay. So we waited a couple of days. No one called. I finally called the customer service line. “I’m just wondering where my desk is,” I said.

“I show that it’s scheduled for delivery for the 19th of August,” said the rep.

I think I may have managed something more articulate than “WHAT?!?” but I can’t guarantee it. “That’s - that’s ridiculous. I didn’t authorize that. No one’s even called me.”

“It looks like I can schedule you for the 25th of July, if that would work better.”

Since this month is sooner than a month from now I said yes, it would work better, and the delivery was rescheduled. I had my reservations, but the day before the delivery date we got a call saying the desk was in and would be delivered on schedule, between the hours of 9 and 11 am. Hooray!

So Happy Fun Baby and I woke up at the crack of dawn (i.e. the same time Not So gets up every morning) and headed over to the office, which was empty except for a desk chair and a printer. It was hot, and it was boring, but we persevered.

And persevered. And…11 o’clock came and went. Happy Fun Baby, who had had enough around 10, was practically inconsolable, and I was righteously annoyed. I called the warehouse directly (all hail Caller ID), where I was told that the driver wanted to speak with me.

“It’s the weirdest thing,” he said. “I show that it’s here on paper, but when we were loading the truck this morning we saw that it hadn’t come in.”

“Why didn’t anyone call me?” I asked.

“Well, you know, it was six o’clock in the morning when we were loading the truck…”

“I’ve been here since nine a.m. In an office with no air conditioning. And a cranky seven month old baby.”

“I’m sorry,” the driver said. “It’s not here.”

So we schlepped furiously home and I furiously called Best Buy customer service, where I was told the following:

1) No no, the desk is being delivered today. You just didn’t wait long enough.

(Um, the desk isn’t there. I could have waited all day; wouldn’t have made a difference.)

2) The order can’t be cancelled, since delivery has already been scheduled, and

3) So sorry, but Best Buy managers don’t speak to customers.


I shouted something to the effect of “THAT’S THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING I’VE EVER HEARD! CANCEL MY ORDER RIGHT NOW!” and hung up. In the most mature, non-temper-tantrum-y way possible, of course.

And then, seething, I sent a bitchy e-mail to their corporate headquarters. And the Better Business Bureau. Because repeatedly failing to deliver goods paid for and scheduled? Really not a good business practice.

It’s too bad, because we’d done a lot of business in the past and undoubtedly would have continued to do business with them in the future had they at least treated us with the slightest bit of respect. They could have been up-front about the availability of the desk. They could have called us when they realized the desk wasn’t going to be there when promised. Refusing to let me speak to a manager (despite my repeated requests), though, was pretty much the last straw. Since when is that not considered a shady business practice?

technorati tags:best buy, customer service, suckage

Blogged with Flock

I signed up to beta test the new Yahoo! mail. Apparently the word “beta” is like crack to me. I had no problem with the old Yahoo! mail, aside from the fact that it was ugly and clunky and, you know, not in beta.

Staying in-touch is faster and simpler with the Yahoo! Mail Beta.

It took a long time for the new interface to load (which originally I attributed to newness, although it’s happened every time since). And then it took a long time for my messages to load. I’m not sure why they used the word “faster,” since that is clearly a lie. Perhaps by “faster” they meant “prettier.” It certainly is pretty. Even the ads that threaten to overpower the message viewing area seem more attractive than before.

It still does the thing I hate most about Yahoo! Mail, which you can see on the screenshot: the landing page. I click “My Mail,” and what do I see? A greeting (”Welcome, Jessica!”) and a note telling me how many messages I have. You know what? I could probably figure out how many messages I have by looking at them. I don’t need advance warning. It’s only one click, but that extra click causes me no end of annoyance.

Once I’ve gotten to my messages, the interface is much more like a desktop e-mail client than it was before. There’s a preview screen below the message list, just like in Mail. It does speed up the process of determining which messages are spam - no longer do I have to wait for the message to open in order to see if it’s something I want to keep. The folders are all listed in the sidebar, as are links to the calendar, notepad, and RSS feeds. People who use Yahoo as their primary portal will appreciate the integration.

All in all, the new interface seems much more modern and slick than the old one. If Yahoo! would get rid of the landing screen and find a way to decrease loading time, I might be persuaded to love my Yahoo! mail account the way I love my dot mac account.

technorati tags:yahoo mail, beta

Blogged with Flock

I just found out that the coComment plugin works with Flock. This kicks all kinds of ass, especially since I just installed the new Firefox beta (I’m a sucker for a beta) as my “other” browser and discovered that the coComment plugin wouldn’t work on it. Because it technically doesn’t exist yet. (It’s really cool, though. Has a lot more in common with Flock now, actually. Heh.)

I’m loving the Flock thing, in case you can’t tell. It occurred to me today actually that Not So might want to download Flock for the Flickr uploading alone. His Windows uploader is pretty sparse. (I wonder if there’s a Firefox/Flickr plugin. I should check. Because I am like that.)

Oh, and I just posted a personal portfolio site on our neumanbeck server - it might still be wonky, so any feedback is appreciated. Hint, hint.

technorati tags:flock, flickr, portfolio

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The verdict is in.


I wanted to like Dailymotion. In fact, I do like Dailymotion. They’re based in France and have all sorts of international users - the TV commercials alone are enough to make me fall deeply and unreservedly in love, and posting to a blog couldn’t be simpler - two clicks and you’re there. The only problem (as you can see from this post) is that the video is weirdly resized in the viewer window. I tried uploading a different video and it did the same thing.

VideoEgg looks really, really cool, but it doesn’t want to play with my Panther OS iBook. I might be able to get it working with the iMac, but that’ll need to wait until I get the office set up, and where’s the instant gratification in that? Also, it doesn’t integrate directly with Wordpress. Which is fine, but doesn’t give me any particular impetus to make it work, you know? I may test it out once the iMac’s up and running again, seeing as all the videos will be stored on that hard drive anyway. Or at least I think they will. Moving on.

On a whim, I tried out Google’s video service, and behold: we have video. It’s fast, it’s sized correctly, and it posted in my blog with no problems. (Google, like VideoEgg, doesn’t offer a direct post to Wordpress, but they don’t directly post to anything so I guess that’s okay.)

My choice?

upload your own video icon

Google Video is the clear winner. All hail Google.

technorati tags:google, video, dailymotion, videoegg, wordpress

Blogged with Flock