David K. Israel's Blog Posts

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~Original illustration by: Lambi~

~Illustrated by: Mark Winter~

~Illustrated by: Mark Winter~

~Illustrated by: Mark Winter~

~Illustrated by: Mark Winter~

~Illustrated by: Mark Winter~

My son and I have been consumed this weekend by a fun new iOS game called NumBurst. If you like brain teasers and card games, this one’s for you! With two free levels and two paid levels, there’s plenty to keep you going as you try to solve these fun math problems. The basic idea goes like this:

You’ve got a goal, which is a number, let’s say the number 3. Then you’ve got a bunch of cards, say 2, 4 and 1 and you’ve got to add them, divide them, subtract them, etc, until you hit your goal. The problems start out real simple, which is great for the kids and helping them learn math, but quickly get pretty darn challenging.

Plus, you’re playing against the clock! Once you’ve completed a puzzle, you get the option to post that time on Facebook and try to have friends do the same problem and see if they can beat your time. Excellent for the competitive neatoramanaut, eh?

You can download it here, or, of course, on your iPhone.

Want it on a t-shirt? Click the shirts below!

Want it on a t-shirt? Click the shirts below!

What’s going on with customer service from big corporations in America these days? If this past week is any indication, nothing great, that’s for sure. Not sure which recent experience was worse, Lowes or Virgin America Visa card, but here goes:

Virgin America Visa

On Monday morning, my wife and I got a call that our account had been compromised and Virgin America Visa would have to issue new cards. This is the third time this has happened with this card in about a year. When I was with Citibank Visa it happened 3 times over the whole 15 years I owned the card. So right there, that says something about Virgin’s computers. But wait, it gets worse…

So for some reason, even though we have the same family account, our cards have different numbers on them (which is a real pain when you’re trying to return something your wife bought, btw). So we call to see which card number was compromised. Turns out, it was my wifes. So they issue her a new card and say I can continue using mine no worries. But then later that day, mine doesn’t work. So I call up Virgin Visa and they say, no, it was not my wife’s, it was mine. And they apologize for canceling her card and not mine. To make it up to me, they’re willing to overnight the new card (mine, not hers) at no expense. Geesh, thanks Virgin America! That’s mighty big of ya.

So the card is supposed to come today, this morning. When I call up to find out the tracking number to get a better idea of the window I’ll need to be home for to sign for the package (which they’d instructed me to do), they say, “Ooops. It never got processed. Sorry! We can resend it for tomorrow.”

So I say, okay. That rots, but I lived this long without it, I can go another 24 hours. Then I suggest that they put my wife’s card in the package since hers was due to go out regular post and not arrive until next week. It’s the least they should offer, right? They say, “Good idea.”

Two hours later, the card they said never got processed, arrived FedEx at the house! Even better, then I get TWO emails saying I’ve just activated a new card. Each e-mail has a different card number on it! Only one matches the card I’d just activated.

The story isn’t over, I’m sure. Let’s see what happens tomorrow or next week when more cards start coming…

Okay, now Lowes

So I went in to buy a new microwave. I wanted someone to deliver it and install it over the range and haul away the old, broken one. Sounds simple, right? Un-uh. When I bought it, the salesman said it could be delivered in the next day or two because they had it in stock. Super, I said and went home counting the hours before I could nuke my next meal.

Well, days pass before the delivery company even calls to set up the appointment. Then, when they finally do, they say they’ll have to come on Saturday and give me a 4 hour window. Okay, so that kills one weekend day, but not the worst thing in the world. That is, until they don’t show up or call to say they won’t be able to make it.

The next week, I call Lowes and speak to 7 different managers and sub-managers and sub-sub managers before squaring things away. I had to call 3 different times because they kept putting me on hold to review the notes in the computer before the line would go dead. Good times.

So the last of the 7 managers says the install company will be in touch about rescheduling. He never apologies for the mess, but does offer to knock a few bucks off the price, so that’s cool. The install company finally calls and says that on Saturday (another weekend!) they’ll be coming to install my dishwasher. Fantastic, I say! A free dishwasher in addition to the \$20 bucks off the microwave! Lowes rocks! “Sorry, sir. There’s no free dishwasher,” says the woman on the line. “Did you not order a dishwasher?”

Ugh.

Cut to the chase… the delivery/install company misses the 5 hour window over the weekend by about 40 minutes. No one ever calls to say they’re running late or anything. I had to call Lowes AGAIN to find out what the deal was.

What about you all? What’s the worst customer service you’ve had recently? I bet there’s no shortage of good stories! Oh, and if you want amazing customer service, Alex, who runs our neatoshop in addition to owning this wonderful site, is awesome! Truth!

First World problem here, I'll admit, but don't you hate when a product you use daily or weekly gets discontinued? Take the Kiehls cream pictured above, for instance. Before L'Oreal bought Kiehls, this cream was relatively inexpensive and made from some pretty obscure ingredients. I used it exclusively through the '90s and am convinced it's the reason I look 5 years younger than my actual age (or so people tell me... heh heh).

Then one day - bam - all the important, rare ingredients were gone and though the bottle had the same sticker on it, the face cream was as nondiscript and as bland as a frozen Costco hamburger patty. So I went on eBay and bought up all the old ones I could. That got me through another year or so... but ultimately I had to change up my routine and pay a lot more money for quality face cream.

How about you all? What one or two products have you loved that have been discontinued?

Want it on a t-shirt? Click the shirts below!

Want it on a t-shirt? Click the shirts below!

I was out one night last week with our friend Jeff from Pleated-Jeans.com. We got to talking about which blogs are worth reading these days and between us could only come up with a handful. What about YOU all?

What blogs are you loving these days? Maybe you can help us bookmark some new ones! (And bookmark Jeff's blog if you haven't already!)

(Cartoon via gapingvoid.com)

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Profile for David K. Israel

• Member Since 2012/08/04

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