Posts Tagged ‘service’

The Ritz-Carlton treatment

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While Panda was away on travel, he got a chance to stay at a Ritz-Carlton property. When he left, he realized that he could not find his power adapter, so he contacted the hotel and they were unable to locate it. Weeks later, he was supposed to return to the property but plans got changed and he had to stay at a different hotel in the area. When the hotel staff found out, they offered to send the replacement adapter they got him and delivered it to his new hotel! Not only that, but he mentioned he wanted to get something from the gift store – a rubber ducky – and they even brought that all wrapped up at no charge. Now this is the type of service I’ve heard of from this establishment and it’s great to see it in action. They made his trip that much better with their extra effort and kindness. 🙂

ritz-carlton gift box with white wrapping paper and red ribbon

The gift box, all nicely wrapped.

ritz-carlton rubber duckies inside box

Turns out they packed two ducks!

ritz-carlton rubber duckies

Now we have these keepsakes from their hotel.

universal converter/world adapter gift from ritz-carlton

And this wonderful replacement adapter for future travels. 🙂

Drywall patching

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses,Tags: , , , , ,
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Our home is now over a year old and for our one year, we had our drywall patched up for the areas showing signs of popped nails. Panda and I made a list of everything we noticed so when the guy came, I was able to point them all out. It took a good portion of the morning, with a break in between for the new drywall to dry. I’m always curious about how these things are done and it was totally not what I expected! Granted, I wasn’t really sure how they’d patch things up so I guess breaking off the pieces and filling them in sort of makes sense.

Here’s the damage we observed:

set of nails popping underneath drywall causing bumps

We were seeing some movement underneath.

crack in drywall from shifting walls in home

Some cracks presented themselves.

popped nail under drywall creating obvious dent

A few nails popped quite clearly.

When the guy came, he quickly set out to fix up all those parts of the walls and ceiling.

plastic protectant laid on ground to catch drywall pieces

He carefully laid down plastic to cover areas where he was working.

exposed drywall patch being fixed and redone

The cracks got chipped away and new drywall was put on top. The netting thing was to help things stabilize and adhere.

cat hiding in closet by hanging dress shirt sleeves

Smokey was not happy about the intrusion, so she went to hide in the closet.

wet drywall drying out after patching popped nails

When he left, everything was still drying.

fresh drywall needing paint

Once dry, this is how it looked. For the most part I hardly ever notice the patches, but every now and then they become obvious. Eventually we’ll paint them!

365great Day 91: Cloud Magic

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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 91: cloud magicCloud Magic is a wonderful little app that I found a few months ago. It’s basically like a global search of your digital footprint, which means that one search term brings up results across your email, social media, calendars, contacts, and online storage accounts. What a convenient way to find something when you can’t remember where the information might be stored. Or, in my case, I love using it to see if I got any emails with “congrats” or “congratulations” so I can make sure I know when I’ve won something. I use different emails depending on what type of site I’m entering a giveaway on and sometimes those accounts have filters so it’d be tedious to go through each to see if I got a relevant message. One search in Cloud Magic and *boom* it’s all right there for me to browse. You can even reply to emails right in the app! Of course, there are plenty of other ways to use it as well and you should totally give it a try! It’s so handy and absolutely great.

365great Day 69: subscription boxes

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365great challenge day 69: subscription boxesIt’s been about a year since I first got into subscription boxes and it’s a service I hope to use for a long time. I love how they help you navigate through the waters of whatever you’re not knowledgeable in, whether it’s eco-friendly brands or great ingredients to cook with. I’ve seen ones helping you with your child-rearing efforts, ones that offer something fun and useful for guys, ones that offer a complete set of ingredients to cook a fabulous meal, and so much more. I personally have been exploring a lot of skincare and eco-friendly products, most of which I never would have come across if not for these services. They’ve helped me discover amazing brands that I will likely be using for years to come! How great is that?

Blissmo no more

laelene Posted in general blog, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s coming up on one year since I signed up for an annual subscription for Blissmobox and while I’ve enjoyed some boxes, others have been “meh.” Throughout this time, I’ve had to deal with customer service multiple times due to some issues with their system. They’ve always been helpful and accommodating (albeit slow to reply). But this time, I am NOT happy. The past two boxes I got from them had a repeat product. And not just a small sample or one of many other great products, but one of the main products that make the box actually worth its value! So, I emailed their customer service expecting at least a partial refund of my money, an offer to send a replacement item, or something to try to make up for this transgression. What did I get? “Sorry, but that item was actually a bonus item.”

collage of blissmo march and april boxes

See something familiar in both boxes? Now imagine the right box without the lotion. Would you be happy?

Allow me to vent.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! If they had tried to send the box without that item, I bet you they’d get a ton of unhappy customers complaining! After all, it made up for half the value of the box. How puny and pathetic would the box be otherwise?? It’s sad. So I suggested a compromise: they could give me a prepaid shipping label and I’d send the box back to them, all items intact. I would count the month as “skipped” and we’d move on. What was their reply? We don’t provide prepaid shipping labels.

I’m sorry, what?!!

Maybe my standards of service are too high, but seriously, you can’t give me a shipping label??? That is just unheard of. I mean I understand if you’re just an individual seller like those on eBay, but here you are an established business with plenty of customers and YOU WON’T SEND ME A FREAKIN’ LABEL? It’s not like I just didn’t like the items in the box. I feel cheated that I paid twice for getting THE SAME EXACT PRODUCT when I got this service to get introduced to new ones. I would have been ok if it was the same brand but a different product from their line. But I can handle repurchasing products just fine without you, thank you very much.

They’re not even trying to make it right. All they’re saying is sorry, but we’re not going to help you. That’s what I’m getting from their correspondence anyway. So I guess it’s a good thing my year is almost up, because I am ready to part ways with Blissmo. I never complained before when their boxes weren’t very good and the one time I do have a problem with a box, they won’t do a thing. This kind of “service” isn’t even service. -___- At least this helps me decide my next move, since I wasn’t sure if I should renew my membership. I will take my business elsewhere.

365great Day 46: Graze

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365great challenge day 46: grazeGraze hasn’t been available in the US for long, but it’s quite popular! At the moment it’s invite-only (and each person only gets to invite one other) so it’s tough to get in. Once you do, you get to set up weekly, fortnightly, or monthly deliveries of delicious little snack packets! Each is carefully created to be nutritious and a single serving size. These are great for eating a healthier diet and portion control (which most people probably struggle with). They’re constantly coming up with new recipes and you get to decide which ones you’re willing to try, which ones you like and want more of, which ones you LOVE and want a lot, or which ones you’d like to “trash” and never get again. You can change your ratings for the snacks at any time as your tastes change too. The flexibility, the ease of snacking without worry, and the tasty treats sent to your door make for a really great service!

AT&T Uverse Upgrade

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A little while back, I was trying to print a coupon when somehow I got tricked into enrolling for some texting service. Before I even knew it, they were charging me $9.99 and sending me texts I did not want! I had no idea that I could subscribe for something without inputting my credit card info. I quickly got on the phone and called AT&T to get the charge removed. Of course, they also took the time to try to get me to upgrade my service.

This time, the deal sounded pretty good: a free Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire or XBOX something or other. I’d the Uverse internet, TV, and home phone bundle for only $5 more than the current cost for home phone and DSL. The contract term was only a year, though I could lock in that pricing for another year if I stayed with them. I set up the appointment to get installation today, with the technician arriving between 11 and 1.

black motorola dsl modem and router box

Farewell DSL.

Well, he arrived by 11:30 and has been here on and off ever since. First there were issues outside with the telephone box and what cables connected and were live. Then there was the issue indoors of not having a centralized place that our phone, TV, and internet would plug into. At one point we discussing drilling a hole in the wall to get the necessary cables in the right place. There were mysterious cables running in and out of walls and no signal where there should have been. It was a hot mess!

For awhile, he had to leave to get more equipment (and hopefully grab some lunch). Then he was back at it, setting up and fixing a lot of the odd wiring in our house. Maybe that’s why we always had trouble with the phone and internet signals. Could our troubles finally be over? Once everything inside the house was set up, we spent over an hour waiting for a different technician to come fix something interfering with the signal outside. I think we’re finally near the finish line though*. Hooray!!

gray/grey belkin backup battery for home phone lines and black at&t uverse modem and router

Yay new internet!

*Definitely was not – ultimately the issue couldn’t get fixed today so tonight we are home internetless.

365great Day 2: Yuzen

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Learn more about 365great here.

365great challenge day 2: yuzen

Sending yu a little zen” – Yuzen

Yuzen may technically be a subscription box service, but they’re really in a league of their own. What sets them apart is that they focus on inner well-being rather than external beauty. The products they choose for each box are not only eco-friendly and more sustainable, but high-quality items that make you feel better when you use them. Whereas many other boxes focus on beauty, food, pets, or other physical themes, Yuzen stands alone in their quest for something more emotional and abstract: zen. As their slogan goes, they’re amazing at “sending yu a little zen.”

I’ve been subscribed to them since their first box in July of 2012, and I even got involved as a Yuzen Ambassador because I admire them so much. They are the only brand that has positive reviews across the board – people love their carefully chosen products, beautifully presented boxes, and excellent customer service (all of which promote more zen!). Their standards are top-notch and the care and love they pour into everything they do shows. That’s what makes them so great.

What I love about AT&T

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at&t website countdown to iphone 5 pre-order launchI did a lot of research leading up to the pre-order of my iPhone 5 (I even wrote a full-on how-to about it).  One of the things that I spent time looking into was whether I should stay with AT&T or move to another carrier.  And you know what?  For all the bad rap that AT&T gets, I really think they’re not that bad.  In fact, they’ve got some great selling points that made it easy for me to decide to stick with them for the foreseeable future.  So while a lot of people may have jumped ship, I’m going to remain a loyal customer… which I’ve been, ever since the Cingular days!

First of all, I got scared when I read that Verizon customers would be losing their grandfathered unlimited plans once they went from 3G to 4G LTE.  It hadn’t occurred to me that this could be an issue, so I quickly set about looking up whether the same thing would happen to AT&T customers.  Some online searches didn’t provide the answer, so I called up customer service and spoke to a very nice lady who assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem.  Whew!  AT&T: 1, other carriers: 0.  (Oh, though she did note that I wouldn’t be able to use FaceTime over cellular since that’s only for people with shared data plans… and shared data plans meant forfeiting grandfathered unlimited data plans.  That doesn’t matter to me since I wasn’t planning on using it anyway.)

Secondly, I’ve been so used to being able to talk and surf at the same time that it didn’t even occur to me that others can’t.  I assumed it would just be something you can do across all devices and carriers, but for iPhones, the only US carrier that supports it is AT&T.  I happen to be a huge multi-tasker so I definitely put this feature high on my list of “needs” for my phone service!  After all, if I can’t look something up while talking to someone on the phone, I end up being very inefficient having to call them back or text them a reply.  If nothing else, I love being efficient.

Also, I find that AT&T has a good balance between 3G and 4G LTE coverage areas and the types of plans offered.  To the first point, Sprint I hear has limited coverage so getting a consistent signal on the move might be more challenging.  I took a look at the AT&T 4G LTE coverage map and found great coverage in all the places I’d spend 99% of my time in.  To the second point, Verizon forces new customers to sign up for a shared data plan, which makes no sense to me… explain to me again why I’d need to share data with myself?  Oh, that’s right – I shouldn’t.  Plus, there was the earlier point that you can keep the unlimited data plan if you have it already.

Granted, I don’t really use my phone for phone calls very often, so I don’t usually run into the issues that people complain about with AT&T calls dropping.  As for poor customer service, I find that when you start off the call on the right note, you can almost always get what you were looking for (assuming you’re being reasonable, of course).  In fact, I had a grand time chatting with my customer service rep the last time I was on a call!  And so it is, AT&T is most definitely the best carrier for me.

Oh yeah – one last thing: bonus points for having their site up 12 minutes before midnight for pre-orders.  If I was going to be at my normal billing address the day the phones were being delivered, I totally could have completed my order with them before the Apple Store was even ready.

Customer disregard

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guy with face in palms looking down in frustrated pose

photo credit: zachklein

You know what really irks me?  Companies that don’t care about being good.  This usually exhibits itself in two main ways: poor/non-existent customer service and dishonest (or not-so-honest) sales/marketing.  Unfortunately I came across both in one day, and found myself quite perturbed at the state that businesses are in.  Why is it the case that those providing outstanding service, great value, and by all accounts “do things right” are so few and far between?  Why is it that as a consumer and customer, I tend to expect that my voice won’t get heard?  I guess that’s why I love small businesses and start-ups, since they do tend to listen and care who I am and what I want.

It started when I came across an issue with Yahoo Mail and wanted to contact their customer service to request a feature be added.  After sending me on a wild goose chase of automated answers and browsing through their community forum, I reached a dead end that didn’t even allow me to email their service department (if they even have one!).  That’s like spending half an hour on the phone going through a tedious menu with robot voices only to get hung up on in the end.  Why waste my time?! Ugh, I was so completely disappointed in Yahoo at that point and almost didn’t even care if I could contact them anymore.  Here I am trying to help them make their service better and I feel like I’m yelling into an abyss with nobody within miles.

yahoo help dead end - only option go to community forum

The only option?! What about a contact form for YOU, Yahoo?!

Then a couple hours later, I got a phone call from a guy who started talking about setting up a consulting appointment for me.  Excuse me – what??  First of all, what consulting?  I never asked for any sort of consulting service and I certainly don’t have money to spend on that.  Second of all, who are you to offer me consulting?  Then when I asked him what this was about he answered: “Your website” to which I asked, “Which one?”  There was a pause of confusion before he was able to look it up I guess – terrible service.  You’re calling me about my business and you don’t even know the name of it?  Great.  Maybe you should get to know me before you assume you know what I want/need.  So anyway, I hated how he went ahead and assumed I had already agreed to this and just needed to set up a time to discuss details with a consultant.  That sort of sales tactic is too pushy and frankly, dishonest.

I then requested to be removed from whatever list they had me on and the guy basically ignored me, talking on about some other part of his sales pitch or something.  When I repeated myself, he told me there was no need to be testy.  Oh boy!  He hadn’t seen testy yet!  I retorted that I wasn’t being testy YET and made sure he confirmed that he’d take me out of their database before ending the call.  It was so frustrating to deal with him and his annoying assumptions that he could just bulldoze over me and get me to set up an appointment when I knew nothing about his company AND didn’t even want to change my site anyway.

Whew, so now that that’s off my chest, I vow to always strive to provide value, excellent customer service, and honest marketing.  I want my business dealings to engage customers, not drive them away.  I’d rather stay a smaller operation that really takes care of it customers than expand into a multi-national conglomerate that forgets about the little people.  And I hope that I never forget to listen to the customers, pay attention to what they’re telling me, and ensure that they are being taken care of as responsibly as possible.  Nobody should ever feel voiceless against my business.  In fact, I’d love it if we built a community around us, where we’re all like family and everybody contributes to the whole experience.  That’s my dream for my own companies.

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