My Irritating Experience of Buying Airline Tickets Through Expedia

Rant on…

My mom is coming down Mother’s Day weekend for my daughter’s dance recital.

My wife and I always pay for her plane ticket.

I went to to make the purchase. I selected the dates and Expedia took me to a screen to choose the flights I wanted. I made the selections and went to place my order. My original quoted price was $450. But, when I went to place the order, the price jumped all the way up to $600. There was a note that said something to the effect that, “They didn’t have current information on prices,” or something along those lines.

So I tried Priceline. Same thing. Why? If the ticket prices are correct at the time of purchase, WHY can’t they be correct when searching for them in the first place?

I have a theory about this. I think websites like Expedia, Priceline, etc., want the lowest price in order to get people to use their sites. If one does it, THEY ALL DO IT!

I’m of the opinion that it should be against the law. It’s really no different than getting a flyer in the newspaper that says computers are on sale and then you get to the store and find that they are $150 more than the sales flyer said they were.

My advice: boycott Expedia, Priceline, and the other third party ticket websites and go directly through the airline. That way, you don’t get your hopes up, thinking you are getting a deal when in fact, you are not.

Rant off…

My Latest Best Buy Experience

*Begin Rant Now…*

Saturday afternoon, my 6-year old daughter was playing a PS3 game on our 3.5-year old Samsung flat screen (Model: LN-T5271F if you’re interested). All the sudden the TV went off and would not come back on. I unplugged it and it plugged it back in. Still no power. This concerned me.

Later that day, I stopped by Best Buy to talk with one of their electronics people. I found some guy and explained my issue to him. When I told him the model of the TV I had, he said, “That’s an awesome TV.”

After I explained the issue, he shrugged his shoulders and told me I’d be better off buying a new TV.

Well, this ticked me off. I said something like, “You don’t understand. I bought one of the best TVs on the market when I bought this one. I spent $3,700. I bought it over a plasma because one of your sales guys told me that it would last a lot longer than a plasma. Now you’re telling me that I have to buy a new TV?”

His response: “Sir, we don’t make the TVs. We just sell them. Did you buy the warranty?”

Me: “No. What good would the warranty have done me anyway?”

Rep: “We have four-year warranties. For $200 you could have purchased the warranty and now we would be giving you a brand new TV. You should have bought the warranty.”

The Best Buy guy was about as smug as they come. He had no empathy for me and my situation. I left the store frustrated.

When I got home, I did a little research and found a phone number for Samsung. I got a Samsung person on the phone, explained my situation, and she arranged a company to come to my house and change out the capacitors free of charge. I asked her if this was a common problem with my TV and she said something like, “Yes sir. That’s why Samsung has agreed to make this particular repair free of charge.”

Why didn’t the Best Buy guy know about this? What would have been wrong with him saying, “Sir, I’m sorry for your issue. Since it’s not under warranty, you might call Samsung. I have heard that some of these TVs have had issues with capacitors and Samsung might to the repair for free. Here’s their number.”

THAT would have earned my respect AND would have brought me back the next time I needed a new TV or other high-dollar electronic device. From now on, my local Best Buy will be Amazon’s show room for me.

*End Rant*

My Frustrating Tassimo Direct Experience

My wife has had a Tassimo machine for several years now. She loves it. A couple of years ago, Tassimo redesigned the machines, making them more modern-looking, sleeker, and maybe a tad smaller so that they don’t take up as much counter space. Anyway, her machine is getting pretty old and I have been thinking about replacing it.

The last week or so of January, I received an email from Tassimo Direct regarding a sale on all their machines and two free packages of coffee. The price was pretty good, so I ordered my wife a new machine (the T-65 if you’re interested). I placed the order on January 28. I immediately received a confirmation email. A week goes by…no machine. I log into my account and see that it says, “Shipped the week of 01/01/1900.” Odd. Then I see in a different section that it says that it was shipped via UPS on the day that I logged in to check the status.

So…I let a few more days pass. Still no machine. I log back into my account and see the same thing as before but the “shipped via UPS” has changed to a new date, which just happens to be the date that I logged in again to check the status.

I send customer service an email asking them what is up with their website. This is the response I got back:

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Please be advised that when you see 1/1/1900 that indicates there is an item in your order that is unavailable.

Currently, the T-65 is temporarily unavailable. The system continually updates the ship date in anticipation of the arrival of this product but it has not shipped yet.

What kind of rinky-dink operation is this? They need to spend some money on web development. I’m just glad I didn’t order this as a gift and needed it by a certain date.

Misleading Napoleon Hill Infomercial

Imagine that…a misleading infomercial!

Last night, immediately following The Willis Report, an infomercial came on promoting Napoleon Hill’s “The Law of Sucess.” The guy selling the book claimed that he was the only one selling this book. This is misleading. Why? Because I have a copy of “The Law of Success” and Amazon sells several different versions of the book.

The guy hawking the book claims that he found copies of the Law of Success that were produced in 1925, a full three years before the book was published. I’m not sure what the difference is and I’m not will to fork over $49.95 + $9.95 shipping and handling to find out.

Something I found really curious was the “interviewer” asked the seller of the book, what was in the book. The seller said something like, “Well, I don’t really want to get into that. I don’t want to dilute Napoleon’s message.”

Yeah, right…

The reason I suspect the seller didn’t want to give details is that it would be clear that this book consists of material that is already available in books that sell for WAY LESS than the $60 he is selling his for.

I don’t care for infomercials.

I’m Pretty Sure Forex People Are the Most Frequent Spammers

Rant on…

As a blogger, I have to weed through all kinds of spam. However, I have to say the most frequent spam I come across is that for forex trading. A close second (I haven’t done an actual poll) would have to be for debt reduction websites. Oh and we must not forget all the male enhancement spam too.

Come on spammers, get a life. Your spam may sit in my comments for a few hours but I can promise you: IT WILL BE DELETED. You’re wasting your time and MY time, which is more important than yours.

Rant off…

Obama and the ‘Fat Cat’ Bankers (Rant)

WARNING: This is a rant. If you’re an Obama supporter, you may not want to read this post. You have been warned.

President Obama on 60 Minutes:

“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street,” Mr. Obama said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday.

“They’re still puzzled why is it that people are mad at the banks. Well, let’s see,” he said. “You guys are drawing down $10, $20 million bonuses after America went through the worst economic year that it’s gone through in — in decades, and you guys caused the problem. And we’ve got 10% unemployment.”*

And to think that people made fun of the way President Bush spoke…

Although bankers were a large part of the cause for the financial crisis, they DID NOT cause it by themselves as Obama implies. There’s plenty of blame to go around. The Fed kept rates too low for too long. The banks couldn’t have created all those products and lent so much money without the help of cheap money.

Also, the banks couldn’t have made so many loans without the help of people who stupidly bought more house than they could afford and lied on their applications.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think bankers have any right to take bonuses during a time when their banks are losing money. I don’t care if the bonuses were promised or not. But, at the same time, shouldn’t government officials be taking pay cuts too since the crisis happened under their watch?

There’s PLENTY of blame to go around and Obama’s only showing his ignorance to focus all his attention on ‘fat cat’ bankers. He also must think that Americans are stupid.

End of rant…

Source: Obama Slams ‘Fat Cat’ Bankers – WSJ

I Don’t Like Change

As has been my usual habit at the end of each month this year, I visited to look up the month-end values for the S&P indexes. Well, today I noticed that the page I usually visited looked different from the last time I visited. Then I noticed that some of the features I had grown to love were now GONE!


I used to be able to go in and pick a date and get the index’s performance up to that date for the day, month, quarter, and year. It was a nice little feature. Now it’s gone and I’m sad.

Dow Jones did something similar with their index website last year. They ruined it to the point that it isn’t even worth visiting. In fact, I don’t think I have been on their website but maybe once or twice this year.

I looked around the S&P website to see if the info I was looking for was housed elsewhere. I found a data page but they only house 6 months of rolling data. That’s pretty much useless to me. They do have a link for people register to gain more access to the site. I registered but didn’t notice any change in the available information. I did notice that they replaced the link to register with a link to become a SUBSCRIBER. In other words, “fork it over buddy.”

What I have been finding out lately is that when it comes to companies and change, the change usually means something that was previously free now has a price tag.

I don’t like change.