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This is kind of funny…

The other day, I picked up a box of Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars. I know they aren’t good for me but they looked interesting so I thought I’d give them a try.

When I opened the box, I noticed that the bars seemed to be really small compared to the size of the box that housed them. Then, I was even more surprised to find just how small the bar actually was. I took a picture so you can see for yourself:

Kellogg's Cinnabon

Okay, I’m sure it’s expensive to make different size boxes for different products but I have to say that this just seems deceptive to me. I mean, why use such a big box and wrapper for such a small product?

These product downsizings are starting to get ridiculous and sneaky. Needless to say, I won’t be buying this product again (it didn’t even taste that good).

I have been an HP customer for YEARS! We bought our first HP product in the Fall of 2000. I have since purchased THREE HP laptops and an HP Officejet. My first laptop from HP was a dv8000 purchased in 2006. It has been an AWESOME laptop. I love it.

My other two laptops I cannot say the same for. They have both turned out to be pieces of crap!

Here’s what happened.

The second laptop—a Pavilion dv2415nr—was purchased in July, 2007. We owned it about a year or so when one day, we went to turn it on and the screen would not light up. The computer acted like it was booting up but the screen would do nothing. The indicator lights came on and everything.

I took into Best Buy and the tech told me that I needed a new motherboard and that the repair would cost $400! I paid $800 for the computer! I told him no and brought it home and put in the closet.

Then, like an idiot, I went and bought ANOTHER HP. This time I purchased a Pavilion dv4 model. I don’t know the exact date of the purchase, but I would say it was around a year ago. Anyway, it ran fine until last week, we went to turn it on and it did the exact same thing the other Pavilion did!

Well, that made me curious so I did a search on HP computer issues and found this website, which detailed the issues I was having. I found out that the dv2000 was listed but the newer computer was not. So I called HP’s customer service number (1-866-671-7362) and spoke with a service rep.

She told me that there were issues with the dv2000/dv6000/dv9000 and Compaq Presario V3000/V6000 series notebook PCs. The issue had something to do with the AMD processor and the video card. I’m not exactly sure. But, the bottom line was that my computer was out of warranty&151;even with the additional warranty that was extended to these particular laptops.

I was not happy.

I told the lady that I wasn’t aware that there was a mass issue with these computers until the SECOND computer had the same issue. Only then did I do research to find out that I wasn’t the only one having problems. I also told her that I had been a loyal HP customer and that I had a 3.5-year old computer that I paid $1,200 for, a $500 Officejet, and now $1,600 worth of USELESS PIECES OF CRAP.

She said, “Unfortunately, I don’t have the means to change your purchase date.”

I hung up. I’m so frustrated.

I can promise you this: unless this issue gets resolved, I will NEVER buy another HP product again. NEVER! I will also not let this rest.

If you have had this issue, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT.

UPDATE: Looks like there’s a class action lawsuit about this issue:

Okay, if my memory serves me correctly, John Thain was brought in to replace Stan O’Neal as Merrill Lynch’s CEO. This occured in late 2007. Thain was hired to clean up Merrill Lynch after they lost lots of money during the mortgage/credit crisis.

So, what does Mr. Thain do after he becomes CEO? He decides to spend $1.2 million renovating his office (emphasis mine):

Mr. Thain said he plans to reimburse Merrill for the $1.2 million spent to renovate his office, saying those expenses were “incurred in a very different environment.” Mr. Thain renovated his office when he first arrived at Merrill in late 2007. Among the items purchased for the office were an area rug for $87,784, Roman shades for $7,315 and four pairs of curtains for $87,784.

Ummm…no they weren’t! True, we didn’t know how bad things were going to get, but we knew things were bad.

My question is: how bad could his office have possibly been in that would require a $1.2 million renovation?

Oh, and don’t even get me started on bonuses:

According to a person familiar with the situation, the merger agreement specified that Merrill pay regular bonuses. Since the company was going to cease to exist at the end of 2008, that meant, by definition, that the bonuses had to be paid before the end of the year.

Why would Bank of America agree to this in the first place? These companies are losing money left and right and they have the audacity to even think about paying out bonuses. COME ON!

Source: Thain Fires Back at Bank of America, Wall Street Journal Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The phone rings. I pick it up and hear the following recorded message that goes something like this (I’m going from memory):

“Hello. This is Rachel from cardholder services. There are no problems currently with your credit card account but it’s important that you act fast in order to reduce your interest rates.”

And then she goes on to say, “Please consider this your final notice. Press 1 to talk to a representative about lowering your interest rates or press 2 to receive no further calls.”

I would LOVE for it to be my final notice but it never is!

I have pressed 2 like 50 million times and I KEEP GETTING THE FREAKIN’ CALLS! I have also pressed one and gotten a rep on the phone and as soon as I mention I want to be taken off their list the woman abruptly hangs up on me!!!!! Talk about frustrating!

I have no credit card debt so they’re wasting their time with me. I’m not a potential customer. It would be to their benefit to take me off their stinkin’ list.

Does anyone know the company behind these calls? What they are doing is illegal but I can’t figure out a way to get to them. I don’t have caller ID and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t do any good because I’m sure they hide the number.

Do you guys (and gals) get these calls? Surely I’m not the only one!

I think from now on I’m going to press 1 to get to an operator and act all excited about their program and just TOTALLY WASTE THEIR TIME! You know, drag it on for several minutes. The problem with this strategy is that while I’m wasting their time, I’m also wasting mine…

UPDATE: Please read this follow-up post.

Remember me complaining about our Price Pfister kitchen faucet not even two months ago? To refresh your memory, our faucet had a problem with the diverter. The diverter is a little piece of plastic that diverts the water from the faucet to the hose or vice versa.

Our diverter went out, which caused extremely low water flow. To make matters worse, the faucet was only about 10 months old! I called Price Pfister‘s customer service department (FYI – Price Pfister is owned by Black and Decker) and they were more than happy to send me out a new diverter for “free.” The only thing is, I had to pay $8 for them to ship it to me! I balked at the idea but gave in and said, “Fine. Send me the parts.”

Well, the parts came and I fixed the faucet. Everything was fine and dandy up until about 3 days ago when I noticed that the water flow is steadily decreasing again! It’s starting to act the same way it acted two months ago. Two months! I thought I’d get to use it at least 10 months like I did with the other one. I guess not.

I’m telling you…this product is a piece of crap! Companies really don’t care about their customers. If they did, they wouldn’t make such crap. Never again will I buy a Price Pfister product. Never!

I know that oil prices and gas prices don’t always move in tandem but it sure seems like gas prices follow oil up and are reluctant to follow them back down again. Take this week for instance: Oil prices were down 11.2%. Yet, this morning I noticed that my local Kroger dropped the price of gas a WHOPPING $.06 per gallon or 1.5%. It’s frustrating.

They raise prices on a whim, why can’t they lower them the same way? I know the answer, I’m just ranting.

Okay, I’m done ranting for now.

UPDATE: I just noticed that I used the term “antibiotic-free” in the post title. I just figured out that nowhere on the packaging does Tyson claim that the chicken is “antibiotic-free.” Rather, they claim it is “…raised without antiobiotics.” Yes, they are technically the same but as you well know, wording is everything.

I feel like an idiot.

My wife and I have been buying Tyson’s “100% All-Natural” Chicken products because the package stated that the chicken was raised without antibiotics. Well, according this article in the Wall Street Journal, Tyson can no longer use that labeling on their products because they do contain an antibiotic:

In September, Tyson was notified by the agency that it had made a mistake in awarding the label because Tyson was using ionophores, an antibiotic widely used in the industry but considered less harmful by some because, generally, it is administered to animals and not humans.

In other words, Tyson has been lying to consumers! I love this load of BS from Tyson’s senior vp of consumer products explaining why they are changing their packaging:

Dave Hogberg, senior vice president of consumer products for Tyson, said, “We still support the idea of marketing chicken raised without antibiotics, because we know it’s what most consumers want. However, in order to preserve the integrity of our label and our reputation as a premier company in the food industry, we believe there needs to be more specific labeling and advertising protocols developed.”

I love the way they make it look like they are taking the high road on this one.

This is just one more example of why I’m so skeptical of everything.

Wow! That’s two rants in one day!