Category Archives: Shout Outs

Props to DreamHost

I finally got around to shutting down my DreamHost account.  I poked around a bit in the control panel and didn’t find a way to cancel the account.  I started to file a support ticket and their ticket tool pointed me in the right direct to cancel the account myself.  Turns out I was on the right page already, just missed the tiny link for end my account.

Actually ending the account was a simple as checking a checkbox, entering my password, and answering a few questions in an exit survey.  Props to DreamHost for making super easy and not dragging things out and having me wait forever on the phone to talk to humanoid.

Home Depot is the Best

Last week, I bought a new battery for my Ryobi tool set.  They had 3 options, the trusty Ni-Cd (what I had), the mid-line lithium, and a high-end lithium.  All modern Ryobi tools have the same form factor for battery, which is pretty awesome.  The mid-line looked like a nice upgrade from my old battery, being both lighter and longer lasting.  It was also the same price as the Ni-Cd anyway.  So I bought one.

I got it home and tore open the package (its a blister pack that has no logical way to open with completely destroying) and popped into my charger.  Strange, no lights.  Did I get a bad battery?

Reading the torn up packaging more closely, I noticed that while the battery works for all tools, it doesn’t for all chargers.  It needs a ‘dual chemistry’ charger, where as mine is Ni-Cd only.  Aw, poop.

So, I could try to return the opened battery, or buy a new charger.  The latter was probably a waste since my old charger works fine.  So, I opted for the former.  I went in and said, I messed up and didn’t read the fine print and bought a battery that doesn’t work with my charger.  After a slight delay of chatting with someone in the tool rental department, the clerk they’d take back the battery.  Awesome! So, I promptly went back to the battery aisle and bought the right battery.

Props to Home Depot for covering what was obviously my mistake.  Good customer service like is what keeps me coming back.

Looking for links to the batteries above on the Home Depot site, I also found that have an upgrade kit what includes both a lithium battery and proper charger.  The next time I replace a battery, I’ll definitely go that way.

Customer Service, done right: LL Bean

Was in my local LL Bean store earlier.  In the past, they’ve sold a particular Nalgene water bottle that both my kids like.  Since Luke finally started drinking on his own, he’s always loved his trusty blue bottle.  So much, the magical valve that keeps him from having a water party whenever he has it starting to wear out.  So, it was time to get some reinforcements.

When we got to the store, I was dismayed to see that they didn’t appear to have that particular model any more.  After looking for a bit someone behind the counter asked if we needed help and I described the model I was after.  He said it sounded familiar, but all the Nalgene bottles start to look the same after a while.  He looked for a bit on the floor and couldn’t find anything and sent someone into the back to see what that had still in boxes.

She said here’s what we’ve got, and whipped out 3 more variants.  Unfortunately, none of the where the one I was after.  She said she knew which one we were after eliminating those.  Unfortunately again, when she came back again, she said they don’t have any of them at the moment.

But, she said she’s pretty sure they sell them at Target a few doors down, or at EMS across the way.   Super refreshing that they give advice like that, instead of just saying sorry; especially with EMS being a direct competitor.  We visited Target right after and sure enough they did have them.  Luke was super excited and it was tough to keep the new bottles away out of his hands for a test drive in the store.

Sprint Shocker

Was unhappy when I opened my Sprint bill this month it was about $35 to high.  Didn’t take long to figure out that the overage was on my line.  Hmm, why I am being charged for Casual Data Usage?  Last I knew, I had all you can eat data via the Power Vision feature.  Hmm, no line item for that.  I went back to last months bill and saw it was missing their too.  (I just missed it because my Casual Data Usage total was just about the same as the normal Power Vision charge.)

Shoot, I’ll bet they messed up my account when temporarily changed the phone on my line a while back.  Even though you’d think that changing phones shouldn’t make any changes to your plan features, it seems they always muck something up.  With a big sigh, I dialed up Sprint customer support (after not being able to find chat based support on their website anymore.)

I made my case and was put on hold for a few minutes.  They asked when I did the phone juggling and reiterated that changing phones shouldn’t change any plan features.   They found that time frame in my account and noted that Power Vision was already off the account at that point.  They said it was removed when I added some features to other phones in my family plan.  After saying that must have been an error, they asked if I wanted added back in.  I said yep, and they put me on hold again.

After a little wait, they came back and said I was all set and that they credited me back the difference between the Casual Data Usage and Power Vision charge.  Wow, I’m pretty pleased that I didn’t have to ask.  Good deal!


Got a call from the local MDA office saying that they would like to arrest me to help raise some funds for their 2007 Lock-Up program. I said, sure, why not. So, they slapped a $1200 bail figure on me and said they’d be in to arrest me at work on May 15th.

Please give me hand and help bail me out. I set up a microsite (with an easy to remember URL) here:

with more information about the program and a link to my donation page.

Jerry’s Kids count on your support. Please donate whatever you can. Its really easy and will only take a minute. Every little bit helps!

Shout Out to A La Zing

I’m real quick to point out when I get bad customer service and a little slow to point out when I get service above and beyond the call of duty. One company that continually surprises me with excellent service is A La Zing. They sell excellent pre-made meals perfect for birthdays and holiday gifts.

A while back we sent a meal package to Sandy’s brother in Arizona for his birthday. Unfortunately, he and his wife to be were out of town. The delivery guy ignored the instructions on the package not to leave it and drove it with on their doormat. After a few days of baking away in the Arizona sun, the meal was ruined. (Note: the meals are shipped in a styrofoam cooler with dry ice. They’re good for a day or two at room temperature during shipping.)

He called up A La Zing customer support to see if they could do anything. Astonishingly, they said they’d send out a replacement package right away, even though it wasn’t really their fault. No questions asked. Wow!

For Christmas, we sent Sandy’s borther an A La Zing gift card. After you purchase the card, they email out the details to claim the gift. Unfortunately, a few minutes after I made the purchase, I got an email saying that they were unable to charge my credit card and to give them a call. So, I gave them a buzz.

They picked up promptly and were able to quickly fetch my order details based on the the confirmation number that I gave them. The first person I talked with was only able to provide me status about the order. She said that I’d have to talk to the customer service department to get the charge straightened out and gave me their hours and number. So, I called the second person.

Again, they promptly picked up and pulled up my order. They said there was no obvious reason why the charge failed, so they’d try it again. While confirming my info, we figured out that the month of the expiration date of the credit card was wrong. Whoops, that’s what I get for making purchases before that first cup of coffee in the morning. They said the second charge went through fine and that I was all set.

Fast forward through the holiday week and we talked to Sandy’s brother and he said they didn’t receive the A La Zing email. Doh. No problem, I called up customer service again. Again, they promptly and politely pulled up my record. When I said the recipient didn’t receive the email, they said not to worry and that it happens all the time (which I tend to believe due to junk email.)

I asked if they had a problem with sending the email to me rather than the original recipient so I could confirm that I got it and I would just forward the email myself. They said that was not a problem. I gave them my email and they resent the gift card. I was able to confirm its reception before hanging up.

I know it seems like a lot of hassle with the multiple phone calls above, but I was still very pleased with the way that they handled the situation. Each time I talked with them, I came away with a good feeling that the problem at hand was fixed. I wish that the other businesses I deal with could be as good to work with. Job well done!

Customer Service, Done Right!

After recent trainwrecks in the Customer Service departments when dealing with Time Warner Cable and Sprint PCS, I happy to report a good customer service experience. I don’t wanna make it seem like all I do is bitch about crappy service, I wanna make sure to hilight when customer service does work.

The DMV catchs a lot of flack for long, slow moving lines and less than helpful reps. But, in my recent experience, I had zero wait time and very helpful service. Sandy and I are still working on getting her car stuff transitioned over to new post marriage status. This included stuff like insurance, title, and registration. The insurance part was pretty much as I expected. A little time consuming but not too painful. I expected the DMV stuff to be a giant hassle.

After find the appropriate forms on the their website (which is laid out pretty well), I was a little confused on just what I needed for documentation. The first time I went to the DMV, I explained the situation and they let me know that I was short one item on the required documentation (a copy of Sandy’s license).

Since Sandy had to make her own trip to the DMV to renew her license anyway, I wasn’t at all put off by the missing document. When we made it back to the DMV last night, Sandy went in start renewing her license while I removed the plate from her car. When I walked in, her number was just being called. So, I headed over to the window with her.

I knew technically, this is not the way to do it, because the front desk person directs you to the appropriate service person for the action you’re doing (one person handles renewals, another handles registrations, etc.) The service person we went to called me out on trying to cut the line with the registration stuff, but quickly said she was just kidding. I said that I didn’t wanna cause her trouble and would go back in the queue. She insisted that it wasn’t really a problem and said that if she go caught doing the registration, she’d just say the front desk misdirected me. She handled both tasks perfectly.

So, 10 minutes and $100 later, everything is legal again, cool!