Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Time for an airing of the grievances

There have been a multitude of things annoying me lately, so you need to feel my pain. Let's get right to it.

First on the list, credit card fraud. The other day I got my Visa statement to find three identical charges on June 12 for blockbuster.com, for about ten bucks and change each. Being a Netflix user, I found it a little disconcerting. After a little investigation I learned that some varmint filled out three applications for blockbuster.com and thus got three free movies, all with false names but using my credit card number.

Who let that happen? Isn't the name on the application and the name on the credit card supposed to match? did anyone check the application? Run the credit card? The nice folks at Blockbuster customer service in fact told me this happens "all the time". Nonetheless, she asked me four times during the conversation if I'd like to take that thirty dollars worth of charges and, rather than get a refund, open up a Blockbuster.com account of my own. Right.

And why do I have to spend five bucks to get the credit card fraud affidavit notarized before I can be refunded the $32 in charges? Why is it important that some guy working at the local Kinkos put his signature on a piece of paper before I send it in to the credit card company? I think I need to start a career as a notary, as it appears this is perhaps the easiest way to make five bucks on earth.

Next up, Costco. Two weeks ago we purchased a couple of big 'ol floor pillows for our living room. One red, one green. We figured we'd exchange the color we didn't like for mate to the one we did. Upon returning to Costco with the red one I discovered there were no more greens to be had in the store. And they couldn't call around to other Costco stores, because all the colors fall under the same upc code. And they're not available online. Swell. So much for state-of-the-art inventory systems. Anyone need a green floor pillow?

And then there's the takeout lunch I had yesterday. I stopped into this sandwich shop I'd never been to before. As I was waiting for my grilled veggie wrap I noticed a sign that said the cups in which they provide drinks are corn-based, biodegradable cups. Very progressive of them, ignoring for a moment the argument of whether or not we're using too much corn in this country. So why did they provide me with my takeout sandwich in a Styrofoam container double-bagged in two plastic shopping bags? People, come on now.

Last but certainly not least,let's talk about cars, car repair, and indicators of pending destruction. A couple of weeks ago I determined my ever-faithful Mazda 626, with 107k miles on it, was due for a timing belt change. That $800 repair at the Mazda dealer turned into a $1600 repair quickly when I found out that not only was the timing belt about to break off, but the pulleys that the belt rode on were screwed as well. To make life even more fun, once I got the Mazda back I brought the Odyssey in to National Tire And Battery for brake work, as the whole front end was shuddering when slowing to a stop. Boom, there was another $792 worth of repairs. Now, only a week after getting the Mazda back, a system malfunction light has appeared on the dashboard. Two days later, the exact same warning light appeared on the Honda. Coincidence? I think not. Conspiracy? Most likely.

I could go on, but I have breakfast to eat.


Desi Mommy said...

Gotta love those Mazdas. My MPV has 169,500 miles. Yes, you read that correctly. I spent close to $2,000 a few months ago on just about everything - the exhaust, transmission, and heaven knows what else. The guy said I should get another 50,000 or 60,000 miles and that was 5K miles ago.

Granted my driver's side window doesn't work and both of the back door handles have snapped off, but otherwise, it's great.

Desi Mommy said...

Just for the record, isn't the airing of grievances part of Festivus? Just checking.