Archive for the ‘ Feedback ’ Category

BBB Complaint Filing about UPS Service

UPS: We ♥ Logistics*  [*It's just that sometimes they're not very good at it.]

Over the past week’s time, I’ve had three delivery failures from UPS, each mis-handled and reported differently. Last week, a package was reported as delivered when it actually wasn’t. UPS refused to address the issue for me when I called because it was a package from Amazon. Amazon graciously resent the products at no additional cost, then days later the original (purportedly already delivered) UPS package mysteriously arrived. It was dropped on my doorstep with no attempt to communicate with me, even though I had a clear notice on the door for the UPS carrier to ring the bell and talk with me.

Days later, another package doesn’t get delivered. It’s reported in UPS’ tracking system as not delivered due to “Emergency conditions beyond UPS’ control.” UPS followed up on my rants on Twitter, telling me that, in fact, that status was used because they didn’t have a status to properly represent the actual situation—that they just couldn’t get the delivery done in time that day.

Today: another failed delivery. UPS’ tracking system reports that “the customer was not available on the 1st attempt.” That’s a lie. Someone was home all day. Nobody rang the bell, no notice was left, and this particular package does not require a signature anyway. 

I want UPS to fix the rampant delivery problems they appear to be having in my neighborhood this holiday season. I want the dispatch office and drivers to be held responsible for failed deliveries—not Amazon. I want UPS to stop fabricating false excuses for why they’re not delivering packages on time. “Couldn’t deliver on time” is bad, but it’s better than the fabricated statuses they’ve been reporting.

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Long overdue feedback for the Disney Vacation Club web team

I’ve given up on hoping for a much-needed redesign of the Disney Vacation Club website for (I’ll remind you) PAYING members. But I am BEGGING you to please eliminate the auto-play, expanding, audio-accompanied ad for the Aulani resort. EVERY SINGLE TIME you visit the DVC home page, this ad expands over the page and plays audio. Loudly. It’s obnoxious, it’s unnecessary, and it suggests that your web team doesn’t understand how to design content for the 21st century.

Hilton’s Abusive Reservation Practices Toward SXSW Attendees

The following is a message I sent to the Hilton Austin in response to them notifying me of a full advance payment charged to my credit card. Their notice about the payment arrived two weeks after the charges appeared on my account.

My credit card was charged over two weeks ago for my SXSW accommodations at the Hilton Austin, and while I’m disappointed that Hilton didn’t give earlier notice about this advance payment, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Frankly, I’m appalled by Hilton’s abusive customer service approach toward SXSW attendees. It’s one thing to jack up rates to gouge conference attendees, it’s another to require three weeks advance notice for cancellation—knowing full well that by its proximity to the convention center alone, the Hilton could fill every room in the hotel using more consumer-friendly reservation practices. But it’s another thing altogether to charge customers’ cards over three months in advance of their stay for the full balance! What horrific customer practices.

This will be my last stay at the Hilton Austin. Who needs this crap?

Feedback for Apple on the iPad Orientation Lock Switch Change

The following is feedback that I left for Apple regarding the recent change in functionality of the iPad’s orientation lock switch.

I am just baffled by Apple’s decision to change the function of the orientation lock switch on my iPad. I used that switch all the time, and it was very useful. An equally accessible alert mute function is far less useful to me. I’ve heard that the reason was to make the experience more consistent with other iOS devices, but why? I’ve never thought, “gee, I wish this switch on my iPad worked like it does on my iPhone.”

What I don’t understand is that if a segment of users believes this is useful or necessary, then why not make it a setting that users can change? Everyone I’ve spoken with about this has the same feeling that I do here. They don’t understand the change, but further don’t understand why it can’t be software selectable.

This feature change alone will keep me from updating my mother’s iPad to iOS 4.2, because this is a feature that she uses regularly. She’d never use the other features of 4.2, so she’d never grasp double-clicking the home button, then sliding over to reveal the new orientation lock control.

What a terrible, terrible feature decision.

Crestron’s Analog Sunset Ads Seem Misleading and Deceptive

I recognize that a large segment of high-end customers don’t want to be bothered with the licensing and legislative details of digital content protection on their devices and content, but that’s no reason for Crestron to be spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt by making false claims in ads. Crestron’s latest ads make the following statements:

Analog audio and video is being killed. By the end of the year component outputs will only support standard definition signals, and by 2013 component outputs and analog video will be gone forever.

These statements are false. Are they lies designed to mislead the otherwise ignorant public? The reality–the truth–is that the “analog sunset” to which these ads allude affects only Blu-ray players manufactured and some Blu-ray content distributed after December 2010. The AACS License Agreement that Blu-ray uses stipulates that after 31 December, 2010, manufacturers must stop designing Blu-ray players with analog component HD output capability, and content providers will have the option (but are not required) to disable analog HD output on new Blu-ray discs. Further, Blu-ray players with any analog output capabilities cannot be sold after December 2013. This is a digital rights management restriction imposed only on Blu-ray technology and nothing else. That’s all.

What doesn’t this affect?

  • Consumers’ current Blu-ray discs played on Blu-ray players manufactured by December 2010 (or, more realistically, as late as December 2011, depending on how quickly existing pipelines and stock are depleted)
  • HD and SD content from satellite and cable providers, with the singular possible exception of some new FCC-permitted constraints on first-run content like movies that are still in theaters
  • Content on or recorded to DVRs
  • Standard, progressive, and upscaling DVD players
  • HD and SD output from game consoles
  • Any content from Internet media streaming devices like RoKu, Media Center, Apple TV, and others
  • Existing HD and SD content on installed media distribution systems from Crestron or any of its competitors
  • Consumers’ existing high definition monitors and TVs that have any digital input options
  • Any other pre-existing component device in a consumer’s home

It’s baffling to me that Crestron would resort to such deceptive advertising practices. I understand that times are tough, but is misleading customers really the solution? These ads likely violate the Federal Trade Commission’s truth-in-advertising rules, satisfying key criteria in its policy statement against deceptive advertising. Primarily, consumers’ existing audio/video equipment is not going to suddenly stop working on 1 January, 2011, and the term Blu-ray doesn’t appear anywhere in these ads, even though that’s the only technology potentially affected by these ridiculous, fear-mongering claims.

I can hope that people wise up and see through Crestron’s false statements. But I can also help. I can share this very information with Crestron, on my blog, on Twitter, and with the FTC.

So that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Feedback for CBS.com

I love that you make content available online. I love that I can CHOOSE a sponsor to favor during breaks, but I can’t believe you’re applying the same, annoying practice of making the audio for advertisements notably louder than the content itself. For years the networks have been claiming technical limitations prevent proper limiting. That’s crap, and we all know it. There’s no reason whatsoever that you can’t level and normalize the audio streams so that the ads are at roughly the same level as the content. To claim otherwise is a blatant lie. To do otherwise simply demonstrates a disregard for your audience.

Comment posted to eMusic’s blog

As a long-time customer of eMusic, I feel like eMusic has sold its soul to the devil by changing its subscription model in exchange for the Sony Music catalog. Seeing higher prices per song is disappointing, but not surprising. eMusic’s amazing pricing plans were inevitably going to change to attract bigger labels, and I think eMusic customers could have lived with that. Even limiting the number of times customers can download a song is annoying, but still better than many other online music stores.

But Sony has also inflicted it’s misaligned digital value model on eMusic. Many “Albums” on Sony labels now count as 12 downloads — no matter how many tracks they have. Why, why, WHY? In eMusic’s earlier model, each song in an album counted as a download. If an album had 5 tracks, it cost 5 downloads. If it had 32, it cost 32. We were OK with that. We preferred that. It was simple, and it worked.

What is INEXCUSABLE, however, is that eMusic has changed its download model to address the music industry’s unwillingness to offer à la carte downloads. Many songs are now “locked” to an album — unavailable unless you waste points on songs you don’t also want by downloading the entire album. And oftentimes that album price is fixed at 12 points — even when it contains less than 12 tracks.

Sony needs to hear a message from its consumers and from its distributors that this will not stand. eMusic needs to realize that pandering to the music industry’s disregard for consumers is NOT the right business model.

Am I glad that Sony music is available on eMusic? Sure, but not at this cost. I’m not talking about the price per song — I’m talking about the price of corrupting one of the industry’s best distribution models. So I’ll download some more music — maybe even Sony music — while my current prepaid subscription is active. Then I’m out.

Sorry eMusic. You screwed up here. And I find it hard to believe you don’t see it that way, too.


On eMusic’s blog, 17 dots, there are nearly 2000 comments in response to eMusic’s announcement about the Sony deal. So many comments that mine, though accepted, is not visible. Scanning through the lot, the feedback seems largely negative. No surprise there.

Feedback for U.S. Airways

I just received your “open letter” about oil prices. I’ll tell you what: when you start providing accountable customer service again, stop gouging for basic flight benefits like baggage and snacks, and start demonstrating in even the slightest way that you care about your customers’ comfort and satisfaction…then and only then will I give a crap about how this short-term turn in fuel prices has contributed to your long-term inability to manage your corporate budget.

Feedback for classmates.com

I thought I should share with you why I just canceled my classmates.com membership. I’ve been using classmates.com since 2002–long before social networking, as it were, really took off. Between now and then, many other online services have launched that offer similar or better services. Most of these, like Plaxo and LinkedIn, facilitate networking without requiring paid membership to access key features, and they do it without the indiscriminate splattering of offensive advertising throughout their site.

Today, a page I visited in classmates.com launched a window that impersonated a system message, prompting me to install “security” software. I couldn’t close the window without being redirected to the advertiser’s own site, and they implemented this in a way that made navigating back to classmates.com nearly impossible. If you’re going to treat your members with this kind of disregard, I’m not interested. Thanks for helping me get in touch with some of my old friends over the years; now it’s time for me to leave.

Comment Card at Sheraton Stamford

Overall, what did you like best about your stay with us?

There is coffee in the room and the tub is clean (which was not true last time)

How could we improve your overall stay?

I’m a Gold member of [the Starwood Preferred Guest program]. Treat me like one. Let me know what benefits I’m getting. Apologize if (like tonight) you can’t put me in a preferred room.

Did our employees take care of you in a friendly, efficient and responsive manner?

No. Since there’s no ice bucket in the room, I called for one. It took 30 minutes to get here. Every time I’m here there are problems. Every time.

Please let us know the names of any employees with whom you had a particularly memorable interaction.

Are you a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest program?

Yes. But sometimes I have to ask, “what’s the point?” I have to say that the practical application of preferred benefits is, at best, inconsistent.

Date of stay: 3/5/08

Room number: 4062

Additional feedback written on back of comment card:

  • Your maid [awakened] me by knocking, even with my lock in the “privacy” position. Later, she walked in on me while I was getting ready, without knocking.
  • The hook on the back of the bathroom door is broken.
  • You’ve charged me a room service fee [for service] I did not [request or receive].