22 September 2016

My BESTBUY Saga: Part II–The Farce Awoken

***I apologize for taking a day before posting how all of this continued and finished. To be honest, the crash from the build up of the stress was something I did not foresee. I let it get the better of me, as well as the lack of sleep and my normal day to day issues as well...I took a mental health day yesterday and just concentrated on cleaning the house and not thinking about anything. I barely had the spoons to do that and pushed myself harder than I should have. So, today, I am dealing with a butt load of pain I brought by overdoing it yesterday and am still very tired but I felt I owed and ending to all three of you who follow me.

September 20th, 2016
Immediately after my last blog entry, I began again to try and contact someone who might be able to help us with our issues over the Note &’ confusion and the complaints that were piling up concerning how everything had been and was being handled at BestBuy 264.
The first call was to the Sandhills store, where, I had been told the day before, the NEW General Manager for BestBuy264 was currently located. I had called there on the 20th only to be told he was in a meeting. The woman I spoke with asked me why I so urgently needed to speak with him. I told her that I had a small concern about two emails that said they were going to deduct $1800 from my debit or credit card account as son as the new phones were available for pick-up and that being on disability, that was not only impossible but would be devastating to me financially besides the fact that these two phones were already paid for. This lead to me having to explain everything that had gotten me to this particular point. Again, I spent almost an hour explaining and again I was ‘promised’ something.
She ‘promised’ she would explain the situation to Mr. Moore and that either he or she would call be back within an hour to help me.
To backtrack, briefly..I told her in the course of the conversation (as well as the BestBuy Support person I had spoken to for three hours on the phone the day before…
  • I no longer cared about the $2oo gift cards we were promised in the original deal.

  • I no longer cared about the fact that our free phone we were promised in the deal was now costing around $280 dome odd dollars.

  • I didn’t care about the $500 in gift cards that the ASM at BestBuy 264 promised my wife and never came through on.

  • I didn’t care about the the ASM’s business card that he had written ‘$200 store credit’ on and gave to my wife and whether or not it even be honored at this point.

  • That these were ALL things we NEVER even asked for. They were either told/offered to us when we first walked in the store and said we wanted ONE new phone (because we were not even aware of the deals or specials at the time) or they were promised to us after things went sour as some form of compensation to appease us or make us shut-up and go away, again, not having asked for them or even suggesting that we wanted ANY form of compensation for anything.

  • I just wanted someone to intervene and make arrangements with us to contact us when our replacement phones were in and arrange for us to pick them up at the store of their choosing from the NEW General Manager or any one else, just as long as we did not have to deal with the ASM or his assistant again. Because at this time, I not only felt we didn’t deserve the way we had been treated and handled (and I do mean ‘handled’ in a negative manner) and that we did not and should not have to deal with him or his assistant any further to pick up out purchased items.

So- when I called her (Shirley, btw) the next day, on the 20th, she says ‘Oh, right, I was supposed to call you back but I must have forgot. Mr. Moore told me to call you after I told him what you told me.”
I asked ‘What did he say?’ (Trying to avoid the issue of the her promise that she or he would call within an hour over 24 hours ago.)
“well, “ she said “I told him what you said and he said he was aware of the entire situation and that it had been ‘bumped up to corporate’ and I needed to call them.”
My eyes start to hurt, like someone is pushing their thumbs into them…hard.
I said “But what about the $1800 dollars the emails said would be …”
She cut me off and said “I have the same forms you do. They are not going to deduct any money from you.”
“What?’ I asked. “What forms? How do you know what forms I even have? I didn’t say anything about any forms.”
‘The forms you were given were the same I got.”
I suddenly realize that what ever conversation she had with this Mr. Moore went beyond what I had asked her to call me about and/or she also had either spoken to the ASM at BestBuy 264 or someone else  and was in the 2016 philosophy mode of ‘The customer is always wrong.’. I felt like I was in an Ira Levin play that bordered on a ‘farce’ and I was the straight guy, the mark, or the rube.
I tried to explain, calmly, leaving everything else out, that I needed to speak with him just to verify my bank account was safe and if he could tell me where…and I would get a ride to ANY store of his choosing..I could meet him or go to get my replacements when they came in so I wouldn’t have to deal with ASM I had filed formal complaints against.
She said ‘You're going to have to take that up with corporate. I told you that I..” and she repeats herself as to what Mr. Moore has told her I am supposed to do. We go back and forth, both us getting loud until I surrendered and said ‘Fine. Thank you. Good-bye.” and hung up.

20 September 2016

My BESTBUY Saga: The Customer Is Always Wrong

***Disclaimer – I would be days writing everything that actually occurred over the course of the past three weeks or so. That said, not everything is here. I did try to be honest, even on my own mistakes and errors in all of this.Take from it what you will. My hope is that I am not as ‘wrong’ in all of this as I have been made to feel and am continued to be made feel by the continuous lack of response on BestBuy’s part. And I am allowed to ‘hope’. I also hope that a certain employee did not lose their job over this, as they were nothing but helpful, courteous, and apologetic when things started to go south, as it were. If you’re out there and read this, I hope things didn’t go bad for you and if I can help in any way, you can contact me here.

I admit, to an outsider, this blog must now look pretty pathetic. I don’t keep it up. My disability and pain along with all the pain killers and depression from both and/or all has sucked the life out of me. So, it is only when something really hits a chord or sparks something deep inside that has been lying dormant that I suddenly find inspiration again. Also, when something just ticks me the hell off. And I am pretty ticked, right now.

Let’s begin.

August 20th, 2016 – My wife and I went to BestBuy Store 264 in Columbia, SC to see about getting a new phone to replace my suddenly failing Galaxy S4. We are greeted by the Samsung Rep, one very kind and helpful Richard. When I tell him why we are there he informs us it may be our lucky day, as their is a BOGO on all Samsung phones…that we can even mix and match. I look at my wife and she’s liking the idea, so we start looking. The new Note 7’s have just come out and I find one and , well, wow…I really like it Richard then tells us that they are offering a free Gear Fit 2 or 256GB upgrade on the Note 7’s as well as the BOGO. Now my wife is really interested in a new phone for herself as well.

At this point, a BestBuy Blue Shirt walks over. A young guy named Alex and he’s talking to us and seeing what we are interested in, tells us that if we purchase the phones that day, there is also a $100 gift card that comes with each Note 7.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The same thing I and my wife were thinking. This sounds too good to be true. I express this to Richard and Alex, who both say that it is, in fact, a legitimate offer. That everything is, in their wording, ‘stackable’. It’s at this point my wife says to me that Alex is the same Blue Shirt that helped us out when we purchased our last phones there. We have been purchasing our phones there since the Galaxy Fascinate, as well as three desktop computers (I love gaming), a laptop, and a plethora of other tech gear from Razer keyboards, PC mouses (or mice…or meeses) etc. I admit he looks familiar, but I’m not sure. Either way, this guy Alex and Richard are being very helpful, friendly, outgoing, etc. This is why we liked coming to Bet Buy. The ‘experience’ had always been good, often fun, just because of the employees attitudes and helpfulness.
So, still concerned about the offer being ‘too good to be true’, Alex and Richard go and double check their facts, confer amongst themselves, and confirm to us that
  • Yes, you can buy one get one free. You can even mix and match any two Galaxy phones or any two same brand phones that our carrier (Verizon) has and still get the BOGO as long as the phones are the same brand.
  • Yes, you will get a free Gear Fit2 or 256GB upgrade with the Note 7, your choice. And it applies to each, should we purchase two (even under the BOGO)
  • And ‘Yes’, you will get a $100 gift card for each phone to use at Best Buy and Yes, they are stackable so we will get one for EACH phone even under the BOGO and even with the Free Gear Fit 2 or 256GB upgrade.
My wife then has them repeat all of this, and writes it down as they do. And all of this is done ibn a very friendly manner. They understand our concern and we’re kind of laughing about it, but yes, we just want to be sure we have it all straight. She even takes their names incase we run into problems later.

Now, they don’t have any Note 7’s in stock on the 23rd. So they say, they will order them for us. Again, an alarm goes off in my head. I ask them if this will affect the deals since they have to order the phones to picked up on a different day. We are assured it won’t, because they will put it in the system that day and we give them a $50 deposit for each phone that day and it’s all good.
  • We are getting 2 Note 7’s. as part of a BOGO and the second one will be 100% free.
  • We each ordered the Gear Fit 2.
  • We will get 2 $100 gift cards (one for each phone)
My wife kindly asks them to check again, to be sure and they do, without hesitation. They confirm it’s all ‘good’ and we let them place the orders, based on the deals mentioned, and pay our $50 deposits (even though the phones are being paid for through our Verizon account, when all is said and done) Their plan is to reimburse us with 2 $50 gift cards, on top of the 2 $100 gift cards when we pick up the phones. And we leave.

But I still have this itch. But I try to rationalize it out. It’s not like these guys are working on commission and have any reason to hoodwink us or lie to us. They gain nothing personally by offering us these deals. And we didn’t even know the deals existed, so it’s not like we were trying to get over.

August 23rd, 2016
We are contacted that are phones are in and ready for pick up. My wife sits down at the counter, Alex is there. Richard is off that day, but there is another Samsung rep, a nice woman by the name of Janice, who is helping with the set-up/activation of the new phones. I’m scouting out the cases we will need and looking for screen covers when my wife calls me over. She’s not happy.
I ask what the problem is.
  • We aren’t getting the BOGO. Apparently, there is now , suddenly, a ‘limit’ on the BOGO of $600 and some odd dollars and we will have to pay $200 and some odd dollars for our ‘FREE” phone.
  • We at not getting ANY gift cards, except the ones to cover our initial deposit. So now, we our $200 and some odd dollars in the hole for our FREE phone.
  • The good news is the watches came in with the phones.

12 February 2016

Star Trek Online: Why I Think It’s Broken and Why I’ll Keep On Playing

Star Trek Online is celebrating it’s 6th Anniversary this month. But the celebration has soured for me. I was in from the beginning. Before it was Free-2-Play. Before it was free to download. I had purchased my copy through Stardock’s Impulse Gaming Platform and dove head first into the first online, PC game, I had ever explored or played. I was 46 years old. I had a step-son who was playing W.O.W., and that was all I knew of the online gaming universe at the time.

Over the years,I have tried to be supportive. I even kept up a monthly subscription when it went F2P. But after the first year of that, I found myself closing my subscription and going the F2P route. There were too many bugs, too many discrepancies in the games economy. Accusations flying around that the PvP folks pulled the strings or the ones who held subscriptions did, that F2P people were ignored. The few perks paying a subscription fee suddenly didn’t seem worth it.

All of that side, the past few two years have seen it;s ups and downs. I don’t claim to have a clue how well the game is doing over all. They are a few who claim STOL is going down, or already has gone down and just refuses to see the light at the end of the tunnel and walk towards it. Me, I want the game to work. I want it to last another six years. I love Star Trek. I am invested in this game in more ways than just money

Because since I started playing STOL, I have made friends through the game and they have showed me other games. I’ve played many. I’ve always come back to STOL, because it is my first true love in gaming and there really is nothing else that can replace the whole Star Trek experience for me like STOL does.

Sadly, though…and finally…I find myself starting to drift from the game. I don’t need to list all the in game issues or go on about the things that should be fixed , or what’s wrong with this and that. It’s not the game that is broken. What’s broken is the intent to take a widely, deeply loved, and cherished franchise and make something out of it that should be truly magnificent and wonderful and leave no player hoping that another company will come along and get it right because THIS ONE should be right.

A week ago, on what has become an almost nightly event, STOL was DDoS-ed (attacked). Granted, these attacks are not the fault of STOL and I honestly don’t know if that is the main cause for these nightly crashes. So, while it was down,  I looked to the forums to see if anyone, meaning DEV, had posted what was going on this particular night. I stumbled across a thread titled

 “Frequently Created Threads (F.C.T.)”.

 This thread was put up by one of the Moderators and it basically listed F.T.C.’s (I am using the abbreviation only because the poster did so in the title?) that would not be permitted anymore because

 “The team constantly sees questions that get asked over and over again, even when developers have responded”

and so

“Any threads created about the topic's below will now be closed with a link to this FCT.”

25 January 2016

When I'm Not Posting

card_03   It’s not that I don’t have anything to say or write about. Sometimes I just have so much, I don’t where to start and more often than not, I get jammed up.

The pain certainly doesn’t stop or go away. The depression does lessen…sometimes. It’s the questions that don’t stop coming and the frustration that keeps banging on my brain like a loose shutter in a noreaster that bangs on the side of the house.

It’s not being able to keep it fun and light when I want to and the feeling that I’m not getting my point across when I just let go with both barrels that leaves me twisting in the wind. Sometimes, it feels like the pain is all I have. All I have to turn to. I guess , it’s because we know each other so well.

11 January 2016

What Would The Manicurist Say?

**bad language alert**

Pain can be strange.. It can be funny, but today it's strange. My old man held the firm belief that you couldn't hurt in two places at the same time. For example, I would tell him my tooth hurt and he would grind the heel of his size 10 1/2 cowboy boot through the toe of my Converse sneakers and as I yelped in pain he would smile and say 'Bet you're tooth don't hurt, NOW?" (Yeah, I’ve told that lil’ story to death)

I can only assume that this is the reason I have started ripping my nails out while I sleep AND have nightmares, because my subconscious is trying to distract me from all the other pain I'm dealing with. Right?

 Problem is...and keep up now, cause it gets slippery here....

I fall asleep mostly from sheer exhaustion that comes from not being ABLE to sleep in the first place because of all the pain I am in and I end up waking myself up from when I fall asleep because I am ripping nails off in my sleep and it freaking HURTS and am having nightmares that I am being tortured (wonder where THEY come from?!) and lay there with bleeding fingers, bizarre images from the nightmares still in my head, wide awake at two in the morning, afraid to go BACK to sleep but nodding off as I wonder how I can rip my own nails off when I am sleeping..ONLY -TO - GO- THROUGH - IT - ALL - AGAIN...(big breath)..to have my wife wake me up an hour later cause I am screaming or crying from the next nightmare.

SO...from now on when someone asks how I am doing, like my pain management doctor, I'm just gonna hold up my hands and say 'Well, my fingers are fucking KILLING me... ALONG.. with ALL the other pain I'm being treated for. Would you mind indulging me and grind your heel into my toes? Cause, really, just between you and me, the fucking DRUGS AREN'T CUTTING IT ANYMORE!!"

01 December 2015

To Blog Or Not To Whine Like a Baby

Bunks-Desktop-005First things first. Yes, I realize it's been over a year. It's not like my inbox was flooded with 'Where are you?"  or  "We miss your funny little stories!" or "Please, we have been enjoying watching as you slowly go insane!" emails. So, this post will be going out across all my blogs, just in case you see numerous duplicates of it popping up here and there and that goes for all three of you..or is it five? Look, I know I posted somewhere that I was done posting…or ‘whining’ about my chronic pain and all that is dragged along with it like so many bent and rusty tin cans tied to the bumper of a wedding carriage that derailed and has been lying in a ditch somewhere, the corpses long ago feasted upon by zombie-squirrels. But things change. In all actually, THIS may be my last post. Or not.

I don’t know where to turn when you’re sent to a psychologist who ends up telling you , for three consecutive sessions, how hard of a time HE is having adjusting to life in the south, unfriendly neighbors, and a boss that just doesn’t get him. (All the while, you’re unable to get comfortable in a leather chair that Winston Churchill would have adopted as the son he never had, and you have enough opiates swimming through you to down a football team for a weekend because nothing is cutting through the pain.) So, I’ve come back here. Come ‘home’ as they might say, though they say ‘you never can go home, again’ or is it Paul Simon singing ‘Gee, but it’s great to be back home”? Right. Cause ‘home is where I oughta be’.