Last week’s news that the Westin Casuarina hotel in Las Vegas was surreptitiously charging conference attendees for the organizer’s unpaid bill generated enough bad press that the Westin did an about-face this week, and sent out letters on Tuesday telling affected customers it is reversing the extra charges. A Westin spokesman said, “We’ve decided as a matter of customer relations to issue the refunds while continuing to pursue payment from The Coaching Center” in Austin, Texas. The Westin also says the refunds are an “effort to show our good faith,” which we assume means “please don’t sue us.”
Here’s one reason to use an online service to store financial data: no buggy updates to deal with.* Intuit’s December update for 2006 and 2007 versions of QuickBooks Pro on the Mac platform wiped the user’s Desktop folder and anything stored there. The company released a patch, but it didn’t work if you launched QuickBooks while connected to a wireless hotspot, oops. The latest patch, so far as we can tell, simply disables any further updates to the application—on January 3rd the company “began automatically feeding a patch to Mac QuickBooks users that permanently switches off the program’s upgrade mechanism to prevent a repetition of a data disaster.” In the meantime, since they can’t offer a way to fix the deleted Desktop folders, they’re offering rebates to users who buy a copy of the data recovery program Data Rescue II.
I wanted to follow up about the ‘Time Warner Cable Sends You A Random Bill, Can’t Explain Why’ tip I sent in. A Consumerist reader suggested I contact the N. Dallas Time Warner president and provided his email. I did on Sunday (yesterday) and received a call today (Monday) from Barbara at his office.
UPDATE: Those lovable folks at the Wall Street Journal Health Blog called Listerine for official comment on our “24 Hour Protection” post, confirming that the “24 Hour Protection” sticker is there simply to remind you to use mouthwash twice as often as you’re accustomed. Hilarious and awesome. [WSJ Health Blog]
A Sony CSR admitted to reader Ive that dust should not void a Playstation 3’s warranty. Transcript and audio, after the jump.
T-Mobile is demanding that reader Motoko, a victim of fraud, immediately pay $1,100 before she can port her number to rival Sprint. Last month, Motoko discovered erroneous charges on her bill totaling $1,766; T-Mobile readily admitted that the charges were fraudulent, and told the BBB and Consumerist that Motoko would receive an immediate refund. Instead of a refund, T-Mobile sent Motoko’s another bill and suspended her service. Now, almost a full month after T-Mobile’s PR henchmen at Waggener Edstrom claimed that the company had provided a “satisfactory resolution,” Motoko checked in with another update:
T-Mobile has only given me a partial amount of the credit they promised me in the BBB response. I’ve only gotten $454 back out of the $1,766. Their new response on the BBB website states that my October bill will reflect the full reimbursement of my credit. Unfortunately, the October bill is still $1,100+ and it shows that the second fraudulent line is still active.
T-Mobile's Satisfactory Resolution: Cut The Phone Line, Refuse To Refund $1,766 In Erroneous Charges
Remember Motoko? T-Mobile sent her a $1,169.84 bill littered with charges from an unidentified number. When Motoko called to complain, T-Mobile admitted that the charges were likely fraudulent, but encouraged Motoko to pay the bill anyway. After posting Motoko’s story, T-Mobile’s PR watchdogs at Waggener Edstrom got in touch and claimed that the situation was satisfactorily resolved. We updated the post accordingly. Well, Motoko sent us a followup email, and here is her version of T-Mobile’s satisfactory resolution:
T-Mobile ended up cutting my line for nonpayment. They simply refused to investigate the matter or to call me back.
Remember JD? 32 hours of tech support from Apple and AT&T couldn’t coax his replacement iPhone into working with his prepaid SIM card. After we posted his story, representatives from both companies had a powwow and traced JD’s problem back to mismatched IMEI numbers. Now JD’s replacement iPhone works, and he has advice for anyone in a similar bind:
Received a call from an extremely helpful AT&T representative yesterday. She was informed of the situation by Apple, and worked with them to resolve it. Along with AT&T, I received a call from an Apple executive, who was also extremely helpful. Thanks to them both for getting to the bottom of this situation.
Remember Ryan? He unsuccessfully tried to hold Expedia to their “Best Price Guarantee.” The staff of PeterGreenberg.com read our story and picked up where we left off. Thanks to their efforts, Expedia offered Ryan a $200 travel credit towards a previously-scheduled itinerary.
Brenda from corporate customer care contacted me by phone yesterday. She apologized very genuinely and even engaged in a lengthy conversation about how things might be improved. She offered me a $200 travel credit towards future travel, which I politely declined. She then proceeded to refund $200 off my OTHER existing itinerary (not even the trip that caused all this trouble!).
“There are serious problems here,” Cook [City Councilman] said Wednesday afternoon. “I think Lincoln customers deserve better. They are not getting what they have paid for.” The new guide has been beset with problems since its introduction. Complaints have ranged from the guide itself — ugly graphics, incomplete information, etc. — to problems with slow-reacting cable boxes and DVRs after the software was loaded into them, causing some subscribers to reboot one or more times a day.
- We spoke with Cingular and confirmed that Apple’s new iPhone will require a two-year cell phone plan and will not be sold without it.
Today is a bank holiday for the Gawker Media Network but that doesn’t mean that the fickle wheel of commerce stops keep spinning round. Here’s some updates on consumer’s stories we reported on last week.
• Dan vows to fight to “the bitter end” in order to find out what that Time Warner Cable tech showed up to his apartment for no apparent reason.