The routine never changes. A year ends, you take stock of what didn’t go right and vow to change things come Jan. 1. Then life happens and you find yourself making the same vows again as the next year concludes. One reason things go that way is because you fail to give teeth to your New Year’s resolutions.
Jiffy Lube agreed to pay Alison over $250 after botching routine work that forced her to interrupt her road trip for emergency car repairs. Alison’s mechanic said that Jiffy Lube’s attempted transmission fluid flush could have caused “catastrophic car damage” if left unfixed. Jiffy Lube denied all responsibility until Alison fired off an Executive Email Carpet Bomb to C.E.O. Rick Altizer, who agreed not only to reimburse for the repairs, but refunded the original cost of the transmission fluid flush, and tossed in a few coupons for free oil changes.
Vonage apparently rustled up a map and is now apologizing to customers who were accidentally charged international rates for their domestic calls. Reader J.R., who in April received a $38 bill after Vonage billed a call to Los Angeles as a call to Algeria, sent us the telecom’s apology note…
Kevin couldn’t understand why Amazon charged $29.95 for the digital version of Confessions of a Butcher when the paperback cost only $11.95. Amazon tried to gussy up the Kindle edition by offering what looked like a steep 45% discount, but the digital edition still cost $5 more than the print edition. Even the author’s wife chimed in to Amazon’s discussion forum to pan the discrepancy, adding, “what’s really ridiculous is that we sell more ebooks at $20 than we do new paperbacks for $11.95.”
After waiting 56 days for his Dell Mini 9 to ship, reader WantMyDellMini asked Dell for a little compensation, only to be told: “Dell no longer believes in compensation for the purpose of customer satisfaction.” The Mini 9’s shipping status has already changed at least ten times, but Dell claims that our poor reader has no choice but to keep waiting.
Stephanie Zimmermann of the Chicago Sun-Times has put together a list of resolutions to prevent scams, cons, and cheats. We really like the suggestion that you find a reputable locksmith, plumber, A/C repairman, and mechanic now, instead of waiting until an emergency.
The web is full of financial resolutions for 2009, telling us all what we should and shouldn’t do for the next year. And whether or not you’re the resolution type, it’s probably worthwhile to review what some of the leading financial publications are recommending. After all, aren’t we all interested in ideas for improving our financial lives?
Remember Vickie and her defective Delta Creative PermEnamel experience? It ruined several of her pieces, not because she applied it incorrectly but because something was wrong with the product. It happens sometimes with products, no big deal. What was a big deal was the company’s CEO, Bill George, refused to approve a compensation payment that his employees had already agreed to with Vickie, leaving her with no choice but to contact a lawyer and write to us. It looks like Delta Creative and the artist have now resolved the issue, and she’s sent us a statement saying everything has been resolved to her “complete satisfaction.”
After repeatedly saying they would never agree to pay more for tomatoes in order to help improve the wages of tomato pickers, Burger King has apparently reached a deal to pay 1.5 cents more per pound.
Bill, whose small business checking account had been inappropriately drafted $1500, sent us the following email late last night:
A few weeks ago, Zach emailed us to say that his Rewards Zone Mastercard hasn’t worked properly in the five months he’s had it, and no one at Best Buy had been able to help. We pointed him to our Guide To Fighting Back, and he responded tonight with an update.
Tom just sent us a follow-up to yesterday’s post, and it’s good news:Score another one for The Consumerist! This morning I contacted Sears’ Executive Customer Service Department. They attempted to contact the store manager on my behalf. I stress “attempted” because they were hung up on too.
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.”
Remember N? He last saw his laptop in December after shipping it to HP for desperately needed repairs. After posting the story HP reached out to N, who tells us that he just received a spanking new machine. Read N’s reaction and his tips for handling similar situations, after the jump.
Circuit City lied to Ian about giving him a discounted iPod Touch, but now he has a satisfactory resolution. He writes:
After writing a number of emails to Circuit City and after a making few more (fruitless) calls, I tried something new and posted my story to their public online customer service forums. The forum manager responded very quickly and promised that someone would call me back to resolve things. I received two calls last Thursday from Circuit City staff who wanted to help fix the situation;
Yay Internets! Tonedeff—the artist who won Lollapalooza’s Last Band Standing over a year ago but never received the 10k prize package from Gibson—has received his prize. He emailed us today and wrote, “Thanks for covering the story and your support.
It’s that time of year to pretend to care about your body for a few weeks before you give up in despair and realize it’s your parents’ fault for not having better genes. SmartMoney has published another one of their “10 Things” articles, this time about the common workout hobo, or as they prefer to be called, “personal trainers.”
AT&T wrote in to say they won’t be charging the family whose house burned down in the California wildfires for the satellite dish they left behind when fleeing for the lives