December 14th, 2009



As regular readers of this space know, I have frequently waxed encomiastic about the customer service at TigerDirect, but after this morning I figured it would only be "fair & balanced" to weigh in on the other side.

I get daily (or more frequent) promo e-mails from TigerDirect and this morning there was a USB hub that was being featured with free shipping. When I got into the site I decided that this particular model did not fit exactly what I was looking for, but another (at the same price point: $14.99) did, and I popped that into the shopping cart, only to discover that there was going to be a $7.99 shipping charge. As I really didn't want to pay and extra 53%, I clicked on the "live help" to ask why the one unit would have free shipping and the other didn't (and hopefully have the free shipping deal applied to the unit that I wanted).

Now, I've had VERY GOOD experiences with TigerDirect's customer service in the past, and was expecting to at least be handled like a valued customer. Unfortunately, the agent I got in the chat window would/could only parrot the "boilerplate" about their shipping rates, repeatedly telling me (what I already knew) that anything over $100 and under 35lbs gets free shipping. I pointed out that the unit in the email promo this morning likely weighs significantly under ONE pound and is only $14.99, yet has free shipping, but this only elicits another visit to the "shipping policy" file. I even provide both item numbers, which then has the agent telling me that there would not be free shipping on those items, despite what is clearly noted in this morning's email.

Anyway, I logged off telling them that I'd walk over to Best Buy to see what I could get without having to pay shipping (since the 3 TigerDirect/CompUSA are all out in various suburbs, despite calling them their "Chicago" stores), but it really pissed me off to not even have a GESTURE of understanding on the other end of the "customer service" chat (hell, an Eliza-based program would have at least faked some concern that I was dissatisfied!). Since I've beaten y'all over the head with how great TigerDirect has been in the past, I figured it would only be fair to point out when they were being morons (to opt for a more "job-search friendly" term than the ones that came more immediately to mind)!

Visit the BTRIPP home page!


Clicky-clicky ...

Whew! Talk about "just in time" ... I'd had the interview part of this good-to-go by the end of last week, but hadn't finished plowing through the book until last night, and then I had to get a review written and posted and then get the blog thing done with links back to the review. I got it all done, of course, but I sort of let posting a blurb about it in here slide.

The book being reviewed here is a scary one ... the author is convinced that "jobs are dead" and that we're all going to be "contracting" for scattered work assignments (but, you read the review already, right?), which sort of sounds to me like some "Mad Max"-like dystopia.

I had a bit of a sampling of this over the past couple of weeks. I'd done a project for an agency, re-writing a chunk of their website copy, and for around 8 hours of work I ended up getting paid only about 1/5 of what I would have, in a "good economy", charged (of course, writing has become so financially debased between the SEO guys who hire foreign folks with marginal grasps of English for fractions of a penny per word, and the "bid for writing gigs" sites where cut-throat competition substantially drives down prices) but was offered a flat rate that was pretty much "the going rate for that sort of thing". Contrast that with tonight, when I was off at an "opinion panel", and for 2 hours of chit-chat, I got paid more than I had for 8 hours of fairly challenging writing. The Harry Chapin lyric came to mind: "Well another man might have been angry / And another man might have been hurt / ... / I stashed the bill in my shirt." Needless to say, I hope that my interview on Thursday goes well, as I'm still in the hunt for a JOB, and this one is a very close fit for my skill sets.

With all the time I've been dedicating to the job search, I've not had much spare to read (or at least not in a way that I'm not asleep within a couple of pages), so I'm in a slight danger of not making my target of 72 books for the year. I read 73 in '06, 79 in '07, 78 in '08, but I'm just up to 70 at the moment. I'm about 1/3rd through another, though, and I'm sure that I'll get at least one more in after this, but it bums me out to be down a half a dozen titles. Of course, if I get this job, the reading thing will be fine, because I'll be having to take the commuter train to the 'burbs!

Oh, by the way ... The Wife faked me out tonight, calling me out of my office to "see something" that The Girls had done (as though they'd flooded a bathroom or something), marching me into the back ... only to point at her computer screen at their mid-term grades ... so far BOTH of them have straight "A"s for the whole year! Smart babies!!!

Visit the BTRIPP home page!