Tuesday, November 27, 2012

UPS questionnaire.

UPS is obviously not dealing with my specific issue.

UPS Survey
1. Why did you send an e-mail?

I got a drop down and selected "Trying to resolve a problem with delivery."

2. During this interaction were you the shipper of the package, receiver of the package, or another interested party?

Shipper.  Actually Google Play was the shipper.  Too late to change.  I already submitted the questionnaire.

3. You found it easy to interact with UPS? (1=Strongly Disagree, 5=Strongly Agree)

I picked 5 and added this comment:


Read my blog.

4. UPS was able to satisfy your request? (1=Strongly Disagree, 5=Strongly Agree)

Comment: Never resolved.

5. It was a pleasure to interact with the UPS representative? (1=Strongly Disagree, 5=Strongly Agree)

Comment: All were terrible, especially the one from UPS HQ.

6. Based upon your interaction today, how likely are you to recommend UPS to a colleague or friend? (1=Never Recommend, 5=Highly Recommend)

Comment: The problem is that UPS is like a utility.  It's difficult to avoid.  I ordered something else from Google Play yesterday, Monday.  What are the chances that it will be delivered by Friday?  If not, it will sit until next Monday.

7. If every interaction with UPS was like this one and your shipping needs remained the same, will your desire to use UPS decrease, stay the same, or increase?

8. Please provide any additional feedback or comments about your experience.

Comment: http://techthoughtsmatinale.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your response. Your input is appreciated.

UPS wants my opinion.

I'm not making this up.

Here is an exchange of messages after which I copied and pasted my blog posts into a reply.  I'll check the questionnaire and report here.

from: ups-service@mailnj.custhelp.com ups-service@mailnj.custhelp.com
reply-to: "ups-service@mailnj.custhelp.com"

date: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM
subject: You are invited to provide feedback about your recent UPS e-mail experience.
signed-by: mailnj.custhelp.com

Thank you for emailing with UPS. Thinking about your UPS email support experience please provide your feedback so that we can continue to improve the service we provide our customers.

Simply click on the link below, or cut and paste the entire URL into your browser to access the survey:


Thank you in advance for your participation.

Ken: As already documented on my blog, I spoke to a UPS HQ person in Atlanta who was too dense to understand.

General / General
 Response (Maryann P.)11/27/2012 09:08 AM
Dear Kenneth,

Thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, I do not have access to the link you provided. I will be happy to research this issue further once I receive additional information.

I apologize that I am unable to assist you at this time.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Mary Ann P.
UPS Customer Service
UPS now has a new app that lets you Track, Ship, Find Locations and obtain rate quotes directly from your smartphone. Go tomy.ups.com or visit ups.com to learn about Apple and BlackBerry device-specific applications.
 CustomerBy Email11/26/2012 04:38 PM
I clicked on the link in this email.  It works fine.  From the browser I sent the link to your email ID.  Try again.
On Nov 26, 2012 1:29 PM, "customer.service@ups.com" <customer.service@ups.com> wrote:

 Response (Maryann P.)11/26/2012 01:29 PM
Dear Kenneth,

Thank you for your e-mail. Unfortunately, I am unable to open the link you provided. Please provide further details of your concern or request and I will be happy to assist you further.

I apologize for the problems you have experienced with UPS and for my delayed response to your e-mail.

Please contact us if you need any additional assistance.

Mary Ann P.
UPS Customer Service
UPS now has a new app that lets you Track, Ship, Find Locations and obtain rate quotes directly from your smartphone. Go tomy.ups.com or visit ups.com to learn about Apple and BlackBerry device-specific applications.

UPS does not try to fix problems on Saturday.

In my post about the knucklehead from UPS corporate headquarters I forgot to mention that after I asked why my package had been placed on a UPS truck on a Wednesday for final delivery but not delivered: why had it not been placed on a UPS truck Thursday, Friday, Saturday ...  Here I was interrupted by Miss Knucklehead.  I said UPS delivers on Saturday, right?  Yes, but I had not paid for weekend delivery.

At his point it's really difficult to describe my exasperation with the complete stupidity of this comment.  Obviously, it was the fault of UPS, not the customer, that my package had remained in a UPS facility for TWO more days and not been placed on a truck.  Now this incredibly inept UPS corporate headquarters knucklehead thinks she has scored an "ah ha!" debating point.

So my package waited until Monday ... and still was not placed on a truck.  Either Miss Knucklehead did not attempt to exert influence to get my package moving or the UPS people in New York ignored her, which may be the only thing they did right in this silly episode.

Flaw in online shopping.

My recent experience with online shopping in which I ordered from Google Play only to have its designated shipper, UPS, foul up the deal in every possible way, has caused me to question the basic structure of this electronic commerce.

If I buy at a physical store I generally leave with the product purchased.

If I order that same product online, I pay when it ships, including the shipping charge. Two problems:

1. The supplier dumps responsibility onto the shipper.
2. The shipper has already been paid and, as with UPS in my recent nightmare experience, has no incentive to deliver the product in a timely manner, if at all.

Solution: we should insist that we not be charged until we have product in hand.  Or at the very least, the shipper should not be paid until product has been received and the recipient is satisfied with the condition of the product received.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Google already credited my account.

Google Play has credited my account in full, including the shipping charge for the incredibly inept UPS.

I wonder when/if Google will receive its product from UPS.

Google Play, thank you.  Please select another shipper or at least provide an option.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UPS Corporate Customer Relations rubs salt into the wound.

I just finished a conversation with:

Monica Pearson

UPS Corporate Customer Relations



Blah, blah, blah.

That's far more eloquence than anything expressed by this person who also copped a Ross Perot "can I finish" attitude.  No amount of logic could penetrate the corporate oblivion of UPS as represented by this colossally inept individual.

She simply repeated  that the weather was to blame even though the weather was fine and it was painfully obvious that the problem had nothing to do with weather but with UPS procedures INDOORS at its facility in Maspeth, NY in Queens, New York City.

Ultimately Google backed me against the evil UPS.

Google came through, although for perspective if Google had not jerked me around with three completely unnecessary order/cancel cycles my order would have shipped one day earlier and missed the second storm to hit New York and probably been delivered one day before that ill fated day when UPS decided to transform from a reliable service provider to a practitioner of evil.

What did the trick was Google actually speaking to UPS.  Saturday I made yet another attempt to communicate with UPS.  Remember, UPS had put my package on a UPS truck in Maspeth in Queens county, NY for its delivery to its final destination.  A snow storm hit and apparently my package was returned to the UPS facility in Maspeth and into a UPS black hole from which it never emerged.

My suspicion is that UPS had reduced service because of the higher prices for gasoline in New York after the storms and was only delivering to high density locations, not to private houses in more suburban parts of the city.

I spoke to UPS Saturday morning and got the usual run around.  Then I called Google and the Google person volunteered to place me on hold and call UPS.  I said OK.  After about five minutes, Google returned with the same exasperating reaction that I had for days: disbelief that UPS could suck this much.  Google suggested that I give it another day, Monday.  I agreed.

Monday there was no update from UPS, so my package had still not been loaded onto a UPS truck for delivery.  I contacted Google and asked that our plan be implemented.  Google would tell UPS that my package had been addressed incorrectly and that Google was recalling it.  If I had simply cancelled my order the procedure is for UPS to deliver and I am responsible for returning the package to the shipper, Google.

Yesterday I received confirmation from Google that I will be reimbursed.

Thank you Google.  Shame on you UPS.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Filed complaint with NY AG against UPS.

New York State Attorney General received this complaint from me at its website for misconduct associated with Hurricane Sandy:


I ordered product from Google with two day delivery.  Google chose UPS as its shipping agent.  My package was placed on a UPS truck at the UPS facility in Maspeth, NY in New York City 11/9/12.  Package was not delivered and despite multiple calls to UPS by me and one call by Google to UPS the only explanation  received is "Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.".

Hurricane Sandy hit New York Oct. 29.  There was a storm on 11/7 when UPS first tried to deliver but weather has been fine since.  That's FIVE days and UPS gives no indication that it will deliver my package.

UPS should be fined and I should be re-paid the shipping charge.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

UPS won't tell Google where my package is. What!?

No hint that UPS intends to deliver the package that it first loaded onto one of its trucks for final delivery at 4:39 AM Nov. 7, three days ago, from the UPS facility in Maspeth, NY, which is maybe five miles from the delivery location.  Both are in the New York City borough of Queens.  In NYC a borough is basically a county.

I called UPS about 30 minutes ago and waded through the usual junk and finally spoke to a human being who was very nice but not helpful.  All I heard was the company line that "emergency conditions" were preventing delivery.  At least UPS did not use the Hurricane Sandy phrase that Google Play clings to.

I then spoke to another person, this one working at Google Play.  After describing the situation I received loads of empathy and an offer to call UPS.  OK.  After waiting a while and listening to classical music I was informed that UPS was no more forthcoming with Google that it has been with me.

Wow!  What arrogance!  UPS stiffs the shipping company, and a big company at that.  Now I don't feel quite as bad.  If UPS can treat Google like dirt, no wonder it is treating me like dirt.

So here's a compact timeline to highlight the incompetence of UPS.

Oct. 29 Hurricane (downgraded to a tropical storm) Sandy hits the New York area.
Nov. 3 I order from Google Play.
Nov. 5 Google ships.
Nov. 7 4:39 AM UPS puts the Google package that I ordered onto a UPS truck for delivery that day but does not deliver.  There was bad weather that afternoon and I'm willing to give UPS a pass on that.

It is now almost 9:00 AM Nov. 10.

1. Where is my package?
2. When will it be delivered?
3. Is it lost?
4. Is it still in the same UPS location from which it was loaded onto a truck on Nov. 7?

I asked UPS some pointed questions including:
1. Was there damage to the UPS facility in Maspeth, NY?  No
2. Did the UPS facility in Maspeth, NY have power?  Yes.
3. Were trucks driving out and delivering packages from the UPS facility in Maspeth, NY.  Yes.
4. Why wasn't my package on one of those trucks?  Don't know.

UPS refused to put a trace on it.  I asked if UPS would trace the package if Google requested it.  UPS said no.

I was charged for shipping. I am the customer, of both Google, for its product, and for UPS for its shipping service.

UPS should at least give me a credit for the shipping charge.  What do you think the chances are?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Google, wake the heck up. Tell UPS that the weather has cleared.

Google, if you throw in Hurricane Katrina you'll have an excuse for not delivering to New Orleans.  Hurricane Sandy was a "post-tropical cyclone" when it hit New Jersey back on October 29.

Do your job and get your lame delivery company, UPS, to do its job.  Stop making silly excuses for incompetence.  The election is over.  Silly statements like yours published in my previous post are not acceptable.

Google refuses to back customers.

My reply to Google's silly message below: I've been checking the UPS website and my delivery zip code is not impacted.

From Google Play eight hours ago:

Hi Kenneth,
I can understand your frustration.  Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Sandy, we're currently experiencing delivery delays in the following areas:

New Jersey
New York
West Virginia
Washington DC
Rhode Island

We apologize for the delay. Your tracking number will be updated as soon as our shipping provider is able to proceed with your delivery.


The Google Play Team

UPS continues sucking.

Maspeth, NY, United States11/09/20129:29 P.M.Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.

Maspeth, NY, United States 11/08/2012 10:53 A.M. Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.
Maspeth, NY, United States 11/07/2012 1:25 P.M. Destination Scan
11/07/2012 10:03 A.M. Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.
11/07/2012 4:39 A.M. Out For Delivery
Maspeth, NY, United States 11/06/2012 10:10 P.M. Arrival Scan
Jamaica, NY, United States 11/06/2012 9:30 P.M. Departure Scan
11/06/2012 5:29 P.M. Arrival Scan
Louisville, KY, United States 11/06/2012 3:27 P.M. Departure Scan
11/06/2012 1:07 P.M. Origin Scan
United States 11/05/2012 4:11 P.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

UPS is sucking.

See UPS status below.  UPS continues to blame the weather but the weather was fine yesterday and today.  What's really odd is that my package was on a truck TWO days ago but apparently returned to UPS.  Now TWO days have passed and UPS still does not have it back on a truck for delivery.

And UPS continues to hide behind the weather.  UPS is just being incompetent.

Maspeth, NY, United States 11/08/2012 10:53 A.M. Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.
Maspeth, NY, United States 11/07/2012 1:25 P.M. Destination Scan
11/07/2012 10:03 A.M. Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.
11/07/2012 4:39 A.M. Out For Delivery
Maspeth, NY, United States 11/06/2012 10:10 P.M. Arrival Scan
Jamaica, NY, United States 11/06/2012 9:30 P.M. Departure Scan
11/06/2012 5:29 P.M. Arrival Scan
Louisville, KY, United States 11/06/2012 3:27 P.M. Departure Scan
11/06/2012 1:07 P.M. Origin Scan
United States 11/05/2012 4:11 P.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

Google Play online store needs a lot of work.


I ordered three Nexus 7 tablets directly from Google, which needs to have its website designers look at amazon.com or pretty much any other online ordering site on the planet to get at least a general idea of how a reasonably competent process should work.  Google is clueless.

I had to go through multiple order/cancel cycles because of Google's procedural mess.  Then after my order was finally placed and shipped UPS continued Google's dysfunction.

Here is the latest message that I sent to Google:

As you can see below, UPS has shown incompetence in delivering my package.  I want Google to make UPS refund my shipping charge.  The status shows no indication that my package is on a truck for delivery. It was on a truck two days ago but was not delivered, I guess because of the weather.  OK, but why was it not on a truck yesterday?  I spoke to UPS last night at 10PM and they had no rational explanation except the weather.  I live in New York and the weather yesterday was fine.  UPS could not tell when my package would be placed on a truck for delivery.

This is unacceptable.  I paid for "UPS two-day shipping" and this is not even close.  The UPS Maspeth, NY location is only a few miles from the delivery location.  I want Google to back me on this.  Google has the clout.

I think that UPS returned my package to its site two days ago and either misplaced it or put it at the back of the line instead of at the front where it belonged since it had already been put on a truck for delivery.  UPS is totally lost on this and is using the weather as an excuse for its incompetence.  Google needs to show its ability to provide some minimal level of customer satisfaction.

Maspeth, NY, United States 11/08/2012 10:53 A.M. Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.
Maspeth, NY, United States 11/07/2012 1:25 P.M. Destination Scan
11/07/2012 10:03 A.M. Emergency conditions beyond UPS' control.
11/07/2012 4:39 A.M. Out For Delivery
Maspeth, NY, United States 11/06/2012 10:10 P.M. Arrival Scan
Jamaica, NY, United States 11/06/2012 9:30 P.M. Departure Scan
11/06/2012 5:29 P.M. Arrival Scan
Louisville, KY, United States 11/06/2012 3:27 P.M. Departure Scan
11/06/2012 1:07 P.M. Origin Scan
United States 11/05/2012 4:11 P.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Verizon cannot find returned equipment. What a shock.

I had Verizon FIOS.  I moved and Verizon advised me to I get a new account (so that the on sight sales person would get credit) and I might get a better deal.  OK.  I would get new equipment, which was something I wanted anyway.  I returned the old equipment following Verizon procedures.  When Verizon did not send acknowledgement of receipt (UPS had warned me that Verizon misplaces its stuff), I sent proof from UPS that Verizon had received its equipment: date/time, location, person.

For my new home I ordered the Verizon Home Monitoring service with some extra stuff and when I got a big bill I figured that it was for that new stuff.  Who can decipher Verizon bills anyway plus I was consumed with the move.  Wrong.  Verizon had charged me $650 for not returning the equipment that I had returned.  Foolishly, I paid $580 thinking it was for the new stuff.  HUGE mistake.  Now Verizon wants another $606 due early November.

After being jerked around for weeks Verizon finally acknowledged, kind of, that equipment had been returned.  No mention of what equipment or how much money was involved.  Here is a message that I just received:

Dear K. Matinale,

Thank you for choosing Verizon. I have received your email dated 11/02/2012 regarding the unreturned equipment charges. I apologize for any frustration or inconvenience this has caused. My name is Janis, and I will be happy to assist you.

I understand your concern about the unreturned equipment charges. 

According to the records, we do show equipment processed back on 9/14/2012, 10/24/2012 and 10/29/2012.  You should see a final bill generated reflecting the returns processed with a refund check to follow.

My reply:

"refund check"?  Is this a joke?  I paid online.  Credit my current account as requested ... immediately, you know, like when I pay.

"refund check" mailed to where?  My current address?  My previous address?  When would this paper check even be mailed?  And when/if I receive it I still need to wait for the funds to clear.  So what, maybe ten days from now, if I'm lucky and the hurricane diminished U.S. Postal Service forwards mail from my previous address?

Fix this NOW.  I called this morning and wasted five minutes going through the call prompts before hearing that Verizon only answers calls Monday-Friday.  What, your system doesn't know this is Saturday when the call comes in and cannot inform the caller immediately that no one will answer?

Verizon does everything to obfuscate, delay, discourage.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Verizon FIOS Battery Backup: for what?

Two days ago I received an e-mail message from Verizon which said in part:

If you have fiber-based voice service or FiOS® Digital Voice, the Battery Backup Unit (BBU) installed with your service supplies up to eight (8) hours of phone service.  Please note that your FiOS® TV and/or Internet service will not be available until your power is restored.

I replied:

I do not have voice service.

1. Why do I have a battery backup?

2. Why not design the battery backup so that the modem/router can be powered by it?  Better yet, so that a power strip can be attached to also power my Home Monitoring gateway and some small computers: smartphone, tablet, laptop.

Note: The only phones that will work with no electric power are those old types that plug directly into a phone jack and do not require electric power themselves.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Verizon returns: always aggravating.

Verizon sent me two Home Monitoring kits.  I've been trying for two weeks to return one.  Twice I was verbally told that an e-mail with a return label was being sent.  Never got it.

I just sent this to Verizon in response an e-mail message informing me that Verizon has an account with UPS and all I need to do is bring the package to UPS.  That's it.  No other information.  Here is my message:

1. Increase font size in your e-mail messages unless you do not want them read.

Bad request
Your browser sent a query this server could not understand.

I got that when I clicked your stores link in the Chrome browser.  In IE I did a nationwide search and found no store near me.  Didn't you know that?

3. I'll try UPS Monday.  I recently returned stuff to Verizon with a shipping label, got confirmation of delivery from UPS, then a paper letter from Verizon demanding that same equipment or else I would be charged an exorbitant amount.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Google-Asus Nexus 7: very nice.

I finally got over my initial negative experience with Google's ordering process and placed another order.  Very nice tablet.  Pretty much a larger version of my Motorola Droid Bionic, so I use the Nexus at home instead of the Droid for quick email and look-ups.

 The Nexus refuses to sync my calendar, a problem documented elsewhere.

I stumbled into the facial recognition security feature and have been using it successfully.  Very nice.  Even delightful.

 Haven't figured out if/how I can make free Google Voice/Talk calls.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Verizon Wireless Share Everything plan includes driver's license ID and Social Security number.

I tried the Verizon Wireless Share Everything plan today with the intent of adding the Jetpack MiFi device to share data with my smart phone.  After the typical Verizon aggravation with the worst website in the galaxy I got my plan changed.  Tonight I tried to buy the Jetpack.  Again the usual Verizon junk including the outrageous $35 activation fee.  I was even willing to swallow that but I balked at the final cryptic form when Verizon insisted that I provide my driver's license ID, Social Security number and birth date.  What?

I did an online chat and asked the Verizon person why Verizon needed that info when I was a long time Verizon customer and was billing everything to my existing account.  The reply was some junk about identifying me.  I pointed out that I had logged in to my Verizon account, which was enough to let me change my billing plan but not add a new device.

Wow.  It's 2012 and it never occurred to me that Verizon would still be screwing up this much.  Now I'm trying to cancel that stupid Share Everything plan.  No sign that I can do that on the website.  Another call to Verizon.  Oh, the humanity!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Google Play Support Team replies to my written message.

from: Device Store on Google Play googleplay-support@google.com
sender-time: Sent at 8:02 AM (UTC). Current time there: 12:39 PM. ✆

date: Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 8:02 AM
subject: Re: [#1087338058] General questions
mailed-by: google.com
signed-by: google.com
: Important mainly because it was sent directly to you.

Hi there,

We've received your information and will be in contact with you as soon as
possible. We're experiencing extremely high volumes at this time, so
please expect some delay in response. If you have anything else to tell us
in the meantime (additional details or new developments), feel free to
reply to this e-mail.

In the meantime, please check out our help center for more information:


The Google Play Support Team

Google Play Nexus phone number: 855-836-3987

Currently on hold while Google person is checking with a supervisor about what the heck happened to my June 28 order.  See previous post.

... Google has no idea!  I guess Google is not ready to take over the universe.

I asked for some consideration for my frustration and inconvenience: $25 ($50 would be nice) to my alleged Google Wallet account.  Google refused.  Just flat out refused ... under the guise that it cannot.  I pointed out that it can, as Google had in an unsolicited e-mail message it sent to me June 26, 2012 for stuff I did not want:

Get $25 with Google Wallet

It’s time to start using your Google Wallet™ because now, for a limited time only, you’ll get $25 free when you activate Google Wallet and the Google Prepaid Card on the:

LG Viper™ 4G LTE from Sprint
LG Optimus Elite™ from Sprint
LG Optimus Elite from Virgin Mobile

The point is that Google could have given me a credit but declined.

Google Play failed to process my June 28 order.

June 28, 2012 I thought I was one of the first to order the new Google tablet, the Nexus 7.  I thought I had ordered it directly from Google through its Play Store, which at the time seemed like a great alternative to Apple iTunes and Amazon.


I should have been suspicious of an ordering web page with no way to contact the seller.

I received an e-mail message from my bank with a one dollar charge from Google, the kind of thing that I had seen before when ordering on the web.  The merchant is probing to determine if the payment info is legit.

I cannot find a confirmation e-mail message from Google.  What went wrong?  Beats me.

It's really hidden but I finally found a way to contact Google:


I sent the link to this post and info from my bank.  Let's what if anything Google does.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

emPower! flopped.

I finally checked it in person last week.  At least Superfocus actually did what was supposed to, just too clumsily and it was really ugly. emPower! was confusing.  I had read about it but when I discussed it with a sales person and tried a couple of pairs I saw little benefit.  I had thought that it would switch between all distance and trifocal progressive but apparently it merely eliminates the reading part of trifocal.  Plus, even the sales person was confused about what mode it was in.  I told him that I saw no change when I tapped the side.  He coached me to do it differently.  Finally he looked inside and guessed that it was in auto mode and that my tapping did nothing.

I was very disappointed.

Verizon: how many dead links does your website have?

Message just sent to Verizon customer service:

I tried to fill out your form but it still fails.


How many dead links does your website have?  Another recent one is for
home monitoring, which I might consider if I could learn more.

My Internet service at home has been very slow for a long time for
multiple PCs used one at a time with different OS: WindowsXP,
Windows7, Chromium.  Old PC, new PC.  Doesn't matter.  About 10 hops
for both wired and WiFi.  Mbps: 32 wired, 17 WiFi.  Browser refresh is
unacceptably slow.

Please resolve and offer a good price or I will need to consider alternatives.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Verizon should offer bundled discounts for its Internet services.

The Verizon website would not accept my comment.  I received a vague message (I tried at least six times) that I should not have special characters in the message.  That message is below, copied and pasted.  Is Verizon trying to prevent people from sending comments?  Anyway, here it is.  I've made this suggestion multiple times previously.  Verizon never reacts.

Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot 890L

Looks good.  But ...

I'm already paying for TWO Verizon Internet services: FIOS and Wireless smart phone.  I want a discount for having THREE Internet services from the same company.  Otherwise, I might as well get them from three different companies.  I'm making a reasonable request.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Superfocus glasses will be returned.

As soon as Superfocus e-mails the return label, which was promised a couple of hours ago.

1. Ugly.  Much more so than I anticipated.

2. Functionality was more limited than expected.

Combined those things made the decision easy for me.  Superfocus may be OK for some but not for me.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Superfocus order shipped; fitting recommended.

The Superfocus e-mail contained this:

We know that you will be eager to try your Superfocus glasses once the package arrives. However, we strongly encourage you to take your Superfocus glasses to a local optometrist/optician for proper fitting. You can use the Fitting Certificate that has been included with your Superfocus glasses and we will pay the optometrist/optician for the fitting, directly. A custom fitting is the best way to enjoy maximum comfort while minimizing the risk of Superfocus damage due to improper adjustment.

This was not mentioned in the detailed comments made recently here by "villager".

I'll probably ask my optometrist (probably an optician will actually do it).  It's a bit awkward since I ordered the glasses directly from Superfocus.  In the fall of 2011 I stopped by and asked the opticians whether Superfocus was supported and they had never heard of it.  Neither had my ophthalmologist retina specialist who examined my eyes a couple of weeks ago but who does not provide prescriptions.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

emPower!: next up if Superfocus flops.


Superfocus: concerns

Villager posted two comments to my previous post with very detailed information about his negative experience with two pairs of Superfocus glasses, both of which he returned.  He's still waiting for his refund.  This is all too typical these days.

One of the primary reasons I ordered Superfocus was because it emphasized that the entire lens is usable.   Villager contradicts this.  That's something that I will determine as soon as my Superfocus glasses arrive.

All along I have had two concerns, both of which Villager addressed:

1. Looking up from something close to something far.  The issue here is whether the benefit of Superfocus outweighs this known limitation.  My current trifocal progressive lens accommodates this but with its intrinsic compromises: small reading area and some dead areas.

2. The nature of the slider to change focus.  I wonder how easy it is to move with one hand and to quickly achieve a desired focus.  I also wonder how that opening can remain clean and functional.

I often watch TV and read, often on my laptop or tablet or smart phone.  Superfocus will probably not accommodate this habit.  I could, of course, continue to use my progressive lens during this activity and use Superfocus at other times, especially outdoors when I seem to need to switch between distance only glasses and progressive, which I find disorienting during physical activity.

When the Superfocus glasses arrive I will post my views, hopefully each day during my evaluation period.  I may create videos but have not decided.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Superfocus: replies in writing.

I never got a phone call but Superfocus did send multiple conciliatory e-mail messages about the confusion over my order and the process has begun with delivery in 2-4 weeks.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Superfocus: Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

I'm not getting a warm fuzzy feeling about Superfocus.

I called  Superfocus 24 hours ago.  It rang about ten times before I got voice mail, which committed to a return call within 24 hours.  I left a very clear message, repeating my name and number multiple times, asking for a call back to confirm that my prescription was OK.  No call back.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Superfocus ordered: let the games begin!

Yesterday, Saturday, I finally bit the bullet and ordered my Superfocus eye glasses at the Superfocus website.

It's confusing because Superfocus requests your payment info before asking for your prescription.  And providing the prescription is difficult.  Mine may not be done yet.

The prescription options are:
- fax (no kidding, just like a pizza joint circa 1985)
- calling and reading it to them (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
- paper mail.

I had to speak to someone in the optometrist office Saturday to get my pupil distance (PD), which by then I knew was required by Superfocus.

One can also enter the data into a Superfocus form with drop down lists of values for seven variables, including PD.  Unfortunately, my hand written prescription had only three numbers per eye.  Argh!  Did not want to call the optometrist office again.

I entered the data as best I could and completed the process, which fortunately asked for my optometrist contact information and permission to contact, which I granted.

When I received a  Superfocus e-mail confirmation from a noreply sender (Don't you hate that?) I forwarded it to info@superfocus.com with a message: Not sure about prescription.  Your form had more fields than I had data:

I then provided my prescription data as it appeared on the hand written prescription.  I also attached an image of the hand written prescription.  I wonder if there is a common Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) type form for eye glass prescriptions.  You know, like we all had computers connected to a network and wanted a way to share information.  The health care industry is a disgrace.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


From the website superfocus.com:

two lenses ... The pocket between them holds a small quantity of crystal clear fluid ...  It is quick and easy to snap off one set of front lenses and replace them with another.

1. So what happens to the fluid when you snap off a front lens?

2. Why is there a need for multiple lenses?  Can't Superfocus have a transition lens that automatically adjusts to changing light?

3. After Superfocus got a lot of attention in 2010 why have no big time eyeglass providers adopted and promoted them?  In Manhattan there is one small provider.  In Westchester county, NY none.

4. What, if anything, will insurance cover?

This Superfocus document is pretty good:


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Verizon: bundle your three Internet services at a discount.

Message just sent to Verizon Wireless:

Verizon Jetpack™ 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi® 4620L

I already have Verizon FIOS and Verizon Wireless Internet services.  Four years ago I also had the original hotspot service but dropped it because Verizon would not bundle its three Internet services at a discount.

Your policy has not changed.  I'd subscribe to the latest 4G hotspot but I will not pay retail for each of three Verizon Internet services.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NetZero capitulates!

I just received an e-mail indicating another credit from NetZero for $55, which added to the $65 already refunded.  Yesterday I spoke to my bank, Bank of America, which offered to pay me the outrageous $35 re-stocking fee that NetZero had charged.  I'd given up tying to recover the comparably outrageous $20 shipping charge, which precipitated my cancelling my order for the NetZero 4G hotspot device priced at $100.  All numbers rounded.

Bank of America offered to pay me the $35 if it could not get NetZero to be reasonable.  I declined.

NetZero not only ponied up the $35 for re-stocking but also the $20 for shipping.  However, I do not give NetZero any credit.

1. I am still out the $11 I paid to UPS to return the unwanted item.  How come it cost me $11 and NetZero wanted $20 for the same thing?  And you'd thnk that NetZero would have a quantity discount with its shipper.  This suggests that NetZero was pocketing most of that money.

2. I spent a lot of time for which I was not compensated.

3. My aggravation factor was off the charts.  NetZero has bad business practices and capitulated only after extraordinary efforts.  Too bad.  NetZero once seemed a legitimate company, maybe even one trying to "do no evil".  What happened?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Netzero is charging $35 restocking fee!

You can't make up stuff like this.

from:  billing@support.netzero.com
sender-time:  Sent at 10:30 PM (GMT-04:00). Current time there: 11:18 PM. ✆
reply-to:  billing@support.netzero.com

date:  Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 10:30 PM
subject:  Confirmation of your NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband device refund
:  Important mainly because of the words in the message.

This email confirms we have received your returned NetZero 4G HotSpot.

We have refunded your account for the cost of the returned device, minus the
$35.00 restocking fee. Your total refund amount is $64.95.

Read the posts on April 6, 2012.  I called Netzero within minutes to cancel because it was charging $20 shipping on a $100 device (numbers rounded).  Netzero claimed it was too late to stop the shipping and that I had to receive and return it.  I called my lousy bank, Bank of America, to dispute the charge and it has been of zero help, including today when I tried yet again to dispute the outrageous $35 for Netzero to place the unopened item back on the shelf.

Bank of America had also told me to accept delivery.  Big mistake.

And it cost me $11 to return it.  Since Bank of America is not backing me it will cost me $46 to return a $100 that I did not want because Netzero charged me $20 for shipping.  That's a total of $66 I've paid for nothing but aggravation.

Shame on Bank of America and Netzero.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NetZero wants me to pay shipping to return their device!

Message just sent to NetZero:

You people are unbelievable.  The reason I am returning your device is because of the outrageous $20 shipping charge.  I did everything I could to get Netzero NOT to ship it.  You shipped it anyway and now you expect me to pay shipping to return it?

I want NetZero to pay the shipping.

Friday, April 6, 2012

NetZero: a manager calls.

Brad the manager called at 7:05PM.  Nice enough guy.  Basically he re-iterated what I had already been told.  The order went out to a third party, blah, blah, blah.  He will try to see when the process is engaged and intercede but that is unlikely he can prevent the shiping.  Brad even offered to waive the shipping charge but I told him that I was so aggravated with NetZero that, no, I just wanted my money back.

I told Brad that I had already called my bank and he encouraged me to dispute the charge through the bank if the item is shipped.


NetZero: documentation they are crooks.

from: NetZero announcement@support.netzero.com via matinale.net 
sender-time: Sent at 5:59 PM (GMT-07:00). Current time there: 3:34 PM. 
reply-to: NetZero
to: Kenneth Matinale 
date: Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 5:59 PM
subject: Welcome to NetZero 4G Mobile Broadband!

OK, you can see the time stamp.  And I just hung up after wasting 25 minutes on the phone trying to get my money back.  A supervisor is supposed to call me back.  They say some Olympic athlete already shipped the item.  I demanded written documentation that it had already shipped.  Oh it's in the system and there is nothing they can do.  Yeah, right.

NetZero crooks

I ordered the NetZero free 4G service with a $99.95 hot spot device.  What I did not notice was the shipping charge of $19.95.  Maybe it was the black background and tiny font.

When I noticed it in the e-mail from my bank I immediately called NetZero to cancel, maybe ten minutes after processing.  I am now on indefinite hold waiting for a supervisor.  They refuse to let me cancel.  The best I can get is to accept delivery and ship it back, supposedly for another $19.95 shipping.

These tech companies make it as difficult as possible to return or cancel.  They tell you the order is in the warehouse.  I told them there is no way it has even been taken off the shelf.  Stay tuned.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Truconnect cancelled.

See previous post and

FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2011 Virgin Mobile cancelled!

I cancelled Truconnect a couple of days ago.  A few hours after cancellation deep support called me back after two days finally ready to try to get me connected.  I informed him that I had already cancelled.  He obviously did not know.

That's two companies that front for Sprint with great pricing that failed to even connect me much less provide service.

Virgin Mobile seemed to be run by teenagers.  Truconnect seemed to be run by people in their mid twenties.  Neither had procedures that worked.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Truconnect sucks.

$5 per month fixed cost plus 4 cents per megabits usage for a MiFi mobile hotspot.

I had the Verizon Wireless version a few years ago for $40 per month but cancelled because Verizon did not have a plan, which gave a discount for bundling its Internet services.  I was already subscribed to Verizon Wireless on my smart phone and Verizon FIOS at home with no discount so I could not see having three Internet services from one company, which ignored my requests and suggestions that it was good business to bundle its Internet services.

Truconnect sounded like a good deal, especially when New York Times David Pogue endorsed it.  I ordered a MiFi device (Novatel 2200 3G) from Truconnect for about $80 in December 2011.  The Truconnect website was so messed up that I could not activate my account.  After three months of ignoring my mistake I decided in March 2012 to try again.  The website problems persisted but so did I and my account was activated.  The same could not be said for the MiFi device.

I wasted several hours over the last three days writing and speaking to at least three support people and my MiFi device is still not active.  The deep support guy told me this afternoon that the device that his company had sold to me might not be in their data system and that might be the problem.  Say what?

When I told him that the previous non-deep support people never knew that he said that they did not have access to the same data system that he did.  I suggested that they all have such access.  He wanted me to stay on hold while he continued to check.  I said I had wasted enough hours today on Truconnect and please call me back when he had resolved it.  No call back after seven hours.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Khan Academy: phony or unprepared?


This guy was profiled yesterday on 60 Minutes:


I tried a few exercises a year ago and found the guy insufferable with his unsteady hand, sloppy handwriting and most of all his halting, do-over style, which suggested primarily that he was faking it to seem real or he was truly unprepared.  Maybe kids aren't put off.  I'll probably try again.  Maybe the one about hitting a home run in Fenway Park (cannot find now), which I could not finish because it was so excruciatingly drawn out.

I like the idea of freeing people from the educational institutions and providing alternatives, especially for those who otherwise would not have access.  I'm just not ready to say this is the best way.  Maybe now that Khan has others working with him the product will get cleaned up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

housepad.com sucks!

Housepad requires you to update a pdf file to change your listing.  No joke.  Then, their primitive system cannot accept changes.  The pdf file opens in my Google Chrome browser but stupid housepad gives an error message stating that it did not open in my browser.  When I try it in IE it opens Adobe Acrobat.

Housepad wants me to print, sign and fax it back.  No joke.

I changed the pdf on my PC and sent it to housepad as an attachment but housepad refused to accept that.  I replied:

No printer.  No fax.  It's not 1985.  Fix your system.  I have the
latest versions of Windows, Chrome, Explorer and Acrobat.

You should be embarrassed.