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Bad Customer Service is the #1 Way to Lose Your Business!!!

Mr. BFS and I were craving Chinese last night, but our favorite place is closed on Sundays.  So we called our 2nd favorite and ordered our norm – General Tso’s Chicken and Chicken and Broccoli for pickup.  And now, I doubt I will go back.

Picking Up the Order

This part wasn’t so bad.  I walked in, waited for the person in front of me to finish paying, and asked for my order.  I handed them my credit card to pay and saw him bring out one of those old, mechanical, credit card copy machines.  He explained that the normal machine was down.  I didn’t mind, but took back my credit card, and handed him the last of my cash.  That covered our meal and a nice tip even though I was picking up my own order.

The Main Issues

When I drove back home and handed over the food, Mr. BFS had his General Tso’s Chicken, but I had Beef and Broccoli.  I really do not enjoy their beef – it’s spongy.  :-(  So I called at 5:50pm and explained that I received Beef and Broccoli instead of chicken like I ordered.  I then asked if they could just make a note so I could order it for free a different day since I did not want to drive back out again.

Bad Customer Service

No, they wouldn’t make a note.  I had to drive back out to pick up the correct order.  So, my first question:

Why didn’t they offer to deliver my corrected order? 

I didn’t think about this until later, but that would have been the appropriate way to handle this.

So I waited the time they quoted and drove back over.  It’s now 6:15pm.  The woman in front of me pays by credit, so that process with the old card copier takes 7 minutes.  It’s now 6:22pm.  Then I get to the counter and ask for my corrected order.  The guy acts surprised that there was a wrong order, but I handed him back the Beef and Broccoli minus the few bites I took to make sure that I couldn’t just suck it up and eat it.

He sends his younger coworker to the back to have my corrected order made.  What?!  I had called 30 minutes earlier!

I ask the younger guy why my order wasn’t remade when I called 30 minutes ago and he says that he wasn’t working the phones.  So I look to the older man, and he just gives me a blank stare.  No explanation and no apology.  So I wait for my new order and finally make it out of the place by 6:40pm.  Still no apologies.

I seriously wanted to ask for my earlier tip back.  These shenanigans make me an hour later than I wanted to be to pet sitting.  Luckily, Pendek and Zim, my current awesome pet sitting pup and kitty, are fine when I get there.  No accidents.

Not Going Back

Now I don’t want to go back for two reasons:

1.  Yesterday
2.  It happened 2 visits ago too!  My friend and I were eating in the restaurant and I ordered Mongolian Chicken with steamed rice.  I received Mongolian Beef with fried rice.  First I noticed the rice, and they brought out steamed.  Then I noticed it was beef, and they asked if it would be okay.  I tried to eat it, but the beef was spongy as usual and the Mongolian seasoning made it worse.  So I asked for Chicken and Broccoli instead.  I blew off this experience since I did end up happy, but along with yesterday, I know that this Chinese place doesn’t care enough to read what they write down or to follow through well when they make mistakes.

I’m a little sad because their seasonings and sauces are good, plus they are much closer than our favorite place.  But they cost 50% more and their customer service stinks.  So, their loss.

Do you have any bad customer service experiences to share?  Come on, vent away!

Don’t Waste My Time!

I am using today’s post to vent.  If that’s not your thing, please feel free to click on yesterday’s post instead.

Don't Waste My Time

Wednesday was an awful day for Mr. BFS.  It started with a dentist appointment (periodontal maintenance 3 months after the uber-work was done).  That was followed with 2.5 hours of purely wasted time.

The Situation

Mr. BFS was recently elected to be a representative for his division of the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO).  It’s a volunteer position, takes more time, and the only benefit seems to be networking.  But Mr. BFS is excited about it and ready to work.  :-)

His first order of business was to pick up some supplies from the previous rep…easy, right?

The previous rep asked Mr. BFS to pick up the stuff from his office, so they made an appointment to meet after the dental appointment.  Mr. BFS drove the half hour and arrived as agreed upon, but the other guy wasn’t there.  His staff asked my husband to wait a little while for the guy to pop up…and continued that request every 15-20 minutes for more than an hour.  My hubby finally said he couldn’t wait any longer, the staff convinced him to stay for another 15 minutes while they tried emailing the guy again, and then they all finally gave up and my husband headed home.  Altogether, that wasted 2.5 hours of driving and waiting of our work afternoon.

On that drive home, the rude guy finally called.  Apparently an “emergency” popped up, he quickly apologized, and he asked if my husband had left the office already.  Since he had, he asked if Mr. BFS would come again on Thursday instead for lunch (his treat).  Mr. BFS agreed and picked up his stuff and ate Subway on Thursday.

My Problem

Okay, so my husband got the stuff and the guy quickly apologized.  BUT, why didn’t he call my husband or even his own staff if he couldn’t make it?!  Even if he had done that after Mr. BFS arrived, it would have saved time.  AND, why would he ask my husband to come back again?  Isn’t it common courtesy to drop the crud off yourself if you stood someone up for an hour and a half?

Why is it okay to waste someone’s time?

In my opinion, time is priceless.  Not calling to give my husband a head’s up is literally the same as wasting part of his life.  We all waste time in our lives voluntarily, but wasting other people’s time is theft.  That line of thinking may seem extreme, but is it incorrect?

A 10-15 minute wait here and there seems to be a normal part of life, so we all have ways of coping.  For example, games on your phone or bringing a book.  But my husband wasn’t prepared for any sort of wait – especially one that lasted more than an hour.  He could have knocked out a ton of work in that hour if he knew to bring his laptop.  Or he could have caught up on a good book.  No warning and no updates literally meant he was sitting there twiddling his thumbs once the battery ran down on his phone.

The long and short of it – DON’T WASTE MY TIME.

I would have left way before my husband.  Mr. BFS never even brought it up again the second visit.  Maybe that makes him better at keeping things mellow than me.  But it also means that more people will take advantage of his time.  Everyone in my life knows how important this is to me.  Overall, this has led to way less time wasted and way more goals accomplished.

What’s your hot button issue?  How angry are you when someone wastes your time?

PS  I was thinking about this after I wrote this, and I remembered a scene from a 1980’s B-movie, Krull, that has always been one of my favorites.  When this sand of life flows away, the side hero in this scene will die.  So will the woman being guarded by the spider.  This tells us two things:

1.  Time is fleeting and priceless.
2.  B-movies can be awesome!  :-)

Internet Censorship through the Death of Net Neutrality

Net neutrality died yesterday – http://news.yahoo.com/u-appeals-court-kills-net-neutrality-152413671.html.

Let me boil it down in my own words:

Your internet provider can now pick and choose what sites will get what sort of connection for you.

Yep, my AT&T internet provider can now make sure that I have a crap connection to Comcast.com or Netflix if they decide to mess with their broadband settings to their competitors’ sites.  And the US Court of Appeals decided that since I could simply change internet providers if I didn’t like what mine was doing, then giving them all that power is okay.  It’s not.

It’s not right on any level.

What about the people that don’t have any real choices?!  In many small towns throughout the USA, there aren’t 15 different companies that you can use.  There’s one and now they can mess with everyone’s access to knowledge in that town.

And even if you have multiple options, who wants to switch providers just to be met with the same problem but to different sites?

Keep an Eye On Your Access

Please, for the sake of keeping what rights we still have, keep an eye on your access when online.  You need to keep in mind that we no longer have the legal right to net neutrality…this is a form of censorship that large corporations will now control.  This should worry you.

I don’t support censorship.  I definitely do not support the idea of giving my internet provider any control over what I can reach or how fast I can reach it.

BITCH LOUDLY!!!

That’s a harsh word.  But I mean it.  But now that this has been ruled upon, it can only be overturned by the Supreme Court or Congress can pass a new net neutrality law (that’s our check and balance system at work).  Since we can’t really connect to the Supreme Court, we can only pursue the Congress route.

You NEED to contact your congressmen (your representative and senators).  Let them know that they need to pass a law mandating net neutrality.  You can find your congressmen’s contact info here – http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.  You can enter your zip code to find out who to contact.

Unless you want companies like AT&T and Comcast to have more control over your access to knowledge, CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMEN!  Let them know that this is unacceptable and all parties should come together to pass a new law that mandates net neutrality.

This takes 5 minutes and is truly important to us all.  Please do this right now.

I emailed mine yesterday and may make it a weekly tradition.  Here’s the email that I typed up while still fuming…feel free to edit and use it as a starting point for your own letters/emails too!

Sample Letter

I just read that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia just killed net neutrality. This is unacceptable and all parties should come together to pass a new law that mandates net neutrality.

Just think, if my internet provider leans one way or another, they can now slow down my connection speed / my access to the other parties’ sites. They can make it hard to research competitors. They now have control over all of our access to knowledge.

This is HUGE. We all need net neutrality. I am demanding/begging/shouting for Congress to pass a new net neutrality law as soon as possible. All parties should be able to agree on this one.

Please let me know that you understand and will do everything in your power to make this happen.

Seriously, Grow a Sense of Humor

Today’s post is venting.  Feel free to come back tomorrow for Happy Crystal again.  :-)

Stop Being a Baby!

I am freaking sick of some people right now!  Specifically, people that go out of their way to be offended.

Now I understand that some things are offensive – like calling a redhead a tampon if you are not Tim Minchin (seriously, click that for a really awesome song about prejudice).  But I could barely hold back a laugh while I wrote that, so obviously even that is not too offensive to me.  But I do concede that some things are just offensive, the way they are said are offensive, and that the people saying them are flat-out douches.  I will not argue that being offended is impossible.

But stop TRYING to be offended!  It’s stupid.  Here is what set me off…

Manatee Gray

Apparently, a gray dress at Target was being offered in “Dark Heather Gray” at some sizes, but “Manatee Gray” in the plus sizes.  Okay, so I laughed right off the bat, but a bunch of people were not amused.  But it wasn’t an intended offense.  Manatee Gray was a standard color in lots of other stuff too, not just plus sizes, but one group of marketers for the regular sizes picked one color name and the other marketing group picked the other.

BUT, even after Target apologized profusely, explained the mistake, and even all of the activists decided they didn’t really suck, there were hundreds of offended people threatening to boycott Target.  STOP LETTING PEOPLE OFFEND YOU THAT EASILY!!!

I am a 5’2″ woman who is chubby at my current 165 pounds.  At 180 pounds in 2010, I was fat.  I do not see “fat” as a derogatory term.  It was just a description of my roundness.  Whatever.  Thin, chubby, or fat, that whole situation should be HILARIOUS to you!  If it’s not, ouch.  If the term “Manatee Gray” makes you want to strike against Target , then you must spend a lot of time being very mad at the world.  I mean, if that little thing can really tick you off, what’s traffic like for you?  Or family reunions?  Or most comedy shows?  Or anything anybody says to customer service reps?  The world is filled with way more cutdowns than “Manatee Gray” and those are intended.

You're Too Easily Offended

Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean

I accidentally offend people a lot.  I usually say pretty much whatever pops into my head.  I would think that is a good thing since you always know where I stand.  No mysteries here.  BUT, I still seem to get misunderstood regularly.  It happens pretty often – someone will read into something I said and get really sad or angry.  Then I have to explain that I actually only meant what I said and sort of apologize.  Then I get mad or sad because I feel like I have to walk on eggshells not to piss people off.  That’s no way to live.  So here it is:

I MEAN WHAT I SAY and I SAY WHAT I MEAN.  Period.  Please don’t look for ways that I might be trying to make a dig.  I make my digs directly.  You’ll know.  I do not have the time to be passive-aggressive.  At least, not to anyone but family, lol.  I am sarcastic, but I try to make that really obvious.  That means that if you think I am fussing at you right now, nope.  This is a general vent meant for the world at large, nothing specific in mind except for the Target issue.  Promise.

What do you think?  Are people just looking for ways to be offended?  Do you ever wish everyone would just be way more transparent and then you could just use a sense of humor to handle most of the stupid stuff?

I Do Not Feel Money Guilt

WARNING – Today’s post is not from perky Crystal.  It is from frustrated Crystal.  It is a rant.  Check back some other day for happy and peppy again, lol.

Our roommates are awesome.  I mean, sharing our home with anyone was obviously going to be a little tough, but our two friends that live in the guest bedroom try really hard to be considerate and helpful while they work their way through college.  They are great.

BUT, one of their mom’s hates me.  No worries, the feeling is mutual.

Why I Don’t Like Her

There are many reasons that we don’t like each other, but here is what it boils down to:

  • She is mean to her future daughter-in-law (our roommate).
  • She tries to constantly emotionally manipulate her son (our other roommate).
  • She is sneaky…she literally “stole” a bag of chips.  I mean, she didn’t pick them up and eat them like a normal person would.  She carefully palmed a bag and put it in her lap to eat later when she thought I wasn’t looking.  That sneakiness worries me.  I don’t care about chips, but what else would she take if she thought she could get away with it?  And why did she feel the need to sneak away the chips?  That is just weird.  This is why she actually is no longer allowed in our house after her first two visits.  They visit her at her place instead.
  • She has no drive.  She does have tons of education, thinks she knows everything, but any time an opportunity pops up, she turns it down.  Despite that, she whines to our roommates constantly about how much her life sucks.

Why She Doesn’t Like Me

According to my roommates, when I am not around, here are several things she says about me:

  • I run an “oppressive household”.   (I like things to be picked up in an area once people are done with it…like trash being thrown away in the kitchen after your done eating and leaving the area for the night…)
  • I’m arrogant.  (Ummm…everybody is allowed their opinion)
  • I spoil my dog.  (Mr. Pug eats expensive vegetarian dry dog food because of his allergies, but she thinks I am coddling him)
  • My roommates think her biggest problem with me is that I have money.  Money I worked for and budgeted with, but she is not well off, and they notice that she tends to resent people with more money than her.

Point of this Post

I will never apologize for having savings.  It makes no sense to have money guilt.  I sympathize with anybody suffering through bad times.  I try to help anybody I can, strangers and friends alike.  I have volunteered with Meals on Wheels and now volunteer weekly for the local hospice.  BUT I will never feel guilty for what I work for, invest, and save.

My point of view is simply that we all have something to work with.  During bad times, we can use our brains to see how we can make them better. During good times, we can put money away for bad times.  And in all of the time in between, we can all use our own available resources towards our priorities like needs, then savings, and then wants.  Overall, even when I was a broke college kid, I made the best of what I had AND NEVER held it against anybody else around me for having more.  I am in charge of me and that’s it.

So, that said, yes it sucks that people are starving unnecessarily.  It sucks that bad things happen to good people.  It sucks that some people were born into absolutely horrid circumstances.  Feeling bad, whining, and venting are all valid ways to release emotions.  BUT, stop whining if you refuse to do anything about it.  AND stop holding it against me if you are jealous.  Jealousy is normal, being a douche about it is not.

And that’s my rant for the day…

Anybody else need to let anything out?  :-)

Dealing with Advertiser Criticism

Dealing with criticism isn’t my strong suit anyway, but dealing with criticism and just generally offensive stuff from advertisers is by far the worst.  I recently had to deal with one of the really bad ones.

Bad Advertiser Experience

This guy decided that I must not have any experience at all with anything in the blogging world because he just started spouting off a ton of nonsense and then offered me $25 for something I usually get $100 or more for.  As most of you have seen in my monthly blog income updates, $25 is freaking laughable for any ad.  I didn’t accept that sort of rate when I first started Budgeting in the Fun Stuff at the beginning of last year.

Apparently he decided that a link on my site was only worth about that much since I “only” get 10,000 visitors a month and I “only” rank #1 in Google with two sets of key words.  Some of his exact words:

“I am not paying for page rank – I am paying for the true organic fashion in which it represents and which in your case is slim to none.”  (Me:  Ouch.)

“It only ranks for #1 for two keywords…so really what does that do for me or any other site that has an incredible SEO team behind them?”  (Me: Then why contact me at all?  Obviously I have something to offer…)

“So imagine you site growing into a PR7, 8, or higher.  I can promise you it will never happen with you “selling” links to people…”  (Me:  LOL, people like you, right?  What does he think he is doing if not paying for links?!)

My Interpretation

For any of you who may not know, 10,000 visitors a month is AMAZING for a 1 year old site and okay overall too.  So THANK YOU to all of you who check in at BFS daily – you have made my site AMAZING.

Ranking #1 for ANY key words is pretty awesome too.  He also seemed to ignore that BFS ranks in the Top 10 on MANY key words…being #3 on a list of Google search results is something to be proud of too in my opinion.  It still means that I have a high probability of being clicked on while the person searching is skimming their results.  For a site that put very little emphasis on search engine optimization for nearly a year, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff is doing surprisingly well anyway.

Lastly, when an advertiser offers something so low and is offensive, like $25 because your site stinks, you either have to laugh or cry (or get angry and write a post about it).  I choose angry followed by laugh-worthy.  So, just in case any advertisers are reading this right now, please do not waste my time with $25 offers and some cut-downs.  It’s frustrating to say the least and you force me to write vent posts so I don’t reach through my smart phone to throttle you…

Thank You’s and the Opposite

Long story short, you, my readers, make this blog AWESOME and I appreciate every single one of you.  The advertisers that help me afford to put so much time into this are also truly appreciated.  So thank you to all of you that are helping me turn this into a full time career.

But, to you, the advertisers that try to short change a great site and its 10,000 visitors a month, you can go eat rotten eggs.  I don’t have time to waste on you anymore.  Consider this post a general call out to the advertising world in general – Budgeting in the Fun Stuff is a FANTASTIC site and silly offers paired with insults are unwelcome to say the least.

So, anybody else need to vent about anything today?  How about those gas prices, right?  :-)

Luxuries Are Not Necessities!

I was taking a look at this article at Yahoo Finance about a University of Chicago law professor, Todd Henderson.  He blogged that making $250,000 or more does not mean a person is rich and “we are just getting by despite seeming to be rich”.  He then went on to name expenses like a nice house close to work, a nanny, and a lawn care service.

I completely agree.  If I make $250,000 a year but spend $250,000 a year, I am not creating wealth.  If I make $50,000 a year, live on $40,000 a year, and save the difference, I do create wealth.  BUT, I definitely have more of an opportunity to create wealth making $250,000 a year than someone making $50,000 a year.  How?

BY SPENDING LESS. It isn’t that hard to figure out.  Spending less than you earn is the first step to surviving financially.

A nanny, a nice house close to his university, and a lawn care service are not necessities.  Those are all called “luxuries”.  I should know, Mr. BFS and I do have a biweekly housekeeper and a biweekly lawn service during the spring and summer…we know they are luxuries and budget as such.  BUT THEY ARE LUXURIES NONE-THE-LESS.

Is Todd smoking something?  If my husband and I can somehow save 35-40% of our income when we “only” make $80,000-$85,000 a year jointly (and are happy to boot), I think that a couple making $250,000 a year in Chicago has a fighting chance to build wealth too.

Sure, I do not have kids and childcare is expensive, but I bet there are cheaper options than a personal nanny.  I also doubt that childcare is eating up the $165,000 difference between our salaries.

I usually try to be more sympathetic, but I just don’t feel like coddling anyone today.  Whether someone is making $20,000 or $1,000,000, I just don’t think they should get coddled when they complain that their LUXURIES are costing too much.  I splurge on luxuries, but you will never hear me whine that we can’t make ends meet because our housekeeper costs too much.

Todd, shut the heck up.  You are being a whiny brat. That is all.

What do you think?  Am I being too harsh?