lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
So tell me, if I sold you an item which failed within a few weeks of purchase, and I had shelves full of that same item, would it not be reasonable to expect that you could simply bring it back, and get a replacement? After all, it's not your fault the thing is defective. I, as the seller, should have the responsibility to repair it, or negotiate a replacement for my stock from the manufacturer. I mean I am the one who agreed to purchase these items from that manufacturer, or at least to sell their items. That transaction is between me and the manufacturer; your transaction is with me. Right?

Well, you'd think so, but no. T-mobile sells me a phone. Six weeks later, said phone prompts me to run an update. Said phone is now fried. Clearly, this is a manufacturer flaw. After all, I didn't use it to pound nails, I didn't drop it in the john, I didn't try to unlock, jailbreak, or otherwise hack it. So, what does T-mobile do?

They will exchange it for a refurbished phone (for my new one, which I haven't even paid for yet). When? Oh, about 10-12 days.

Mind you they have oodles of this exact device on their shelves right now. But they are not willing to handle the hassle of dealing with faulty devices with their supplier; they shift that onto the customer. Can you imagine if their stores had to issue replacements for every defective device? Wow! They'd never sell another defective phone! Think of the quality control! But because they know damned well they have you by the short n' curlies, they are free to force the consumer to contend with it.

On the upside? They can offer expedited shipping of my refurbished replacement! For only an extra $19.95, they can *maybe* get it to me this week! Aw, it's so good to see that they really care about the customer. Isn't that kind of like offering to let me buy some lube for my rape?

ETA:About that refurb replacement? Refurbished phones, when purchased from them, cost between 22-26% less than new. So, I am making payments on the price of a new phone, when I will be carrying a refurbished phone. This is a difference of $64, which they absolutely will not adjust on my account.

Best of all, they just got bought by AT&T, so they are bound to get nothing but worse. I love tech, I really do, but sometimes, I miss the days before cell phones. Then again, it's not like the 'Bells were much better. As a good buddy of mine used to say: "I didn't know he vas a Nazi; I thought he vorked for ze phone company!" The more things change....
lunadelcorvo: (Ask the devil to behave)
Read this: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/21/947947/-The-Koch-Brothers-End-Game-in-Wisconsin

No, really, I mean it; read it. This union thing? It's a shell game, a diversion. A Big, loud, straw man. Not that it's not important, far from it! Selling out the infrastructure workers anywhere is not just bad business, it's monumentally stupid. Not that Walker won't take whatever concessions he can wring from the unions along the way, and be damned happy about it; we all know he will. But let's review a few things:

Wisconsin HAD a budget surplus when Walker came into office.

Wisconsin lost that surplus almost immediately to "business tax cuts" (I'm guessing I know which kinds of businesses benefitted from those cuts, and it's NOT the local, small businesses....) and a health care bill that Walker put in place.

NOW Walker has this mad crisis to offset the deficit (which he created.)

So enter the deunionizing schtick, which everyone knows won't help the budget, but will only hurt more or less everyone.

Now, let's pause here, and look at Walker's big supporters. To whom does Walker owe his office? It's not a new or unknown name, and it's no surprise either. Koch brothers, directly, and through the sort of money-shifting voodoo they do so well, pretty much bought this guy the Governorship.

OK, here's where it gets dicey, but stick with me a minute more. Why does this matter? What do the Koch brothers or their interests have to do with unions in Wisconsin? Well, not much, and that's just the mystery. Until one looks closely at the REST of the budget Walker is pushing.

Say Walker concedes on the union issues, and admits defeat. The Dems come home, the budget passes, and there is much rejoicing. But what's in the rest of the budget? How about this little gem, so far unnoticed, and unremarked:

"Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state."

I hear you saying "Huh?" What this little bit of jargon does is allow the state government to sell off any public utility or power plant to a private entity anytime, for whatever price it likes, with no oversight. Let that sink in a second.

By sneaking this provision in under the union kerfluffle, Walker can now hand over Wisconsin's public utilities to anyone he likes. And who do we suppose he likes? The folks that put him in office, of course. Considering the assets already owned by the Kochs in Wisconsin, this could create a staggering monopoly.

So if Walker's budget, even with removal of the anti-union component, passes with this provision, the only thing keeping such a monopoly from happening would be Walker's sense of fair play and desire to protect the citizens of Wisconsin from being raped at the hands of a massive corporate monopoly.

Anyone want to take any bets on that?

Didn't think so.

Spread the word, pass this around.....

Miscellanea

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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities

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