Saturday, 19 September 2015

09:39 – We’re both working on science kits today. First up is to build more chemistry kits. Our limiting item on those is the regulated chemical bags, so we’ll be able to build only 13. Still, that’s 13 that we don’t have now, and we’re down to only two in stock.

Amazon’s customer service is pretty amazing. I had Barbara filling chemical bottles yesterday, and one of the ones she filled was with a chemical I’d ordered from Amazon. I got two one-pound containers from them, which were marked as containing 454 grams each. The first one I picked up felt light, so I tared a balance and emptied the contents of the container into a large weigh boat. Sure enough, there was only 427 grams in that container. The second contained only 423 grams, so there was a total of 850 grams in the two containers, rather than the 908 grams I’d paid for.

The stuff cost about $31/pound, so I went to to post feedback to the seller. I’d ordered two items on that order, one of which was from a third-party seller and the problem one from The only feedback option was for the item from the third-party seller, so I backed up and started looking for another option to let Amazon know that the products were light. The only option that made any sense was the one for return/refund, so I clicked on that. The item from the third-party seller was grayed out and marked non-returnable, so I clicked the radio button next to the product that Amazon had sold to me. I then had to choose whether both of the containers were a problem or just one, so I marked the option for both. On the next page, the only option was to request a refund, so I clicked on that, expecting to be able to enter a requested refund amount. I’d intended to ask for $5 or so, but it informed me that the product was not returnable and that Amazon had issued a refund in full for $62. I was flabbergasted, as was Barbara when I told her.

She said that wasn’t fair to Amazon and that I should contact them immediately to tell them what had happened. So I went back on their site and clicked on the “call me” button. Literally half a second later, my phone rang and I was speaking with a customer service representative. I told him what had happened and that I was expecting a refund for maybe $5, but certainly not $62. He thanked me for calling, and said that in that situation most of their customers would have just kept the money and not bothered to call them. I told him that that struck me as being just as dishonest as someone who was given too much change by a cashier and didn’t tell her. It comes out of her pocket, after all, just as this was coming out of Amazon’s pocket. But the support rep told me that it would actually be more trouble than it was worth to partially reverse the instant refund they’d issued to my credit card, and said just to keep the extra money.

27 thoughts on “Saturday, 19 September 2015”

  1. If they’re short changing you there’s nothing wrong with you getting a refund for the whole amount. Most people wouldn’t know they were being short changed, so Amazon are way ahead. And they put you through a whole lot of rigmarol.

    Ya gotta send these people a price signal. If it costs them they’ll be more careful.

    And if someone makes a mistake at the till here in Oz I’m sure it doesn’t come out of their pocket personally.

  2. When supermarkets here started using scanners for pricing there was a rule that if you were overcharged on an item then that item was free. If you were overcharged on 20 bottles of Coke Zero then 20 bottles were free. Then they changed the rules: the first was free, the other 19 had the price merely corrected. Now they just fix the price, so you get none free. (Not sure if I could get a freebie by *asking* for one.) Not sure if this is a change in policy or the plebs at the supermarket don’t know the old rule. I ask because if you don’t they have no incentive to get things right.

  3. Agreed on Amazon’s customer service. The few times I’ve had a problem* they were prompt, courteous, and fair or more than fair with refunds or replacements.

    * Never Amazon’s fault, that I know of. Once a book was delivered to the neighbor rather than our house and the neighbor didn’t tell me about it for several weeks, so I ended up with two of the book. Another time my three- or four-year-old daughter had bought a lot of ebooks via an unattended Kindle Fire, before the “return” button for ebooks existed. The Amazon rep refunded the rather large amount of money and congratulated me on having a preschooler who was clever enough to run up such a bill.

  4. “…congratulated me on having a preschooler who was clever enough to run up such a bill.”

    Well? She’s female…

  5. Ha. Starting when she was three, I’d have her hand money to the cashier or swipe my credit card to pay for groceries. She was proud of herself for helping, especially for learning to use a credit card, and I was happy that I’d let her feel useful. No doubt I’m going to regret this within a few years.

  6. and my kids are more comfortable with the ipads than I am…..

    6yo, 4yo.

    ‘Course, they’ve been using it almost all their lives.


    (wife shares her Ipads, I selfishly don’t share my kindles. At first we did this so they wouldn’t get confused by the 2 different but similar OSs. Now it’s just habit.)

  7. Possibly relevant: I prefer to pay cash for in-person purchases rather than use a credit card, so for years I’d carry a wad of cash in my wallet. I always told my teenage sons that if they needed money to take what they needed, just tell me about it. It was never a problem.

    … until my wife realized that I always had a bunch of cash. She’d also help herself to what she “needed”, generally didn’t tell me about it, and often left me with a — surprise! — empty wallet, which I discovered on getting to the cashier.

    When the boys were younger and had school outings I’d give them money for lunch, souvenirs, and such. They’d spend what they needed to and returned the change. When I do the same for my daughter, she feels it’s her duty to figure out how to spend every cent I give her.

    I’m also notably tight with a buck, as are my brother and step-dad, whereas my sisters and mother are constantly having to juggle income and payments and things they “need” to buy. This all is a very small set of data points, but they sure seem to fit the stereotype.

  8. “No doubt I’m going to regret this within a few years.”

    Simple solution: teach her to pay the bill.

  9. “…she feels it’s her duty to figure out how to spend every cent I give her.”

    Boy, does that sound familiar!

    “…a very small set of data points, but they sure seem to fit the stereotype.”

    Indeed. Another trick that’s used here is that if Princess actually needs x amount for books or tuition, she’ll ask for twice that and away it goes. At one point this past summa (when she was working at a summer job), she was again demanding money for something or other; I handed what cash I had over and was told “It’s not enough.” I got a bit annoyed and was then told “If you guys just gave me the money regularly I wouldn’t have to ask for it!”

    She also got ripped off again recently up in Montreal; wallet stolen (again) and the first cash she’d made as a musical performer was taken. She got the wallet back again, at least, with zero help from the university “security” people. I’ve told her and the wife many times not to carry a load of cash in their wallets; leave a tenner in there and hide the rest securely on their persons. And don’t leave your purse or wallet outta your sight/arm’s reach. Like talking to the wind.

  10. Some guy decided to take a look at the “clock” the kid in Texas said he made and took to school.  Turns out it’s a 1980’s circa Radio Shack digital clock he just took apart and put in a box. Kid claimed it was his invention.  Obola invites him to the White House. Nasa and MIT show interest in him. I wonder if it has anything to do with race and a Mooslim name?  WHITEY! kid would be in juvy by now.  Is this a macro-aggression?

  11. “Is this a macro-aggression?”

    Several of them. Shame on you!

    On the Phoenix shootings; the kid’s dad insists he wouldn’t have done anything like that and the cops don’t have anyone else, so he’s a scapegoat. Took a bit of looking but supposedly the gun used was a 9mm pistol, which seems kinda odd. And I’d seen earlier reports that BBs and slingshots were in the mix somewhere.

    Already labeled “domestic terrorism,” and the shooting at Fort Hood was “workplace violence.”

  12. Let’s see if I’m up on my crime definitions:

    Domestic violence: the worst scourge in the world, and always perpetrated by men against women.

    Domestic terrorism: a terrible problem, so long as white American men and evil guns are involved, otherwise no big deal.

    re the first, by the way, ages ago I saw a study based on IIRC FBI figures that women perpetrate much more domestic violence than men, in terms of incidents, but that it wasn’t reported nearly as often and led to female arrest hardly ever. The top abusers (per person in the category) were homosexual women against their female spouses/partners, then heterosexual women against their male spouses/partners, then heterosexual men against women, then homosexual men against men. When I attempted to re-find that study recently I couldn’t find it (which signifies nothing) but I also couldn’t find the raw data in any federal or state crime reports I could dig up. Strange, that.

  13. Regarding cash in the house: I am blessed, I keep a balance of about $2,000.00 (small bills: 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s) in a money drawer without locks. My Wife and Kids’ have never abused it, they always ask before making a withdrawal from “Dad’s ATM”.

  14. No doubt I’m going to regret this within a few years.

    Perhaps not. I allowed my son to pay at an early age. Also got him a credit card at 14 years old. Never had a problem. Now he is quite responsible with his money. Of course he is male, your subject is female. (Yeh, I know OFD, check my privilege.)

    Turns out it’s a 1980’s circa Radio Shack digital clock he just took apart and put in a box.

    That was my thought when I saw a picture of the “project”. Back in the late 70’s I was building clocks from modules, wiring in the switches and power supply in custom cases. Gave them to friends as gifts. The kids clock look even more advanced than what I had. I most certainly did not invent my clocks.

    I agree with the assertion that had the kid been white he would not have gotten in trouble. If by a slim chance the kid had gotten into trouble I doubt anyone would have noticed or cared.

    The kid in question is not particularly bright. But all this drama over the incident, people and companies wanting to use the kid for advertising, is just sad.

  15. “Strange, that.”

    Yeah. It doesn’t fit the Official Narrative. We’re right up there now, maybe even passed them already, with our dastardly late Soviet enemies, who airbrushed peeps outta their photographs and rewrote their history books.

    “…I keep a balance of about $2,000.00 (small bills: 1s, 5s, 10s, 20s) in a money drawer without locks. My Wife and Kids’ have never abused it…”

    Here that would be gone in a matter of days, if not hours.

    “…But all this drama over the incident…”

    The usual selective nooz reporting. By covering this, something else more important doesn’t get covered. A tempest in a teapot, as some old farts somewhere used to say.

  16. The whole clock story just should never have happened. I expect things would have blown up even with a white kids (wires + blinking lights = TV style bomb), but maybe it would’ve been a bit less crazy. The fundamental problems here are (a) school administrators are dim bulbs, running zero-brain policies because (b) too many parents are freaking out by the remotest danger to their special snowflakes, and (c) the Irving police are apparently just as dim as the school administrators.

    As for the clock itself: maybe he did just take the guts out of an existing clock. That at least shows that he is capable of disassembling something without destroying it – there are plenty of people who can’t even do that, nor would they even have the interest to try. I agree, it’s nothing to get excited about, but: if he had never gotten in trouble, then the whole overblown pile of attention he’s gotten wouldn’t have happened either.

  17. Dim-bulb skool administrators, zero-brain policies, and helicopter parents who pee themselves over every little hassle for their precious cupcakes, when they themselves are also precious cupcakes, no wonder the kids turn out the same.

    The stories I hear from siblings down in MA would be hilarious if they weren’t so awful; between idiot parents, the skools and colleges, and the media, the kidz don’t have much of a chance anymore. To the point that a lot, if not most, of the stuff, we talk about here on this board would be met with clueless blank stares by them and their parents.

  18. re: the clock story

    What I don’t see from the stories covering this event was any attempt to evacuate the school if the police did in fact suspect the device may have been a bomb.

  19. Jerry P expresses some healthy skepticism about li’l Ahmed and his “clock”:

    “Never ascribe to malice and all that, but I wonder if someone didn’t put this Moslem kid named Mohammed up to this. It was, after all, on 9/11. Security would be on alert. So he chooses 9/11 to bring something that looks like a fake bomb to school?”

  20. Our potential future here, at least in the southern states and big cities:

    What chance do ordinary citizens have when they’re up against both criminal gangsta scum AND their own gummint? And no one cares; as was mentioned in the article; we prattle about the failed state to our south and yet can’t imagine the resulting refugee crisis that may erupt if that place blows up into another civil war. It could get bad enough that we’d then send in our armed forces.

    Glad we don’t have this stuff happening with Canada, yikes! Imagine millions of Canadians rushing south into our cities! Everyone knows they’re mostly murderers, rapists, drug dealers and gangstas…..oh wait….whoops. Another micro-aggression.

    So sorry.

    My bad.

  21. There was one Canadian murderer (murdereress?) here a few years back. The wife of a Canadian AF officer who was stationed here convinced her boyfriend (a semi-local yokel, retired USAF enlisted man) to murder her husband. He did so, with a carpenter’s hammer, in the front yard of the house. By the time the cops figured it all out and tracked down the hammer-man, she’d hauled ass back to Winnipeg. At that point, the Canadian Foreign Ministry refused to hand her over, per the extradition treaty, because she’d been indicted under a capital offense. After several years of back and forth she was eventually brought back here, where we Florida taxpayers get to pay to warehouse her for the next n years.

  22. Very nice. I think I remember something vaguely about that case being in the nooz down here. What happened with the hammer guy?

    Well, it’s just a dahn good thing that our northern border is secure!

    I might be doing another little recon on it tomorrow…we’ll see…I’m told by locals who know, that there are certain sites along it here in Vermont which see regular passing back and forth with zero interference from Customs or the Border Patrol; they only got so many guys and so many sensors and can’t be everywhere all the time and anyway turn a blind eye to normal economic activity.

  23. One thing I noticed about the clock fiasco: there are no reports of evacuating the classroom, the school, or the general neighborhood. That tells me that no one believed that the device was a bomb, or was dangerous in any way. The real reason the kid was punished is that he failed to cower and show adequate submission. The statements by the police to the press support this.

  24. The kid’s father, the anti-anti-Muslim activist, no doubt coached him in escalating a confrontation.

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