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Monday, September 27, 2010

Post # 145 - DirecTV and Versus and How They Snuck It Back In There - 4/14/2010

Dear DirecTV,

You may recall me complaining, back in September, 2009 about not having the Versus channel for my NHL hockey. I was extremely upset. Just ask Marie R (Employee ID – 100180390), Pat L. (Employee 100166676), Fiona M. (Employee ID 100206372), and James M. (Employee ID 100338692).

I suggested leveraging Comcast by hiking their prices on the DirecTV-owned channels. You tried to upsell me with the NHL.

I suggested offloading some channels, including the Nun Channel, to offset the higher cost. You pointed out channels carrying Bull Riding, NASCAR, Mixed Martial Arts. That’s like offering a steak connoisseur some Dinty Moore Beef Stew, Red Devil Ham, and some SPAM.

I threatened to leave. You didn’t flinch. I cut one of my premium channels. You didn’t flinch. For months, I contemplated switching carriers. In the end, I chose eight years of loyalty over a few months of Hockey Bliss.

Apparently, you didn’t recall me complaining. I just found out that I have Versus. I just found out that I’ve had Versus for the past month. I spent a full month watching that babbling Nun instead of Hockey because Marie R, Pat L, Fiona M, and James M were in the break room sneaking leftover croissants and coffee instead of telling us that Versus was reinstated.

It’s funny—you know just where to find me when you want my money, but where were you with the notification about Versus? It makes me feel like my complaints fell on deaf ears. I suggested leveraging Comcast by hiking their prices on the DirecTV-owned channels. You tried to upsell me with the NHL.

I’m dissatisfied.


Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 04:59:47 -0700
Subject: RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367]

RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898]
Discussion Thread
Response (Patricia M. - 100191056) - 04/15/2010 04:59 AM

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing. I completely understand your current situation and that you did not receive notice regarding Versus on DIRECTV. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Please be assured that Versus was restored on 03/25 and we gave due notice to all DIRECTV customers about this.

Difficult service experiences like the one you had are rare and we certainly do not take them lightly. I apologize for the trouble you had.

We respect your time and I appreciate that you've given me the opportunity to personally address your concerns. Please be assured that I have forwarded your information to DIRECTV management for review. This issue will be dealt with accordingly.

Thanks again for writing and for allowing us to address your DIRECTV concerns.


Patricia M.
Employee ID 100191056
DIRECTV Customer Service

P.S. Have a question? Anytime, any topic, instant answers - The Answer Center provides you helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.

Subject: RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367]
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2010 21:21:16 -0400

Dear Next Consumer Associate In The Queue,

In Patricia M's (Cust # 100191056) note, she tries to "thread the needle". She both sympathizes with me for not receiving notice, and states that all DirecTV Customers were given due notice. Is she calling me a "non-DirecTV Customer"? Is she calling me dense? Because that wouldn't be cool.

I checked my last two statements. I didn't see a "Hey you! Versus is back!" note in the footer. I didn't see any email in my mailbox, other than monthly statements. I didn't see a message on my cable box. I didn't see anything in the mail. I didn't get a telegram, smoke signal, message via carrier pigeon, message via Pony Express, singing candygram, airplane banners, blimp? Nothing. So how did you notify us?

Did you put a message on the actual Versus channel stating that Versus was coming back? Regardless of your method, with as much of a stink as I raised, I would have thought someone would have made an effort to personally contact me. DirecTV should have had a prepared list of irked hockey fans on speed dial, ready to go when this was all resolved.


Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 05:52:23 -0700

RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367]
Discussion Thread
Response (Patricia M. - 100191056) - 04/16/2010 05:52 AM

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for writing back. I'm sorry to hear that you found my response offensive. I did not mean to cause any harm. Allow me to assist you with your concern.

I completely understand the way you feel because you were unable to receive any notice about the return of Versus in our programming line up. I understand your frustration over this matter and we certainly did not intend for you to feel that you're not valued as a DIRECTV customer. We certainly know that you have a choice when it comes to programming providers, and we must work hard to earn your business; thus customer service is always be our number 1 priority.

As mentioned in our previous email, We did our best to notify everyone. We communicated the good news to all our customers and posted the information online ( I'm sorry that you missed this announcement. However, this does not mean that we do not value your business; we certainly do.

For your reference, DIRECTV and Comcast have reached an agreement to return Versus and Versus HD to the DIRECTV lineup. Versus is available on channel 603 and is included in the same programming packages it was in at the end of August 2009.

Again, my sincere apologies for the inconvenience and frustration that this situation over Versus has caused you. We would also like to thank you for you patience, understanding and continued patronage for the services that we provide.

Thanks again for writing. We're happy to have you as a loyal DIRECTV customer and we look forward to providing you service for years to come.


Patricia M.
Employee ID 100191056
DIRECTV Customer Service

P.S. Have a question? Anytime, any topic, instant answers - The Answer Center provides you helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.
Subject: RE: Versus [Reference #: 090902-010086] [Reference #:090904-002483][Reference #: 090904-005280] [Reference #: 090904-007407] [Reference #: 090905-000898] [Reference #: 100414-004367] [Reference #: 100415-003647]
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 15:43:55 -0400

Dear Patricia,

I apologize for lashing out. Thanks for following up. I'm not used to getting the same DirecTV customer service rep twice in a row.

I understand and that DirecTV feels that they notified their entire consumer base. However, I disagree. We're all busy people with careers, families, kids' afterschool activities, medical crap, family issues, bills to pay, etc. Amidst all of that last fall, we were all made aware that Comcast and DirecTV were haggling over Versus, and that we, as DirecTV customers, no longer had access to that channel. There were ads on the radio, notifications on television. It was EVERYWHERE.

In late March, when this was resolved, I saw no notification. I was too busy figuring out which friends had Comcast, and how to weasel my way onto their couch. Amidst all of the commotion, DirecTV puts a two sentence blurb on their "Answer Center" section in the DirecTV website that reads, "Versus on DIRECTV: DIRECTV and Comcast have reached an agreement to return Versus and Versus HD to the DIRECTV lineup. Versus is available on channel 603 and is included in the same programming packages it was in at the end of August 2009."

That was the notification that we all received? After all the hype about how "Comcast is trying to rip you off by overcharging you for Versus"? If we assumed that Versus was gone from our DirecTV lineup forever, how would we know to look on your "Answer Center" secton on March 25th?

DirecTV should have done more. A footer note on the monthly statement. A message on the box. Something in the mail. Radio ads on local sports talk radio station in the various markets. Something as simple as an email to those of us who complained. These would all be better methods than a tiny update on an answer section of your web page, about a question that was already "answered" last fall.

I'm assuming there was a meeting to determine the best way to notify us. I'm assuming some whiz kid or committee decided that the blurb on the website was the best method, for whatever "manage from the inside of a vacuum" reason. The person or people who made that call should be fired.




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Post # 144 - Axe Body Spray Backfire!! 4/29/2010

Dear Axe,

I like the ladies. I go out of my way to attract them. I wear fancy shoes. I buy silk sheets. I drive fast cars. I had some enhancements done. I have a fancy hair cut. When I go to bars and clubs, I drink expensive martinis with expensive vodkas that I really don’t like. I took dance classes to learn some moves. I keep a change of clothes and a toothbrush in my trunk in case “I get lucky”. I think I’m a player.

I’ve seen your ads. Your products attract the chicks. My god you can tell from the commercials. A spray here (chest) plus a spray here (pits) gets you here (hot chicks).

Here’s the deal. I’m a dis-satisfied customer. A spray here plus a spray here gets me hit on by dudes. Twice now. One was my math teacher from middle school.

I think something might be wrong with my Axe Body Spray. In your defense, it’s one of the newer scents. Maybe you rushed this one to the market prematurely, and didn’t notice the dude rats hitting on the other dude rats.

If you’d like, I can send the unused portion for evaluation and testing. Be careful though—if you get some on you, you may turn into Ned Beatty in those backwoods on the Chattahoochee River.

Let me know!



Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 13:17:29 -0400
Subject: Axe Consumer Services Case #: 7540483

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for writing us regarding Axe Deodorant Bodyspray.

The AXE campaign is meant to be a humorous look at the "dating game" and the desire of young men to be noticed by young women. We hope you'll understand the campaign is meant to be an exaggerated example of the wishful thinking of many young men. Keep in mind smelling good is only half the battle; the rest is really up to you.


Your friends at Axe

Subject: FW: Axe Consumer Services Case #: 7540483
Date: Thu, 6 May 2010 21:49:38 -0400

Dear Friends at Axe,

I can understand why you artfully dodged the “return the unused portion” option. I can’t say I blame you. This stuff must give off the wrong pheromones. If you get some on you, you’ll be the one attracting all of the dudes.

I accidentally spilled a little on my shorts before having dinner at the local diner. My gosh the phone numbers.

I’m going to keep buying. Clearly this stuff works. If I catch a “hetero” bottle one of these times, I’m gonna be in business.


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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Post # 142 - War on Spam: Timothy Decent and the Society of the Secret Shopper - 4/14/2010

Subject: Mystery Shopper Job
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:01:18 +0800

Good day,

I am your group regional Instructor for Ocean View consult in USA.

Henceforth.We are looking for a secret shopper around your city and your wage is $200 per assignment. Email me back with the Information below then i can send you the procedures on what you will be doing:Full Name,Address in full (No Po Box) Occupation,Age, Cell Number.


Timothy Decent
Dear Timothy,

Are you decent?

How did you become my group regional Instructor? I belong to no group, no region, and never requested instruction.

However, the thought of being a “secret” shopper intrigues me. Here is my information:

Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly 23 Catlitter Lane, Cedar Chips City, Wisconsin 21221

I am a 45 year-old farmer. I have no cellular mobile phone. I have no phone whatsoever. I am part of the Old Order of the Amish. We shun technology. I have a buggy instead of a car. Our farm equipment is water-powered. We have no fancy schmantzy wireless internet. I have to ride the buggy into town and head to Panera Bread for that. Their bagels are good. Coffee’s better at Dunkin Donuts though.

Let’s get to the bottom of this, Timbo. What are we doing? Send me more details so I can start shopping in a secretive way.

Looking forward!


Subject: Guideline To Mystery shopping!!!
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 06:18:48 -0700


Your job will be to evaluate and comment on customer service in a wide Variety of shops,Stores, restaurant and services in your area . Mystery shoppers are Needed Throughout the state. You will be paid to shop and dine out-plus,you can also get free meals, Free merchandise, Free services, free Entertainment, Free travel and more. Great Pay. Fun Work. Flexible Schedules. No experience required. If you can shop-you are qualified!


A good mystery shopper is always anonymous. A mystery shopper should be able to visit the same location a number of times without being detected by the staff. Mystery shoppers do not take forms on the premises with them and do not take notes when they are visible during their shopping time.


A mystery shopper who does not reliably complete assignments is of no value to our company and will quickly be eliminated from our shopper pool. Of course, we realize that occasionally a situation arises that prevents a shopper from completing an assignment they have agreed to take. Reliable shoppers contact us immediately to inform us of the situation.Reliable shoppers submit their reports within the deadline after completing the shop.


Forms must be completed in detail. Your written observations must agree with the way you scored questions. If we have to contact you to ask for missing information or clarify what you have submitted, your payment may be reduced and your status as a shopper could be jeopardized.


After you submit your shopping report , it is reviewed by an editor, who checks it for completeness, detail,accuracy and to be certain that it meets the high standards of Secret Shopper®. You must be accessible to an editor during daytime hours and available to discuss your report, if necessary. Other You must be at least 18 to shop. You cannot shop a store or company where you or any relatives or members of your household are employed.

and its good that you have an idea of what mystery shopper is all about.

The following information will be needed for our file record.

Full Name:
Address not P.o. box:
Zip code:
Date of Birth:
Tel/Cell Number:
Bank Name:

I will be awaiting your details and reply as soon as you get this message.

Mr Timothy Decent
Subject: RE: Guideline To Mystery shopping!!!
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 21:45:35 -0400


I gave you everything. The only new thing you're asking for is my bank. We Amish don't trust banks. It's all in my mattress. Whoopsy, now the cat's out of the bag.

What's next?


Subject: Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,
Date: Sat, 8 May 2010 14:12:10 -0700
Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,

I am very sure you have been receiving the series of e-mails sent to you after the payment has been delivered to you. I don't want to believe you are a Ripper and I don't want to believe that your acceptance of the Job you applied for is to receive the Company's Funds and keep silent after receiving the Check.

The contract between us is that you would receive the Company's Check from its clients, Cash it, then follow my instructions and complete your assignment.

You accepted this contract and sent me your information. You have been corresponding with the company till you received payments and became silent.

I don't know why you are acting funny. I am very sure you wouldn't want me to take security measures like sending your information to the FBI in your state to get the company's fund from you.

I want you to know we really have to get this done today because the delay is causing alot for the Company.


Timothy Decent
Subject: RE: Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,
Date: Sun, 9 May 2010 22:53:40 -0400

Hey Timmaye! Timmaye! Timmaye!

Did you send the check to my Cedar Chips City address? Because I've since renounced my Amish ways and moved to a skyrise studio apartment in Manhattan. Sorry about that.

You don't scare me. You're about as frightening as a fluffy little bunny with a runny nose. You're pathetic. We left off on April 19th with me asking for more info. You went silent. Doesn't that make you the ripper? What's a ripper?

Why don't you call the FBI? While you're at it, send me a copy of the signed, cashed check, along with the contract that I signed. Neither exists. You suck, Timmaye!

Also, while we're at it, why do all of your emails find their way (automatically) into the junk folder on my email? Actually, why don't we call the FBI together on your phone, you big puss?

You're a phony, and a farce. You probably walk around town with a roll of Necco's in your shorts, trying to impress the ladies (or dudes).

You said I'm acting funny. You're the funny one. Why don't you get a real job instead of trying to rip off old people and college kids? Why don't you take that roll of Necco's that you stuff in your shorts and turn around and shove it up your ass?


Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly

Subject: FW: Attn: Prospective Mystery Shopper,
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 21:01:40 -0400


We need to talk. I didn't appreciate you sending "FBI" Agents to my home address.

Seriously? High school drama students dressed in rented Halloween costumes with cake decorations for badges?

Pathetic. You are capable of much better. You need to straighten up and fly right.

Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly


Friday, September 3, 2010

Post # 143- Land o' Lakes Half and Half / Egg Substitute Mix-Up - 2/19/2010

Dear Land O’ Lakes,

I run a roach coach for Fortune 500 corporations. My day begins at 4AM. I load the truck with bagels, cream cheese, pastries, fresh fruit, individual cereals, candy, chips, and juices, sodas and milk. I prepare some breakfast burritos with eggs (or egg substitute), sausage, and cheese. I prepare buttered toast, etc. And I always set up a coffee station—coffee, creamer, and sweeteners. This takes two hours to prepare, and allows me to arrive at my first customer at 6:45 on the nose

Sometimes, people give me a gratuity, other times they don’t. Some regulars do it periodically. It’s always appreciated, never expected. But some people think that we in the service industry hold a grudge against the non-tipping sub-set of the population. I don’t.

Last Friday, I was in a hurry. I forgot the half and half and had to turn around. I reached in the cooler and grabbed the carton, and headed off. When I arrived, my third customer, Pippen requested a 16 ounce coffee with two creams. I poured the coffee and opened the Half and Half, dispensing two creams for the man my peers refer to as “No-Tippin’ Pippen”. Now, at this point, I should point out that the lighting was bad.

As I proceeded to serve my next few customers, Pippen storms back angry, claiming that I’m trying to poison him for never tipping. He said his coffee tasted like eggs. He said my Half and Half had turned. I checked the date--three more weeks. Then Pippen points out, in front of everyone that my Half and Half isn’t Half and Half at all. It’s Egg Substitute.  He accused me of "punishing" him for being a bad tipper.

The Egg Substitute carton and the Half and Half cartons are identical. Can you imagine my embarrassment? I can’t believe that I’m the first person to grab the wrong carton and start pouring. Why don’t you change your carton? Make it different enough. How do you expect folks who can’t see that well to easily discern between the two cartons?

Think about it. Let me know how we fix this.



Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 12:09:32 -0600

Subject: Re: Land O'Lakes Ref #: 748315

Thank you for visiting the Land O'Lakes Web Site and taking the time to contact us.

Your email has been forwarded to the appropriate product specialist for handling. You should receive a response shortly.

Please let us know if we can be of assistance in the future. If you need to respond to this email, please use the "Reply" button.


Land O'Lakes Consumer Affairs
Case: 748315

Subject: Our Response to Your Email
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 15:14:48 -0500

Thank you for your e-mail to alert us of the recent experience you had with Land O Lakes®. We have notified our Quality Assurance Department so they can investigate this matter.

Best quality food products have been WhiteWave Foods’ passion since its beginning. Around here, every single person shares that goal and takes pride in our record of achievement. Incidents like the one you reported are rare, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

For us, the good news is that you cared enough to let us know about it. Thank you for that. You will receive four coupons in the mail within 7-10 business days.

We hope you will continue to enjoy our products.


Yvonne Ortega
Consumer Response Representative
Ref: N1003022
Subject: FW: Our Response to Your Email
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 23:10:42 -0500

Dear Yvonne,

You’re dealing with someone who won a Half and Half Guzzling Contest in 2005. Question not my loyalty.

I get a little concerned when I hear you use words like Incident and Quality Control. This isn’t one carton of your creamy network that missed your QC Department’s sharp eyes. This is every carton that you ship. Every carton that Alex stocks at the Piggly Wiggly. Every drop that No Tippin’ Pippen sips in his morning java. It’s a carton design problem.

I would recommend involving your design team. Have them brainstorm something—maybe a sexy new container. Something that Buck Rogers might enjoy in his coffee.


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