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Friday, July 27, 2012

Post# 269 - The Disney Vault: Give Me A Grigging Break

I sent this on 10/5/11

Dear Disney,

As a kid, I saw Disney as something pure and innocent.  Bambi, Mickey, Snow White. I remember the most cheerful woman ever used to greet me at your store.  There was one of her at every store.  Dressed in Disney garb, and knowledgeable about all of your products.  Was she underpaid?  Did she have her own world of problems?  Probably.  But you would have never known.  Her job was to make me forget about my problems.  And then you fired her.  And there went my untarnished image.

As a father of two, I am always looking for ways to save money.  My scrimping and saving allowed our family of four to take a $3219 trip to your Magic Kingdom.  As my kids were having the time of their lives, I knew in the back of my mind that you weren't exactly bending over backward trying to save us money.  It was a veritable cash grab down there.  "Sure, I'll take your picture for free.  Put your camera away sir!"  You can buy prints online.

Now that I'm out of your grasp in Orlando, you've actually invented a way of screwing me.  Take a movie that was released in theatres in 1994.  Re-release it in 3D so my kids bug me to see it.  $40 later, you tell me that I can buy it on DVD at the store for $20, but "I'd better hurry up, before supplies last, and it gets locked.  Then you get me with merchandising.  Toys, shirts, pillow pets.

Here's what I really don't like about Disney: the frigging vault.  The pretend device that locks away movies, making them only available for a limited time.  

Other movies come out, and over time, the price drops from $20 to $15, $14 to $10, and they might end up around $7 after a few years.  For folks like me, that's my price point.  But Disney never lets their movies reach my price point.  You throw them all in this fake vault, which is only your fancy way of saying that "we control the supply so you pay top dollar."  Screw the little guy.

You just keep turning the screw.  At what point do you let up?  What do you do with the movies in the vault?  Do you recycle the raw materials?

You should be ashamed.  Vault, my a$$.


From: Guest Services <>
Subject: Re: General Comments
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 7:20 AM
Dear Jerry ,

Thanks so much for your recent email.

I certainly appreciate you taking the time to inform us of the
difficulties you experienced when ordering through 
This is not an example of the quality service we wish to provide and we
hope that you find this to be an isolated incident.  Please accept my
apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. 

We appreciate your business and hope you will visit
again in the future.

Have A Magical Day !!!!
The Team
Become a Fan of Disney Store on Facebook to stay connected and learn
about exclusive offers, exciting events and new products.
On Wed, 10/5/11, Stephanie Marie <> wrote:
Subject: Re: General Comments
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 11:56 AM


Thanks for the response.  It seems quite generic and as if you didn't even read my note.   Are you a real person, or is your name merely an acronym for the computer system that answers consumer mail based on keywords and macros?  (i.e. Simulated Encoding Driven Reading Interface Computer Application).  Did they fire the letter readers when they fired the greeters?

Had you taken 45 seconds to read, you would have noticed that my note was not aimed at my experience on your site.  My note was aimed at your park and your vault and your money-sucking policies. 

So the "we hope this was an isolated incident" sounds funny now, no?  Is the vault or your re-releasing movies policy isolated?  No.

Yoo Hoo!  Anybody home?


From: Guest Services <>
Subject: Re: General Comments
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 5:27 PM
Dear Disney Guest,

Thank you for your recent email and your feedback.

We appreciate the fact that you took the time to convey your thoughts to
us and truly value everyone?s perspective.  Your feedback will be
forwarded on to management for review.  We only keep our movies in the
vault for 7 years and bring them back for other generations to enjoy and
re live the magic. The Walt Disney Company prides itself in providing
quality entertainment and merchandise for all and we will continue to
make every effort towards achieving that goal. 

We look forward to future opportunities to meet or exceed your


The Team
Subject: Re: General Comments
To: " Guest Services" <>
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 10:25 PM
Dear Tristan,
Thanks for the response.  However, I find it troubling on two levels.

First, you take them away before the price can drop a little for the frugal customer who has other bills to juggle.  Sorta your way of saying, "thanks for all of the loyalty over the years."
Second, seven years is just enough time to make my marching down to the store an urgent matter.  My son is seven.  If his favorite movie goes away for seven years, it's too late.  When his favorite movie comes back, guess what?  Now he's 14 and trying to unscramble the Noody Channel.  You know as well as I, seven years is an infinity in child years.
Other than the greedy supply control reasons that I outlined earlier, what other possible reason could there be for a movie to "go away" for seven years?  It's like sending your best friend off to prison for a seven year B & E sentence. 
Thanks for the response.
P.S. - Was Sedrica a fake person, or a software package (was I right?)
From: Guest Services <>
Subject: Re: General Comments
Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011, 10:33 PM
Dear Jerry,

We are delighted to have received your recent email and we appreciate your interest in

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. We look forward to future opportunities to be of service to you.

The Team
Subject: Fw: Re: General Comments
Date: Thursday, October 6, 2011, 9:32 PM

Dear Erica,
It seems as though we've reached an impasse.  At this point, it's almost a contest to see who can get the last word in--you the giant corporation, or me, the little guy.
From: Guest Services <>
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: General Comments
Date: Saturday, October 8, 2011, 5:12 PM
Dear Disney Guest,

We are delighted to have received your recent email and we appreciate your interest in
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. We look forward to future opportunities to be of service to you.


The Team
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: General Comments
To: " Guest Services" <>
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 11:24 PM
Dear Ashley,

Thank you for the kind words.  This one time at summer camp, I took Jenny Farmer behind the cabin and gave her a big smooch.  That made her cry.  Can you believe that?

You people won't break me!

 No Reply
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Post# 268 - War on Spam: To All The Spams I've Messed With Before

Subject: To All The Spams I've Messed With Before
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2011 23:48:54 -0400

Dear Mr. Lin Sun, Ms. Rita Douglas, Sir Gary, Menzie, Zongo, Timothy Decent, Ms. Pamela Letters, Doctor Diarrhea, Mr. Jorge Arroyo, Rose-Whose-Dad-I-Killed-With-A-Bow-And-Arrow, Razia,
Monica, Mr. James Fredmond, Barrister Garry, mr. Frank, Famous Amos, Herbierto, Nickolay, Barrister Terry Woodgate,

Just checking in.  I've missed our cat and mouse games.  Dangling digits of bank accounts, acting like I was going to buy your hamburger helper drugs, inviting you skiing in Colorado.  Photoshopping your pictures.  Even setting some of you up with one another.

I'd love to know what's going on with you guys.  Are you still ripping people off?  Do you have any moneymaking opportunities (plane crashes, ministries, dead relatives with $50 bills all up in their colons)?  Are you further ahead now, versus when we traded angry or annoyed emails. 

Are you excited about the big royal wedding?  Hope all is well.

Much Love,

Leonard Lemonpie,
Dr. Cuba N. Sandwich,
Red Devilham-Spread,
Rancington Van Mullenicks,
Jebediah O’Hurleywhirly,
Thomas Hondonshnockus,
Gus Doseflushington,
Juan Don Julio Sanchez,
May O. Nayse ,
Mr. Linda Kershaw,
Richard Dragon,
Thomas Von GumBase ,
Todd O'Hocketsmitch,
Mickovski Jaggerovich,
David Clementson Jr.,
Lance E. Antsyinmypantsy,
Pat Vanhattan,
Kenny Loggins

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Post# 267 - Burger King and Their Cannabalistic Mr. Potato Head French Fry Campaign

A while back, Burger King reinvented their fries.  They selected a new figurehead to help usher in the new era--Mr. Potato Head.  Also, as a side note, around the same time, they attempted to clone the McDonald's Big Mac with their own "Big King."  I sent this letter on 12/18/1997:
Dear Burger Bravos:

As a semi-professional soccer goalie, I often sought sanctuary in your restaurant while traveling to far-away places.  The intense competitiveness of soccer prepared me for the rigors of medical school.  Thanks to soccer and Burger King, I am now a Heart Surgeon.  I’ve seen many a victim of too much of your food.  You send ‘em in, I try and fix ‘em up.  Now and then, I like to return to the restaurant I call home.  Burger King!

I have two reasons for writing. 

First, I need an explanation about your pricing on the Whopper vs. Big King. Each combo meal includes the same medium soft drink and large fries.  The only difference is the sandwich.  At one location, the individual Whopper cost 10 cents more than the individual Big King, but the Whopper Combination costs 10 cents less than the Big King Combination.  Why the strange pricing?

Second, I tried the new fries and I must say I think they taste great--much better than McDonald's.  However, on my last visit, I could not help but notice your use of Mr. Potato Head as a representative of this improvement.  I thought this was clever because everybody loves Mr. Potato Head, and fries are made from potatoes, so it’s cute--as long as Mr. Potato Head  never actually eats any fries.  However, this does not seem to be the case...

As I sat in my booth dipping my fries in ketchup, I looked up and saw a gruesome display.  A life-size Mr. Potato Head display, with a giant fry in one hand either headed toward or pulling away from his mouth!  I don’t think I’m off the mark when I say that Potato Head was about to eat that fry.  CANNIBALISM!!  I grew sick to my stomach.

I failed to mention that while flying over the mountains of Greenland, our plane crashed and we were forced to consume the remains of our (beloved) teammates.  I strongly believe that without this cannibalistic act, we would have surely perished to the subzero temperatures of a desolate arctic freeze.  Luckily I was rescued, but the secret we all shared began tearing me up inside, to a point where I needed counseling to help me deal with the guilt.  To this day I find difficulty discussing those experiences, and find all of the jokes and “after-school movies” disgusting.

Please provide some explanation regarding your current promotion.  It would really be terrible if my favorite restaurant condoned the act of cannibalism.  If so, I will be unable to continue eating there.  Please let me know.

With Feelings Unmanageable as an Ex-Cannibal,

No Reply.
Follow-up, sent 2/6/1998:

Dear Burger Brothel:

I sent you a letter on December 18, citing your cannibalistic “Mr. Potato Head eating a frie” promotion.  You offended me by posting a life-size Mr. Potato Head display, with a giant fry in one hand either headed toward or pulling away from his mouth.  As a loyal customer, I requested an explanation.  You responded by placing this very image on your paper bags.

I also requested an explanation regarding your pricing on the Whopper vs. Big King. Each combo meal includes the same medium soft drink and large fries.  The only difference is the sandwich.  At my local Burger King restaurant, an individual Whopper cost 10 cents more than the Big King, but the Whopper Combination costs 10 cents less than the Big King Combination.  Why the 20 cent difference

Next, you boast the fact that I’m getting my hamburger the way I want it.  I like my burgers blood rare.  Is it possible for Burger King to prepare my hamburger the way I want it?

Please respond to my questions..


Burger King Response, dated 3/13/1998:

Dear Jerry,

Thank you for contacting Burger King Corporation.  As a consumer, your comments and observations are important to us.

I am sorry that you disapprove of our recent promotion featuring Mr. Potato Head.  I will forward a copy of your contact to our Marketing Department so that they, too, will know of your dissatisfaction.

Regarding your question about our pricing policies, all Burger King products provide customers excellent value for the money.  The many promotions Burger King offers ensures that customers often receive added value for the food that they are buying.  However, the prices of some individual products may vary from restaurant to restaurant.  As you may already be aware, many Burger King restaurants are franchise owned and operated.  As independent business entities, federal regulations prohibit us from dictating pricing.

In the tradition of  "HAVE IT YOUR WAY"(R), we offer customers the ability to tailor their meals to suit their condiment and topping choices, for example, removing mayonnaise or adding extra lettuce. 

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact our office.


Customer Relations

Response sent to Sharon, sent 3/11/1998:

Dear Ms. Taylor,

I appreciate your response to my letter.  However, I am alarmed.

First, I cannot believe the lackadaisical attitude with which Burger King apparently views cannibalism.  By allowing this type of advertisement, you are saying “it’s okay to eat Uncle Ed.”  Well it isn’t.  Not only is the consumption of human flesh by another human immoral, it is also unhealthy.  Your apology is nice, but will any changes occur?  Does your Marketing Department care what Larry Barnowski says?  We shall see.

Next, the fact that you have no control in governing what your “franchises” do is ANARCHY.  Society without any form of political authority.  A typical symptom of this type of environment, if you read any history book, is…cannibalism.

Serving My Fellow Man (Not for Dinner),


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Post# 266 - 7-Eleven: Happy Free Slurpee Day, Unless You Get There At 9:00.

After a disappointing Slurpee Day, I sent this letter on 7/11/2011.

Dear 7-Eleven

Happy Birthday.  I saw your add on Facebook.  The thought of a free 7.11 ounce Slurpee excited me, Steph, and our two children, Ann and Alfred.

I called home, and told Steph that she should take Ann and Alfred for their free Slurpee.  They refused, stating that "it just wouldn't be the same without our Dad."

I finished my work, hopped into my hot, hot car (92F, heat index of 108F).  I headed home, on my hour commute.  I stopped to run my 8 mile workout because exercise is important.  As I finished that workout, all I could imagine was that icy cold Slurpee.

I headed home.  I said, "Honey, kids, hop in.  Let's go!"  Alfred said, "Dad--shouldn't we eat dinner before having a delicious treat?"  So we ate.

By the time we pulled up at our 7-Eleven at 9PM, we could hardly contain ourselves.  As we walked in, we saw a sign on the door that read, "OUT OF FREE SLURPEES.  SORRY."  We drove to two neighboring 7-Elevens.  Same deal.  I called my friend several towns over--same thing.

This was disappointing.  My kids cried.

Here's the thing.  You ran out of "Free Slurpees, but not "Regular Slurpees."  People were buying Slurpees on Free Slurpee Day.  Let me repeat that, because it sounds so incredibly wrong.

People were buying Slurpees on Free Slurpee Day.

I'm blessed and fortunate to have a job.  It's a good job, an hour away.  I missed out on a lot of my kids' firsts.  Ann's first word.   Alfred's first steps.  Ann riding a two-wheeler for the first time.  Because of me, my whole family missed Free Slurpee Day.

Look, it's not the 7.11 ounce Slurpee.  It's all about being a part of something so much bigger than any one person.  Solidarity.  I had to go to school on Hands Across America Day.  This was going to be my Hands Across America.  Except that you ran out of Free Slurpees.

I'm guessing everyone had a pre-determined number of 7.11 ounce cups, and this quantity corresponded to a pre-determined volume of Slurpee Goop, which corresponded to a set amount that each site was willing to spend for people to have free Slurpees.  To serve one more customer a free Slurpee would be to upset that equation.  But you upset a different equation--that of Customer Satisfaction.

See, every time I drive past or walk into a 7-Eleven, I'm going to think of my crying kids, that sign, and the sight of people were buying Slurpees on Free Slurpee Day.

My advice is this: stock more cups and Slurpee Goop.  If you run out of cups, use other cups.  It's Free Slurpee Day and everyone should be able to enjoy one.



P.S. - I think that the Cheeseburger Big Bite, as it rotates on those greasy rollers, under those hot lamps, looks a little like a glistening turd.  Maybe you should re-think it.  Just trying to help.

Subject: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:10 AM


We do apologize for the inconvenience.  It sure would help if you could provide the store address, so that we can alert local management.  I would be glad to send you some Slurpee coupons.

Subject: Re: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 8:40 PM

Thank you for responding, and also for offering coupons.  And lastly, for taking my Cheeseburger Big Bite comment as constructive criticism.

Here's the deal.  The locations that ran out of free Slurpees that I am aware of are:

1) Allen Road in Brownstown, MI.

2) King Road in Trenton, MI.

3) Biddle Road in Wyandotte, MI.

4) Pennsylvania Road in Riverview, MI.

5-6) Both Northline locations in Southgate.

7) Downtown Wixom, MI.

8-11) Four locations in St. Clare Shores, MI.

Those are just the locations that either my friends or I experienced.  This, to me, suggests that the appropriate action isn't addressing individual stores, but rather, policy change.

If the limiting factor is cups, then stores need more cups.  Break out the Solo cups or those little styrofoam cups.  Or better yet, start handing out Small Slurpees. 

Wouldn't that be better than a bunch of bummed out people leaving empty handed, or being told that they can buy a Slurpee on Free Slurpee Day, the most sacred of all secular holidays?

Thanks again for responding, and for the coupon offer.



Subject: Re: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Monday, August 1, 2011, 8:58 PM

Dear Janey,

I hope my information provided you the leads necessary to apprehend the responsible store owners in this matter, and to deal with them swiftly.  More importantly, I hope it provided enough leverage to implement sweeping changes to the "7-11 Day" policies.

You mentioned coupons for Slurpees.  If you sent them, I didn't receive them.  I'm planning on heading over to my post office to ask some questions.  And I'll know something's up if I see anybody with a blue tongue.

Either way, I feel like I'm on the outside, looking in.  Much like I did on 7-11 Day.


Subject: FW: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2011, 11:41 AM

Dear Jerry:

Thanks for your email.  I’m so sorry for the confusion, but you didn’t provide your mailing address when you sent the list of stores in your email dated July 12th.  Can you also provide your full name, as well?

 Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Subject: Re: FW: FW: Free Slurpee Day

Sorry Janey,

Here goes:

Jerry H.
Subject: RE: FW: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2011, 12:24 PM

Thanks for providing your mailing address.  I will send your coupons in
the mail tomorrow as I missed the mail run for this morning.


Subject: Fw: RE: FW: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 3:24 PM

Dear Janey,
When I was a kid, other kids tried pranking me.  Somebody tried the warm water trick.  Somebody else short sheeted my sleeping bag, which even if it works, isn't that funny.  Somebody else tried giving me a brownie laced with laxatives.  That person, as they waddled toward the restrooms crasping their rear end, learned the lesson of the "old switcheroo."
Don't take this personally.  I never received any coupons.  Maybe they were lost in the mail.  Maybe I'm the butt of somebody's joke.  Maybe I offended some honcho with my constructive criticism about the hot dog shaped cheeseburgers, and he put a halt on the whole operation.  Maybe the person in charge of mailing coupons is the same person in charge of ordering cups on Slurpee Day.  Whatever the case, I feel just like I did on July 11th, when I stood on the outside, looking in.
If I'm supposed to do the switcheroo here, I don't know what that would be.  Would I mail you a Slurpee?  I don't see the irony there.  So I assume this is all a case of Person A giving Person B the envelope to mail, and Person B missing the importance.  Or maybe the envelope fell behind the seat, and will surface in 2015, after the coupons have expired.
I just wanted to express my frustration.  Since I don't know what really happened, I don't know how.  Can you help me?

Subject: Re: RE: FW: FW: Free Slurpee Day
Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 5:28 PM
Not sure why you have not received the coupons which I have mailed you. I will resend but you will have to sign for them so I know that you did receive them.
An envelope arrived the next day with five coupons for free medium Slurpees.
Subject: Re: RE: FW: FW: Free Slurpee Day
To: "JaneyAppia" <>
Date: Monday, August 15, 2011, 10:19 PM

They arrived today.  They didn't make me sign for anything.  You can cancel the second shipment. 
Thank you!

The next day, five (5) more free medium Slurpee coupons arrived.
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