Category Archives: Family

End of the year Mini Bash or how to lose a sale by pissing off a customer.

Filed under Bad CS, Family

Dear Mini,

I’m following up on an incident we had with our Mini Cooper S this month and the manner in which it was handled.

While you have the records in the customer service system I will briefly go over the issue. My wife left her key atop a gas pump and drove off. The car gave no warning and 20 miles later it was unable to start ,finally realizing that it didn’t have a key.

The manual states that it will not start without the key being inside it. The dealer, the phone line and the manager this was eventually escalated too all accept that the car starts with the key outside the car. The Mini helpline email address was not helpful (incident 1-1641681520) and referred us to the dealer. The dealer had referred us to Mini so I called.

The first helpline operator I spoke with suggested I read the manual. I did, again, and it says, in unambiguous terms ,that this shouldn’t happen.

He didn’t meet my expectations of customer service ,having run helplines of this nature I’m pretty critical, then again being made to feel like it’s my fault for not knowing how the car operates does that to me. Maybe you can pull the tape and listen?


I called back, had a productive E.G., the antithesis of my first contact and  I was passed onto Anthony. I relayed my concerns that what is apparently a commonly known fact at Mini wasn’t passed on to the owners. The car starts with the transponder several feet away contrary to the manual. He correctly asked what I wanted from this process. I wanted Mini to consider replacing the key or providing it at cost due to what I consider a serious flaw in the implementation of the comfort access feature. The car gave no audible or visual warning that the key wasn’t within range as she drove off.

Anthony got back to us within a couple of days to tell us that Mini would not consider a free key or any consideration re this incident. I thanked him for trying and noted that it seemed very strange and puzzling that a good faith offer from Mini allowing me to buy a key at cost was unavailable to me. To be turned from advocate to adversary over what I see as your product failing to work as described is frustrating. Yes my wife made a mistake but it’s one that should not have been possible had the car functioned per the manual. This was during the day thankfully but it could have been so much worse than losing the $300 for the new key.

I thought that maybe Mini semi-believed it’s motoring family shtick but came away feeling very much chastened by Mini N Scottsdale and the initial phone call to the mini hotline for daring to have a problem with the car. Tack on your poor email response and I have to say that I’ve been underwhelmed by your public facing service.

How does it harm Mini to help us? I know that we liked the Mini so much I sold a great car I really liked to get it. I planned on selling our second one when the Countryman was released but now that’s very unlikely to occur. I’d still like to talk about this because I am curious as to why a key safety feature of your vehicle would deviate so far from the manual’s description.


Bits from my recent trip to Scotland

Filed under Culture-internet, Family
Tagged as , ,


Cash or Credit.

Since I left it appears that most debit / credit transactions occur with a chip embedded in the card. This means that the US cards don’t work unless the operator is smart enough to swipe it. Even when told to we had a huge failure rate with various store staff looking bewildered and more than one calling their supervisor. This is a colossal pain in the ass and I usually used cash whenever possible ( Saves on the stupid conversion rates too, seriously banks you should be dead, act like it. )



If you need to do grocery shopping there are many  “”bag free”  towns, sadly that doesn’t apply to the women;), and you have to purchase each bag. That’s fair enough except some people take it as an affront that you haven’t had the foresight to know just when you would be going shopping and how many you would need.  The religion of environmentalism allows the masses to spot the sinners and then stone them with glances.


Service, is lame. Slow, and I don’t mean respectfully slow. The drinks always go dry, the check isn’t often an automatic consequence of


These people have soda coolers, sorry they appearance of soda coolers as they chill the contents to about 3 degrees below the ambient room temperature.


This is weird but in a prior post I identified Ikea’s customers as being the rudest, least respectful of children and  possessing abominable car parking manners. E.G, When they have any event on to get a free breakfast,cheap pan or the like it’s knock the kid out the way time.( that’s why they wont let you carry guns I bet;) )

Ikea in Scotland. Same fucking behavior what in the name of flat-packed hell is going on here?  Interestingly they have vodka for sale and I was able to have a pear cider with my tray meal.

More in a bit.

Was I yelping or just going ouch? Change of lifestyle notification.

Filed under Bad CS, Family, phoenix

A phrase my father uses, a lot, in connection with me is “you’d start a row in an empty house”. Lately it seems that I require slightly more people, tables ,drink and a kitchen but ,alas, the propensity to argue is still there.  I prefer  not to complain at the point of service ,unless it’s something that could be easily rectified at the time, because it really bugs the wife.  Either I don’t go far enough ,or  more likely I am not exactly pleasant when I start complaining. Try serving my kid shitty food you will get shitty attitude. Once an eatery gets comfortable with being able to send out undercooked, salty,incorrect or hazardous food it’s too late to take it up with the onsite management that  allow these things to happen.

Here are two of our most recent outings

Lone Star Steak house visit 

The Yard house visit ( I gave away the gift cert)

I don’t enjoy paying for this feeling but it’s nowhere near as the frustration that comes from “ we’re sorry you didn’t like”  or “we’re sorry you feel that way”   there’s rarely anyone that is sorry that we served you fuzzy food. No harm, no foul.  Just our time, our moods and good will.You know nothing of value.

The change

  • No more chain meals when we’re in the home town. Breakfast is exempt.
  • Buying a new table for the kitchen and a couple of items to make food production easier.
  • Using the money saved to eat at better locations less frequently.

A parable from the Principia Discordia follows after the cut that could explain how we let ourselves fall into traps like this.

Read More »

Honda Certified used cars. They don’t actually have to be certifiable at time of sale. Superstition Springs Honda and the paranormal.

Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, Family

I believe I have a candidate for James Randi’s  million dollar prize.  The prize   awarded

“to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.”

could be won in Arizona.The unlikely candidate is Honda of Superstition Springs , after all the name fits nicely, for claiming that a car  certified as having passed Honda’s 150 point test managed to be incapable of passing it at the time I purchased it. During the time the car sat on the lot it lost these abilities  with no human intervention.

  • rear high level brake light. Absent and wiring hanging lose (88. Brake lights)
  • rear speakers that didn’t work. (103. Audio system—radio/CD/cassette, speaker operation)
  • Fuel release cap that didn’t work. (127. Fuel door release)
  • and an interior bulb that was out. (123. Interior lights—switch/door operation)

Which doesn’t reconcile well with.

“We’ve taken the headache out of used car research by doing the homework for you. So when you choose a Honda Certified Used Vehicle, rest easy knowing it passes more than just a 150-point inspection. It passes our strict standards as well.”

Honda’s strict standards  are letting the dealer certify it and in case of a dispute passing on what the dealer would be willing to do. They seem to have  little purpose other than to be a heat sink. Throughout the process the weasel apologies of “we’re sorry you feel that way”  began to grate. In short as long as the car is fixed afterwards they are happy. 

Not sorry it happens, not sorry they can’t do anything about it but just sorry that someone actually fell for their line of BS.

After certification the car sat on the lot over 100 days and during that time  the above items are meant to have changed condition.  This is why they should be going after that million dollar prize  because I’ve yet to see a tail light, wiring and fixture separate themselves from a housing and then hide. 

The speakers are unlikely to have failed  but Chris ,general manager, said the didn’t at the time check those just the main function not per speaker. I had pointed out the poor wiring and asked them to check it prior to purchase, they said they had. So even if they missed it on the first occasion  there’s little excuse for the second.

The light bulb certainly could have blown any time  and the fuel release? It’s doubtful as they filled the gas prior to the delivery and it had to be self evident that people were needed to open it up.

Morris @ Honda USA is unconcerned with this state of affairs and doesn’t  see any incongruity between the quoted  paragraph above from the Honda site and my experience.  

The remedy took 8 hours of waiting,as  they didn’t, actually wouldn’t, give me a loan car and it was claimed it would only take two hours  on the first occasion.  In the end two 60 mile round trips were needed.

All they had to do, take car, get me to work/ back and return it in the condition they advertised it as .  Annoying, yes  but livable.  Sadly that wasn’t the case.

I believe the cars price was influenced by the certified program and that inherent in that offer was the reasonable expectation that  all of the items on the provided list were functioning at time of purchase. Seemingly that’s not the case and Honda appears to  value the delivery condition as being valueless but backed up by their valuable warranty.

The dealer believes that no breach of the contract was evident which is a matter I disagree on.  Had the car worked as advertised I would not be out 10 hours of time. Apart from offering a paint warranty which I didn’t want  ( retail about$400 but practically free to them) and a future loan car they consider the matter closed.

The take away from this is that you should not expect a car from a Honda  certified used program to be in the condition advertised  and why should you? Apparently  Honda and at least one dealership believes  as long as it’s fixed you should be grateful. 

The poop: The last two days

Filed under Erin, Family

Beavis and Butthead   are often underestimated in terms of being a fountain  wisdom but   since the subject of this post involves, poops,pukes and other toilet related humor  their inclusion is quite appropriate.

How else will most of you have heard about the god that I angered and the terrible revenge  suffered at his hands?  I’m talking about Sterculious the god of manure , or as you city folks like to call it. Shit.     Back to Thursday.  I ate lunch at work and  about 20 minutes later felt the need to lie down under the desk,  not the most useful job saving strategy I know but   it’s better than redecorating  3 monitors.  After that wave passed wandered to bathroom where  part 1   of the hurling started.  Left for home. Got in door and then for the next hew hours the curious dance of not knowing which end should be pointed at the toilet began.   It’s at this point I think I pissed off Sterculious.  The day prior Dobhran had decided that flushing the  middle of the toilet roll holder would be a hoot. I decided to let it go that night and see what would happen.

Shit happens.

The next days load totally jammed up the works, so  now I am ill,  violently on both ends and the  once source of happiness  is taken out from under me.   Had to fix it in my weakened state the last thing one needs is to  revisit  day old , steeped and happily fermenting, puke.  Could not remove the obstruction it’s  totally stuck , inaccessible from the top, and on the bottom it can’t make it round the last bend.   Toilet was not cheap and I will be trying to save it later.  So I pulled a spare toilet from the garage, what doesn’t everyone have one?  and we’re back to being functional   but ugly.

It’s Erin and my anniversary today too which  kinda went down the drain.

Not a lot here? Try the veal it’s delicious.

Filed under blogging, Family

Well I’m doing a few things. These are awaiting the site re design but it’s on the back burner as Creddy adds on more customers. I’m thoroughly fed up with mainstream media which is nothing in relation to the disdain I have for the new media that feeds entirely on the former’s output. Politically, meh, given that the “Libertarian party” has turned into the worst kind of political opportunists with their enabling of Bob Barr as a candidate for freedom so I can’t really use them as something that approaches the idea that you can vote yourself a better future. ( you can’t but hey it’s little baby steps) Basically people like being looked after while maintaining the illusion that they aren’t.

Instead been Reviewing on Yelp , far more interesting interaction with people that leads to real world benefits. Yep my thoughts on how to organize society are completely irrelevant to most people. Been racking up time with Scrabble, reading books , Bonk being the most interesting

The most I can be trusted with is reviewing wings and Irish bars:)

A political camp and A poor experience at the gun shop

Filed under Bad CS, Erin, Family, firearms

I have realized that a good exercise for any political philosophy  would be to see  how well it works on the camping scale.  I’ve just been through that this weekend with Creddy.   

Simple Idea.    People say in advance what they are going to do , what they will bring.

We had the Sat AM breakfast which meant that Friday night we’d not have to do anything other than eat.   I wish.  You see just because someone makes an offer to do a meal  you shouldn’t expect them to have the pots, pans and ,er , oh  the  goddamn stove available to do it.   Luckily we brought two, why? let’s just say we have a  pretty good handle on  this kind of thing and spent more money on a stove and gas to accommodate a shortfall that came up earlier. I doubt it will be repeated unless we’re doing all the food / cooking since buying at the last minute is way too costly on a few people. 

Additionally we  ended up doing extra cooking that negated the entire point of organizing it. E.g we rest on the meals we’re not doing, ha!  


A disappointing  trip to J G guns in Prescott.  We used to love driving up there for food at one of the local eateries, buy ye olde  gun, come back happy.

Over the last year though it ceased being fun and the counter on a Saturday seemed to be more competition than commerce. 

Creddy has a full post over here and while we thought that she was being ignored at the show in Phoenix a year back this one was far more obvious. I can’t think of a single person with a passing interest in guns that  we’ve not told about the store, e.g it being worth the drive, but those days have come to an end.

I don’t know a lot about the older 9mm Smith / Wesson autos  so her asking what differences in the  model numbers they had was perfectly valid since, er that’s their job to know. DA?  DAO?   Mag disconnect?   Sorry but you only get to pull off a “superior”  we know more about guns than you attitude when you back it up with something.Anyway see her post for the rest of this it’s quite annoying.

next Up Wanted! 

Wendy’s : The bitch wants her change back too? Toddler copies it.

Filed under Bad CS, Family

We must go looking  for this treatment.  I think our expectations on how one should be treated at a fast food drive in has been spoiled by the  two local McD’s  staff there seem  happier than  BK and Wendies and the night shifts at Jack in the Box  are downright scary 🙂   Yet until tonight no one had called Erin, least to her face,   a bitch.  Her crime?  Expecting that her order and change would be correct.

Here’s the run down


(602) 548-1966

Order kids meal , cheeseburger nothing on it,   They have no choc milk,  no orange juice for option for
kids and  didn’t understand the concept of root beer thinking Mr Pibb qualifies as such.

paid  1st window, asked for receipt
said  do it next window
wrong order with receipt for chicken nuggets.
Had to wait for them to  recognise she was still at window
came back  with order correct, waited another  45 secs while they realised she’s waiting.
Erin asked , where’s the change   for correct order.
They then said you paid  for nuggets  , not a burger,  eg,  not recognizing that was the point.
woman heard   through window, never saw her said “the bitch wants her change too”
our  toddler heard this, and said bitch after it.

Called  JMJ the  franchise owners, closed. SO called  1800 829 3639 Corp relayed story.

There you have it.   They  fuck up an order,  argue about it, don’t follow their own guidelines on receipts and then  call you a bitch.  I am so looking forward to my chat with their  franchise owner:)

Emergency Room 2.0 … Post coming soon.

Filed under Erin, Family, Work

While sitting in ER for oh say; six hours I have come up with several ways to improve the process and nearly all of it is to do with data. and one to do with the kind of service that makes me want to put people in ER , sadly they are already there.

In a nutshell.; If you have to have a sign up saying; that your company cares it’s already too late for you.

Erin was carted from the workplace today  after chest pain; with all the accompanying symptoms that suggest something is having a hearty old attack on the main pump. She’s stable and hopefully resting after a long time to get from waiting room to a waiting room to a bed  in the corridor to one in the ward to having the room usurped

Early indications are that nothing immediately serious is present but  we’ll know more in the morning.

Another bitty post. Mlk day and Hockey

Filed under Culture-internet, Family

This was a long weekend due to  MLK day.   I’d love to  pick up that hot potato but frankly you can pick your own version of the man. I’m just convinced that we should not be so happy as to call this equality by any stretch of the imagination.    This country is so far away from  treating people by the content of their character but instead attempts to treat them based on atavistic ass hattery, having the right combination of chromosomes , which invisible friend they have and a myriad of seemingly hardwired behaviors  that have people acting as  a walk on part in their own life.  ( Notice we often talk about the lessons we need to learn? )

Here’s a view that may seem over simplistic but seems to fit most of my experiences with groups .Welcome to the monkey sphere.

Onto something happy.   Today was a matinée  ice hockey game.   Dobh was in attendance and was  being wickedly cute, and  while a bit difficult he took a three hour trip pretty well. He howls  along to each score for the home team. He had a lot of opportunity today🙂    This is the first time in  over a decade  I’ve made a point of watching a sport that wasn’t a national event such as Wimbledon or the Super bowl. The fan attire fits me nicely, there’s a level of skill immediately apparent that I can’t discern in baseball and I don’t even want to get into professional  football. I live in Phoenix for fucks sake 😉   Even though I never had a sporting background. I still had to play  rugby, soccer and hockey at school , I lived in the country with one non driving parent. It wasn’t that big a deal we could only afford one car.( you tell the kid’s that today and they won’t believe you </python>
 so it wasn’t really an option. 

Next post:
Boy do the American’s know how to put on a show,

Phoenix Coyotes – The Official Web Site

It used to be called childhood. Now it’s a movement:) Introduce some controlled danger to your young ones.

Filed under Culture-internet, Edukashun, Family

That these items are considered dangerous is a sad indictment of the USA. I grew up on a farm.with guns, chainsaws, poison, tractors and animals that can take out a five year old, That’s before you consider  Scottish winters and food. 🙂  Anyway it’s entertaining and hopefully it inspires a family to build a potato gun this weekend:)

That was the day that was.

Filed under Dobhran, Erin, Family

Today was my second real day back at work after the new year. It was to last  oh about 2 hours before I had to head out to meet Erin at the ER.  Dobhran had began shaking in distress and was having considerable pain issues while running  a fever.    Looks like he had very early pneumonia and was taking an adverse reaction ,   drugs,  breathing treatment and some antibiotics to take home. He sacked out, letting me get some work done.  

Which is great since I couldn’t get up the “important” story about Facebook taking action against screen scraping and could have spent all day shouting at the screen.  Really  on days like this it’s hard to get the Golgafrincham B Ark out of my head.

Oh noes, I can’t stop myself from perpetuating a meme

Filed under Culture-internet, Family, humor

Oddly enough this is my first submission to a site and I know there’s a better caption there but I am not able to reach it presently.

funny pictures

moar funny pictures

childhood screams. The good kind. Finally a use for a leaf blower that makes sense.

Filed under Culture-internet, Dobhran, Family

Dobhran, aka “pork chop” , “dosbin”, “Dobie” and on special occasions little lord farfanoogan  will be having a nicely manufactured Christmas this year.  Many licenced, plastic and on the whole  worth their weight in lead toys are awaiting his rapt and often violent attention.  Next year though? Erin’s been out in the woodshop between hobbling ( it’s like PT for her bunghole, er leg ) between a new play cube and my delightful ( so far)  bike  which has gotten us talking about making more of Dobhran’s toys.   I found this jet on my  web travels and have to say I’m impressed by it, though not the price of the plans. I think I want to build the wee one some form of gentle motion simulator but he’s really into bikes and cars. How the hell we make him a mini “hang on” that he won’t fall off is another matter..  maybe I’ll stick to cars for the time being.

Build the AQUAPLANE kids backyard fun ride!

That round up thing ( Parent’s vacation) A trip into Fear and Loathing at the checkout.

Filed under Arizona, Bad CS, Dobhran, Erin, Family

 Over the last couple of weeks my parents have been in town.  Since I have a massive amount of vacation time , and Erin’s recovering from her bike 2.0 mashup, I took all of it off +1 day to get Erin to an appointment tomorrow morning.   On the whole we had a sedate  type of vacation with much of the usual touristy stuff  bypassed in favour of the practical nature of finding another vehicle, making sure  kids trip to ER was the only one  ( he’s taken a real shine to climbing and falling) and working our way through casual diner attitudes.  I’ve  barely touched computers,  read only a few deserving blogs and kept my email to  under 5 pieces  and don’t feel the worse for it.

Purely anecdotal but since the last visit it seems like wait staff, retail clerks and most service industries we interacted with are staffed by  humorless, cookie cutter clones that seem to have totally bought into their commerce cog role.Anything that’s not in the line of being an expert at detecting false currency  or fake id’s is usually not going to interest them.  Why am I being asked if I could  find everything?

Will someone go get me one? put it on back order and call me when it gets here?  ( I’m old enough to remember that being a possibility @36)  no I didn’t think so. I’d rather we dropped the pretense offer of a service that will never be rendered.

While we’re talking about crappy CS let’s  go a car shopping.

Special shout outs to the car dealers that failed to secure our business.

Bell Road Scion

Aziz you truly suck as a salesman for anybody that gives a rats ass about what their wife thinks.Your insulting manner, refusal to acknowledge what we wanted to buy over what you wanted to sell and general ineptitude with the truth has done your franchise proud.

Bell Road Ford

Josh,  It doesn’t matter that your bosses want you to call up and keep reminding us about their great offers. If you don’t have the car we want , an Escape Hybrid, we’re not going to buy it. Tell those assholes that you’re losing ANY future chance that  we’ll ever buy from their dealership. 

Bill Luke Dodge

Ah Heather  really so SO  very close. We’d agreed on a price after the usual bullshit of having our direct requests ignored in favour of their usual  dog and pony show where they try to sell you  $800 car alarms that costs me $140 online (OEM)it’s plug and play and really easy to install. How hard is it? Patriot, any color, minimal trim and an Auto Tranny? 

I said I would  arrange financing privately and get back with you. Get a call from her before  9am asking were I was at.   Thankfully this convinced me that I didn’t want to deal with ANY  new car dealer and redoubled our efforts to get a second hand one. There’s a second hand Isuzu Rodeo outside.   I own it, no payment , fuck them all.


Bought a fresh turkey, the bag broke on the treadmill covering some produce. Not only did I have to clean it up  but I had to buy the unusable produce.  Supervisor refused to engage Erin on this and wandered off.  Their fucking packaging broke , took out yet to be paid for items which she made us pay for. We’ll see what their reply is on this one.