i Phone just how AYE murrican is it.

Posted In General by Haltse Friday February 27, 2009

Earlier in the day I posted this to my Facebook account.
“John is about to give in. Declare the iPhone the winner , for now, and find some Apple flavour Kool Aid”
I should have been clear in stating the terms of victory being purely a numerical advantage.E.g If I wanted to make applications for a single device then it’s hard to argue,seriously,against it being the iPhone. That is against the iPhone in the USA , or wannabe countries  like the UK.  It’s the best mobile browsing experience out there but that’s about where it stops. Safari stops a lot, a heck of a lot but it’s so compelling when it’s working that I can forgive it.
The iPhone/ iPod touch is also probably the best, and underutilized, control surface available within the price range. I can think of so many home, life and auto automation tasks small companies could […]

This kind of betrayal demands a special kind of living hell. Kickbacks for jailing youths.

Posted In Anarchy from the UK,state gone wild,You have nothing to fear by Haltse Monday February 23, 2009

Pennsylvania rocked by ‘jailing kids for cash’ scandal – CNN.com

For the judges that sent kids to detention facilities because they got kickbacks?   Maybe, but the real culprits  those that allowed it go on. The public. Those that would even support a system that could allow jailing minors  for three months for creating a spoof site on MySpace are more of a problem then the idiots  that order it.  

It’s never been the politicians , it’s always been us.

Be seeing you.

Phoenix Scottish gathering and Highland games

Posted In General by Haltse Sunday February 22, 2009
Dobh walks away

Dobh walks away,
originally uploaded by haltse.

This weekend the family went to a gathering and Highland cames in Phoenix. Usually I eschew such events because.
1) Those that think they are Scottish annoy those of us who are.
2) They murder the food . Seriously this weekend gets a worst haggis of my life award. WTH is that sauce , tae use a well worn phrase I was fair scunnered after that awfy fuid

More on the type of people that attend a gathering and have no idea what the saltire is later.

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

Posted In Arizona,Bad CS,Family by Haltse Tuesday February 17, 2009

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 UK disease that seems to be catching on in the USA: Everyone’s a victim.

Posted In political,rambling,rants by Haltse Monday February 16, 2009

BBC NEWS | Business | 850 jobs go at Mini car factory

The UK has a cradle to grave welfare state that may, arguably look after the body, but the real damage is done to the mind.

“I’ve worked here for three-and-a-half years and now I’m being sacked for no reason. I’ve been used.”

What else did they think they were doing? Of course they were used that’s the whole bloody point. Rather than being people that are in , at least illusory, control  of their lives the opposite seems to be the mindset.  

Auto annoyance.Camelback VW. Our attempt at buying a car. Honesty is most certainly an option.

Posted In Arizona,Bad CS,General by Haltse Saturday February 14, 2009

I posted this over at Yelp but after I’ve just had another surprise , e.g a loan application that I never requested, I think it’s time to expend some time on informing people what they are getting into  if dealing with Camelback VW

EXEC Summary:

+Wasted our time with childish obfuscation of the sales price
+Disregarded our ceiling for buying a vehicle
+Changed terms of finance and what it would take to qualify
+ Ran a  loan application for me instead of a credit check after telling them we’d not be using them then having it denied. In fact I am checking to see if this was retaliatory strike.

Some of this is a review of the used car sales process and while the staff at Camelback VW  insist that we must have somehow misunderstood them I don’t think that. We went to look at a car, tested it,and left. We liked it enough to discuss terms  the day after and  that’s where the fun started. We had simple needs. Tell us the car price + tax, fees and registration.  That’s it we didn’t want a warranty or many of the other add ons that they try to foist on you.  They made an offer, we declined  as it was above our stated max of 10k  out the door max.

Strike 1:  Failing to listen to your customer.

Forward a day and a call from  James called wanted us to consider it again at what they called the auction price. (Claimed car was a week away from being auctioned)   This sounded better so we found sitter for the kid,  drove down and asked for a new price. It was $200 less than previously and still above $10k. They had taken up yet another night and this offer just plain sucked. They could have told us on the phone but no they think it’s clever to waste people’s money acting like a paranoid secret squirrel on a meth bender.

Strike 2:  Treating us like children will not make us respect you or even be civil.  We should have walked at that juncture.

The usual what could we do to guarantee you’d buy it discussion occurred?  Easy  8k out the door, that’s a pretty low offer,insulting? Maybe but hey once you take the piss with an offer that failed to meet our limit  and lose us a few hours of spare time then I get pissy.  They didn’t even counter, just said no way, can’t even get close and the poor dealer’s story of how much they were in for that car etc came out.  I really thought they would break out some violins.

Next day  call about how the night guy mustn’t have been informed of the “auction price” offer and really they would let us get it for  9200 out the door Yay:)  Erin went down on her own to fill out the paperwork.

( Sidebar) I have really good credit ( there’s a reason Scrooge McDuck is Scottish after all) my partner less so, ok it’s poor. That’s ok we expected to pay dearly for this , her first car, but 20% is just plain awful. Hell when I was new to this country I got a lower rate on a new VW bug.)

They came back over 20% and I suggested she not do this without talking first or seeing if my bank would be a better bet. After she spent  more hours at VW Camelback they wanted to run the numbers with me and her ( they still sucked being a  full 12% over the number my bank qualified me for today) but in the meantime they told her she no longer qualified at 20% , that it would have to be co signed BUT if we added an extended warranty onto it, they could call in a special favor and they could see about it. This scam is so well known I can link to it:)

That’s when we walked for the last time. I could have bought the car, cash but that defeats the  rebuilding credit goal.  Simply didn’t trust them. I think the withholding of credit unless you get to the figure by adding warranties  is problematic and  coercive in a manner that I’d consider unethical given a prior indication, the reason we were even back in the dealers , that she’d been approved.   We received a call saying  “they are sorry we misunderstood”  some apology, we understand that you get so used to BS that you can’t stop doing it even if you want to.

Ended the day at Superstition Honda and bought a used Civic so HA  we were serious. you jack offs! Loan? 6%  . What’s sad is that I really like diesel cars and have bought a new VW prior. I’ve had service at this dealer prior and this is how they go about building a long term business. Morons lost a car sale, a potential car sale and  service for both.

Time passed and I just got a letter from the bank saying they’d denied my loan. I never entered into a loan with these people just a credit check. I’m doing some research on the dates/ times this occurred because it seems a tad malicious to apply me for a loan I’d not filled out the paperwork.

Honda of Superstition Springs, Mesa, is driving me to be “certified” : Playing phone tag with Honda.

Posted In Arizona,Bad CS by Haltse Saturday February 7, 2009

Buying a certified car from these people?  Maybe have someone else check it out first. Here’s my first review on Yelp prior to their attempts to fix the car.

Following on from a day two weeks ago  Camelback VW  we drove to see a Honda Civic at this dealer.  Decent test drive , I like  (Suzanne) the sales person and once again I find it hard to divorce the idea that the initial tier doesn’t know what the sales manager and Fi guy are going to pull. 

The car is a certified Honda meaning that it should have had 150 items checked and they all should work. To this dealer it means  “if they notice fix it”  actually it meant  pretend to fix it.  So yes I bought the car ( sorry to spoil the ending) but am still trying to get it to match the condition  at which I negotiated the price for. 

Manager tier pulls  the usual car dealer tricks.  Unable to answer an honest question. E.g What’s the price of the car +tax + doc + vlt with NO other add ons  for paint coverage, window etching or a myriad of other things you can acquire  for far far less if you add them after market.   I nearly walked out as the $200 etching fee made it into the paperwork. He claimed it’s an error, said it would hurt the salesperson  and the usual emotional BS they teach at weasel school. Having said that I liked the finance guy , Kiko, which is a total first for me. 

If you paid $800 for a factory alarm it will do your sanity good to avoid checking the part number and installation procedure. 


So why the two?  The fuel cap on these can only be released from the inside and it doesn’t work. Noticing this on your trip to San Diego after buying the car is not a lot of fun. Once it was opened it had so much grease, fresh, that it looked like an attempt to cover it up/ fix it.   The radio that I pointed out  had the speakers incorrectly installed was meant to be remedied on site. They did a little but still doesn’t work and  the central  cabin light isn’t working.  The latter 2 are livable the former is not.  Yes it’s picky but the inflated value of a cert car is mostly the happy fluffy knowledge that it’s been checked and has no major issues that would prevent your enjoyment  or necessitate a trip back to the dealers to resolve.

Today I took a trip back to the dealer to remedy these items. Was meant to take a couple of hours. I left without the speakers being replaced as they had none in stock and waiting for them to be brought in , plus another two hours , would have resulted in me spending over six hours in a building without a working internet connection ( Oh they have an internet area it just wasn’t working on this , or the prior, visit.

I had asked to bring it down during the week and get a loaner car to get to work and back which they wouldn’t do. I’m fed up with being reasonable. After discovering tonight that the third brake light didn’t just work but was absent from the enclosure entirely I can reasonably claim that the additional price they factored into this car based on it being “Honda certified” is a value that I didn’t receive.

In short  Superstition  Honda represented this car as having passed as certified without legally required lighting present let alone not working.

As for Honda they have been playing phone tag with me and I’ve yet to find out if they have anyway to resolve this.

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