Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vizio TVs

I'm pretty pleased with mine so far. Can't knock a 42" plasma for under $600, including tax and shipping. The picture seems pretty good. I'm getting some compression artifacts on solid backgrounds, but it's probably due to my AT&T Uverse service, rather than the TV. I'm going to see what I can do about eliminating it.

I used to be very skeptical about off-brand TVs, because of my experiences at Circuit City, and my brief stint with an Olevia, but it looks like Vizio gives you great bang for the buck. The Olevia may have been a better TV than I gave it credit for, but I wasn't very impressed. Granted, I didn't do any calibration, but I couldn't figure out how to get it to display widescreen content properly.

This Vizio P42 on the other hand, does the job very well.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Template...Again

The old template was giving me problems. I'm trying this one for the moment.


I'm getting ready to massively unload a bunch of stuff I no longer need. It's going on Craigslist and/or eBay, unless someone else wants it and speaks up. I realized I have a bunch of stuff laying around collecting dust and depreciating.

You might look around your place and do the same thing. Not a bad habit to get into.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bad Day

In addition to my fight with Overstock earlier, I got the shaft from at least two other companies today.

I shipped a TV several weeks ago to an eBay customer via FedEx. Several weeks later, I discovered that he never received the package. I called about 6 times, and finally learned that FedEx had damaged the TV, decided it was unsalvageable, and sent it to be destroyed. The problem is, they never told me about it. I filed a claim, which was denied. I'm still waiting on the official reason. I'm absolutely furious. How can they throw my TV away, and deny my claim altogether? I insured it, and followed every step they asked me to take. I'll probably have to send them a nastygram on legal letterhead.

AT&T is on my short list as well. My home phone was supposed to be hooked up last week, but for unknown reasons was not. I spent about an hour and fifteen minutes on the phone with them, was transferred through 4 different people, only to be told that they didn't know what the problem was, but they'll look into it.

Sprint made the list as well. My phone drops calls every day, sometimes as many as 4-6 times per. It sucks. Terribly. I'm extremely close to canceling my contract, and eating the termination fee. I'd switch to the iPhone, but I'd rather wait until the next revision. Plus, my confidence in AT&T is diminished after my exchange with them tonight. I don't think I can keep dealing with Sprint the way it is though. I'm basically hosed.

Oh, and it appears that Blogger isn't working properly either. It won't let me type a title for the post, unless I really screw around with it. I'm not sure what the problem is, but it's irritating.

A friendly discussion...

Here's the blow-by-blow from my confrontation with "Aubrey" from's elite customer service team. As a bit of a background, I've contacted them numerous times, and never get the same answer.

Aubrey: Thanks for visiting, this is Aubrey, how can I help you?
you: I need to figure out where my order is.
Aubrey: I'll be glad to check that for you.
Aubrey: May I have your order number or email address please?
you: [removed]
Aubrey: Thank you.
Aubrey: For security purposes, can you please verify the name and billing address on the account?
you: [Removed]
Aubrey: Thank you for verifying your details, Brad.
you: No problem.
Aubrey: Just for confirming, are you referring to your order for 'Vizio 42-inch Widescreen Plasma HDTV'?
you: yes.
Aubrey: Thank you for confirming.
Aubrey: After reviewing your account, I see that your item was shipped on 06/28/2007 and is currently in transit to you.
you: When will it arrive? I need to make arrangements for delivery.
you: I was told it would arrive today.
Aubrey: Since this is a Oversized item, it will be delivered to you with in 3-6 weeks from the order date.
you: can i get an actual date? I was given one earlier.
you: 3-6 weeks is an unacceptable time frame. i need to plan for the delivery.
Aubrey: The actual delivery date depends on the freight carrrier.
you: how can I check?
Aubrey: I'll provide you the link to the tracking of your order.
Aubrey: Click here to track your order.
Aubrey: The HWB number is 10669200.
you: The due date is 7/9/07
you: That's today.
Aubrey: It depends on the carrier, the delivery date may be rescheduled.
Aubrey: Oversized items are normally delivered within 3 to 6 weeks from the order date.
Aubrey: The freight carrier will contact you 24-48 hours prior to delivery to arrange a delivery time.
you: I need to know when my TV will arrive. I can't be here every day for 3-6 weeks waiting on it. How can I get a firm time frame?
Aubrey: The phone number used to contact you will be the daytime and evening phone numbers provided during checkout
you: 3-6 weeks is a ridiculous amount of time for shipping.
you: I had no idea it would take so long.
you: Does it say that anywhere during the checkout process?
you: I was told that it would arrive today.
Aubrey: We consider TVs that are more than 26" as Oversized items.
you: that doesn't explain why it takes 6 weeks for delivery, or if there is any mention that it takes that long.
Aubrey: If the Oversized items are rushed during delivery, they may arrive damage.
Aubrey: The Oversized items needs to be transported carefully and slowly.
you: What are you talking about? They're obviously coming via truck. Even if the truck is moving 10 miles per hour, it would still arrive long before 6 weeks are up.
you: I don't expect it to be delivered via rocket sled, but I don't expect it to be delivered via covered wagon either.
Aubrey: The 3-6 weeks I mentioned is the maximum timeframe to receive this order. However, there is also a chance that this order gets delivered to your earlier than this timeframe.
you: But there's no way to determine when it will arrive?
Aubrey: I can certainly understand your point of view.
Aubrey: But, the delivery time frame of an Oversized item is 3-6 weeks from the order date.
you: So, just to confirm, you're telling me that any TV larger than 26 inches will arrive in 3-6 weeks, unless it arrives sooner, or unless the delivery date is pushed back, and there is no way to tell when?
Aubrey: Click here to view our 'Oversized Item Delivery Policy'.
Aubrey: Since the freight carrier delivers the item.
Aubrey: The scheduled time frame is to decided by the freight carrier.
you: Wow. I wish this would have been clear when I placed the order. I get to wait for their phone call for the next month and a half, and apparently have to be home when they deliver it. This is great.
Aubrey: You can also check for updated information by calling 1-888-763-0595.
you: I tried that earlier. They didn't answer. I'll give it a shot again.
Aubrey: Is there anything else I can help you with?
you: Apparently not. Thanks anyway.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

En route

I'm in the Cincy Airport, on the way to Lake Leelanau. Gotta love free wifi in airport terminals. It should be mandatory.