Wednesday, October 19, 2005

apple came through...

well, I got an email response today. Turns out they are going to refund the purchase. (not sure if they mean they are going to refund the entire album purchase, or just the value of the 2 songs, but either way it's a good thing. I would like to consider this a done deal, and I wish I could go back to using itunes without a care, knowing that in the end they will stand do the right thing, but it does not account for the several emails I've had to write, the 40 minutes on hold, and the frustration of trying to talk to a live human to straighten this out. I will use itunes now knowing that the store is not perfect. and that if ever I choose to buy an entire album, that I will seriously consider just going to the store to buy it. Sorry apple.
You know, on one hand I understand that itunes sells millions of songs (a day or a week) and that they perhaps can not afford to staff a live tech support - but I also have to question that with all of the sales of ipods, songs, and now videos, that all these millions of dollars can't be put back into creating a friendly customer service experience. Ok, fine, perhaps the first line of customer service should be via email, as I'm sure some/most issues can be resolved this way, but still an option should be available for speaking to a human. Oh well, I guess this would cut into their profits.

onto other topics...
It's a beautiful fall day today. I might be getting out of work early today, and if so, I will try to go to the park to enjoy this nice weather!

books> Still enjoying the book "the traveller" though I've hit that stage where I'm realizing that I'm approaching the end of the book, and am not looking forward to finsihing. Oh well, at least I already have my next book ready and waiting for me... Harry Potter. And after tha, I want to go to the library (probably will have to renew my card - or find it) and read the book 1984 by George Orwell.

Music> Looking forward to the Depeche Mode new album.

Science> Found a cool link yesterday about a genetically modified vegetable in switzerland...

Religion> Trying to figure out what the meaning of "disciple" is.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Psst... Hey buddy wanna buy a song?

Well, another gripe about one of my favorite companies... Apple. I hate to post yet another gripe, but as a fan, and as someone who spends their hard earned cash on apple products, I figure that gives me the right.
I've been a big fan of itunes. I buy all my music via itunes now rather than steal. Apple made it easy and cheap and convenient for me to do this, so I can't justify downloading via the peer to peer sites. But something recently happened that changed my view of itunes. I bought a comedy album that had 22 tracks on it. (Kevin Meaney - That's not right). I was watching the songs download, and noticed that they were taking a long time, and they were downloading out of order. Then all of a sudden it jumped from "downloading 6 of 22" to "downloading 7 of 20". huh? what happened to the other two? Sure enough after it downloaded the 20th song, it came up with an error 502. and told me that there was a problem and that I should go to the advanced menu and select "check for purchased musci..." I did this and again got a strange error. I restarted itunes, and did this again, and was told that all songs have been downloaded. Now what do I do? There was obviously a glitch, but how do i straighten this out? I went to the apple website hoping to find a phone number. NO! All itunes support is done through email. And takes 72 hours for them to respond. ok - what choice do I have? I sent a detailed email explaining the problem, and asked how do I go about getting the other 2 songs. two days later, I got a response... it was obviously automated response and clear that no one had read my email. In a nutshell they told me to install itunes. (huh!?) So I had to resubmit another email telling them that they did not read nor respond to my original email. Then yesterday I decided to try and talk to a human at apple. I can go on describing this fiasco, but I'll give you the short version... 1 hour on the phone (about 40 minutes spent on hold). Spoke to one tech support person who had no idea what error 502 was, and finally talked to a customer service person who basically resubmitted an email for me to the itunes support website. Argh. So I'm still waiting for a response, I've spent hours trying to figure out how to get my two songs, and all to no avail. I then realized that buying music via itunes is no different than buying something from a guy in an alley. If something goes wrong you are screwed. I have one final option of course, to go through my credit card company and dispute the purchase, but I hate to go through all that over $1.98 - but I hate it more when someone rips me off.
I'll post back if/when apple responds to me again "hopefully" crediting me for the two missing songs.
In addition to all this, I now have lost all trust in my itunes purchase. What happens if this happens again!?
I may go back to buying physical disks now.
Apple - tsk tsk. Shame on you for not offering proper support.

Monday, October 10, 2005

words of wisdom...

Just thought I'd pass this life experience on to you all. Take it for what it's worth (if anything at all).
I live in an apartment. The maintenace people are a REAL PAIN to deal with (not to mention shoddy work, when they do "repair" something.) I've had a leaky sink faucet for about 10 years (since I've lived in the apartment). Every few months (it seems like every week!) I take the faucet apart and replace the "O" ring with a new one that i buy at the local home depot from a generic plumbing washer kit. Maybe it's because it's a generic kit, or just cheap o-rings, but they work great for a while, then they start to leak and drip again. This past weekend, I took a gamble... I saw that they had replacement "faucets" meaning the internal device itself. But there were a ton of them, all marked with special codes that didn't mean a thing to me. So, from doing the o-ring I knew roughly what it looked like. For $4.97, I took a gamble and bought the one that looked right. I usually get burned whenever I do this. But this time it WORKED! So I got a whole new faucet assembly (including o-rings and washers) and it works like a charm.
I'm not sure what the words of wisdom are exactly other than, sometimes it pays to take a gamble based on an educated guess.


PS> I small plumbing disclaimer incase you want to attempt this on your own. There is actually a special tool to remove the actual "knob" of the faucet. It's quite complicated looking but basically it works like a corkscrew. Without this little $10 tool it would make removing the knob very difficult.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Traveler: A Novel

It's been a hectic past few weeks so I've not been in the mood to blog anythng, but today is a good day and so I thought I'd post something small.
I wanted to tell you all about a book I'm enjoying very much called "The Traveler: A Novel" by "John Twelve Hawks".
It started off a bit confusing, but I stuck with it in the hopes that things would be made clearer and luckliy they have. I am only about half way through the book now but am enjoying it a lot.
In a nutshell... Corporate conspiracy, science, religion, chase, action, living off the "grid"... All things I enjoy.
I could easily see this turned into a movie. (though not as good as the book I'm sure).

If you are looking for a good read, check it out (available on amazon).