Category Archives: Just saying

like it says, just saying.

My Netflix experience and ratings

We have had Netfix for exactly one month and one week now. For the first month, we had absolutely no issues with our ability to stream with them, the free trial ran perfectly. I loved it, with a lot of shows I could not get anywhere else, quality of streaming, ease of access. But the moment we got home from a trip and realized our free trial had ended, because our cards had been changed during our free trial and we forgot to update it in our account, that all changed. Ok, all updated and ready to go. Or so we thought. The moment we updated our payment info and had access again, we began to have streaming issues. What does one do when one has issues streaming? Call your service provider (our ISP that is).

After testing that and rebooting our modem here, and checking that all our other streaming programs were working perfectly fine, I then went to Netflix web site to do their trouble shooting. As I am the techy in our house, I did this … and I did it again the next day, and the next, and … for a whole week I have done this multiple times a day. Disconnecting our account, rebooting our Roku devices, logging back in, unplugging the box, plugging it back in – over and over and over. Finally, today, I logged on to their live chat.

Mind you, any other service I have had an issue with has been able to walk me through the steps and when that did not work, (sometimes before even trying that) check their systems for any ongoing issues. They have been able to admit they were having issues and give an estimate as to when those issues may be resolved. But not Netflix. Their tech support – who obviously had never used their own product on the Roku, nor had proper training to identify what the so called message should have been, based on their inability to understand how it worked – had me jump through the same hoops I had been jumping through all week, exactly the same trouble shooting they provide in their support page with nothing new at all. Once I explained I had been doing all that for a week already with no effect, the tech support indicated he had ‘already spent enough time on’ me, and please follow these steps, giving me a link to the page I had been using for days to try and get it to work. I then explained I had done this repeatedly with no results. His response was, and I kid you not, “just use these steps, they work every single time, they do.”

I just left chat at that point as it was obvious he had drank the koolaid or was going from a script (badly I may add) and was never going to admit the issue was on their end or give me any idea when the issue might be fixed. There is a chance that Netflix tech support is never even given proper information on any issues with their own systems. While I knew that if we cancel our account we would not get a refund (despite the issues beginning the minute we paid for the service) and they would allow us to continue using the service until our billing was due again. But I decided to check out their warranty again anyway. This is what it says about the quality of their service:

“NETFLIX DOES NOT GUARANTEE, REPRESENT, OR WARRANT THAT YOUR USE OF THE NETFLIX SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE. NETFLIX SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR THE USE OF APPLICATIONS, NETFLIX READY DEVICES, AND NETFLIX SOFTWARE (INCLUDING THEIR CONTINUING COMPATIBILITY WITH OUR SERVICE).”

This is directly from their terms of service, you know, the ones no one ever reads (and they count on that). So they are offering a service that is constantly failing to play (buffering every few minutes at certain points) and expect you to pay when they basically won’t even guarantee any service at all. With this little clause, they are saying that if you pay us and it suddenly stops working, so sad, too bad, we got your money anyway. So why would they ever admit there was an issue on their end? They have no motivation to, as they say right here they are not responsible for the quality or even ability for it to work.

Mind you, I am not talking about an occasional buffering. I am talking about a constant interruption, nearly every few minutes, in my streaming. On a streaming device, I expect that I will get occasional buffering. I do. But what was happening to us was absolutely ridiculous, and for them to not even give their tech support any other skills or knowledge than they put in print on their web site for users to follow on their own is idiotic at best.

My only explanation on why it worked so wonderfully during the free trial is that it was the classic bait and switch with their streaming servers. I suspect that, while on the free trial, we were placed on a server with a higher quality (or fewer users) and once we began our actual payment cycle, our server was switched to one which is overloaded or of a poorer quality. Then again, due to the incompetence of their tech support, I cannot be sure of this.

My ratings on the Netflix experience: 4 stars on shows available, 1 star on their tech support, both in chat and in print, 1 star on customer service due to the snark received by Daniel, my chat tech specialist who knew less about what was going on than I did, 5 stars on quality of streaming during the free trial, 2 stars on quality of streaming once the free trial ended. All in all a 2.6 star service, don’t bother past your free trial.

** update, a few moment after I mentioned I was a journalist (OK, maybe not currently employed as one, but …) and apparently my only solution was to cancel our subscription and write a scathing review, our service is so much better. Hmmm, wonder if the two are somehow connected? Not saying, just saying.

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the good, the bad, and the worst of it.

When I first began writing this blog, it was because I am from a small town and moving to the suburbs of a large city was quite a change for me – something which I wanted to document to the extent my time allowed. I have been rather remiss in this endeavor. But today, I am reminded once more of the differences between small town life, where everyone knows everyone else, and the suburbs where everyone knows their next door neighbor, maybe, and that is about it. To that extent, small own people are more responsible when dealing with others, compared to suburban people, as they have the whole town to answer to. Things such as what I am about to describe would never happen in a small town, it simply would never be tolerated by the people there, nor those who employ them.

My reminder actually began last week but was brought to my full realization today, so I will begin with last weeks happenings in regards to our trash service. We have our waste services through Waste Management. For those of you who are not from around here, they are the biggest waste removal company in all of the Chicagoland area. As a result, they have apparently not only become desensitized to complaints, but seem to not care at all about their customers – knowing that in many areas they are the only option available unless one wishes to drive their own trash directly to the dump. In essence, they know they have you over a barrel and seem to enjoy holding that power over your head.

Last weeks pick up we had our usual garbage out plus a small tub with some empty mulch bags on top. In another can the top had a bag with a few handfuls of weeds (soil attached to get the whole weed) and under it was all our regular daily garbage. The third can is the kind which has a metal handle to attach to the dump part of the truck and be raised by automation into the bin instead of the garbage men having to lift it themselves. We also had a couch out, of which we were not sure they would take without a special a call and were prepared for that. When I came home from work, I found that while they emptied the can which could be placed on the lift, they had left the other trash can and the small tub with not much more but empty bags which had contained mulch in it as well as the couch. My husband called them and they indicated they would come back out to pick them up. Mind you, our house is up for sale, so normally we would simply bring them back in and take them back out the next week and they would pick them up when I am home. Later, when we had a showing and the trash was still at the curb waiting to be picked up, I called again to find out why they had not sent someone out to pick it up yet. I was then told the driver said the cans weighed over 50 pounds (which is a violation since they can only be 50 pounds – when I was a child they could be up to 75, which leaves me wondering if waste companies hiring weaker people or if in general workers are less capable) which was not true. I can barely lift 40 pounds and was able to lift it and move it back to the house when I discovered they were not coming. The woman on the phone kept interrupting and telling me over and over what their worker had said, and I kept repeating it was not true and he was lying. It is not the first time we have had this issue, which I told her, and she just insisted on repeating herself. Perhaps she had an off day or perhaps she should not be in customer service, either way, nothing was accomplished but to agitate me more. We filed a complaint but it was not until I tweeted about it that I got any kind of concerned response. I am still awaiting an answer.

Due to the lies of the Waste management employee (as I said, not the first time either) we had to go out and buy another trash can to contain all of this weeks waste. I woke up late and I came out to see that the trash had been taken – good, they finally did their job even though it may have cost us a offer on our house from several people in the mean time, what with extra trash sitting at my house and all. Later I go out to move the trash cans back to the house and find they have broken the new one! This would be the fourth trash can in 5 years, all of which are the ones they need to lift and dump into the can except for the first one, which was a nice one with the metal bar to put on the lift (also why I did not purchase a nice one again). So a $50 can the two $10 can and now the new one which was $17. It would be much less hassle and cost to drive the trash to the dump ourselves!

As a result, my husband has called a direct line to a manager named Ed and lodged another complaint … we shall see if that does any good. As for myself, I am calling to see if there is another company who can service our area or not. If not, then off to the used car lot I may go to buy an old beat up truck for the specific purpose of taking my own trash to the dump. Oh, and I will be requesting reimbursement for not just the trash can they broke today (which had and attachable lid so it would not fill with water when the lid blew away or was thrown away, as happen to the last 2 cans that left them to fill with water when it rains … but the lid is no longer attached after today), but every trash can they have broken in the 5 years we have been here. AND I want it taken not from the companies money, but from the employees money directly. After all, it is his fault, not the company, that he keeps breaking my trash cans.

Some of you may wonder why we have had such issues when other people in the area have not. It boils down to my ill advised attempt to HELP our trash man one day when we first moved in and had what I thought was extra trash at the curb. He was rude, condescending, and sexist when he addressed me. He also tried to get me to pay for the extra (which I later found out was within our limits of trash we are allotted put out) and when I did not, he left it. My husband called to complain about the left trash and the drivers attitude towards me when I had done nothing more than offer help, something that I have done in my home town in the past and it was always a welcome offer, even if they never took it. We suspect the driver received a reprimand, so when he has refused to pick up trash when I am not home since that issue, we have wheeled it in and actually added to it if we needed to in order to keep from having to buy another can, and wheeled it back out the next week! We did this so he would stop breaking our trash cans … it was not successful. But today was more evidence of it.

What this boils down to is this … the difference between an employee living in the area he works and having to answer to his neighbors for the quality of his service and not. If he lived in our neighborhood, if this was a small town, he would no longer hold his job! Small town people take pride and responsibility in their work because they are taught to and because they know their neighbors will not only be effected but will call them out if they are slacking. In a suburb like this, apparently there is no personal accountability for the people who work to provide our services. Sure, the suburbs are close to the big city and have a lot to offer in other ways, but the trade off to me sometimes does not seem worth it. Just saying …

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Parenting 101 ~ a lesson in how NOT to parent!

Yes, a lesson in how not to parent is a pretty strong sentiment. But when I look at some of what is going on in the world today, much of it done by parents in regards to raising their children or acting as examples for their children, I have to say it is no wonder the next generation is doing so poorly in regards to leaning how to be productive, responsible honorable human beings. But today, I am only tackling one of these particularly offensive issues.

That issue would be the seemingly innocent (or I assume parents who do this do not understand the real consequences of their actions) act of posting humiliating videos of your child, specifically under some kind of mood altering experience that they probably will not remember later in the day even doing. You have seen the videos I am sure, on Facebook and other social media sites, where children are videotaped by their parents and then later those parents post said video to see if it will be laughed at, enjoyed or go viral. These are the videos which show children at the dentist (usually) or directly after some surgery when the child is still coming out of anesthesia. Frankly, all I have to say about parents who do that is why has someone not called human services child protection agency on your sorry behind?! Seriously!

I know many of my readers will think, at first, what an overreaction this is. But I want you to think past the moment of laughter these things apparently cause (I never have) and past the idea of the humiliation of the child and think seriously about this for a second. Children (and especially teenagers) are already in a situation simply by being a teenager, where they are bullied for being different, are just developing their sense of self, are already insecure (even cheerleaders and jocks are insecure, they just hide it well) and the key point here, are UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A NARCOTIC!

As a parent and step parent, having raised gown children, I can tell you that life will be full of humiliating things for your child. It is not your job as a parent to highlight those humiliations for the whole world. It is supposed to be your job to shield them from pain, be the person they can go to when they are humiliated so they can learn how to appropriately deal with it, and protect them from as much real suffering as possible. I can also tell you that I completely understand wanting to show minor missteps or wonderful joys that your child has gone through with the world. A video showing your son or daughter as they sing in the choir is a wonderful thing for a parent to do. Show how they are changing the world for the better like that Up-Worthy site does, great! Your kid accidentally kicked another in the groin while playing soccer? Sure, upload that. There is nothing wrong with a little playful learning in humility. But there is a vast difference between humility and humiliation!

You may be asking yourself, what is the difference between my last example of the soccer game kick and the uploads of children at the dentist bobbling around like drunken sots and stammering out barely coherent phrases based on imagined things while they are under the influence. Ok, do I really need to spell that difference out? If I do then you may never understand what is wrong and may need to look in the mirror when it comes to the phrase I utter regularly about what is wrong with humanity today. And I am pretty sure none of my readers’ need it explained to them. But here it goes anyway. In the soccer episode, the child was in full control of their behavior, completely aware of what they were going and it was an accident (or maybe not, I am not the judge here of that.) You are not exposing your child’s inner fears and drug hazed hallucinations with the world for them to make fun of your child with! Congratulations to the parent who just encouraged the whole world to humiliate and bully your child, you have just won the worst parent in the world award.

My biggest question is why? Why would a parent, who is supposed to be smarter than a child, and supposed to protect and teach a child what is right and wrong, do something so potentially damaging to their own children? To me, this is equal to the abuse of parents who hit their children for punishment, only you are encouraging the world to do it with you!

I can hear the argument to my last paragraph now. It goes something like this “My child did not mind, I asked them.” uhm, and you do not understand what is wrong with that statement if you have ever done anything like this before … obviously. Let me explain it then. Because they are your CHILD! They look to you to protect them! They trust you! They are children and have no idea what is good for them or not still! Until they are 18 (frankly I think it is more like 25, but legal age is 18) they are still coming into their own, they still need guidance to figure out what is good and what is bad and proper ways to treat people in the world. You are the parent. In theory, you have learned this (though, with these types of videos about, I question that) and you are responsible for teaching your child to be a good, trustworthy, hardworking responsible patient and caring individual. Nothing about this has any semblance of those traits. YOU are your best example to your child, and if you post a video of them under the influence and doing or saying humiliating things, what are you actually teaching your child? That it is ok to humiliate and embarrass others, especially others whom you have power over.

If you ever wondered what is wrong with the world today, take a look at the ay parents are raising their children. Better yet, look at how you do and see if there is anything you could do better, or anything you might regret doing or not want to pass on down the line to your own child that will eventually be passed down to your grandchildren. We cannot change other people or how they raise their own children, but we can try to lessen the stupidity by raising ours right. Just saying.

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