A new section, probably ill-advised in the eyes of my lawyers.  But what the heck.


Newbies wasting bandwidth

We're not all going to Disneyland for free.  The good times virus isn't going to eat us all up.  The kid who wants the world's largest collection of business cards?   That story's so old that if the kid ever existed, he's DEAD.  Get over it.

Before sending me any more about taxes on my e-mail, PLEASE go to these reliable sites.

Virus Hoax Warnings

Urban Legends

Rotten Little Sandwich Stealer

The rotten little booger who keeps stealing my kid's lunch.  At summer camp, for a couple of weeks now, sandwiches keep disappearing, and snack money too.  I guess the little rat has figured out that the red backpack is full of goodies.  What do you think - a special sandwich perhaps?  Our babysitter was far more daring than I was as to the ingredients. 

Anyhow, innocence is too wonderful to be stolen at this age, especially by a sandwich thieving weasel in an undersupervised situation.  How long can a kid carry money in his sock anyhow? 

PS In the end, the little weasel gave up when he met the padlock.

Incompetent Bank

And while we're at it, an unnamed bank is on the list too.   I got their much-touted E-card, made one, yes one transaction, and got a statement with two charges on it.  The second was to CompUSA  - who told me that it was for a motherboard, shipped to INDONESIA.  Think that might have been your first clue?

Oh, and I forgot to mention the nauseating process of verifying receipt.  You know, calling the 800 number to show that the card had made it into my hot little hands, to avoid fraud?  Fat chance these cretins have at avoiding fraud, as you'll see.   Especially when a call to the 800 number leads to a 20-minute litany of every rip-off credit card scam you've ever heard of.  You know, all the little "profit centers" that add onto your bill, like:

Worthless insurance to make sure that my family can make usurious monthly payments if I croak
Useless registration of other credit cards - xerox your wallet contents, and forget about these clowns
Pointless travel services
Dining kickback programs

Anyhow, you can't get to the end of the process without listening to this garbage.   So instead, I call their 800 number, punch the keys for a lost/stolen card, and register it there.  Just to tick them off.

Even so, I told them in APRIL that this charge had been made.  Again in writing, twice, and in July, yes July, they finally get around to starting to confirm the info.   Not once, but three times.  Do they stand a chance of catching the indonesian upgrader with my card number?  No way.  I don't care - I just want to clear my name before these imbeciles mess up my credit further.

Useless.  Not worth the hassle, even with the online vendor kickback.

ARRGH!  They just sent me ANOTHER confirmation form, saying that if I didn't fill it out, I have no protection.  And even though all the info is in their system, they want ME to fill it out.  No envelope, no nothing.  Talk about making things difficult!


In the name of balance, I gotta plug:


A great mileage program - 6000 bucks spent ---> $100 in travel.  So instead of spending 25,000 airline miles (or 50,000 bucks on Diners Club) to get a ticket to someplace cheap, use these miles.  Cheerful, friendly people, and a great deal - 48,000 miles got us FOUR tickets where two would have done.  That's Travelers Bank - 800-555-5345.  Yes, that's a real number.

Boy, do I feel better.  BUT....  A concerned shlaes.com user writes:

Rants - Traveler Miles

You might be raving about Travelermiles, but I'll tell you, they're a fraud.  They should be up on charges.  They're thieves. 

Travelermile certificates are redeemable for $100 apiece on any airline.  Or, you can redeem four certificates for a round trip in the continental US, regardless of price.  Their words are:

"You can use one, two, three or four TravelerMiles Certificates and receive $100 off for each Certificate redeemed.  You can collect four (4) TravelerMiles Certificates and redeem them for one free round-trip scheduled ticket on any U.S. airline for travel within the 48 contiguous United States. Free tickets are non-refundable coach class fares and apply only to the lowest published fare category on a particular flight available on U.S. carriers. Alternatively, you may receive $400 off any ticket to any destination anywhere in the world. You may not combinemore than four (4) Certificates toward any single ticket. You may be offered an alternate airline selection or times when redeeming free tickets, due toavailability and varying airline schedules. Certificate discounts will be applied against the full airfare amount and any remaining balance of anyairfare will be charged to your Travelers Bank credit card by the Redemption Center."

I wanted to fly from SFO to Atlanta nonstop on Delta airlines, and called Travelermiles to make the reservation.  There's plenty
of room on the flight.  The flight costs $539, but I expected to be able to redeem four certificates for the full price of this trip.

When I called Travelermiles, they said that I could not use the certificates to fly on Delta, because they were able to find a lower-priced ticket on United.  Never mind that the United flight is at an inconvenient time, and makes a stop, while the Delta flight is nonstop.

They took the position that their agreement (quoted above) means that they can fulfill their obligation by giving me the lowest price ticket ON THE MARKET between my choice of destinations on the day I want to travel.  I dealt with a supervisor at Travelermiles, who confirmed this interpretation given by their service agent.  I could apply four certificates towards the cost of the Delta flight (and pay the additional $139), or I could accept the United flight.

But that's not what their agreement (quoted above) (it's on their website, and on the backside of their certificates) says.  It says that free tickets apply to the "lowest published FARE CATEGORY ON A PARTICULAR FLIGHT."  In other words, I can redeem the certificates for nonrefundable 21-day advance tickets (that's a "FARE CATEGORY"), but not refundable, or business class, or first class.  It doesn't say that if they can find me a cheaper flight on some other airline that leaves at a lousy time and makes three stops, they can give me that instead.  They are, plainly and simply, misinterpreting their own rules, on purpose, and at the expense of their customers, who have relied on the rules meaning what they say.

Their agreement says that they can offer an alternate flight "Due to availability and varying airline schedules."  In other words, if the flight you want is full, or there's an intervening schedule change.  It doesn't say they can offer you an alternate flight because they found something cheaper.
Travelermiles advertises, in their literature and on their website, at http://www.travelermiles.com , "Fly any airline, any time".  Yeah, right.  Unless they can find you something cheaper on another airline, with seven stopovers that leaves at two in the morning.

So, it's amusing to me to find that they're one of your "raves"; they're one of my "rants".