nlbarber: (Default)
TL;DR - frustrations with Audible and Amazon, only partly because I'm being stubborn.

The background:
I have an Audible account that predates Amazon's purchase of Audible. I'm trying to keep my accounts at the 2 A's separate, mostly to avoid that feeling that Amazon is swallowing the world…at least what Google isn't getting to first.

I bought the Audible version of John Scalzi's Lock In, which comes in 2 flavors, narrated by Wil Wheaton or Amber Benson. (I'll not say why as Scalzi is treating it as a spoiler for now.) Somewhere I read that the ebook would also come along with the audiobooks, and indeed, when I to to my library on Audible, there's an icon beside Lock In that says "Congrats. You own this title as both a Kindle book and an audiobook so you're ready to seamlessly switch between the two."

Probably because the accounts aren't linked, I can't see the ebook for Lock In in my Kindle app or account at Amazon. On to technical support, using the chat client at Audible.

I start with Shaneha from Shaneha reads my problem statement, entered before the chat started, tells me I have to talk to Amazon, and dumps me over there without waiting for a response.

Next up is Liv, though the chat says she's at Audible, not Amazon. Liv says because it's related to an ebook she has to transfer me to their Kindle Department. At least she asks if thats OK.

Now comes Ashwani, the stereotype of "customer support". Chat software still says, but he does seem to be from Amazon. He asks for name, email, address to verify that I'm the account holder, sends a link to the Amazon page for Lock In to be sure we're talking about the right book, then starts pasting in text from the Whispersync help file. I hate that…..

Ashwani then tells me there is no Lock In Kindle ebook. Funny, I can see it all over the Amazon page. Then he says "this book is readily not available due to some correction purpose and once it will available on the website, you can purchase for only kindle ebook." I ask if I can chat with his supervisor as he isn't grasping my problem: he says his supervisor isn't available. Right.

I got a little testy, re-explained that I don't need to buy the ebook but to find out how to access the one Audible says I own. He says he'll transfer me to "our kindle specialized team".

Now comes Kathleen. Chat still says "from"…let's just ignore that as non-informative. Kathleen asks more questions on the purchase, then asks for the order number from Audible, as she can't see that. But as soon as I give it to her, she says she has to transfer me to Audible.

Do you see it coming? I get connected to Shaneha. Again. She'll "be happy to help me with my issue". I ask to speak to her supervisor, but she asks to review the chat so far. She tells me Audible doesn't sell ebooks so I must have gotten it from Amazon, then also surprisingly says that my accounts are connected. I don't think that's true. Shaneha eventually punts to the "kindle support department".

Jessica says she's from Amazon Customer Service, says she's sorry I can't see the ebook in the app, and that this is not in her scope of support. Transfer to a Kindle Specialist.

Harpreet looks at the chat record and connects me to "our concerned team" without further interactions.

Now up: Shanieka at Audible. She can see I own the audiobook(s), but can't see anything that tells her if I own the ebook. She tries hard to see if I'm misreading the GUI--asks me repeatedly to describe the icon and the hover text, asks what's in the next column over, verifies what column the icon is in, asks if I see the hover text in the help icon at the top of the eBook Companion column. (Yes, and it's not the same as the text that says I own the ebook.) She repeats, as others said, that I need to buy the ebook at Amazon. She can't check anything at Amazon for me because my accounts aren't linked. (Sorry, Shaneha.) I need to merge my accounts to be able to sync the ebook and the audiobook, but I explain I don't want to do that. I just want access to the ebook…if I really own it. She repeats Shaneha's comment that Audible has nothing to do with ebooks so I must have purchased it (or need to purchase it) at Amazon.

If Shanieka is right that Audible has nothing to do with ebooks and never has promotions to get the ebook if you buy the audiobook, then I must not own the ebook. (I know I haven't purchased it. Bought the hardback, just got it signed yesterday.) But then why does Audible's library view tell me I own the ebook?

After Shanieka asked me to describe the icon for the second time, sister-in-law called to say dinner was ready. (She cooked tonight, I'm cooking tomorrow.) I asked Shanieka for a case number but they don't do that,--she said the chat would be attached to my account. Of course, then the chat session software said it would email me a transcript which never arrived. I saved my own copy.

After dinner I found Audible's 'send us email' form, wrote a short summary, and attached the chat. We'll see if I get more than "you have to merge your accounts to do anything, and we don't know if you own this ebook or not".
nlbarber: (Default)
My health insurance company, Aetna, has been trying to sell me on using various online tools. I've been ignoring these messages as I didn't see anytihng that looked useful to me in the brief blurbs they sent. Today, though, I got a postcard with the line "Health info on the go!" which I misinterpreted as possibly offering some sort of app that might help organize my health info. Oh, and the photo on the other side showed a woman, coffee cup in one hand, iPad with the logo removed in the other.

So, I go to the special web site to check this out. All that's there is a set of videos, one overview plus one for each of the 4 'tools'. There's no way to access the info except by watching the videos....which I won't do. Too slow, too low in content--just give me a text page with bullet points for the features, and I'll decide if whatever it is will be useful to me.

The best thing, though, is that the videos are all in Flash. The iPad, of course, doesn't do Flash. Maybe the tools themselves are Flash-free, but I somehow think I won't bother to check things out further.
nlbarber: (Default)
A big, slick magazine called "Livestrong Quarterly" arrived in my mailbox today. It's now in my recycle pile, after a brief flip through the pages to confirm that there's nothing of interest to me in it.

I would far rather the Lance Armstrong Foundation spend all possible resources on cancer research or support of cancer victims, and not on slick magazines that try to (I assume) convince me how great their programs are. I don't know if I'm relieved or even more aggravated by seeing that the mag is subsidized by Big Pharma...

There's no "unsubscription" information in the magazine or on the web site that I can find. My protests will have to be to keep recycling the magazines, and find another location for my donations to cancer research.
nlbarber: (Default)
Cautioned by [ profile] patgund, I called about possible damage to a compressor that had been turned upside down (and left that way) by the shipper. The repair appointment person felt I should take time off work to wait on the repair tech, so he could figure out if the part was usable. I pressed, and she transferred me to a technical support person. He also thought the tech should be the one to make the call, but under additional pressure said he would text the tech to call me so I could ask the question.

No one ever called, either the house number or my cell. I'm soooo shocked.

On to today: Repair appointment window: 1-5. My plan: go to the office, get through as much as possible of the too-long list of 'things to be done before going on leave for 10 days', leave at 12. Drive to Northlake, swing by WW to weigh in for November (before 10 days on the Disney Dining Plan), pick up lunch at Panera, get to house before 1.

The reality: tech calls at 11:55 and says he's on his way. Miraculously it's the same tech as last time--that's the first repeat. We negotiate on timing: I'll try to see if brother or sister-in-law are home and could let him in, so he could at least check the parts. I mention the problem with the upside-down compressor, and he immediately agrees the part is no good. However, he still needs to check on another part (the heat exchanger, I think) which might be boxed with the coils, or might not be there. No one's home next door, so I frantically complete my response to my supervisor's writeup of my annual review, pack up, and go home. I got there only 5 minutes after the tech.

The heat exchanger wasn't there, so the tech will order it and a new compressor and we'll try again. I told him I'd be gone next week, so I'm hoping a) Sears won't automatically schedule an appointment for then, then drop the whole thing when they don't get hold of me and b) this tech continues to be assigned the problem.

Oh, and the tech had not been contacted about my call on the compressor--clearly that is an easy call and could have saved both me and Sears the time spent today to come look at a boxed, dead, replacement part. Too logical for Sears to handle, I suspect.
nlbarber: (Default)
Appointment window: 8-12 Thursday 10/29. I arranged to work from home so I could be there. I called at 12:15, and the phone agent promised to text the technician and have him call me with an ETA. How long should I wait before calling back, I ask. She promised he'll call immediately. Hah!

12:45: technician called to say he's on his way. That was the first call, of course.
1:10: he arrived. The compressor appeared to be locked up at first, but did start running. He quickly found a leak in the newly installed inside condenser coils, and said he'll replace the compressor too, and will order both parts. Right.

The parts will take at least a week, then I have to get an appointment for the installation. I'll be at Disney World week after next, though I think I'll get sister-in-law to let me know when the parts arrive and I'll call for an appointment from there. It takes at least 4-5 days to get an appointment, and I don't want to wait until I'm back from Disney to start that process. Assuming the parts come in. It sure would be nice to have my freezer back before Thanksgiving--older brother is coming here with (probably) one of his two sons, as we decided not to have one last holiday gathering in Moultrie and his wife will be in Europe.

The Sears tech and I chatted about the sad state of Sears--he's frustrated, and says they are always this overbooked, and he gets confronted by irate customers all the time. He also recommended that I not put food in the freezer until it's been running 5 days after the next repair. I guess slow leaks are common.
nlbarber: (Default)
I didn't report here that a Sears technician finally did show up on Saturday the 17th, within the stated appointment window (which was 8-5, this being a Saturday--they don't do half-day windows then), and spent a couple of hours replacing the inside condenser coils on my mini-freezer. It was a bigger operation than I anticipated. When the acetylene torch came in, I began to get a clue. And he went away, and the freezer worked beautifully, if a little noisily. The extra noise went away overnight, and all was good.

I left for Moultrie on Monday. Got home tonight, after the 3 days doing the office exhibit at Sunbelt, and a couple of days working on sorting and such in my father's house. That included removing most of the contents of the freezer down there and bringing some usable stuff up here, so one of my first actions was opening my freezer to put things away.

You can see this coming, right? Everything was warm, though the little compressor (or something mechanical) was whirring away. The smell hadn't gotten too bad because the door had stayed shut--sister-in-law had noticed a smell during her cat-feeding trips, but (not being a cat person) thought it was just the litter box and had made extra trips to clean it more. Once I opened the door, the smell permeated the house.

I have disposed of all the spoiled food, cleaned the freezer, applied disinfectant/deodorant spray and stuck in a pan of baking soda, and called Sears for another appointment. The phone person did apologize for my difficulties, and informed me if I'd inventory the spoiled food and value it I did have insurance under my extended warranty. However, most of it was home-cooked stuff, with just enough raw meat to provide for the nasty smell when it spoiled. I refuse to dig back into the garbage (double-bagged and outside) to do the inventory for the probable reimbursement.
nlbarber: (Default)
And in the best tradition of cable TV companies everywhere: Comcast cancelled my appointment for this morning and didn't bother to let me know. I waited through the 3-hour appointment window, then called to discover this. It took calls to 2 different toll-free numbers to find out why.

They now say that the problem (can't get to the "on demand" part of the digital cable, though everything else works) doesn't need wiring. The supervisor of the clueless phone-bank person told her to tell me that the connection will be reset and everything will then work. I told Clueless that the technician that came out before did that--but she's clueless, and can only relay what she's told and apologize. Oh, and she doesn't know why no one called to let me know the appointment was cancelled. And she'll follow up after the reset is done, she said.
nlbarber: (Default)
I must get this document, prepared by someone else in Word, onto our office Web site either tonight or first thing tomorrow. It's a short bit of text, then 2, count 'em, 2 graphics. Because I don't have the graphics in any other form and Word does not lightly let go of graphics which it has gotten into its hot little phosphors, I asked Word for a Web page of the document.

I got out the expected junk-filled .html file. A 'filelist.xml' and an oledata.mso. And 5 image files: 2 gifs, a pct, a png, and a jpg. The 2 gifs (image001 and image003) are identical--336x526 pixel copies of the first graphic. The pct is a 1400x2192 pixel version of the same. The png is the second graphic, at 1733x3141, and the jpg is the second graphic at 334x605. I'm sure this makes sense to some MS programmer out there....

Oh, and to no one's surprise, I'm sure, the Word html file is 12k, mine is 4k.
nlbarber: (Default)
I had my annual gyn exam this morning, which includes the ritual of the breast exam and the pelvic (and rectal now that I'm 50, it seems, but I recall when every gyn exam included the rectal so that was no biggie). The wonderful innovation? The horrid paper blouse, sans closures, made of very rippable paper toweling, was gone. the alternative, and the more on the doctor visit )

Next up: mammogram scheduled for Friday (ugh!).
nlbarber: (Default)
Two days, two more envelopes from Chase. (Don't think there haven't been others in the less-than-a-week since that rant...)

Yesterday's has Chase in the return address area, and is labeled "PLEASE DO NOT DISCARD". Contents: standard Platinum Visa offer.

Today's is anonymous--address with no name on back of envelope, front is labeled "Financial Documents FOR ADDRESSEE ONLY". Contents: offer for home equity line of credit--Chase holds my mortgage, too. Sigh...
nlbarber: (Default)
I've been annoyed at recent envelopes from Chase labeled "Do not discard--About Your Account" or something similar, and which turn out to have offers for Chase credit cards--one of which I already have, my Visa that earns me Amazon rebates. (Faintly justifying the "about your account", in their opinion.) Today's mail has a better one: a 9x11 manila envelope labeled in red "DO NOT BEND", as if it contained photos. All it really had was another offer for a Chase credit card ("Chase Business card with Premier Cash Rebate"), and an envelope to mail said offer back. All of which could be bent, folded, etc. without any loss of functionality.

Will shred/recycle...
nlbarber: (Default)
Every year, every Federal employee has to take an "information systems security awareness" training class. DOI does this with online courses, which is great--take it when you want, self paced, pass the little 'mastery tests', and print the certificate when you're done as proof.

Except: they keep changing the system, and therefore things never go smoothly. Last year we had "DOI University" as the training system. This year, it's "DOI Learn", with a new login, new listings, new interface, etc.

I got a user ID and password, work through the course (I actually read it! I promise! Most people jump straight to the tests and do just fine), and pass all the tests with flying colors. About 45 minutes elapsed time, I think. But when I try to click on the "Quit" button to exit the class and get to the certificate part, it gives an error. Repeatedly.

Turns out that Javascript or VM must be running for this last step to work. Our PCs are configured by the computer section who apparently aren't consistent about Javascript, so some people can get this to work and others can't. I ended up moving to my Mac, going through the tests again, and getting my course credit.

The security awareness training material, of course, warns you not to run Javascript.
nlbarber: (Default)
A man I worked with years ago died very suddenly this week, about a month after he retired. I missed his retirement party, and now will never have a chance to reconnect with him. But that's not why I'm writing this.

Another ex-co-worker sent out the funeral information and a link to the funeral home in Thomaston, Ga. that is in charge of the service. I went to see if an obituary had been posted, and, dear me, what a Web site. There's the recorded audio sales pitch that plays every time you hit the home page. The muddy-colored navigation bars on the left column. And oh, the grammar and spelling: the "Grief Libary"--it's spelled that way in the links on each page and in the page title and banner. The tiled background image that's too big (or too small) to look good. The blurb on renovation plans on the home page, with extremely erratic curly-quotes and some random capitalization. Add in the funeral-home-speak: "Pre-Need" "After Care" "At Need". If you have to see for yourself, it's the Pasley-Fletcher Funeral Home.


nlbarber: (Default)

November 2016

67891011 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 212223242526


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags