Okay, I'm a little tired of the BP commercials showing local BP employees that talk about what the company is doing for the area.  They usually include something like, "I still have family in New Orleans and this is important to me …."  I do believe that BP is working hard in the area and spending money to settle claims, but really — how long have those employees been with BP?  Guessing they were just picked up so that the commercials could be made with the "I'm from here" sound bites.  C'mon Iris Cross, how long have you been part of BP Outreach?

HSBC — typical big bank

Hsbc logo
Yes, typical big bank — bend over the customer and take what you can.  What, and no kiss?  Pay attention as all big banks are raping their customers, especially the ones unlucky enough to be trapped like flies in their sticky web of fees, horrible customer service and product commitment.  Like me.

I purchased a new camera at Best Buy late last year — a gift to myself on my 50th.  (I know what you're thinking, "he's 50, wow, he is so cool and it just makes him seem so much younger."  I know, it's like a curse.) Camera, extra lens, bag, insurance, I spent about $1,400 — but wait, they had an 18-month 'same as cash' promotion.  Make the purchase today and take up to 18 months to pay without interest.  Of course if any part of the balance goes beyond the promo period, 18 months in this case, they tack on interest on the entire amount — regardless of how much may be owed — and that would appear on the next statement.  But I knew that and was okay with that because I intended to pay the camera off in one year.  

Got my statement today and it had a $39 fee for being late.  WTF?  I called HSBC customer service and of course, they answer as Best Buy credit — but I know better.  I explained to Barb that I signed on for 18-months same as cash, which translates to no fees, no minimum due and no finance charges — none of this nonsense for the first 18 billing cycles.  She told me she understood my frustration but this promotion was different, and my August payment was late.  I stopped her right there and told her I did not even send an August payment and that I had been sending $50 or $100 payments previous months because that was part of my plan to pay down the 'free' loan.  She repeated her understanding of my frustration.  Okay bitch, if you really understand my frustration — and you stated that you did at least 3 times — then remove the fucking fee!  Nothing doing.

I told her this was the last time I would do any business with HSBC and that I will never take advantage of a Best Buy credit promotion again.  I pointed out that my minimum amount due is only $10 and they were charging me $39, and by now, my tone is less pleasant and more angry.  She gave me the "I understand your frustration" line again and then went into a sales pitch for a product they have that would ensure to make at least the minimum amount due each month if I were to forget, and that it only costs some small amount based on the outstanding balance.  This was the point I went from reasonable consumer to irate consumer — let's see what her scripting has in store for me now!  

I told her that big banks like HSBC are the reason the government had to get involved with new regulations related to credit cards.   And as she told me about the insurance program again, I had to tell her to stop.  Really.  I said "Barb, listen to me and stop reading from you script.  I just told you I am pissed off at your company and will never use your product and you continue to try to up-sell me on an insurance product." It wasn't personal, and I am sure Barb was over it the very next call she took, but I was beside myself.  Then she delivered the closing script, "Have I handled your inquiry to your satisfaction?"  I laughed and told her to go back, with her supervisor, and listen to the recording, then decide for herself.  I said "thank you" and hung up the phone.

So there you have it — one more reason to pile on banks and another way of showing why they suck.  And despite them being bailed out by you and me, the American taxpayer, they are still disrespecting their bread and butter consumer. 

Last bit of advice: join your work or community credit union, you'll never be treated this way. 

Tea Party Nightmare

Tea Party darling and Delaware GOP senate nominee Christine O'Donnell is nothing more than a re-packaged Sara Palin.  She's attractive, in an odd sort of way, she's firey, and she has financial woes in her past.

Pay attention people — anyone aspiring to political office at all costs, prostituting themself along the way is not who we want leading us, locally, nationally or otherwise.

This chick is ducking out of press meetings because she must — she lacks substance and like most other politicians, she has skeletons in her closet.  The party affilliation makes no difference — if they can't speak in public on a variety of relative topics, then they're just window-dressing.  (Not sure what that last sentence even means, just looking to fill space!)

Dress the part for the job you want

Ines Sainz part 1 This attractive blond is Ms. Ines Sainz, a 32 year-old sports reporter for a Mexican news outlet.  Attractive?  You bet.  Embroiled in a sexual harassment claim against the NFL's New York Jets?  Yes, that too.

These two pictures are a representation of how Ms. Sainz looks when she Ines Sainz roams the sideline during football practice, or as she did Sunday, during an actual game. 

Sexy?  Don't be stupid.  YES!  Dressed a bit trashy as though to draw attention to herself?  Again, a stupid question — yes to that as well.  Look, there is no excuse that makes it okay for a person to make unwanted remarks to another, for any reason.  But at the same time, there should be a rule in the sports reporter handbook that says one can't dress scantily in body-wrap clothing when walking into a locker-room of grown men who just came in from expending themselves on a gridiron, and where testosterone and adrenaline are flowing like water from the faucet. Or put another way, dress the part, in this case, of a professional.  (Of course, the problem hers is that she does look like a pro, know what I mean?)

Seriously, where is the reporter's responsibility in her approach to her profession?  Don't give me any bullshit about "how she dressed doesn't give the players a right to whistle and stare."  She wasn't covering the locker room of a group of little league boys — she went into a room of men's men looking like she was dressed to draw attention to herself.  Period.  There must be a code of conduct she and other reports, male or female, follow when approaching their work — and yes, context and setting are important.  If she were visiting a single player or a small group of players, one outcome, but she paraded into a room of 50 to 60 sweaty men in various stages of undress — some even showering — and expected no response.  Give me a break.  She should have entered looking like the typical wife of one of these players — wearing a sweatshirt and baggy sweatpants with her hair up in rollers, then we wouldn't be having this discussion. 

Chase Online Banking

Chase message Okay, what is the deal with Chase's on-line banking for at least the past 24 hours?  I've been trying to pay some bills and can't get in — all you get in the sign-on space is this goofy message about unavailability due to system maintenance.  My ass.  I've been in banking and IT for 30 years and you don't have scheduled maintenance for an entire business day — that's usually done during the slowest period of on-line banking, like between 3:00 and 4:00 AM on a Sunday.

C'mon Chase, at least be honest with your customers, we'd appreciate that more than some bullshit 'down for maintenance' message.  Tell us things are messed up and you're fixing them.  Scheduled maintenance suggests this is something you intended, and no one believes that to be true. 

If a tree falls in the woods …..

….. and there is no one around to hear it, does it still make any noise?  This whacked-out pastor from Florida that has made a circus of his intention to burn Korans, the holy book of Muslims.  This web site not withstanding, the media — similar to how they blew up the story of the Islamic Center planned two blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood — has given this moron a stage from which to spew his brand of evangelical hate.  Oh yeah, he's a hater.

So if this so-called man of God wasn't given the stage and the spotlight had never been shined, would he and his 35 white followers even make the news?  Instead, he's attracted publicity he couldn't have dreamed of and catapulted his brand of hate to the top of the charts.  I've said it in previous posts, and I know you've been following, this pastor has stolen a page out of the radical jihadist's playbook!  He has concocted something so perverse, rallied like-minded radicals, got the attention of the press (think Al Jazeera!) and has grown his base through new recruits.  What is any different than the likes of the radicals he claims are evil?

Hate is indiscriminate and even those who profess to be men of God can harbor hatred for those different than himself.

Christian Extremist and Political Sell-outs

It's really interesting that this whack-job reverend in Gainesville claims to be a Christian and claims to be angry with what the Muslim extremist whack-jobs did in 2001 when they flew planes into The World Trade Center.  What is interesting is that this hater (and isn't that against a fundamental tenet of Christianity?) has become that which he rails against — an extremist.  (For my loyal followers, that was the irony I referred to in my post from yesterday.  Get it now mom?)

The silence from the GOP, a.k.a. BFD (the Body supporting Fear and Division), and the likes of Cheney, Palin, McCain, McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, Gingrich, and so on — it is maddening.  This group has made this a partisan football and refuses to address this book-burning idiot by denouncing his plan.  It is clear and easy to follow that this extremist, zealous act will cause repercussions around the world with other extremists who will use this as propaganda to bring harm to Americans wherever they are in the world, and in Afghanistan in particular.  

We hear a voice from the interfaith leaders — Muslims, Jews, Christian, Hindus and others — yet our politicians continue to sell their souls for votes.  Despicable.  They have a moral obligation to protect Americans around the world and American soldiers in particular.

Asshole pastor

What am I missing with this nut job pastor from Florida that wants to burn Korans, holy book for Muslims, as a form of protest against the religion?  This ignorant fuck wants to take something sacred and burn it because he's fighting religious zealots.  Is the irony of this lost on anybody?

You have Christians, Jews, Hindus — even Evangelicals, from around the world coming out against this as a bad idea and this guy says he's still moving forward.  Even General David Petraeus, you know, the guy in charge of our war effort in Afghanistan — he came out today asking for this uninformed moron to stand down. The potential ripple affect this action could have in that part of the world could put American troop's lives in harm's way.  

What is curious to me is that not one politician — local to Florida or at a national level — has come out against this moron in a big, loud way.  What are they waiting for?  They are lining up about an Islamic cultural center in Lower Manhattan like peacocks in heat, but none is making their voice heard over this divisive issues.  Where are the likes of Boehner, McConnell and Cantor on this issue?  Why are they not standing up and protecting our troops?