I have gotten somewhat lax about getting out new posts, but just when I felt ambitious, I found I couldn’t download the pictures I have saved for the blog! Two years ago, after Verizon took over Alltel, they made some “improvements” at the local towers which suddenly caused my Kyocera PDA phone to quit working. Verizon was no help at all, even after driving 65 miles to Jonesboro to the Verizon store! They wanted to sell new phones, for a couple hundred dollars and up, to solve the problem!
… we returned home, with no cell phone, so we finally went to Walmart and got my wife an inexpensive Trac-Fone, so that we would at least have “something” for emergencies. However, my contract wasn’t quite up with Verizon, so we looked online to see what they had. After much deliberating, I decided that the Casio Exilim was the closest to what I needed. It didn’t have the PDA features and spreadhseet capability that my old one had, nor a touch screen, but then my old one didn’t have a camera. The Casio has a great camera with zoom, and more features and settings than what I really wanted, but after all, this is a phone with certain military specifications, and retailed at $450… but I could get it free by renewing my 2-year contract. I was reasonably pleased with the phone… until…
Failed driver exam!
So now again, two months before my current contract expires, I suddenly find that the album program that is supposed to download the pictures from the camera doesn’t work anymore! After trying the usual rebooting of the computer, and re-installing the program from the disk, and wasting several hours trying various things, I finally went online. In searching for information I came across more than one forum that basically said that the new “improvements” (upgrades) that Microsoft automatically installed for Windows 7 has caused the Casio driver to quit working, and Casio won’t provide support or updated drivers because they want to sell you a new phone! The only solution that anyone had was to use the micro-SD card to store all your pictures and then use that to transfer them to the computer! Fine, but I have never used the card option before and didn’t have one!
This is third time this kind of crap has happened to me, and I’m getting a little tired of it!
The first time was when we were still in Mesa. I had purchased a brand new Palm Trio 300 for $600, around 2003. I guess I made a mistake of not buying the extended warranty with it. About two months before the contract was up, one of the hinges broke on the cover. I took it to the Sprint store where I got it. They looked at it and the first thing out of their mouth was “Did you buy the extended warranty?” I told them “No I didn’t, but I’ll pay for the repairs, I just need a new case for it, the phone works fine.” They disappeared into the back room for about ten minutes only to come out and tell me that they can’t help me, that I’ll have to buy a new phone again! My contract wasn’t even up on the first one, and already they wanted more money!
After trying phone support, online help, and anything else I could think of, they still refused to repair the phone… but expected me to finish paying on my contract!
We already knew by that time that we were going to be moving back to Arkansas, so I researched what companies were available in both places, and it happened to be Alltel, so I went to their store and picked out the new Kyocera 7135 (which they already knew was on the way out, but it was the only PDA phone that they had available, AND the last one in the store). So that’s how I ended up with that “boat anchor” (the heaviest phone I have ever owned!). I had the old number transfered and left Sprint in the dust.
Why can’t everybody stop being greedy and learn to just get along?
Customer service has always been one of my strong points, and if this were a situation that happened with my company, and I couldn’t fix or replace a product for a customer, and had nothing of equivalent value to furnish in it’s place, I would have at least dropped the rest of their contract. There was only two months left anyway… no big deal. I would have made enough profit while the customer had it, to MORE than make money on the deal.
But not Sprint! They hounded me for the next five years to pay the balance on that contract, and I told them more than once that Hell would freeze over before they got another dime of my money! Of course, the report went to the credit bureaus, but I didn’t care! It was the principle of it! The rest of my credit was near perfect and any time I had to explain the issue to a prospective lender, I told them exactly why I refused to pay the bill, and it wasn’t a problem. Everyone that I told said they didn’t blame me!
But finally, after several collection agency attempts to collect an outrageous bill plus interest (nearly $150) they finally started going backwards! The “settlement offers” kept getting lower and lower, until finally it got down to about $50, and I finally paid it, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with it anymore. They got more than they deserved and I paid more than I should have had to, but it was a compromise. But they have lost a customer FOREVER, along with anyone else that I have told about it… so what have they gained by being such jerks!
So then Verizon did the same thing to me near the end of the Kyocera’s contract (it was also a $400+ phone when I bought it) by making the connectivity useless, and now Casio is doing it to me again!
It’s a shame when you have to have a $400 product that is perfectly good, and yet the greed of the companies that make these things is so great that they won’t even provide a warranty that is reasonable, or upgrade their drivers so you can use it awhile longer!
Revenge! (and tremendous savings!)
But I have news for them, I don’t need to have a PDA phone for business anymore, and I’m tired of the outrageous charges and tactics they employ to lock customers into continual upgrading, when there is nothing wrong with the equipment that we already have paid good money for, and which should last WAY longer than they “allow” it to last!
Next month, when my contract expires, I am going to Walmart and buy the cheapest Trac-Fone that will do the job for me, and pay only for the minutes that I use WHEN I use them! At least if it goes bad, I won’t mind nearly as much replacing a $40 phone as I do a $400 phone!
In the meantime, I have ordered an 8-gig micro-SD card and adapter that will work with the slot on my laptop, so I can at least continue to use the Casio as a camera. The card should be here next Tuesday to the store, and then Sharon can pick it up for me after work. In the rare instance that the camera may go bad, at least I know that I only spent another $5 for the card and adapter.
By the way, I’m still using a Sony Mavica camera (yes, I know it’s a dinosaur) that I bought back in the early 2000’s for $450, and as long as I can still get 3-1/2-inch floppies (or re-use what I have) and be able to transfer those to the computer with a USB adapter, it will probably work forever!
Maybe the next phone I get should be a Sony. Do they even make them?
Don’t YOU be a victim, too!
By the way, you can buy a Trac-Fon at Walmart online and have it ready to pick up when you get to a local store. There’s no shipping costs on store pick-ups, and you don’t even need a credit card to buy online. You can pay for your order when you pick it up. How can you beat that for convenience?
Anyway, that’s why I have not had any more recent pictures lately. I have more photos of the minivan camper conversion reclining couch/bed and hardware… I just can’t show them to you yet! I also have pictures that we took at Loberg Park in Hardy, and pictures of the War Memorial in Ash Flat (which I must admit is quite impressive for a small town… much nicer than I had anticipated!) and I will have all of that for you within the next two weeks. I wanted to have the War Memorial pictures and a post out for July 4th, but now you know why that didn’t happen!
Other unrelated information…
Also, Just FYI, I have updated my old Azgrand.com “headquarters” site, and am turning that into a free online training program for beginning marketers through the posts. Those posts started with the basic stuff, like how to determine what kind of marketing fits your lifestyle and goals… something that no other marketer has ever told anyone! They don’t want you to know that, because they want to sell you their product, even if it isn’t a good fit for you, and they don’t care what your goals are! I am currently in the middle of a ten-post series talking about the basic service and software that you would need. Some of this applies to “any computer user” not just marketers. It’s good basic information that anyone will find useful.
So why am doing it for free? Because when I started fourteen years ago, no one was there to help me. I had to learn it all the hard way, and spent many thousands of dollars through various seminars and courses. Most marketers today won’t even answer simple questions, like “how do I upload a .pdf document so it can be downloaded by customers?” It would take them less than a minute to answer, but no… the standard answer is “buy my course and it will tell you”. The prices of some of those courses are anywhere from $100 to more than $10,000, and I’m tired of beginners getting ripped off by greed! I already have made a modest income, and the last thing I want to do is take money from those who really need the help to make more!
Most of what you need to market ANYTHING online is available for free. The only things that aren’t, are security software, back-up protection, domain registration and hosting. The last two may not even be necessary depending on your business model. And yes, you could take your chances and operate without any of them, but that’s risky. I want to show you how to run a business both profitably and professionally. I can show you where to get free software for nearly everything else, and you can study the course for free at your leisure through my posts, so what have you got to lose? Check it out at http://azgrand.com, and if you like what you see, tell others, and subscribe to the new posts. I’m not selling any courses! I make my money the same way you will, so I don’t need yours. And if you don’t want to fool with learning the web stuff, but still need a site for your business, or even just for fun, I may build it for you for free, also!
So thanks for being patient, and for hanging in there with me. I appreciate your reading this blog… I really do. Stay safe and healthy in your travels and don’t let those greedy companies take advantage of you!
Now… where did I put that Skype log-on info? If I’m going to give these cell phone companies the old “Italian salute”, I may need an alternative!