Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Good Guys Should Be Renamed The Fantastic Guys

On Thursday night the missus and I went shopping for a vacuum cleaner. Our old Bosch has served us well but the motor is on the way out. It's noisy and a bit smelly. The Yellow Pages informed me that the only specialised vacuum cleaner sales company is Godfreys. Popped over to Belmont to visit their shop. They demonstrated a couple of Hoover units and although the missus was reasonably impressed she wasn't ready to make a purchase. Neither was I. Godfreys quite often has a sale whereby they offer $100 trade-in on any working model - I happened to throw this into the conversation so that he realised we weren't going to pay top dollar. The salesman, quite a helpful guy it must be said, showed us a piece of plastic worth about five dollars, which acted as a filter and stopped 99% of the rubbish actually getting into the vacuum cleaner bag/bagless dust collector. It just sits in between the pipes on the handle. Great idea but not worth the $49.90 it was shown to be.

We were just about to walk out of the shop when he offered to throw in the rather expensive filter for nothing. No, we still wanted to think about it. Then he came up with a final offer, tonight only, whereby he'd knock $100 off the price of the more expensive bagless vac that we were reasonably keen on. If he's that desperate for a sale we can deal with him later. My missus did tell him that if she bought a Hoover she would purchase it from his shop.

Jumped in the car and headed to Rick Hart but turned off to The Good Guys on the way. No Hoover in the store and that's because Godfreys has an exclusive deal with the company. I thought as much initially when I couldn't spot the brand in the shop. The saleslady who showed us the Dyson on display, which my missus was quite keen on, knew almost everything there is to know about the product. We were likely to be surprised at the amount of dust and dirt that would be collected on the first clean of the house. She even knew that Harvey Norman was having a sale on the same model and that The Good Guys would price match. What really surprised me was her admission that she didn't own a Dyson, she was just a sales person and that we should do our homework before committing to a purchase. Honesty, which was quite refreshing. And from a sales perspective she was aware of what her competitors were doing. Great business acumen.

We trundled down the road to Rick Hart, which just happens to be owned by Harvey Norman (I have a distinct dislike for this particular store as the sales reps are rude at times) and found that the same model was on sale, with the additional turbine head attachment, for $142 less. Checked out the features of different models from the brochure in store and agreed that this particular model was the one we wanted.

Straight back to The Good Guys to check out the price match promise. She spoke with her manager and discovered that the sale price was below cost but they would still match it. In fact they offered a further ten dollars off. The mantra of this company used to be, "Pay Less, Pay Cash", but they now offer the same price for Visa, not Amex, as cash. Bargain. We picked up a popcorn maker with the ten dollars that we'd saved.

My missus commented on the way home that she wasn't expecting to purchase a vacuum cleaner that night. Weighing up the facts that our vac was on the way out and that we'd found a Dyson at a spectacular price it didn't make any sense not to make the purchase. I might be a frugal bastard but I know great value on a quality product when I see it.

Assembled the unit at home and tried it on a small rug. Amazingly almost half of the collector was filled with dust, dirt and hair. Gobsmacked I was. So gobsmacked that I rang The Good Guys to pretend that I was disappointed. Then I let the saleslady know that I was disappointed that there was so much rubbish in our household carpet. She was rather glad that the Dyson worked for us. That girl will be a shop manager before too long. She has a great attitude towards customers. The Good Guys in Belmont - check it out.

I think that The Good Guys should be renamed The Fantastic Guys. Fantastic prices and service.

Aussie Telemarketers Are Ruder

Few days back I received a call from someone at "Premium Finances". I wasn't interested in what they had to say but the lady who rang was an Australian. Go forward two days and another call.

"Hello, is Mr Frugal Bastard at home please?"
"This is Warren Whatisface from Premium Finance Services in Brisbane. How are you this afternoon, buddy?"
"I'm fine but I don't appreciate being called 'Buddy'."
"Oh, I'm sorry," Warren apologised.
"You know, you're rather informal for someone cold-calling from a so-called finance company," was my indignant response.
"This isn't a cold call. You're on a list.... beep, beep, beep."

Arsehole. He hung up on me. That's what my missus finds with Aussie telemarketers also. I checked out the company online and they do have an office in Brisbane. According to their Website "At Premium Finance Services, we take the wealth creation principles and tailor them to suit our client’s individual needs, circumstances and financial goals. So far we have been able to show more than 1200 families how, given the correct financial structure and the correct wealth creation vehicle, they can be well on the path to becoming self funded retirees."

Gee, if they've shown over 1200 families only why are they branching out from Brisbane, although they have an office in Melbourne also, and coming over to Perth. I would have thought that the local market wasn't saturated just yet. I'm not expecting too many more calls from them.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Try To Cheat Me Genuine Toyota Dealer

My missus had an argument with another car in the McDonald's car park a few months back. They drove into each other whilst reversing out of their bays. More damage done to my missus' car as her taillight was smashed. Only a bit of the plastic broken off but the whole unit needed replacing. Legally each driver, in that situation, has to cover their own damage. Not enough damage to make an insurance claim and suffer raised premiums as a result.

So I rang a Toyota dealer who quoted me $316! Well, I wasn't going to put up with that. My local Auto Pro, a parts and accessories specialist, obtained a genuine Toyota taillight with a charge to me of only $210. Never go to a dealer for a price unless you want to see what a rip-off merchant charges.

Is This The World's Most Complicated Insurance Claim?

Earthquake off the coast of Japan. A number of tsunamis strike the coastal areas. Gas pipes ruptured and fires break out.

Has the owner of this house got the world's most complicated insurance claim on his hands?


Can you imagine how much grief the insurance company is going to give him? Can he prove that an earthquake damaged his home, or the tsunami (flood damage) or the fire? Was he adequately covered for each eventuality? Legal minefield methinks.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

How To Get Rid Of A Telemarketer - Lesson No. 3

Phone rang last night. Dinner was being served.

"Hello. Helloooo?"
Click, background voices evident. "Good evening, sir. How are you this evening?"
"Fine. How are you? Are you calling me from a telemarketing centre?"
"No, sir."
"You're not a telemarketer then? Would you like to know what I'm having for dinner?"
"How can I join you for dinner, sir? I'm not in your house?"
"I didn't ask you to join me for dinner I asked you if you would like to know what I'm having for dinner. You've called me as dinner is being served. Obviously you have something very, very important to say or should I just hang up?"
A short pause ensued then beep, beep, beep, beep....

I didn't even have to bother hanging up as she did. Can't have been important.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Dog Poo Art

I think that our little dog does artistic little poos. At times. See what you think.

Dog Poo Art Photo Album.

Why Don't Telemarketers Become Customer Service Call Centre Operators?

I've got an issue with the wife's netbook. It won't even start and I've tried all of the possibilities to get it to boot up to no avail. Sent their customer service an email and they responded with a phone number to call. On two Saturdays, when I've had time, I've called them during their office hours. Both times the service was down for "system maintenance". Not happy Samsung.

Today is a public holiday in WA but not for the rest of the country so I gave them a call. Too busy to answer the call but able to take a message for a call back function. It's been about an hour and no call back.

So, I've had a thought. Why don't those telemarketers, who seem to have lots of time on their hands, take up a role in a customer service call centre? I'd be more than happy to hear from them and so many companies could do away with the annoying message, "Due to an unusual amount of calls all of our customer service representatives are busy. Your call is important to us and will be answered when the next customer service representative becomes available. Please hold the line and listen to some boring music (which, hopefully, will make you hang up) or listen to some guff about how great our company is and the myriad of products we offer even though it will be of no use to you."

Great idea? The world has too many telemarketers and not enough customer service representatives.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Out Of Action For A While

Thursday night saw The Boy and I mucking around in the backyard with a sword fight. Only using rolled up newspaper though. I had sandals on, which I'm not particularly fond of, and The Boy had shoes. At one stage he lunged towards me and the quick pain that I felt made me think that he had trodden on my big toe. The truth of the matter was not quite so nice. His shoe had caught underneath my big toe and caused it to split down the middle and one side had been lifted up. Ay ay ay!

I went inside and cut it back with the nail clippers as much as I dared and considered putting superglue on it but with superglue being an anhydrous product I decided against it. Looks like I'll be out of taekwondo action for a few more days. Luckily we have a public holiday on Monday and that will give me nearly a week to recover. I didn't take any photos of this so you don't need to worry.

How To Save Hundreds Of Dollars Purchasing A Mobile Phone

I have some advice for you on how to save literally hundreds of dollars when you're about to purchase a mobile phone. The wife's phone had been playing up and she couldn't hear me when she was at the shops. She couldn't even hear me if she was at home. My phone wasn't so good when I was next to a busy road or in a crowded, noisy place either. We'd had enough and determined that on Thursday night, when we have late night shopping, we'd go and get a new mobile each. Was going to cost a couple of hundred each.

At work on the day before we planned to go shopping I asked one of my colleagues about the volume on his phone. He said that it was just a setting. I went through the settings and there was nothing about adjusting the volume on the mobile. He rang my phone and I played with some of the buttons on the front and hey, presto. The volume can only be changed when you are actually on a call. My volume was set at 1 out of 7 or 8 and I discovered that my wife's phone was set at 2 out of 8 or 9. No wonder we had a communication problem. Now she complains that the phone is quite loud.

How do you save hundreds of dollars on a mobile phone? Don't buy a new one coz you get your old one set up properly. Phew. Could have ruined my reputation there.