31 May 2006

The trials of FTD.com

Another consumer rant:

Earlier in the month, I ordered flowers for my lovely wife. She had never gotten flowers delivered to her place of employment, and the school year was almost over. I went to FTD.com and ordered a really fancy arrangement-- 18 pink roses in a Waterford crystal vase. When it came, I was quite displeased to discover that it was NOT an arrangement. It was a box of roses (which were rather bruised) with the vase in a box. I did not expect to spend that kind of money for a "do it yourself" kit! To make matters worse, the flowers were drooping after three days. FTD's guarantee says that floweres will be fresh for seven days, so I lodged a complaint. I got a very nice email of apology. Sheesh. I wrote back and pointed out that their guarantee states that I will get a refund or replacement. The Waterford vase is lovely, so I made it clear that the flowers were what was at issue. FTD emailed me this morning to tell me that they would deliver fresh flowers to Brigheon's place of employment tomorrow. Wake up, FTD! It's a SCHOOL! They are on summer break! I called and arranged for the delivery to come to my home. In the future, I will ALWAYS deal with a local florist (rather than a national chain or on-line florist).

26 May 2006

A boycott of one....

One of the benefits of blogs is that they give a global forum to dissatisfied customers. People doing searches for particular companies can find out what the experiences of others have been. Thus, below I have copied a letter that I just sent to Banfield Pet Hospitals (located in PetSmart stores).

To whom it may concern:

I know that when a dissatisfied customer just disappears, it accomplishes nothing for the improvement of the company. Thus, I want to express my discontent.

When I began coming to Banfield, I had been getting my pet medications from 1800petmeds.com. I had a month or two of his meds left from that provider. When I was nearly out of my dog Logan's heartworm meds, I attempted to reorder from 1800petmeds.com. I was told that Banfield refused to provide the necessary approval, even though my dog was up to date on all vaccines and examinations. This is insulting. I assume that the only reason for this is so that Banfield can get my money. You have removed my freedom to choose the supplier of my pet's medications.

Today, I took my dog for his annual boosters and to get heartworm meds. I was kept waiting in the exam room for twenty minutes, even though I had an appointment. I was then told that Logan was not up to date on his heartworm meds, so I would have to pay for a heartworm test. I assured the young woman that he was indeed current on his meds; I had previously gotten his meds before they were absolutely needed. She said that there was nothing that could be done. I was stuck.

It seems to me that Banfield is calling me either a fool or a liar. I will not be insulted again. I am done doing business with Banfield. I will find a veterinarian who treats me with more respect.

23 May 2006

Logan's true hang-up

Our dog Logan (a freakishly large sheltie) has always had issues. He barks like mad at anything with a running motor and anything with moving wheels. Cars, hair dryers, kids on rollerskates, coffee grinders, bicycles-- you name it! My lovely wife says that she thinks this goes deeper than normal Shetland sheepdog neurosis-- she says that Logan is a Luddite! I found her diagnosis to be one of the funniest things that I'd heard in a while. Besides, it shows that I married a smart cookie.

15 May 2006

Go Noles!

Florida State University's football ranking have been less than impressive of late, but there was some good news this week. According to a press release from the FSU athletic department:

"Seminoles No. 4 In USA Today's Re-Ranked Football APR Top 25 " May 10, 2006

"USA Today ran a graphic that presented a combination of academic and athletic success of the football programs at ACC member institutions. The newspaper took the final USA Today/Coaches Top 25 poll and re-ordered it using the recently released NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR).

"The re-organized poll has five ACC teams among the Top 15, including the "academic" No. 1 Boston College with a 982 APR score and Florida State at No. 4 with a 959 score. Miami ranked sixth at 956, Clemson 12th with a 940 and Virginia Tech 14th at 935.

"The Academic Progress Rate (APR) metric was developed by the NCAA in 2004 to examine academic success on a more real-time basis. One point is awarded each term to each scholarship student-athlete who meets academic-eligibility standards and an additional point is awarded if they remain with the institution. A team's APR is the total points earned by the team at a given time divided by the total points possible. A cutoff score of 925 corresponds to an anticipated graduation-rate of about 50%."

My wife's alma mater (Notre Dame) is number 10. The University of Wisconsin is number 25.

For the full rankings, click here.

12 May 2006


I just got back from Wisconsin, and I loved the house. My wife and I will accept the counter offer. There's a lot to be done (painting walls that currently have odd color choices, replacing the hideous carpeting in the master bedroom, etc.), but we will have fun making it our own.

09 May 2006


Well, the seller counter-offered. She wanted $2000 more and wanted to keep the porch swing! Sheesh. Anyway, I am flying up tomorrow to check it out the house. The nice thing is that the house is now ours to accept or refuse. If I like it, I will post pictures in a few days....

08 May 2006

The waiting is the hardest part....

Just an update-- we made an offer on a house, with a contingency that I have three days to withdraw the offer if I don't like the house. If the seller accepts or counteroffers, I will fly up to Wisconsin this week to give the final approval. The waiting is killing me. Really, the seller has nothing to lose by accepting or countering. After all, is it really likely that she'd get another offer before the weekend?

06 May 2006

Plugging along....

I have spent the past week grading finals furiously. I finally came up with a final that evaluates the students' effort in the class but does not take me ages to grade.

Our realtor is Wisconsin called, saying that he thinks he has found a good house for us. We are going to try to make an offer, contingent upon my seeing it. Thus, I may be flying up to Wisconsin this week. That's not how I planned to spend the week between semesters.... When am I going to write my Hemingway paper for the conference in Spain? Oy.