11 July 2005
11 July 2005
10 July 2005
Yesterday, mom happened to pick up a cool pair of shoes, telling me that the store carried wide sizes. And, if we had time, maybe we could go back today and see if there were any shoes for me.
So we trundled off to The Walking Company, which claims to have “The Best Brands from Around the World.” I picked up a couple of variants on the style I was looking for and sat down. The lady asked what size I needed, and I said 10 wide.
Now granted, it’s not an easy shoe size to find — even stores that sell wide shoes often stop at 9 wide. However, I had this expectation that a company specializing in walking shoes would sell shoes that actually fit people — including, perhaps, myself.
“Oh, we don’t carry wide shoes,” the clerk replied. She suggested I try Nordstrom (which doesn’t carry that type of shoe, and usually stops at 9 wide) or Easy Spirit (same issue).
Mom and I walked out of the store.
On the way home, we happened to visit Footwear, Etc., which is a great local chain. I picked up a similar shoe (same brand that mom had bought the day before) and asked if they came in a 10 wide.
“No, I’m sorry, they don’t.”
“So, do you have any men’s styles like this that aren’t in black or brown?”
And voila, they did, but in navy (one of my favorite colors). And they were on sale and they had the size that fit me.
Was that so freakin’ hard?
That’s why I keep winding up at Footwear, Etc. — I’ve been buying my shoes there ever since I started working at Kepler’s and needed good walking shoes for my daily work.
09 July 2005
I haven’t mentioned much about the credit industry in my blog. I can’t pass up this opportunity, though.
A few years ago, my husband and I both paid the same bill, though our payments were only credited once. When the company refused to correct their payment crediting error, I cancelled their services, only to find out that they sent me to a collection agency even though they owed me $ (yes, I’d gone through all the written disputes promptly, meeting all the legal requirements for disputing bills).
Well, it was worse than that — they didn’t send the debt to be collected, they sold it to a third party.
Recently, there’s been a spree of junk debt buyers who have been doing the IPO thing. It’s been touted as “the next big thing,” but it suffers from all the downside (and then some) that junk bonds suffered from. Frankly, the risk quality overall is way way worse than junk bonds — while some of the debt is legitimate, a significant percentage is simple billing errors that weren’t sorted out.
Anyhow, knowing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I wrote the company, asking for validation of the debt as well as the address, etc. I received back a letter that said, not kidding, “our client says that you owe this.” That’s verbatim.
Now, the law requires the following (emphasis added):
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.
In short, they didn’t obtain nothing, but they did dun me at the bottom of the letter and insert an item onto my credit reports after receiving my letter — both in blatant violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (and the Fair Credit Reporting Act).
Certain that I did not in fact owe the amount in question, I wrote their general counsel a snarky note. The account was closed and the items removed from my credit report pretty promptly.
Really, think about it — they figured that ALL the FTC and private lawsuit settlements was worth the business risk of not even trying to compete with the law. Such arrogance! It also says to me that the FTC is perceived as having no teeth at all when it comes to matters of consumer credit and debt collection. It’s pretty obscene how bad the situation has to be before the FTC steps in.
Others, however, were not so lucky — I know several people who’ve had to sue RMA. Given their business practices, I’m delighted to hear that they filed for bankruptcy and are being bought by one of their competitors.
So, given that RMA’s revenue in 2002 was $295 million, I’m finding it highly amusing that they were just sold for 119 million. How the mighty have fallen.
08 July 2005
I’m fairly tolerant of things that have fiddly bits for setting stuff up. However, I’d had a postgres install that had previously not been All There ™, so it was more fiddly than it had to be.
Anyhow, I’m tired of arguing with it. I don’t need it that much more than mysql, cool stuff or no cool stuff.
07 July 2005
The picture I best felt summed up London today:
06 July 2005
By now, everyone and their brother has heard that Ruby on Rails 0.13 has been released. Right now, I’m updating the third machine today. Some people have had minor issues with the upgrade, but my app’s pretty new and some of the features are cool.
With that news, the final beta of the Rails book also came out today (not coincidentally).
On a side note, related only because the web app is written in RoR, I signed up for Backpack today. I already have a free Basecamp account, but I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d actually prefer Backpack.
03 July 2005
29 June 2005
I noticed that my eye was dry and scratchy last night. What I didn’t realize at the time was that this wasn’t just another case of “add eye drops,” but rather a rather I’d scratched my cornea. This time, it wasn’t the eye prone to minor scratches I can deal with. No, I’ve got the full light sensitivity, watery eye, and much pain.
I’d never had a corneal scratch until I moved to the bay area, either. Since moving here in 1999, I’ve been to specialists four times for major scratches.
Why do I get them? Allergies.
28 June 2005
27 June 2005
I saw the link for this, so here’s the view of states I’ve visited. Interesting how I have an “island” where I’ve been to every surrounding state:
Here’s my map of European countries visited: