Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Careless use of email

I've had a Hotmail account since way before Microsoft bought them. In that time, I have occasionally let it go inactive and then reactivated it. To be honest, I don't use it very much. But I like to keep it because... it's mine. :)

For the last two or three years someone else is also making use of it -- in a way.

They've been using it to make purchases. They've been giving out the email address to their friends. They've been signing up for online games, and newsletters.

How do I know this?

Because I get all of their order confirmations via email. I get all their personal email from friends. I get all the "account activation" emails for the online games and newsletters that they sign up for.

I don't think they're making a small spelling mistake when typing it out, I think they truly believe that the email address they are typing is their email address!

For a while it was fun to read their personal "hey, how ya doin'?" emails from their friends, but it has actually become quite annoying because I seem to get twice the amount of spam, as they sign themselves up for god knows what, using my email address.

Today, I replied to two of their personal emails, thanking the sender for their concern about my well being, but also advising them that they have the wrong person. I tried that before about two years ago, but it didn't seem to work. This time, I got an apology reply from one of the senders, so I replied to it again, and asked them to advise the person whom they think I am, that they're giving out the wrong email address. Maybe it'll work this time.

You would think that something like this might be a once-in-a-lifetime occurance right?


About two weeks ago I received an order confirmation from thanking me for my order of two DVDs, but this time it was sent to my GMAIL account. Yes, I have another email account that someone thinks is their's. I know it's a different person because this one lives in the U.K., while the other lived in the U.S. I also received further emails from HMV after each DVD was shipped. I'm hoping that this one was just a typo, like not typing two T's in their last name or something.

Seriously, though, what's wrong with people? Why aren't they taking more care of typing their email address? What if these retail accounts have their credit card information stored in them? I honestly don't know if they do, but it would be very easy for me to find out.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Newegg comes to Canada! Or did they?

A little while ago, Newegg announced that they were going to have a Canadian web site. Computer nerds like myself all signed up for notification of when this would happen.

On Wednesday I received an email from announcing that their Canadian web site went live.

I took a quick peek at some of their grand opening specials and they weren't too bad. I also monitored a thread on a forum that I regularly read. Most of the comments about it weren't too positive. It seems that many of's prices weren't as good as other online retailers, like, where I usually order my hard-to-find parts.

Then someone noticed that uses UPS for shipping. In fact, UPS is the only shipping option for Canadian customers. As a Canadian, if you've ever ordered anything from the U.S. and had it shipped UPS, you know why that's a bad thing. Aside from customs/duty fees, you generally get it up the bunghole by the brokerage fee that UPS charges.

Seeing as how Newegg doesn't appear to have any kind of Canadian-based store or warehouse, I decided to send them an email asking where they ship their Canadian orders from.

Here is their reply:
========== Original Message ==========

From: Newegg Customer Service <>
Subject: RE: - >(Mail #021020081912488)* (LTK436050495X)
Reference number: LTK436050495X Please use this ticket number in any correspondence with
Subject: - >(Mail #021020081912488)*

Dear Customer,

Thank you for contacting Newegg.

Unfortunately the item will be shipping from warehouse in the U.S., at this time we don't have locations in Canada.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please visit our FAQs page. If you still need assistance, please feel free to email me directly and I will be happy to assist you.

Thank you,

Jacqueline Ruiz

Does anyone know how they'll be able to ship their products from the U.S. to their Canadian customers without the customers getting the 'ol brokerage screw?

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Laptop battery woes on Vista

Windows Vista wallpaper (by Microsoft)If you've got a laptop running Vista and it seems that your laptop battery never seems to hold a charge between the times that you use it, don't blame the battery -- blame Vista!

The default action for the SHUTDOWN menu option on Windows Vista is, believe it or not, SLEEP. Sleep makes the laptop boot up quicker when you turn it on, and that's what Microsoft says people want. The side effect is that Vista continues to draw a minimal amount of power from the battery while it is in Sleep mode. If you don't use your laptop very often, expect the battery to be dead or very low on power when you turn it on days later.

I first noticed this on our home laptop and have confirmed it in at least one of our test laptops at work.

Here's an explanation and here's a step-by-step guide to changing them, if you're not familiar with where they're located.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Countdown to Smart Car contest final

Someone from the Ottawa Sun called my home today. Fortunately, my wife was home and took the message rather than our crappy answering machine. They now have a date set for the "wrap-up event" for the contest that I qualified for back in June -- October 20th!

I was beginning to think that they'd never call. Apparently, they're also sending printed invitations very soon. He also told my wife that I need to bring a valid driver's licence.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The call

The dealership called this evening while I was making supper. Unfortunately, it was just their usual survey regarding the last visit -- in this case, the one where we took the truck to get its tires checked. It wasn't "Michael", so I don't know if this was the same call that we got yesterday.

I gave them a good review, although there really wasn't much for them to do other than to confirm that the OEM tires were crap.

I'll wait for Ford to mail us a survey and comment about the poor quality of the OEM tires since that's not the dealership's fault, it's Ford's.

Jim Keay breaks the silence

Someone named "Michael" from the Jim Keay Ford Lincoln dealership called yesterday and asked for me. But I wasn't home. They left a message with my mother inlaw saying that they would call back.

I assume that they'll try again today, after I get home from work. I'll be interesting to see what they have to say.

I did a search of "Jim Keay" and "FixAuto" on Google this afternoon and my complaint letter that I posted here shows up as the 3rd hit. If I just search for "Jim Keay", my more recent post about not hearing from them shows up 8th.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Why are OEM tires crap?

With our first Ford Escape, a leased 2005 FWD XLT, the tires that came with it (Continental ContiTrac?) lasted almost 3 years before needing replaced.

On our purchased 2008 4WD XLT, just over a year old and with less than 22,000kms on it, we had to replace all four tires this morning... ~$700. :(

For the last month or so, on mostly smooth roads, we could hear a light "thup" sound that would speed up or slow down, depending on how fast we were driving.

I suspected the tires. We took it to the dealership and they confirmed that it was indeed the tires and they openly admitted that it's not the first time they've seen that happen with the original tires. Unfortunately for us, there's no warranty on OEM tires.

I've always heard that OEM tires on all makes of cars are generally crap, but this is the first time that we actually encountered a problem.

The guy at Canadian Tire said that OEM tires generally have a lower quality rating than the exact same tires if they were bought new.

Why do tire manufacturers willingly sell poor quality tires to car manufacturers? As a consumer, I might now label all tires from that manufacturer as being crap, even if they're not, because they sold a sub-standard tire at a cheaper cost to the car manufacturer. They're only hurting themselves in the long run.
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