Archive for March, 2013

Groupon, Dishonorably discharged.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Groupon.com isn’t everything they seem. Most people who use the service don’t have a problem. This is due to the fact that most of the people that use Groupon.com don’t usually have to deal directly with this “middle-man” service for anything other than purchasing the coupon.  But what happens when you do have to deal with Groupon in order to resolve an issue with the vendor?  A nightmare of frustrating communications and customer service that turns belligerent.

Here is the story of just one persons ordeal that continues to defy logic.

My Mother bought a Groupon for all of us boys in the family, for a virtual F1 car racing simulator.  She purchased the tickets to be used during the Christmas break, when all of us would be in town.  Simple enough, with the exception that the Virtual F1 car simulator wasn’t working, the machine was down. We were unable to redeem the Groupon.  Shouldn’t have been a big deal…  Groupon.com says that in the event that the vendor is unable to provide the services that the Groupon was purchased for, Groupon.com would refund the money for the full cost of the Groupon.  This is stated directly in their Terms of Service Agreement (TOS).  Should have been a pretty easy situation to handle, right?  That however, was not how Groupon.com decided to handle it.

My Mother contacted Groupon.com about the vendor and inability to redeem the Groupon.  She told them, in detail, about the situation, and that the people she had intended to use Groupon  were all going back to their respective homes out of the state.  Groupon.com replied to her request stating that they would not refund the amount of the Groupon, because even though the vendor was unable to redeem the Groupon at the time of the event, they would be able to redeem the Groupon at a later date.  This was not completely unexpected, as you read through their TOS.  They don’t care if you’re “inconvenienced “ or if your Groupon expires before the vendor is able to redeem it,  “…you can still get  the amount paid toward the service, just not the deal as advertised.”  This we begrudgingly accepted as “The Price of Doing Business”, though we were not happy.  So about a month later I went back to the vendor, taking my nephew, and we hoped to at least use half of the Groupons my mother had purchased.  We were informed by the vendor that the machine was still broken and they had NO time frame for its repair, or at least, “…not in the near or foreseeable future.”  So there you have it.  I was even told by the vendors manager, “Don’t worry, Groupon will refund your money.  Here’s my card, have them call me.”   A VERY clean and simple case of a Groupon not being able to be redeemed.  Although, Groupon saw it differently, for a second time.

After our second attempt to use the Groupon, my Mother contacted Groupn.com a second time, only to be subjected to an exhaustive series of obstacles to overcome, that tested her resolve, and ultimately culminated in her almost giving up.  For two months they ran my Mother through the ringer, dodging her attempts to collect the money that they now LEGALLY owed her.  She was even told during a phone conversation that she wasn’t allowed to talk to a supervisor, with the customer service representative stating, “Yes ma’am, that’s our policy. You can’t speak to my manager.” The bane of my Mothers existence at this point was a particularly viscous little prick from their customer service department who only went by the name Zach S.

As you can imagine, I lost my mind when I heard the phone call story. 

We clearly weren’t getting anywhere through the companies standard means of communication. So it was time for us to take it to a more public arena.  We decided to hit up their Facebook page and see if we couldn’t get a little more cooperation from them there.

After a few rants, they were ready to get things done.  My Mother, after more than two months of asking for a refund, finally got a refund.  Sadly it was in the form of Groupon.com credit to her account.  Which, although not what I was hoping for, did fall in line with their TOS, so… meh.  The point is, they didn’t do right by us.  Yes we got the refund, eventually… But what they put my Mother through is nothing short of criminal.  And that’s not right.  They denied her money that was owed to her.  They attempted to steal from her.  And had it not been for her persistence they would have gotten away with it. Is this how business is done these days?  Is everyone simply out to rip you off?  I would never deal with Groupon.com again.  As a customer or a business.

On a personal note:  Zach S., you are a piece of scum sucking filth, you little shit!

The Fox ate my baby!!

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Rupert Murdoch sees your children’s education as a Money Making Machine.  Wireless Generation, the News Corp owned education software company, is now poised to implement their Educational Tablets into the school systems of America.  Effectively putting Fox news style education on the open market, high on entertainment, low on facts, and very expensive.
This has been floating around for a while or at least since 2010, and back then I was trying to connect Neil Bush (Brother of Jeb and George) and his company Ignite! Inc. to Wireless Generation.  Needless to say I was unsuccessful, so I dropped the article from my sights.  As many of you know, Neil and Jeb tag-teamed the state of Florida, when Jeb introduced the FCAT standardization and Neil was right there with FCAT software in-hand and already in a test school even before the law was passed. It reeked of underhanded dealings.  

Although I was unable to connect the two companies, Jeb did me a favor by showing up at a Wireless Generation event where Murdoch was present and decided to grace the crowd (investors) with a few words of encouragement.  This too reeks of foul business dealings, but I couldn’t find further connections.  I’m still trying, but the tracks simply run parallel, and I’m unable to intersect the two.  With no dots to connect, I’m not even able to properly speculate.  [NOTE: I was able to find one article that mentioned Wireless Generation’s software running with ION, which could have referenced a software platform created by Ignite! Inc.  But Ignite! Inc. was never mentioned by name. And the article has been removed since then.]

I bring all this up because of NPR’s recent radio cast that highlighted Murdoch’s foray into the education arena.  I guess the time has come where Wireless Generation is finally ready to sell its new tablet to school systems across America, spreading –God knows what- educational material.  As we’ve seen on Fox News, Murdoch is not likely to give up control of the content that gets pushed through this thing. So expect it to be riddled with inaccurate nonsense, like a 6000 year old Earth, and the non-existence of climate change.  Keeping in mind this is a business venture for Murdoch, who has already expressed that education is a Goldmine.   Sick fucker.