21 March 2010

Pay-off & Celebrate

March is usually a good month for celebration, particularly as I celebrate my birthday on St Patricks Day and some good friends of mine also celebrate their birthdays as well.

This March has cranked it up a bit as I found out I've finally finished paying off my car! 2 months early (and so having to pay an early exit fee for the privelige). It's quite a relief in some ways, there's a few hundred dollars per month I no longer have to dish out to the finance company! After almost 5 years, I wonder if those extra dollars will make much of a difference.

To celebrate this achievement, last week I installed some new HID (high intensity discharge) bulbs to improve visibility at night and they look cool too :P

This month has also seen some great progress with our house. We've gone from slab to frame and now the windows and bricks are going up. It's quite amazing to see how quickly things can happen when everything falls into place. The downside being that our loan slowly gets larger and larger with each stage of completion :(

Bricks going up on our house
We've also managed to pay off our upcoming Egypt/Dubai holiday which is coming quickly in May. Both Eleonor and I are very excited about travelling to what should be two amazing places. Seeing the Pyramids with our own eyes, cruising the Nile and checking out the other wonders of Egypt as well as going to the ultra-modern and super-rich Emirati city of Dubai, a place I've been keen on visiting since it sprung out of nowhere and became such an infamous place for 'great things'.

My parents will beat us to Egypt as they travel there next month, but they'll also be able to give us an indication of what we should expect when we travel there a month later :)

2010 is certainly living up to expectation with a LOT happening so far. I think that's reflected in the number and frequency of blog entries I've been making recently!

Until the next exciting update, take care...

06 March 2010

Old Fashioned Customer Service

Whatever happened to it?

With Eleonor's recent troubles with her MacBook Pro, it was easy to see why she'd lost faith in the brand. I could also sympathise to some degree with her frustration as her saga continued on and on. But with my recent tyre issue, you really have to wonder where old fashioned customer service has gone to. People - and companies don't seem to care anymore.

So, last week I was driving along and picked up an odd vibration through the front wheels. I get home, jack up the front of the car and take a look to find that one of the front tyres has blistered. Now, this tyre isn't that old (purchased in June '09) and still has a good amount of tread on it, so we're wondering how this could have happened.

Blistered Tyre from an Impact Fracture

So I take it back to the shop it was purchased from to see what they can do - whether there's a warranty claim in there at all. The guy says they'll have an answer by the end of the day (Monday at the beginning of this week) and I'd get a call on Tuesday.

Of course, Tuesday came and went and I didn't get a call.

I call them back on Wednesday and the wheel still hasn't been looked at. The guy re-promises that'll happen that afternoon and I'll get a call.

Of course, there's no call.

I call them back on Thursday, this time I get an answer (surprised?) and the tyre manufacturer won't provide a claim. They say that it's the result of an impact fracture. I'm still not really surprised. I would have been surprised if I had a resolution by Tuesday afternoon! So I take the tyre back on Friday and am no better off.

So, my understanding of this tyre manufacturer's reasoning is that if you have one of their tyres and you hit a pothole, you're s**t outta luck. So don't by NEUTON branded, or any no name brand tyres I'd say!

Anyway, back to the case at hand. I'm sure many of us have had the situation where we're promised a resolution or a call back and it never happens. The question is why? Or maybe the better question is, what can you do about it? Perhaps nothing... Something's up with the work ethic of people maybe? They just don't care anymore? There's any number of reasons I suspect.

At the end of the day though - it just wastes our time and leaves us feeling bitter about the brand/company involved.

Maybe if they annoy enough of us they'll take notice? I think that might be wishful thinking as well!

Until next time, take care!