Saturday, April 17, 2010

An Apple a day keeps the sanity away. I just spent about an hour and a half arguing on the phone today with Apple Inc. Allow me to explain. It all started with a simple little advertisement for an application that looked really freaking cool. It's called holoblog. Now, the neat thing about this app is that when you tilt your iPhone to the left or the right, it used the accelerometer to tilt the image of the hologram background. So it would change, completing the holographic effect essentially. It was like the captains log in Star Trek with all the little futuristic graphics to go with it, dorky, i know.

Well anyways, being the unobservant dumbass I am, I didn't notce that this application was for iPad only. (I have an iPhone, just let me state that there) So I spent my little $.99 on this application through the iTunes program, then go on my phone to download it from there because I'm too damn lazy to hook my phone up to my laptop at this point in the morning, except I'm unable to find it in the iPhone version of iTunes (because it isn't meant for it) so I can't download it, so at this point I'm going "what the fuck." So I go back in iTunes and look around. I can't find a damn thing that would explain why I can't get this application on my damn iPhone. I do a little research on my own, and lo and behold, iPad only.

So I go looking for the FAQ that will help solve all problems. I find said FAQ, and it tells me to click the "report a problem" link you can find in the iPhone version of iTunes on the applications page. The only problem with that is I can't because I can't open that page on my iPhone, you can only do it on an iPad, and if I had an iPad, I wouldn't be in the mess to begin with. So, I start looking around for the FAQ for the FAQ. That FAQ sends me to a webpage with a list of possible problems. I find the one for the iTunes application and bill on the list, and that FAQ sends me to another FAQ I FAQ myself a whole bunch of questions, none of which apply to me, so I keep clicking "no no no no no". Finally, I get to the end and it says "Didn't find what you were looking for? Click here!" and it sends me back to the original website I started from!!! This is just ghastly coding.

So I decide, 'Surely Apple has a customer service phone number! They have to care about their customers!?' Right? Wrong. I can't find a phone number to reach an actual person for the life of me, but I did find the number for the telephone-version of the Apple Store, so I called that. A robot answers and kindly informs me that he is an advanced something-another, and can understand complete sentences, so what am I looking for? I explain the whole problem to the robot. The robot says, "Let me get you to iTunes customer service!" Domo Arigato, Mr. Robato.

The robot sends me to another recording that says "If you have any problems with anything regarding iTunes or any iTunes applications, please visit this website", which is the same freaking webpage with the same freaking FAQ to solve every world crisis but mine. Mr. Robato then asks if that solved my problem. 'No. No it did not.' 'Well, what can I do to help?'   I politely respond, 'I want to speak to a freaking human." "Oh." it says, "Let me get you to a representative right away." Lols.

I sit there for 5 or so minutes of hold music, which by the way is epic as far as hold music goes. No muzac for the Apple Corporation, oh hellz to the no. You get real music, buddy, full guitar that doesn't transfer well over the phone and all. So I listen to how much I'm being missed, like the desert misses the rain, and eventually I'm connected to this lady. She says, "Hi, thank you for calling Apple. Can I get your name please?" "Andrea." "Hi, Andrea. Can I get the serial number of your iPhone?" "Sure, it's #####EEUY#K." "Thanks! Okay, how can I help you today?" So I describe the problem to her, and the website goose-chase, and she informs me that this isn't really the kind of thing she solves, but she'll be more than happy to send me on over to customer service. Off I go, forwarded to some other call center. Another 10 or so minutes of hearing how if I'd just walk a mile in someone else's shoes, I might then really know what it's like to have the blues. I get off hold and Ms. Customer-Service says "Hi! Thanks for calling Apple. Can I get your name, please?" "Andrea." "Can I get the serial number of your iPhone?" "Yes, it's ##### Elephant Elephant Umbrella Yellow # Kaleidoscope." "And how can I help you today?" I explain the problem to this lady, and the website goose-chase, and the phone-forwarding. She says this isn't exactly the kind of thing she solves, either, but she can certain forward me to technical support. Sure. Why not. And away I go.

I hold for another 10 minutes or more, listening to some Japanese song I've never heard before and a few others, and then I get Mr. Tech-Support. "Hello, and thank you for calling Apple Technical Support today. May I have your name please?" "....Andrea." "Hello, Andrea, may I have the serial number for you iPhone?" ".... it's ##### Elephant Elephant Umbrella Yellow # Kaleidoscope." "Alright, and how can I be of service today?" So I spin my yarn, problem -> web-chase -> phone tag -> you. He tells me he doesn't really solve that kind of thing, but let him get his department manager. Sure. Go for it. I'm on hold. Some guy heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it from another some girl was messing around. I wonder if he had to go through all of those different people to hear she was messing around because he kept getting forwarded.

The Techie comes back and tells me I am now on the line with Q. I say "Q? Like the letter?" "Yes. Q, like the letter." "...Okay." Techie disconnects. "Hello, and thanks for calling Apple today. Can I get your name?" ".. You'd think someone would have written this down by now... It's Andrea." "Alright, and can I get your serial number for your iPhone?" "Sure, why not, just like the 5 people before you. It's ##### Elephant Elephant Umbrella Yellow # Kaleidoscope." "Alright, and what seems to be the trouble today, Andrea?" Problem. Goose Chase. Phone chase. Good hold music. New department. More phone chase. Feeling dumb doing this over 99 cents but now it's about the principle. You. "I see, well we don't usually solve these kinds of problems in this department.. but let me get my manager." ...... Mother... fucker.... "... *sigh* alright..."

The entire time I've been doing this, I've been talking to my friend Daniel over xfire, explaining what was happening while he was playing WoW. He laughs and jokes while I'm wondering who the manager of a Departmental manager is (Regional Manager?),  saying eventually I'm going to be forwarded up to Steve Jobs who's going to be like: "Hi Andrea. I heard about your problem. See, here's the thing, I can't give you your money back because I've already masturbated all over it." I corrected him and told him it wouldn't go down like that, because he missed the part where Steve Jobs would say "Hi, and thank you for calling my Apple Corporation today. The -entire- Apple Corporation today. Can I get your name? Can I get the serial number to your iPhone?"

So Mr. Department Manager Q (I'm thinking Star Trek: The Next Generation, Daniels too busy screaming "No! You mean James Bond!") tells me his manager is taking longer than expected to get a hold of (this is after 15 more minutes of music I didn't bother paying attention to. Sorry, no musical lyrics this time.) and could he get a number to call me back at. By now it's gone from Almost 9 am to past 10 am doing this journey. I sigh and ask if there isn't some way they can manage this without me having to be present. He says no, he'd need the zip code and such to verify billing. I said "Can't I just give that to you now?" "Sure." I give him every detail about my personal life including blood type and bra size, and then he thanks me and says he'll call me back once he gets his manager on the line, leaving me wondering why the fuck I told him anything if he's still going to call me back.

He does, about 5 minutes later, telling me it took far less time than I expected. He then informs me I used my one "get out of jail free card" that Apple provides every user per lifetime, and asks if there is anything else he can do for me today. I said "Can you give me back the hour and a half you took from me?" "Hahahahahaha... have a good day. *click*"


Meh. I got my fucking $.99 back. Take that. 



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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Grass is Always Greener...

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence but somehow, I can't imagine that's the truth if the fence is the border between Mexico and the United States. I was watching a spanish movie about futuristic minority labor, where men and women get "nodes" to remote operate robot machinery so the U.S. gets all the labor they want without any of the people. Seems like a cold depiction of America, and only somewhat accurate.

I think there are some Americans that would love the labor without the populace, but many don't even want the labor here. I personally don't care, as long as the neighborhoods don't have to suffer. It seems to me that cheap labor seems to bring with it poor manners and disrespect for the surrounding area. I hate to see a place slowly reduced to bottles and trash everywhere, everything in disrepair, and violence taking root.

I can't help but wonder if people who wish immigrants would stop "taking our jobs" realize that by working for less pay they are boosting the american economy. Fat cats get richer, yes, but the cost of minimal wage directly corresponds to the cost of living. For example, everyone gets excited when they raise minimum wage, they think higher wages = more money, more money = more stuff. No one seems to realize that if you raise minimum wage, then all the different companies that were benefiting from the lower wages now have to up their production costs.

If you raise the salary of an employee who works for Kroger's Grocery Store, for example, Kroger's has to make up that cost somewhere. Many ways they do it is to cut costs elsewhere, but since they can't cut down the pay, they cut down the hours. Suddenly, John here was working 30 hours a week, but now he's only working 20. Was that 50 cent's extra really worth it?

Or lets say they decide to not adjust the hours at all, instead they decide to pass that cost off to the consumers. Now that jug of milk, or can of beans, or stalk of celery costs 20 cents more than it did last week. The average American drinks 19 gallons of milk in a year. That's the difference of $3.80 in a year. No big deal right? But that's just milk. They raise dozens and dozens of products up by 20 cents... it all adds up. Someone has to pay for that 50 cent raise, and guess what, it's you.



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