Royce Eddington

Nothing to see here. Move along people.

Month: March 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

Advanced phone scam call – YellowPages for $499

I got a fairly advanced phone scam call at work today!

The call started with a female representative from “the YellowPages” with a very thick Indian accent. She said this call was in reference to the cancellation of our online Yellow Pages advertisement.

Right off the bat, I knew this was a scam because I’ve never ever advertised online with Yellow Pages.

A “copier ink” phone scam had already crossed my path late last year. A “supervisor” from a “copier ink” company called me and demanded payment of $499 for ink an employee ordered from one of our store locations. If I couldn’t pay the $499, $250 would be acceptable.

When I told them to get stuffed, the “supervisor” then played back a recording of the employee saying “YES” to the salesman’s prompts on whether he was authorized to order ink and “YES” to the final $499 amount.

I knew the employee’s “yes” replies were a cut-and-paste job because they sounded like they were part of a larger conversation. There was a continuing breath after the workers’ “yes” replies and not a period-ending kind of breath. It’s the difference in hearing a “yes” as in “Yes I like coffee” and just a flat “Yes.”

I also knew for a fact this particular employee the “copier ink” supervisor named in the recording doesn’t speak one word of English. OK, maybe one or two words. But a full sentence? A conversation? Hell no.

Once I mentioned that little linguistic tidbit to the “copier ink” supervisor, he quickly decided “all charges will be waived this time. Thank you. Goodbye.”

With all that in mind, I didn’t want to waste my time navigating a “yes” minefield with this “yellow pages” call, so I said “We are not interested in any offers at this time. Please remove us from your phone list immediately.”

CLICK. I hung up.

That should have been the end of it.

But noooooooo.

The “yellow pages” woman called back!

YP: “Sir! I was calling you back to confirm the cancellation of the Yellow Pages.”

ME: “We are not interested in any offers at this time. Please remove us from your phone list immediately.”

CLICK. I hung up again.

2 minutes later?

YP: “Sir! I was calling you back to confirm the cancellation of the Yellow Pages. You must speak with our supervisor department to approve the cancellation or you will be auto-renewed!”

Fine. Playtime it is.

ME: “I am not interested in any offers at this time. We do not wish to renew anything.”

YP: “Sir! You must accept the cancellation of the contract.”

I didn’t say anything.

After a brief pause, the Yellow Pages woman continued.

YP: “Sir? You are having a final invoice of $499. This will be sent to the address of (GIVES THE WRONG ADDRESS) of your company.”

$499? Hmmmm.

I didn’t say anything and let her continue.

YP: “Can you confirm this is indeed the address of your company?”

ME: “If you did business with us, you have our address on file.”

I heard her ask someone something in the background. After a brief pause, she continued.

YP: “If you are having a problem with this bill, you must please be using the number provided from the cancellation department and the invoice number to be contesting this bill. I am going to transfer you now sir…”

ME: “No. I refuse to accept any bills. We have no service with you.”

Silence.

YP: “You MUST say YES sir. To answer in anything not affirmative with the supervisor will cause the cancellation paperwork to not be sent! You are aware there is a bill invoice due, yes?”

ME: “Send the cancellation paperwork. Cancel the contract.”

YP: “Sir! You must agree to the cancellation!”

ME: (PAUSE) “Cancel our account.”

YP: “Sir! You must be agreeing to the cancellation with the supervisor! I am transferring you now!”

After a moment on hold, I got a male “Yellow Pages Supervisor”, but with a similar thick Indian accent.

YPS: “Hello. Are you wishing to cancel your account with us?”

ME: “Cancel our account.”

CLICK

They hung up on me! No hesitation at all!

I thought that would finally be the end of it.

But noooooooooo.

3 minutes later, the same female “Yellow Pages” agent called me back!

YP: “Sir! You must accept the cancellation of the contract with an affirmative. Would you like to be getting the cancellation number from the supervisor so we may cancel your account?”

ME: (after a brief pause to think about how to make a YES sentence without a YES) “Send the cancellation paperwork. I will not answer an affirmative when I am uncertain of the question or if I know the question being asked is a lie.”

YP: (after a moment of hushed conversation with someone) “Sir! I am with the yellow pages! The yellow pages! I wish you to say yes when I transfer you that you are aware of the $499 bill. Then if there is a problem you can contest the bill with the phone number that will be provided with the cancellation number!”

ME: “I do not accept this bill. I do not accept your proposal.”

YP: “You must accept the cancellation! I have been advising you of the $499 due. When they ask if you are aware of the bill, you are to say you are aware of this to be processing the cancellation. You can always contest this bill with the phone number they will be providing you. Please hold while I transfer you!”

After a moment, I got the same male “Yellow Pages Supervisor” with the thick accent.

YPS: “Hello. I am with the customer cancelation department. Are you aware there is a balance of $499 on the account sir?”

ME: “News to me! Who are you?”

YPS: “Sir. Are you aware of the pending balance due on your account?”

ME: “Explain it to me. Why am I getting charged?”

CLICK.

Once again, the “Yellow Pages Supervisor” hung up on me!

Some collections department!

I was somewhat amused and annoyed at this point. On the one hand, they were completely wasting my time and I honestly have a hundred other things to do. On the other hand, I was having a little bit of fun trying my damnedest not to say YES to questions that were very YES based.

About 3 minutes later… the phone rang again!

Same. Damn. Rep.

YP: “Sir! I need you to proceed with the cancellation! You must answer that you are aware of the balance for the cancelation to continue! This is the last time I will be calling you! The last time! You must agree to the cancellation to receive your cancellation paperwork in the mail!”

ME: “I am not aware of any balance. I will not accept any bill. Send the cancellation notice. Cancel our account.”

YP: “Sir! Sir! Sir! Will you agree to the cancellation?”

ME: “Cancel our account.”

YP: “Sir! Will you agree to the cancellation of your account with Yellow Pages?”

ME: “Cancel our account.”

There was a pause and a LOT of muffled conversation in the background.

YP: “Sir, I am going to be transferring you to the supervisor. I have advised you of the balance due which you must confirm with the supervisor. I have advised you of the balance! You must answer in the YES that you are indeed aware of the balance.”

I didn’t say anything.

YP: “I am transferring you now!”

After a moment, I got a very different male “Yellow Pages Supervisor”, but with a similar thick accent as all the others.

YPS: “Hello. I am the supervisor with the Yellow Pages customer cancellation department. Are you aware there is a balance of $499 on the account?”

ME: “Nope!”

YPS: “The previous agent did not explain the balance to you?”

ME: “Nope! Can you explain it? Why do I owe $499? For what service?”

CLICK!

And that was the last time they called.

I actually think I learned something from all of this.

First, it’s actually difficult not to say YES in a conversation when you are given questions purposefully designed to elicit a YES response. Linguistic manipulation can be profitable, especially when it’s recorded for use later on.

And second? There’s a bunch of punk-ass scumbags out there wanting to steal $499 from you. (But $250 would be acceptable!)

There’s some tricky cat math involved here

So there I was shopping at a local Target when I found another brilliant pricing scheme in the cat food isle.

I can get 10 of these things for $4….

Cat Math 01


…or I can buy a box of 12 for $3.84.

Cat Math 02


Seriously, why bother putting things like this on “sale” if it isn’t going to move product?

RT Tuesdays : 03/29/11

Every Tuesday I re-post all zee tweets that didn’t originate from this blog just to keep everything in sync.

This week on Twitter…

  • Mis-remembered famous Empire Strikes Back quote as “strong enough to wrestle the ears off a Brumak.” Gears of Star Wars? #nerdoverdrive (29 Mar)
  • AT&T is sucking more than usual. One bar, dropped calls, and an O instead of 3G. Their “4G network” is 4Giggles. #at&tsucks (29 Mar)
  • GOW2 had a surprise at end of credits. I totally know what’s coming in GOW3 just from that. How do you break into writing for games anyhow? (28 Mar)
  • Waiting for re-visit of a/c repair and finished Gears of War 2. Epic game all the way through. Might break my rule and buy 3 at full price. (28 Mar)
  • Random thought: I wonder how many budding comedians’ careers were tragically cut short because they got therapy instead of an audience. (27 Mar)
  • Oh captain! My cupcake captain! The snacks we sought are won! #hostesscrack yfrog.com/h7892yxj (26 Mar)
Hostess Crack!

Hostess Crack!



  • TIL there’s now a product called BUBBA BURGER. Strangely tempted. yfrog.com/gyv20phj (26 Mar)
Bubba Burger!

Bubba Burger!



  • Last pic. Plane crossed over its’ own path. Almost looks like a figure 8. Strange. yfrog.com/gygt2azpj (26 Mar)
Plane U turn 2

Plane U turn 2



  • I was having a garage sale with relatives earlier and saw a plane make a very sharp turn. Contrail is U shaped. yfrog.com/h27yycjj (26 Mar)
Plane U turn

Plane U turn



  • 7 hours into Gears Of War 2. Flamethrowers! Incredible graphics! And a hell of a side story with Dom. GOW2 might pull me back into gaming. (25 Mar)
  • One hour in. Highly impressed with Gears of War 2. Already used up my monthly allotment of swearing. Sniper rifle and chainsaw FTW. (25 Mar)
  • Heavily caffeinated. Waiting for a/c repair to arrive. Playing Gears of War 2 for the first time. DOM! LETS GO! (25 Mar)
  • A very expensive envelope arrived today. That’s a $2,600 DVD in my hand. yfrog.com/h4gvnarj (23 Mar)
Expensive dvd!

Expensive dvd!



  • Jnoubiyeh (Sarah Abdallah) RT  The bombing of Gaza will not cause Western powers to call for a #NoFlyZone. It will cause them to write more checks for Israel’s “security.” (23 Mar)
  • Wow. Just installed Firefox 4. Massive improvement. #fx4 (22 Mar)

Monday Morning Music : 03/28/11

Every Monday I like to post some music to start the week off on the right foot.

This week…

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Paris (Ooh La La)



Wisin & Yandel – Estoy Enamorado



…and finally, Burnin’ For You – Blue Oyster Cult



News stories the mainstream media missed : 03/26/11

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

This week is going to be an abbreviated version because I’ve just discovered Gears of War 2 for Xbox 360. (I have a rule I don’t pay more than $30 for any video game and GOW2 just got there.)

Right! Onward!

* If someone said new home sales are in the gutter, that would be an improvement from where they are now. New home sales fell to the lowest on record, which isn’t a good sign for a supposedly recovering economy. [CALCULATED RISK] has some scary and detailed graphics on how ugly this whole thing is, and [USA TODAY] has some pretty graphics on… well, whatever they are advertising this week.

* The first Americans may have been Texans? As in “the oldest human habitation in North America”? As in 15,500 years ago? And they were from AUSTIN? Well, if there’s anyplace in Texas that’s further ahead than the rest of them, Austin would be the city. LONE STAR REP-RE-SENT!!! [CHRON]

* The CIA actually has a troubleshooting checklist? I always thought their only troubleshooting advice was “if they aren’t in range, get closer.” The really scary thing is that this checklist is actually useful! [BBH-LABS]

* AT&T records everything you do on their network, whether you are using their phones or their web services. They then hand everything over to the NSA without any reason whatsoever. Close your eyes! Make a Wish! Count to Three! Come with meee…. and you’ll beee…. in a wooorrrlllld where AT&T is a punk ass government bitch that doesn’t give a fuck about their customers or the constituuuution! Wait, that’s not how their commercial jingle goes! [EFF]

* And finally, a former US marine “ended up on the government’s no-fly list because he exchanged e-mails with a Muslim cleric they were monitoring.” His crime? He asked a question about raising kids in an interfaith household. The marine, completely innocent, was then told by the F.B.I. that they would take him off the list “if he would become an undercover informant at mosques.” WHAT. THE. FUCK. Have the F.ucking B.atshit I.diots handling this case lost their minds? 8-balling a marine? For a crime he didn’t commit? Nice job, guys! How’s that constitutional toilet paper workin’ for you all? [SUNTIMES]

Shiseido Men’s Deep Wrinkle Corrector – slight rip off

I have a hot wife that’s younger than I am. That’s the good great news.

The bad news? Because I have a hot younger wife, I have started using skin care products for men to keep myself from looking like I’m too old to be with her.

Honestly? It’s an incredibly awesome mixed blessing.

To my younger self, though, using skincare products at all would be blasphemous. I never touched this kind of stuff in my twenties. John Wayne? Never used that crap! Humphrey Bogart? Never used that crap! Why should I use it? If I ever want a “harsh exfoliant”, I’ll use the highway asphalt! HA!

Come to think of it, that attitude of my younger self explains a few things now.

ANYWAY, the point of this post is to show something I found about Shiseido Men’s Deep Wrinkle Corrector. This is some highly expensive stuff that comes in a tube about six quarters high that my wife recently bought for me to try out.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 01


Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 02


So there I was, putting this highly expensive stuff on my face, when I heard the dreaded “PHOOT! PHOOT!” of an empty pump.

I took the top off to see if there was anything I could save when I saw the pump had a short “straw”.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 03


Looking at the bottle, I thought the straw-thing that pulls the product from the big bottle must have fallen down the tube.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 04


I didn’t see a way to pull off any more of the top, but I did see a seam on the bottom.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 05


To my surprise, it came off with just a slight twist.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 06


Looking up into the tube of this highly expensive stuff, I expected to find something holding more of the product that I could pull out and get the “straw” re-attached to the pump with. Instead? I saw this.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 08


This giant bottle, this giant very expensive bottle, was only one quarter length deep!

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 09


My Leatherman was still on my belt, so I got the pliers and reached in to pull out the plastic container.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 10


That’s it. That’s the whole damn thing. About one quarter in size.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 11


Looking in the container, I saw that even though it was mostly empty, only about half of it was actual product! The rest was plastic!

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 12


Looking at the side, you can see the product reservoir only goes a DIME’S LENGTH down! That seam near the bottom where the color changes? Solid plastic.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 13


All this. All this waste. For a dime’s worth of actual content.

Shiseido Men's Deep Wrinkle Corrector 14


If somebody at Shiseido ever makes it to this blog, you should really take a look at “going green”. This packaging is just full-speed stupid.

Walgreen’s Progresso Soups – slight rip off

So there I was at the local Walgreen’s waiting for the Pharmacists to decipher my doctor’s secret hieroglyphic messages when I saw this little pricing gem in the food isle.

2 for $5, 3 for $5 or 2 for $6 you say?


Sooo…. the cans are marked from the factory 3 for $5. That’s about $1.67 each. But Walgreen’s has them on CLEARANCE at 2 for $5 which is $2.50 each! An .83 cent increase on clearance prices?

Oh, and if you look at the itty bitty print on the CLEARANCE tag, Walgreen’s was originally selling them for 2 for $6, which, according to Walgreen’s math, works out to $3.19 each and not $3 each like I calculated.

This must be some of that new math I’ve been hearing about.

Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief – slight rip off

So there I was, at a local Target, looking for stuff to add to my “no really, I don’t need a doctor” medical emergency bag when I saw Bausch & Lomb’s Advanced Eye Relief for $3.69 on the shelves.

Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief Rip Off 01


I have plenty of saline, but I was curious what makes Bausch & Lomb’s Advanced Eye Relief so fancy-pants advanced.

Looking on the back, I found it is 99.05% ….

Bausch & Lomb Advanced Eye Relief Rip Off 02


…water? WATER?!?!?

Oh hell no.

For $3.69 I’ll buy a couple of Evians to add to the emergency bag instead of this stuff!

Rip. Off.

RT Tuesdays : 03/22/11

Every Tuesday I re-post all zee tweets that didn’t originate from this blog just to keep everything in sync.

This week (aaaand the week before) on Twitter…

  • You know you are #trulyloved when 7 years passes in one happy heartbeat! (Sun Mar 20 17:38:07 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
  • Modified my little puppy dog so he has 16mb of storage! Lazy Sunday science FTW! http://t.co/mKYf5tp (Sun Mar 20 15:18:13 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
16 MB PUPPY!

16 MB PUPPY!

  • Tokyo Electric, which owns the Fukushima plant in Japan, wants to build a South Texas reactor in 2012. News to me! http://t.co/IByzdC9 (Thu Mar 17 23:14:57 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
  • I’ve got one @abobrow : Greendale was never certified. Classes didn’t count. Can explain 6th and 7th seasons. #futureCommunitygimmicks (Thu Mar 17 22:46:23 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
Random Brownsville Skies

Random Brownsville Skies

  • Road trip week (work based). Already at 7 hours ttl and it’s only Tuesday! (Tue Mar 15 12:44:01 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
  • gbrumfiel Understanding the radiation numbers at Fukushima (and Sieverts explained): http://j.mp/gIatfF (Tue Mar 15 08:21:48 2011 via bitly Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • georgemaschke @BarackObama, if the abusive pre-trial treatment of Bradley #Manning is okay with you, you are not okay with me. #election2012 (Mon Mar 14 04:39:44 2011 via web Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • mattyglesias Sad statement about America that P.J. Crowley is the one being forced to resign over Bradley Manning. (Sun Mar 13 12:01:16 2011 via TweetDeck Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • I think insomniacs (like myself) should only be required to set our clocks fwd 30 minutes for the first week. Just to give sleep a chance! (Sun Mar 13 05:19:14 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
  • Candycoated tires. Scented water. Bogart and Pryor having a cigar on the bridge of the Enterprise. Fever dreams are funny AFTER they pass! (Sun Mar 13 01:33:27 2011 via Twitter for iPhone)
  • LandyEddington In leaps and bounds we spring-foward tonight! Ugh! Sleep-in Sunday! (Sat Mar 12 21:51:19 2011 via Twitter for iPhone Retweeted by RoyceEddington)
  • I think when a piece of tech is picked as a store demo unit, it’s like they won the death penalty… http://dailybooth.com/u/8cwff (Sat Mar 12 19:05:24 2011 via DailyBooth)
Won the Tech Death Penalty Lotto

Won the Tech Death Penalty Lotto

  • VoxOx Call, text, fax #Japan for FREE with @Voxox › http://vox.im/TSi2 #prayforjapan (Fri Mar 11 17:39:24 2011 via web Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 2 others)
  • AndreaTOAP Scientists on CNN now is saying entire island of #Honshu #Japan moved eastward by 8 feet (2.3 m) (Fri Mar 11 12:33:09 2011 via web Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • SFLRedCross Contact the US State Department 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225 for inquiries on US citizens living/traveling in #Japan #tsunami (Fri Mar 11 08:23:46 2011 via web Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • GeorgeTakei Offer prayer and HELP to quake and tsunami victims in Japan. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Pls RT. (9:00 AM Mar 11th via HootSuite Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • 8000 mg Cheratussin + 1200 mg Tylenol + Boiling Hot Shower + 2xCoffee (black) > Raging Cough + Fever + Stuffed Up Nose. #backtoworkdammit (10:10 AM Mar 11th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • Fever visions! (AKA free rides on the Wonkatania. Allll aboaaaaard!!) Turning off iPhone and everything else that can tweet for safety. (6:27 AM Mar 11th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • CrisisCamp NOAA: #Tsunami Travel Time Map http://1.usa.gov/i4pPbJ #eqjp #smem (2:54 AM Mar 11th via TweetDeck Retweeted by RoyceEddington and 100+ others)
  • #ghettoconstruction company fixed the water line they snapped. Will patch holes in my home this week. Glad I was home sick today! (1:05 AM Mar 11th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • OMG! Cheratussin is total STFU for coughs!! Where has this magic syrup been all my life?? Prescription only, but totally worth it! (11:20 PM Mar 10th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • #ghettoconstruction company next door just snapped my water line and anchored nails on my home to support their framing. Surprise! I’m home! (5:12 PM Mar 10th via Twitter for iPhone)
  • Reading Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Strain” at 3 am by kindle-light when my dog decides my bare foot needs a growling pounce. Hijinks ensue. (6:50 AM Mar 9th via Twitter for iPhone)

Monday Morning Music : 03/21/11

Every Monday I like to post some music to start the week off on the right foot.

This week…

30 Seconds To Mars – Closer To The Edge



Ke$ha – Blow



No Doubt – Spiderwebs



La 5A Estacion – El Sol No Regresa



…and finally, a classic…. Edgar Winter Group – Frankenstein

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