Amazon, UPS, the pits.

Conversation with an amazon rep about UPS.  Trying not to give that guy too much grief, but at the same time, this is so irritating.

You are now connected to Devi Priyanka from Amazon.ca.
Me:I've been a long-time customer of Amazon, but seriously if you keep using UPS to ship your stuff, I'll have to stop ordering from you. They can't deliver anything without it turning into a fight for my stuff. Ordering online is supposed to be simple, but as soon as a package falls into their hand it's a guaranteed struggle. Go back to Canada Post. Please.
Devi Priyanka:Hello, my name is Devi . I'll be happy to help you.
I'm really sorry for the experience you had with the carrier.
Just to confirm, are you referring to the order ######### ?
Me:Yes. Take a look at the manifest from the carrier: ############
On 12/11/2012:20:53 I requested an address change. Yet today they attempted a delivery at the exact same address
Devi Priyanka:Please give me a minute, I'm checking that for you, Christian.
Me:And now they claim that "as requested by the customer, the receiver will pickup at a UPS facility". This is false, I never requested anything like that.
Devi Priyanka:I'm so sorry for that.
In this case let me check with the carrier if they can make the next delivery attempt.
Devi Priyanka:I'll check with them and I;ll send you the confirmatuion email within 1-2 hours.
In case, if the carrier is unable to do so, would it be possible for you to pick it up from thee carrier location?
Me:Their location so far out of the way that it's pretty much unthinkable
Devi Priyanka:I'm really sorry for that.
In that case, if they're unable to redeliver the package, I'll create a replacement for this order.
Would that be fine for you, Christian/
Me:It used to be Amazon shipped via Canada Post. Canada Post has facilities all over town and it's super easy and convenient to get your stuff when they can't reach you. UPS doesn't respond properly to exceptions, they can't process simple requests like address changes.
And most important they can't deliver
If you file a replacement order the same thing will happen.
They'll mess it up again.
Devi Priyanka:I completely understand your concern. Unfortunately, we do not have an option to refer a specific carrier, however, I'll pass it on to the right people in our company for taken in to consideration.
Me:I'm tired of talking to them on the phone every order I place. Their job is to get your stuff to me. They can't do their job.
Devi Priyanka:I'll certainly pass this on to our shipping department to make necessary action against this carrier.
Me:As long as the replacement order is free, in a way I don't care, it'll just bounce back if they can't be bothered to do their job
Devi Priyanka:Also, If you won't be home when you expect the delivery, you might want to leave a note asking the driver to leave the package with a neighbor or building manager. Otherwise, it may be easier to have the package delivered to your business address instead.
Sure thing.
Me:The address change was to tell them to deliver to my work instead. But now there's a new policy at work about no personal deliveries, so everytime I do that I get in trouble.
Devi Priyanka:I will create a replacement at free of cost for you. Also, I noticed that Logitech USB Headset H390 is Temporarily out of stock with us.
Me:Yeah I ordered the last one.
Devi Priyanka:In case, if they are unable to make the delivery, I will issue refund for the item which is unavailable and create the replacement for the available items.
I will try our best to ask the carrier to redeliver the package.
I will check with them and send you the confirmation e-mail within 1 - 2 hours,
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Is there anything else I can do for you today?
Me:It's annoying to me because I ordered that set, you had it in stock and because of these idiots I won't have it.
I'll only conclude with reiterating that UPS is poisoning your business. I used to love shopping at Amazon, now it's just painful.
Devi Priyanka:I completely understand your concern, Christian. We will certainly take necessary action against this carrier.
Me:And whenever I complain about UPS on my social network, I always get supporting comments.
So, I'll be waiting for your mail.
Devi Priyanka:yes, you can expect my e-mail within 1 - 2 hours.
Me:Thank you.
Devi Priyanka:Thank you for contacting Amazon.ca. We hope to see you again soon! Please click the end chat link to close this window.


Kickstart your health?

I recently donated to indiegogo's Let's build a God Damned Tesla Museum campaign.  But that's not what this post is about.  When I started to browse the different campaigns on indiegogo, I was struck by a bunch of them that are about helping someone recover from an accident or illness, paying for medical bills and so on.

I'm sort of sad and revolted that these things exist.  In my book, internet fundraising campaigns are often a sort of lottery, where if you push the right button of the right person at the right time and they make the right tweet about it, you make a million dollars.  If not, you make next to squat.

I'm fine with that when the projects are things like videogames or books or bands or even museums.  But are we looking at a healthcare lottery?  These campaigns have videos and pictures and such.  So as a "consumer of good feelings" you can pick and choose who gets cured and who doesn't based on how photogenic these people were prior to their horrible accident and/or illness.  Maybe add how they voted at the last election?  Their favourite bands?  How about a reality show?  Vote who gets to keep that kidney.  10 cents per call!

I do not harbour hard feelings toward the people who launch these campaigns (as long as they're legitimate).  Some of them are genuinely in need of money to get their loved ones back on track.  But I could never donate to any one of them.  Health care is a basic, fundamental right.


2011 Weight Loss Recap

Quick weight recap.  As some of you know I note my weight more or less every morning and I crunch this data in Libra, a very nice Android app.  Every year I do a recap.  This year I've included all three years in the chart, with little green dots when something significantly positive (for my weight loss) takes place and a red dot for something negative.  I'll write this year's main events after the break.

This year hasn't gone as planned.  In fact, for a while it looked like I was going to go off tracks completely.  But I steered back at the last minute, and ended up with a glorious 1lb loss for 2011.

2011 started well enough.  Despite the expected holiday bump, I kept the course and kept losing the weight.  Then in late February I made a fateful decision.  My game development schedule was beginning to slide, my motivation to complete it and the growing competition on Android meant I wanted to finish it as quickly as possible.  For that I needed more time.  And working out takes time.  So I took a break from exercising to crunch for the game.  Turned out not to be a great decision.  If we isolate the crunch time alone it's not so bad, but going off course for so long meant it would be that much harder to get back on it.

When the game was released I did my best to get back on track, and succeeded in a way.  But a few moments later I went to Disney World for a vacation, and when I returned I completely failed to return to my good habits.

For the next few months I would take it really easy.  Step on the bike only once in a while, eat like crap and overall returning to a lifestyle that had made me into the near-300 lbs man I hated.  But the slide was so slow that I always believed (correctly it turned out) I could steer it back.  In November I saw my trend going up, and decided it would not be acceptable to finish 2011 with a higher trend than I began.  So I cut back on desserts, returned to the bike on a regular basis and restarted Dance Central, now Dance Central 2, with increased dedication.

And so I end 2011 with 1 lost pound over 2010.  Considering I was aiming at losing 40, it's a rather colossal failure.  But considering I'm still going "the right way", I dare say it could've been worst.  Now aiming for a 30 pounds loss for 2012.  I think it's reasonable, or to put it in a way more fitting for 2012, it's not the end of the world.