Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Your Store (yeah right)

The advertisements for Farmers [A New Zealand Department store] on television are full of beautiful slim white families laughing and eating fruit on lilos in the sun. None of the attractive and socially adjusted, politically correct teenagers in the ads are wearing shirts with X-rated or offensive slogans on them...

This is part of a letter that I wrote to Farmers recently:

"To Whom it may concern,

I would very much like to ask a question to the buying manager for farmers trading company, if it is possible please could you forward this letter to them and have them respond.

I was in Farmers this weekend just gone, and was more than a little disappointed to see some of the t-shirts and messages printed on clothing that was for sale. Two examples from the selection were:

"Amateur porn star"
"I am not a gynecologist; but I would like to take a look"
I believe that this is smut. It is unacceptable, insensitive and degrading to women. My personal opinion of this is not the issue here. But I do find it extremely surprising that this sort of material would be for sale in a Farmers store.

My Questions for you are:
1. Do you believe that these sorts of messages are acceptable?
2. Is this the sort of stock in line with the philosophy of the store; the place where a family could shop?

I look forward to a response at your earliest convenience,

Yours sincerely,


and I was only warming up! Just wait for part two of this story where you'll hear Mumbleboy say :"What the?!"

Monday, November 21, 2005

Christmas list

My wife's family has this wonderful, practical and very fun tradition whereby each person emails out everyone else with a Christmas list about what they want to get for Christmas. You send your email out and never hear anything back as the rest of the family is emailing everyone else either bagsing what they will get each person, or bagging their list and choosing something else anyway. It works out well as people don't tend to spend money for the sake of spending money at Christmas time, and you don't tend to get something that you hate and have to be polite about.

The expectation is that the list will be submitted by the end of Nov.

I found this book today and wondered if I am brave enough to add it to my list.... if the benefits of the book itself will outweigh the hassling that will inevitably ensue when my family see it on my list...

Maybe I'll see how I am feeling closer to the time - one doesn't want to appear obsessed.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Telecom New Zealand

Right then, let's start with the big boys.

I am tired of Telecom. I am tired of them putting me on hold; I am tired of them responding to my emails in an impersonal manner - leaving me to believe that the responses perhaps may have been written by either a computer, a 7 year old (much cheaper than paying an adult) or a monkey (cheaper still!); I am tired of them expecting me to remember my account number and having then sigh at me when I tell them that I don't know it, thus making them have to enter my telephone number as a poor alternative to find out who it is that is calling.

The average wait time, after dialing 123 for residential assistance, after being made to listen to the automated "push 4 for your account, push 5 for..." voice is about 10 minutes. Today I baked a small batch of cookies and listened to 3 (quite good) tracks by Split Ends and one that I don't care to remember from some obscure glam pop genre circa 1981.

Telecom has New Zealand by the short and curleys. We pay our dial up Internet $5 in advance - even if we don't use any and it’s not refunded the following month. We are charged too much for ringing a cell phone form a land line and don't even try to organise cross billing for your home line. This resulted for me in having a $200 bill on a particular month and being made to wait for up to forty minutes on two separate occasions only to be transferred to a very hard working and no doubt, kind person who I actually couldn't understand. I am sure that people arrive off the plane from wheretheheckistan, not a word of Maori (or any other useful language) and Telecom is there with a large glossy sign offering them employment and cheap toll calls.

So..... For all of you in the same boat as me:

Telecom New Zealand Limited
Freepost 10053
Private Bag 4742

Please be grateful for this information, as I had to listen to Celine Dion for 13 minutes to get it.

Good luck.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The (not very) humble beginning

Today I received an email from a friend containing this attachment. It made me smile and rekindled, deep within me, a love of the assertive.

Face to face I will usually end up apologising to the owner of the dog that has just bitten my ear off… on my own property upon confronting him from my hospital bed. But in front of my keyboard, or with a pen in my hand and a 45c stamp lying in wait - let the multi-national empires quiver!

Let the corporate giants lie awake, sleepless and restless in fear and guilt from what they have subjected us to.... knowing, fearing the letters that we will write – demanding justice (or maybe just some free stuff). Oh yes, I shall write! Let the small boy with the newly purchased and uncrunchy Twisties have faith! Let the single mum from Taranaki rejoice when none of the matches in the box will light! May the Communications Student sniff the sweet smell of freedom and retribution when their jelly tip has not been double coated in delicious chocolate; the Jelly Tip that they have spent a small proportion of their student loan on!

This blog is about what we pay for, and what we get.

Any day is a good day to be a day of reckoning!

I demand quality (especially if I have paid more than about a dollar).