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Saturday, July 4, 2015

How to lose a customer before you even get one, thanks Centurylink!

One hour and 16 minutes of life wasted.

Thinking about it for several months after Comcast jacked my rate up yet again for internet service I made the decision to try Centurylink Broadband through the phone line. I had been a previous customer twice before when they were known as Quest and had been fairly satisfied with their performance.

It was my understanding that they have been upgrading their service in many areas to high speed connections that were as good as Comcast. I found an introductory offer on-line for a much cheaper rate than my current Comcast that was guaranteed for one year, ordered the modem and set a date for service install.

As the date drew near to start service I had to call the customer service department to make some changes. That began a nightmare of a phone call that last one hour and 16 minutes while I was handed off to 5 different people!

After navigating their frustrating menu, I was on hold for 10 minutes before getting a live person to talk to. I gave her my account info, she was gone for awhile before finally coming back and asking where I live. I said "Salt Lake City, UT" and she said "no wonder I can't find you, your not in my area and I need to transfer you". Great, I get transferred and am on hold again for another 12 minutes.

Another live body comes on and asked for my info all over again. His computer pulls up a previous account of mine and he's telling me that I have been cancelled. As I try to explain, he says "this is not my department and I need to transfer you to account retention services, please hold". By than I was already pretty irate as I sat on hold for another 15 minutes.

So on and on, the next person says I shouldn't have been transferred to her, I need the billing department! Another wait, and another until I got to the fifth person. It was more than 70 minutes after I first dialed the phone.

By that time I had to try so hard to keep from yelling at the guy and flat out told him that I was cancelling my account and I need it done NOW! Fortunately, he was able to do that without transferring me to a sixth "person". I'm trying to be nice and not call them names, I know they are probably doing what they have been trained to do. I opened the box that the new modem came in, retrieved the return shipping label, stuck it on and dropped it at UPS.

So, Centurylink, you lost me as a repeat customer before it even began. These companies really need to look at their customer service department and understand what is happening.

So, I have been hearing that Google internet may be coming to this area, I'll wait a while and see about other options.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ryder among ‘America’s Best Employers’
Article thanks to Matt Cole and Links provided:

By Matt Cole on 
Ryder System, Inc. has been named one of Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers,” ranking 62nd out of 500 on the list.
The 500 employers on the list were chosen based on an independent survey of 20,000 American employees working for large U.S. companies and institutions, and U.S. divisions of international firms.
They were asked anonymously through several online panels if they’d recommend their employer, or any other employers in their industry, to a potential employee. The survey was conducted on companies in all industry sectors employing more than 2,500 workers in the U.S.
Ryder was also recently named among Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired Companies.” Ryder is a $6.6 billion commercial fleet management and supply chain solutions company, with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

3 reasons to book directly with hotels
Article thanks to Kim Komando at Links provided:

June, 2015  When you're planning a vacation, you have two big expenses: travel and accommodations. I've given you plenty of tips for the best days and sites to find cheap airline tickets, so I'm not going to talk about that today.
Instead, I'm going to talk about reducing the expense of your hotel. You might think I'm going to give you some secret days and special sites to find fantastic deals, but you're in for a surprise.
Your best tactic for booking hotel rooms is actually to book directly with hotels themselves. I know that sounds counterintuitive when you see commercials for Priceline, Expedia and others offering amazing hotel deals, but there are some good reasons.
That isn't to say you can't use comparison sites to find cheap hotel rooms; you just don't want to use them for booking. Let's take a look at the reasons why.
Did you know that most hotels will match a competitor's prices? So, if you go on a hotel comparison site and find a great deal, but you'd rather stay in a different hotel, call up the hotel you want and see if it will price match. It probably will.
If you're considering a Marriott hotel, for example, it has the Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee that will match the lowest price and throw on a 25% discount. That's not too shabby.
Most hotels actually want you to book with them directly because it makes them more money. Third-party booking sites take a cut of their profit. If a hotel can book you directly, it can still give you a discount and make more in the end than if you booked through a third-party site.
You can also find situations where a hotel has rooms it needs to fill, and it will give you a discount to get you in the door. In some cases, you can even use a site like BackBid to get hotels to bid on your business.
Of course, booking directly with hotels isn't just good for them. When you book directly, a hotel might offer you exclusive package deals and include perks that aren't available on third-party sites. That might not save you money, but you get more value for your money. And that's not all.
It turns out that hotels reserve certain blocks of rooms for third-party sites, and those generally aren't the best ones. If you're booking directly, you might find rooms in a better location in the hotel or with better amenities as standard for the same price as the third-party ones.
Also, because you booked with the hotel directly, the hotel might be more inclined to do things like upgrade you if you're celebrating a marriage, anniversary or other special event. As I said, they want to encourage you to book directly in the future.
People who book through third parties are also more likely to be sent somewhere else if the hotel ends up overbooked. So that's something to consider.
Even if a hotel is overbooks, you might still be able to find a room on short notice. Check out theRoomer app to find people selling rooms they can't use. You can even use it to sell a room if you can't get out of your booking.
When you buy a hotel room through a third-party site, you not only limit what a hotel can do in the way of rooms, but also the way of service. For example, if you need to change your room dates or cancel, and you booked through a third party, a hotel can't work with you because it has a locked-in contract with the third party. You have to deal with the third party to change the deal, and that often doesn't work out well.
You might find yourself treated better as a direct booking as well. The staff can see how you booked your room in the computer, after all. So, you might find yourself getting things like a free breakfast or other unexpected perks.
Then there's the dreaded situation where everything about your stay goes to pieces. When you're a direct booking, the hotel can decide to not charge you for your stay or give you a larger discount.
If you're a third-party booking, however, the hotel doesn't have that option. Again, you'll need to try and get your refund from the third-party site.
How did you book your last hotel room? Have you found a difference between booking directly or through third parties? Let me know in the comments.