One of the biggest complaints that I have at this time of the year, sorry make that a collection of complaints, comes from the retail industry. It’s bad enough that Christmas decorations were going up in October and Home Depot was selling Christmas trees when I was still hoping to buy leaf bags, but I feel bad for the people who have to work on Thanksgiving and at weird hours throughout the holiday season. Unfortunately, these complaints don’t fit with the title, because there used to be laws but they have long been repealed. I can’t complain, but I can ignore – I won’t be shopping, in person or on-line on holidays like Thanksgiving. On the other hand, there are some things that should be outlawed:
Stuff that looks official but isn’t – We get these offers all the time. “Your warrantee is expiring” “You must call within 48 hours” “Your credit rating might suffer” – yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s all fake. It’s all just plain evil marketing by people who prey on people who are easily confused or less technically or legally savvy or just in a hurry. I’m sure it’s all just this side of the line drawn in the law, but that doesn’t make it right. The sad thing is: they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work.
Subscription renewals into the future – Magazines should not be allowed to even offer you the ability to extend your subscription beyond 12 months unless they are discounting the cost (of the subscription, not the newsstand price) 50% or more. They also should not be able to offer to extend your subscription without telling you in big bold letters, exactly when your current subscription expires.
Go green for free – Hotels that want to encourage you to “save the environment” should not be able to do so without also offering to share the savings. I pay the same price if I reuse my towels and crawl back between the same sheets as I do if I demand all new everything every day. While my willingness to wipe down with a day-old towel might be saving the planet from the by-products of turning clean water into waste-water, it’s saving the hotel money. Share that savings with me, or give it to a charity.
Free stuff – Keep the perfume samples out of my credit card bill. Keep the anti-virus 30-day trial off my new pc and keep Sirius Radio out of my car. I actually asked the dealer not to activate Sirius Radio when I bought my car. The salesman said “we can do that” but they didn’t (not activated it, sorry for the double negative). Worse than having that service active for a year is the unbelievable effort it takes to let the free term expire.
“Your free subscription is expiring”
“Yes, I know, that’s fine. I don’t listen to it and I don’t want it”
“So, if I understand you correctly, you would like us to extend the free service for 60 more days while you decide”
That snippet is from an actual call that lasted 20 minutes, and ended with bad language.
Common courtesy – Should be required. A woman I used to know was fond of saying “how about a little C here?” meaning courtesy. I’m not talking about holding doors or letting drivers merge in front of you. I’m talking about not parking so close to my car that I can’t open my door, leaving the paper towels you used on the floor of the common bathroom and leaving your food in the common toaster while you answer a phone call. While we’re talking about food…
Who are you protecting – I have tweeted something similar to this on numerous occasions:
“When the clerk puts on gloves to make the sandwich for the guy ahead of me, rings him up, takes his money, gives him his change and then makes my sandwich; the only thing that’s being protected are the clerk’s hands.”
This goes for the tissue at the donut shop that is left surrounding my donut in the bag and the plastic bag you brought your lunch to work in that you placed in the common refrigerator.
Employees can’t be Mayor – OK, this is a petty first-world problem but it’s of the era. Employees at places like bars and restaurants shouldn’t be allowed to be the Mayor on Foursquare (I told you it was petty). Foursquare should have a special category for staff, and they should allow a Staff Mayor and a Customer Mayor to be selected.
Cell Phones usage on planes – I know, this is still not allowed, but it should never be allowed. I don’t want to wake up someday and find that the same bozos that thought that shopping on Thanksgiving was a good idea shoved handfuls of money into the pockets of the politicians that control air travel. I have been on trains where people are using cell phones. Not only are they loud, but they tend to call multiple people, to tell them the same non-urgent message. If you ever have the chance to voice your opinion on this subject, please vote against it.
That’s it for today. I’m sure there are other things I want to establish laws about or against, but I’ll stop at 8 for now.