Catch Them and Keep Them

I went to a sub shop chain near my house. They did not take my American Express card. I guess that's okay. I have other credit cards. I was in the mood for fried. So I ordered a large. Imagine my disappointment when the large fries looked like a small. I wrote this place off for lunch.

The same chain at another location had a coupon in a flyer. Despite the bad experience at another one of their stores, I checked them out. I was pleased that they accepted American Express. Then I got my small fry order. The fries spilled out of the container, making me feel like I got a good deal.

Now I find myself returning to this other location a lot. I don't use coupons any more. I pay full price happily. Because I keep feeling like I am getting a good deal without any hassles. They got me with the coupon. They keep me with the good service. It is a win win. I am sure they are making money off me, since their prices are premium. But I am glad to pay it.

Windows Phone Fail

Sahas Katta entered Microsoft's Windows Phone Challenge. His phone beat out the Windows Phone at the contest. However the employees at the Microsoft Store robbed him of his $1000 laptop prize. They started making up some rules to disqualify him. Come on Microsoft. Stop your failing.

I am a Microsoft man. I say that because I have built a profitable career delivering Microsoft base solutions. However this move by Microsoft marketing really irks me. I get what they are doing. They are trying to win over some Android users for Windows phone. That mission, though it may seem impossible, might be a noble one. However putting together some sham challenge, then cheating users out when they win, is just pathestic.

Ben Rudolph, the guy who is apparently behind the challenge, is trying desperately to do some damage control. He apologized to Katta via Twitter. Then he offered to do a rematch. This is where Microsoft commits the double fail. Come on. Give the guy the damn laptop already. How can a company continue to dig its own grave deeper and deeper like this?

I have no love for Android products. They might be nice to program on if you like Java. However I don't think they are for me. I am going to stick with an old iPhone. One thing is for sure. Apple won't be pulling any pranks like Microsoft did. Apple is too winning. I don't even like Apple, and they have stole my smart phone business due to excellence.

British Pretroleum Fail

I went to my bank to pick up some cash. I passed my normal gas station without going in. After visting the bank, I headed home. I saw a British Pretoleum gas station with cheaper gas than my normal station. So I pulled in.

I noted that the price was for cash only. There was nobody in the booth to collect my money. Another custmoer told me to go into the gas station for help. I should have known something was wrong. Inside I counted out my small bills, and told the clerk that I wanted $17 on pump number 6.

Outside I pumped the gas, but it stopped at $16. I went in and asked for my change. The clerk said I used up all my money. I told him I had a dollar left. He said I paid $16. I corrected him, telling him that I actually told him I was buying $17 worth when I handed him the cash.

Another employee next to me started arguing with me. He said the clerk counts the money twice, and would not cheat me out of a buck. He also said they have video of the transaction as well. I told this employee that I clearly stated that I was giving the clerk $17, and that we should listen to the tapes. The employee then said that there was no audio on the tapes.

In retrospect, it is possible that I had counted the money wrong. However when I had you some cash and state that there is more than you are given, that is the time to bring the discrepancy up. By the time I have pumped my gas and feel I got cheated, it is way too late.

The whole reason I always state how much money I am handing over is that I encountered the same problem at Exxon Mobile one time. The clerk gave me the extra buck, and asked me to clearly state the amount I am handing over so we can avoid any mistakes up front. There is one clear lesson from all of this for me. Avoid this BP gas station, and stick with the local Exxon Mobile station. They appear honest and customer friendly. That's always good business, even if the price is higher.