Posts Tagged with "scams"

Asshats of the Day: Krystal Compeny [sic] Marketing Team

October 24th, 2012 at 12:20 pm by Mark
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For those who’ve never heard of the Krystal burger, imagine the small, square goodness of a White Castle slider with steamed onions, mustard and a pickle. You’ll find them predominantly in the southeast United States, and the most controversial opinion when comparing “sliders” is that there are those who think Krystals are the best, and there are White Castle fans who just don’t know any better.

There’s a popular myth of their healing powers, in that if they’re ingested after a night of heavy drinking, they’ll keep one from having a hangover the next day. I’m letting you know in advance that it’s a myth, and will further assure you that the wrecked guts you’ll assuredly have for the next two days will have little to do with your consumption of alcohol. And yet, on occasion, we still love them…

Krystal was founded in 1932, and has been based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Given that it’s Krystal’s 80th anniversary, they began a new round of Social Media Marketing on their Facebook page, “The Official Krystal Lover Community,” around the end of September. A huge “Cast your Vote and Share!” campaign promised to bring back the twenty-five cent Krystal for a limited time. Thousands of people voted, and shared Krystal’s marketing with all of their friends and family.

It struck me as odd to begin with that their buggy counter constantly showed an arbitrary average of twenty-one thousand votes at any time you went to the page, often fewer than the previous time you went. My gut feeling is that there far more votes than that… But, on October 20th, Krystal had all “the votes tallied” and declared, “Yes! You’ll get twenty-five cent Krystals!”

Details came on October 22nd, when Krystal announced the results of their “Free Advertising” scheme.

One day, two hours. During a lunch break. Limit six. Seriously? With traffic being as it is at Krystal locations, and given that their parking lots are only slightly larger than their burgers, they’ll only be able to serve a handful of people. 80th Anniversary Fail!

Angry for being duped into providing Krystal with “free advertising” and getting nothing in return, Facebook Krystal fans had overwhelmingly negative comments. I immediately added my own dissent, to which Krystal’s social media personnel replied:

Truly pathetic that you guys are offering $0.25 Krystals for 2 hours on a Wednesday. That means it’ll be a miracle that more than a handful will get them for that price… It takes 20 minutes just to get one order!

The Official Krystal Lover Community: We’re doing it from 11-1 because lunch time is Krystal time, Mark! We wanted this to be a special lunch hour treat for our Krystal Lovers. Hope you can join us for lunch at a great price on Wednesday!

Mark: You’re not getting it, are you? 20 minutes just to fill an order. No travel time, nor time to eat on a half hour break, is there? This entire campaign was misleading. We expected $0.25 Krystals for at least a day — or even a coupon. This was a crock.

The Official Krystal Lover Community: Don’t worry, Mark. We’ve got folks primed and ready to crank out some serious Krystal goodness on Wednesday. One of our stores that did 25 cent Krystals for a customer appreciation day was able to turn out 1800 Krystals in 2 hours and that was just one location! So there’s no need to worry about having time to grab your Krystals on a lunch break. And if you don’t have time to eat ‘em you could always stick ‘em in the fridge to enjoy for dinner. Either way, it’s still 6 Krystals with cheese (or without) for just $1.50! And this is just the beginning Mark, we’ll be making sure to give you plenty of other deals, prizes, and more so that every Krystal Lover has a chance at something special as we celebrate our 80th Anniversary. We hope you can make it out to enjoy this special lunch with us on Wednesday, but if not we’ll look forward to showering you in other great deals as the celebration continues. If you still have concerns feel free to e-mail us at ustomersupport@famouskrystal.com. We wouldn’t want to lose you as a Krystal lover. Thanks!

Typically, ineffective. But, to their credit, they haven’t deleted “many” of the negative comments.

I did, however, find another “in” to voice my concern when a Krystal employee emailed me directly:

Hi, if you are bothered by Krystal time limit and or quantity limit on their promotion this Wednesday call Mike Bass Senior Vp of Krystal. Mr. Bass number is 1-423-757-1540. If we as consumers don’t voice our opinion, companies will not know to change.

Perhaps a deluge of Telephone calls will make something happen. But you know — they’ll just change the number.

You have to admit, the deception was rather devious, using Facebook users to unwittingly give their company free marketing. But as with many businesses run by Business School grads, its ill effect is that it alienates existing customers and opts for going after “new business.” It’s a poor way to do business, and damages a company’s reputation irreparably with the “regulars” who provide patronage during the lean times.

One thing I want to reiterate: This is not the fault of Krystal employees, or individual locations. This was a corporate decision, and solely rests there. These aren’t the people you’re used to, as the company no longer belongs to the original family. These guys? They’ve also decided to move their headquarters from Chattanooga to the Atlanta area, a solid hour and a half away, which makes it pretty much impossible for the people who work there to commute.

As for the mis-spelling of “Compeny” up there? Just take a look the bottom part of The Krystal Company’s website to see what complete and utter geniuses their Social Marketing department are — they can’t even spell the word “Company” right.

Thank you… Drive through.

Note: Two images in this post represent Public Advertising by The Krystal Company, and used in a non-commercial, editorial fashion.

Asshat of the Day: John Nichols of Mr. Transmission

October 21st, 2008 at 2:28 am by Mark
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     This John Nichols guy is a special kind of asshat.  His misdeeds span across a mutitude of levels, and a couple of different companies, namely his Mr. Transmission business (aka Mr. Transerv 100, Inc. dba Mr. Transmission / MILEX) & Rhino Linings of Knoxville.  Knowing that another friend of mine, a photographer, has been repeatedly screwed by this, and knowing that in his Rhino Linings business he tried to screw me out of the hosting bill, I have no idea why I thought doing any sort of business with this asshat was a good idea.
     Except that I need the business these days…

     I know at least one person who works for Mr. Transmission on Clinton Highway in Knoxville, and so I dropped by last week to see if they could get the rusted clamp off my muffler since I didn’t have a die grinder or a dremel handy, and I knew they did.  But when I walked into the office, John Nichols son, Scott, said, “There it is.”
     “What’s going on?”
     “That computer is all screwed up.  Please fix it!” said Scott.
     “What’s it doing?”
     “It’s really slow, and its taking forever just to enter an invoice,” Mike replied.  “So please do.”
     “Ok,” I agreed.  After the last billing fiasco, where John repeatedly blames Scott, he’d told me that if he wasn’t there, Mike was in charge.  Mike authorized me to the computer, and so I went to work.

     I removed several viruses, several bit of spyware, several trojans, a fake antivirus program, and did all the updates.  During one of the updates, I asked them about the muffler.  Fifteen seconds with a grinder, five seconds with a hammer, and the rusted clamp was off.  They offered to put it on for me if I’d grab the parts.  I took off just down the road and grab a couple of muffler clamps and a 2.25 I/D converter.  That took fifteen minutes, but it was also during the time the system was doing a an antivirus and antispyware scan.  When I got back, they said, they removed the old pipe from the muffler, threw the converter in, clamped it all down and tightened it all up.  A whole fiften minute job.  Couldda done it myself, but I figured I’d take the price outta their bill.

     Once the computer was was finished, and I was satisfied that everything was in proper working order, I started writing up the final bill.
     “Hey, Mike?  How much do I owe ya for the muffler?”
     “Ahh, man, that was nothing.  Don’t worry about it, you don’t owe us anything for that,” he replied.

     I tallied…

Service (Onsite) – 10/15/2008
[systemname] Not Working – System slow and uncooperative
Infected W32.Magistr, W32.Backdoor.Gen, W32.Sality (not AA), W32.SDbot.ETA. Malware/Trojan ScreenView, HexBinAdWare, Virtumundo.Gen(Smitfraud). All Removed Manually, then re-scanned with Windows Defender & Spybot 1.6. Re-Enabled Regedit & Task Manager. Removed Damaged Malware / Fake Antivirus (Antivirus). Removed Damaged/non-working antivirus (Symantec Antivirus 2004). Removed Fake AntiSpyware (Spyware Blaster, RemedyAntispy). Software Updates installed (XPSP3, All Windows Updates, Spybot 1.6, Adobe Acrobat 9, Codec Pack)

     Two hours, at $125 an hour — that’s what I’ve charged for years.  $250 seemed steep given the assistance with the muffler.  And for that trouble, which Mike claimed I “didn’t owe anything” for since they ‘didn’t provide any parts” or “have to do any major surgery,” I knocked a half hour off and gave them a final bill of $187.50.

     On Friday, October 17th, John Nichols called me up cussing me out, telling me that he had already told me that his son, Scott, was not authorized to make decisions for his business.  I told him Mike authorized it, and John began screaming that Mike wasn’t authorized, that every bit of business we did had to go through him, and he wasn’t going to pay.  I cussed the guy up one side and down the other for calling and yelling at me and cussing me out.  He’s a lousy piece of shit that way.
     I printed out the bill, and at 2PM, I went over there.  I recorded the conversation for posterity.  John says he’s not paying, and that we’re even since they installed a muffler.  And that he was the only one to authorize any work or bills.
     I told him that he had said in his absence he had authorized Mike to make those decisions, and in a moment of severe WIMP-ASS, Mike tells me, “No, I didn’t authorize it.”
     And so, Mike, too, is a damn liar.  He didn’t authorize it?  He just told me what was wrong with it for the plain hell of it, and said, “See what you can do?”  And didn’t charge me for a muffler job, said that I didn’t owe anything?  Cool.  Mike’s won’t stand up to John.
     “Well, tell ya what, I either get a check, or you get a warrant.”  And I left.  And I was pissed.

     Ya see, that’s where our first fiasco happened.  Back a few months ago, John himself asked me to register their Rhino Linings domain and put up a splash page, offer e-mail, and prove to him that I could do SEO.  I offered to do that for him on the basis that he paid for the domain, $25 a month in hosting and agreed that we would do the final website in a content management system for around $2500.  He agreed, but his bill got up to $103.75 at the beginning of October because he hadn’t bother to pay for any of it.  I subsequently pointed the domain at this site for a couple of days for non-payment.
     On October 6th, he called me up screaming that his son had no authorization to setup that site, and I screamed right back at him that his friggin’ idea, and then went and picked up my check for $103.75.  He was apologetic, didn’t remember the deal we’d made (right), and told me then that if he wasn’t there, Mike was the only one who had any authority for any business we would do, that his son Scott would have no say whatsoever.  And that’s fine, I agreed, and he agreed to retain the website for an additional year at $25/mo., and eventually use us to build the final site at $2500.

     Now, this Scott thing is kinda pertinent, because this asshole goes off on Scott every second when I’m around, and I’m sure it doesn’t stop when I’m not.  He’s a beligerant asshole to his son, seeking to mock and belittle him in front of customers, other businesses, friends, etc.  John Nichols is a total piece of work… if you can call it that.

     It’s no surprise, of course, that earlier today, I received a bill from Mr. TranServ 100, Inc., dba Mr. Transmission / MILEX, owner, John Nichols.
     For work completed on 10/17/2008.  On a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais. 

Shop Supplies, $3.51
Hazardous Materials, $3.99
Install Muffler, $187.50
Sales Tax, $18.40
Total: $213:40

     Sorry, WHAT THE FUCK?  That won’t even stand up in court.  No work was performed on my vehicle on 10/17/2008, which is clearly printed on the invoice.  I do not own, nor do I know anyone who does own, a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais.  No parts were supplied, hazardous materials handled, or mufflers installed — however, on 10/16/2008, on an entirely different car, a muffler converter was installed because the pipe had rusted through, and the job took 15 minutes, and Mike assured me that I owed nothing for that.  And I removed a half hour from their bill?

     John Nichols clearly wrote this invoice to avoid paying his bill.  I mean, CLEARLY — who the Hell charges $213.40 to install a muffler that wasn’t purchased there and no parts were purchased for? 

     Only you, John.

     You think this is over, you are sadly mistaken.  I consider this a breach of our contract.

     See ya in court, deadbeat!

Sometimes You Get What You Pay For…

February 16th, 2008 at 11:02 pm by Mark
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     For a few years, my Messenger has been filled with so-called Customers who bother me whenever I get online.  They ask for help, often ask me to login to their servers remotely and fix things, and when it comes time to pay, I get the old, “When I make money, you make money!” thing.

     It ires me to no end.

     A few others have said, “Hey, we’ll pay you $x to do this website for us,” and then used the old, “We haven’t been paid for it yet,” trick.  Months pass, my questions get ignored, and then they have the balls to come and ask me to do more things for them.  And stupidly, I have.

     Still others have said, “We’re hiring you at $x a week, and we expect at least y hours out of you.  Are you game?”
     “Certainly!”
     I get their billing information, they get their login and password to the billing system and go in and enter a credit card like they’re supposed to.  The scam usually works when their credit card won’t bill, and they ask me to switch them to PayPal billing, which I do.  They don’t bother to pay that one, so I send them an invoice through PayPal.  They don’t bother with that one, either, and meanwhile, they change their passwords on their servers.

     It’s really annoying, trying to do business with people whose faces you never see, or people who are too far away to get hold of and rip their arms off when they do something like that.

     Tonight, one of the standard “When I make money, you make money” freeloaders got an eyefull:

Mark says:
Man, ya know, it’s really bugging me lately. I’m a consultant. It’s what I do for a living. And I just can’t just answer and fix servers for free all the time. I’m just not doing that anymore. It costs $xxx an hour, and I’ve given you something like 12 hours or more and you’ve always said, “When I make money, you make money!” Well, ya know, after a hundred times, it becomes bullshit.

Mark says:
Now fuck off.

Captain Asshat says:
hey!  but I’m not getting paid for this job!
have a nice life loser

Mark says:
Yeah, a loser who you keep asking to fix your servers for free.

     Really, knowing that Captain Asshat has never paid me a dime for the work I’ve done — even when he’s said he would — how could he expect anything less?  And, yeah, I have been a loser in the fact that I’ve lost every bit of revenue he’s promised after I’ve stupidly prioritized him above customers who actually do pay their bills.
     So maybe I’m a loser — he’s still a deadbeat.

     And why should I listen to, “That’s poor customer service!” from an asshat who hasn’t even been a customer?  I mean, by definition, customers usually pay

     So, Captain Asshat, seriously…  As far as “Customer Service,” my skills are absolutely excellent — ask any of my customers who actually pay per agreement. 

     Now, it’s not that anyone has to pay me to be nice to people.  It’s just that… well… I’m friendly.  I’m extremely helpful.
     As a matter of fact, I’ve been too nice.  Too helpful.  Too willing to let too many people take advantage of me.

     As far as my business goes … That ends now.  😉

     I’m more assertive when I’m working for someone else, and I’m not when I’m working for myself.   That’s a fact.
     There’s a point where you have to be an asshole, and start weeding out the freeloaders.  That time past a long time ago, and I have a lot of catching up to do.  *evil grin*

     And if you’re not paying me to do any of my “outstanding” work (your words, not mine), you’re gonna get what you pay for as far as “customer service.”  😉

Asshat of the Day: Ashwin Khanna

August 24th, 2007 at 7:42 am by Mark
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     Apparently, Ashwin Khanna, the illustrious “Win $2500 for posting about my blog!”, is well on his way to being labeled “notorious.”

Ashwin Khana: Future Spamking?     Ashwin, henceforth known as “Asswin,” is nothing more than an 18-year-old, aspiring scam artist from London who seems to think it’s okay to use bullshit tactics to improve his search engine ranking … much like our last Asshat of the Day recipient, Steve Gallay, who used everyone who participated in a “Win $50!” contest to improve his search engine ranking by posting very little information about a missing child with links to his homepage instead of to an informative artcle.

     What Serr8d said about Gallay applies perfectly to Asswin Khanna, as well:

…he’s definitely a royal flush of an asshat…

     Just to let you know, Asswin, you’re only 18 and have an entire life of fraud ahead of you.  Nice to know you’ve started out so well!  I mean, what’s next?  Impossible-to-win footy boards?  A small pawn-and-loan-slash-fencing-operation there in Barnet?  Maybe a few billion e-mails asking for assistance in helping you get the money out of the bank account of a dead relative?
     Seriously, Asshat, what you’ve done is Fraud, plain and simple.  I hope someone takes a whiz in your Shreddies.

Tips: Contest Blogger, My New Hustle, Fracas

What Chaps Diva’s Ass?

June 16th, 2007 at 10:21 am by Diva
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Ok.  It’s Saturday morning.  I just woke up.  My eyes are glued together.  My nose is crusty.  My chest is full of crap that just doesn’t want to come up.  In short, I have yet another sinus infection. 

Did I go to the doctor to get his verification of my diagnosis? NO!  

Why? 

Because the cost of going to the doctor these days is just ridiculous.  Besides the fact that I was only well for 10 days after the last time I paid my doctor office co-pay and $200 for a dufflebag full of medicatons that obviously didn’t do it for me.

The only perk I can think of today is that I’m high as a kite on the refill of codeine cough syrup Dr. Dude (hehe, I know you love that, Zacque) called in for me last time.  Thank God for refills.

 I feel for those in this great country that aren’t fortunate enough to have some kind of health coverage.  I mean hell, I’ve got it and I still find myself in the sorry ass position of making a choice between getting well or paying the damn rent and feeding my kid.

It’s ridiculous when the most prosperous country in the world has somewhere around 23% (I know they are lying about the numbers) of its citizens walking around with no way to get well when they get the crud, or worse have serious health complications.

I don’t have it all that bad.  My $200 sick day would have been near $325 had I not had my shitty insurance. 

A friend of my family has a heart issue and needs a transplant.  He’s a great man.  Works hard every day.  Yet, because he is self-employed he’s screwed.  No insurance.  And basically, until an Angel of light (anonymous) arranged a monetary donation of a huge sum, he was told “So sorry, go die”.  Well, maybe it wasn’t quite that harsh, but he could get no help.

As soon as some cash was waved around, it was amazing how fast that he was placed on the list of people waiting for a potential heart donor.

Anyway.  I just figured since it’s Saturday morning and I’m still sick (again), that I would pitch a tizzy fit about how we should be better taken care of.

Unfortunately, even having a fit over it isn’t making the shit in my chest break up.