Thursday, June 26, 2008

Is there such a thing as a good phone company?

What I hear about American and British phone and cable companies is pretty appalling and my experience with such companies here in Australia is similar. I have put online some of my correspondence with three such companies as follows: TELSTRA, OPTUS, VODAFONE. I rather foolishly hope that others might learn from my bad experiences with the companies concerned and avoid some of the pitfalls. I have sometimes gone to quite extraordinary lengths to get the companies to address problems but even that has not always worked.

A story I heard today from my local cellphone retailer leads me to believe that the equipment providers are just as bad as the service providers. He tells me that some time ago he returned a cellphone to Nokia for repair under warranty. Rather incautiously, however, he left the memory stick in it when he sent it in.

When he got the phone back the memory stick had vanished. He asked for it back but was told it had been destroyed. Nokia had destroyed someone else's private property! He asked why. He was told that they did not inspect the content on the stick concerned but some sticks can have pornography on them so it is company policy to destroy the lot!

He took great umbrage at that and kept kicking at Nokia over it. Initially they would not even replace the stick pace any content on it. He eventually contacted the State Sales Manager, however, and pointed out that he was a retailer who did not HAVE to stock Nokia products. That breached the dam. They replaced the stick. It took him half a dozen calls over a period of months to get that result however.

Imagine how far up the creek you would be if you were just an ordinary customer who did not have a retailer onside! No apology for the lost content on the stick was ever received, of course.


A wise decision

Jared Gray is an 18-year-old high school student who works as a janitor for Southern Utah University. One day he found a bag of cash lying in the parking lot, obviously one of the school's deposit bags. The bag was labeled with the amount: $108,000. Jared didn't hesitate to return the cash, saying he was raised to be honest. To express their gratitude, SUU officials will give him a scholarship if he attends the university.

Most people would applaud Jared's honesty. Sadly, though, not everyone. A number of people, posting to the CBS News website, called the young man a "loser" or "stupid" for not keeping the dough. Apparently, they assume it's reasonable to steal whenever one is unlikely to get caught. If so, wouldn't it also be reasonable actively to pursue such opportunities - in short, to become a career criminal? That makes we who work "suckers."

If you're going to live a moral life, it's common sense to live it on principle. This means you don't become an entirely different person, a crook, when it's allegedly "easy" to do so. Easy, that is, for a person of poor character. Starting life as a crook would have blighted Jared's whole life. Instead, now he'll always be able to recall his easy good deed with pride; and, happily, people who know him will be able to trust him . . . stuff that's more valuable than money itself.




Nixon in retrospect: "It is not mentioned that only Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in more daunting circumstances than Nixon. Four years later, he was reelected by 49 states and a plurality of 18 million votes, because he stopped the assassinations, race riots, anti-war riots, skyjackings, inflation, extracted the U.S. from Vietnam without losing the war, opened relations with China, warmed up relations with the U.S.S.R., negotiated and signed the greatest arms control agreement in history, started a Middle East peace process, founded the Environmental Protection Agency, vastly expanded the national parks system, pioneered welfare reform and fiscal decentralization, reduced the crime rate, eliminated the draft, and ended school segregation without recourse to the court-ordered nostrum of transporting millions of schoolchildren all around the cities of America by bus to effect racial balance. He was overwhelmingly reelected because he was an excellent president, not because of dirty tricks and the ineptitude and hypocrisy of his feckless opponent, George McGovern."

The Forgotten Refugees: "Few remember that there were more Jewish refugees from Arab countries than of Palestinians from Israel. In 1948 there were 856,000 Jews living in Arab countries. By 2005, only about 5,000. This Monday, through Wednesday, in London a cooperative of 77 Jewish communities and organizations in 20 countries, Justice For Jews, will hold a conference and briefing to Parliament on the plight of these Jews."

The Ukrainian genocide: "Grigori Garaschenko remembers seeing his classmates starve slowly to death in a famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine. A neighbour driven mad by hunger killed her six-year-old daughter and began to eat her, he said, after Soviet soldiers confiscated all the food in their village during house-to-house searches. Mr Garaschenko, 89, is one of the few remaining survivors of the famine of 1932-33. Now, 75 years on, Ukraine wants the world to recognise that what it calls the Holodomor was a deliberate act of genocide by Stalin's Soviet Union."

Ireland faces first recession since 1983: "Ireland's economy will fall into a recession this year for the first time in more than two decades, the Economic and Social Research Institute said, slashing its forecasts for construction, exports and consumer spending. Gross domestic product will drop by 0.4% this year, the Dublin-based institute said, having predicted growth of 1.8% in March. Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said the economy is facing a ``serious problem.'' The economy's first full-year contraction since 1983 would follow a decade-long boom sparked by exports in the mid-1990s and then extended by record homebuilding. Higher borrowing costs and the credit squeeze have already curbed construction, pushing unemployment to a nine-year high of 5.4% and dragging consumer confidence to a record low. ''The decline in housebuilding has had a dramatic impact,'' Lenihan said on RTE Radio. ''It's compounded by international factors in relation to a non-availability of credit, by the increase in oil prices and food prices. All those factors are coming together.''


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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