Monday, March 3, 2014

Fraud Awareness Day! IRONY!

And, the easiest way not to fall victim to fraud is to not pay the Yellow Pages Group for your marketing!

I expect that this is fair comment, since I didn't subscribe to get this spam in my email--it came in to a catch all mailbox with a made up first part at one of my domains.  Yellow pages used to rule the marketing world--but then Google happened and that ended. Now Yellow pages averages 3 visits per month for business sites they create and charge the clients roughly $360 a month for the privilege of calling yourself their client. Of course, these are for a set term and you need to sign in blood, (Rumour has it).

It is nearly as ironic as their sister company Bell and their "Lets Talk", marketing campaign masked as a PSA for Mental Health. Bell's policies drive me nuts...most of the time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

UPS - Customs Brokerage

UPS Customs Brokerage Billing the wrong people...

Occasionally people send things to us, new products to check out. Usually they send it and deal with the duties, customs brokerage etc.... but when they don't, the customs brokerage tries to bill us.

Ups has their own profitable wing dealing with customs brokerage, and they bill at about 10x the typical wholesale rate. ie. an entire transport truck can be $100 brokerage fee, but 1 package through UPS is $22.29.

So, UPS delivered a package to me containing 2 deck boards... Samples from a company operating in Toronto.  He asked for payment of the brokerage fees... I told him clearly, that is not my responsibility...take it back and have your customer pay for it.

2 days later the package arrived back at my invoice. I thought it was done.

Wouldn't you know it... I get an invoice...and a collection call.

Now, keep in mind, I did not buy anything, did not ask for it to be imported from the US, and as far as I am concerned they have no business billing me anything...for any reason. I am not a UPS customer. I do not have an account with UPS and wouldn't. Common practice in the industry is that they have one scale out front...the package is re-weighed on a different scales out back and you find a bigger bill when you open your bill than you agreed to when you shipped.

Duties and Customs are not payable on samples or Non Purchases as far as I know.

Well, for the 4th time this year, UPS has billed me for customs on a sample sent by a company near Toronto which for god knows what reason had to be imported from the US. Icing on the cake...the boards were severely damaged when they arrived.

I wasted 15 minutes on the phone with Dwayne  Employee # 3127 at UPS for him to say "I'll see what I can do", and after questioning him about why he can't just do what he should do and bill it back to "His" customer, he said that I should call the customer for him. I told him that was not my job and intimated that he should probably do his job.

I am so Running out of patience with these guys--whoever is initiating this policy for UPS, they need to look for a different career. Any good will I had towards UPS is quickly disappearing.

UPS collections can be reached at 866 836 4875... ask for Dwayne.

He said that I should have their customer call 800 263 8125 to get that charge reversed.

Shortly thereafter I received another call. She said that they had written that charge off. Said that they could not reverse the invoice...but I wouldn't be charged this fee wrongly. Now, I am not sure what that means, however if I do receive another bill I will let you know.

To add insult to injury, the boards were bubble wrapped and UPS damaged them by throwing them back in the truck when I told them I wasn't responsible to pay them anything.

Attention UPS:


Doesn't this whole practice sound like those guys that started a company to send out fictional bills to every company in North America...Remember they made millions? Maybe the management at UPS came from that group...they would be out of jail now!

Friday, September 16, 2011

407 ETR Complaints

The 407 ETR gets 70-100 complaints about billing monthly, not to their office....but to the Ministry of Transportation. You are not alone. 

Complaints about 407 ETR often fall on deaf ears....who can blame them. They must gets thousands of complaints a week!

The company 407 ETR is owned by a Consortium "Spanish construction firm Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, Australia's Macquarie Infrastructure Group and Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Inc."


1. The illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest.
2. Interest at such rates.  More »

Back in the 90's their method of charging up to 100% interest was deemed to be Usury. Later, this was rescinded in court since the province didn't want to buy the highway back at an inflated price.  

I guess it's not usury, Raqueteering maybe?


Main Entry: rack·e·teer·ing
Pronunciation: "ra-k&-'tir-i[ng]
Function: noun
1 :  the extortion of money or advantage by threat or force
2 :  a pattern of illegal activity (as extortion and murder) that is carried out in furtherance of an enterprise (as a criminal syndicate) which is owned or controlled by those engaged in such activity —see also Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
I don't use the highway out of principal, however I still get bills because the wife does.

If you don't pay the bill get ready for them to enter the unpaid bill on your credit report. 

If you still don't pay, you cannot renew your licence plates or license. 

There are always issues when a private company is given too much power over their customers. 

3 years ago I paid fees they attributed to me from 10 years ago totaling $1200.00  

The statute of limitations in Ontario is 2 years. 

Government can go back 7 I believe...but the 407 can apparently go back 15 years, attibute interest and penalties and that can lead to a nasty surprise. 

They have no government oversight. They can bill what they want and the government gives these Spanish pirates more power than Revenue Canada.

They typically don't answer the phone if you call...and mail is disposed of unless it is registered. 
Good luck with these Shysters known as 407 ETR.  
Here are some resources you may find entertaining. Please add any others people might find interesting in usual comments are wide open in this blog, so have at it! Give us your complaints! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

GreenWashing of Whirlpool

Whirlpool corporation has begun the process of greenwashing it's reputation.

The green choice is simply the most efficient choice--not the cheapest. When it comes to the most efficient, responsible and kindest appliances for preservation of the planet--appliances that last a year or two is the least green alternative.

DO NOT BUY WHIRLPOOL APPLIANCES... read through this blog for evidence regarding the poor design and build quality of Whirlpool Appliances and their abstinent attitude towards their customers.

The green choice is simply the most efficient choice--not the cheapest.When you design something that needs to be replaced in a year or two I would call it irresponsible and fraudulant--not green.

Buy LG... Samsung... anything not designed and built by Whirlpool.

Do not buy their deceptive marketing. Look closely at the hardware... and compare it to LG and Samsung... and look at the warranty. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yellow Pages Group... Evil Corporation?

Yellow Pages Group Canada, Internet listings and Adwords Marketing Program.

Not inherently, they have shown some flexibility of late by negotiating prices. However in their struggle for survival they are committing some sins against their customers.

These web pages-paid managed marketing through adwords start at $250/month so you would expect performance--however it just doesn't.

I called them to hear the spiel first hand. I have had my own website for about 15 years so I am up on the jargon. The salesman on the other end builds websites, so when I asked him for clarification of what he was saying he gracefully elaborated in the proper terms.

They are told to refer to "clicks" as "Leads"--they are not. A click is a visit to your website. Half those clicks leave immediately... and I bet when they see the site that yellow pages built... even more leave immediately.

They said to expect 100 "Qualified Leads" a month for your $250.00. Again... Deceptive. They mean 100 visits to the template web page that they create. Of which 50 or 75 will leave... and you may or may not get any calls at all.

They seem to prey on the people that don't know better. When you have a good website you might get a couple of calls per 100 hundred visits... A bad site, (see the photo in this article), may only see a lead for every 1000 visits.

Due to the decline of their print media--they have embarked into the on-line world. They are fighting hard, however like most directories they are having issues with traffic.  They claim 11 million potential customers a year in Canada. You don't have to try very hard to dispel that myth.

If you go to Alexa and search for you will get very interesting stats that don't jive with what they claim.

Common sense dictates that there is roughly 30 million people in Canada. Half of those people may be a potential customer. That's 15 million potential. Go and ask 15 friends.. if you were going to hire a service business, how would you go about finding the company.

More info on Yellow Pages Websites
I would bet 12 of the 15 would say Google if they couldn't find someone from word of mouth. I would bet only 1 would suggest the phone book, since the other 14 don't know where their phone book is is. I would also bet that that person is likely over 60 and not likely to be shopping for much.

By my best estimation Yellow Pages .ca gets about 90,000 unique visits a month. Of those visits roughly half are from customers searching for their listings to make sure they are correct or to figure out why they aren't getting any calls. 20% will be web searches from other countries that are coming up for certain keywords and 30% is likely actual potential customers... Close to Retirement and female, without secondary education. (their demographic from Alexa)

Another interesting site on the Yellow Pages Group Websites is here.

Check out our deck business blog on Yellow Pages Group Websites.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bell Canada- High Speed

Yes, they can be a brutal company, their support is out of Mumbai India so they are sending jobs overseas...

But after a 10 year wait, we have high speed.

Through their new Business Unplugged we now have 3 mb of high speed. Unlimited amount. No more 2 hours downloading emails, and once our webmaster gets finished updating our editors I won't have to cut and paste html when I edit anymore...

Thank you bell... However, Bell keeps shuffling phone lines because they don't have enough hard lines in this area.

We are still looking at options since for a week or two a year we don't have land line service for our main business.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Whirlpool Appliance Blog is garnering comments...

"Dave Lawless has left a new comment on your post "Friends don't let friends buy Whirlpool Appliances...":

"Not purchasing an extended warranty was the gamble you took...if these manufactures could produce 100% perfect product off the assembly line there wouldn't be any such thing as an appliance service technician."

Yes Dave, It is my fault because I didn't pay more money to Whirlpool for extended warranty service-- Nice to see that people working for the company see buying their products as a gamble too!" BTW, More than a year in and the LG washer and dryer haven't needed a service call... and the knobs didn't fall off either. By this point we had 5 service calls for the Whirlpool and Dave, I don't ever gamble when I buy appliances. Nowadays I check the web for the appliance I am shopping and complaints... that has a direct effect on what I buy.

Ya it sucks…but in my experience as an appliance salesman, Whirlpool is above and beyond the competition when it comes to quality.

Not in my experience--however you live in the whirlpool corporate bubble, so you get a different experience. You get the money I wasted buying a whirlpool washer and dryer... both the washer and dryer circuit boards shorted as the first year ended, and within 2 years the bearings were gone, fins had fallen off the dryer and the washer had cronic issues with things blocking up the filter throwing errors. I wished I could have had my $300 Roper top loader back.

Yes, at my store we see customers like you every once and awhile but we see far more disgruntled customers who have bought GE and LG products.

Mr Lawless, you don't really work in a store do you? As a carpenter, the last thing I want to do in the evenings is woodwork--I just can't imagine an appliance salesman that trolls the internet trying to minimize damage caused by blogs. You work for Whirlpool Head office and this is your job.

Just think, for every one of you…Whirlpool gains 3 new customers who are upset with GE/LG and the like.

That's not what the internet and the open market says. I paid about $2,000.00 for the washer and dryer, (might have been a little more). I can get the same model for about $1000 today. Yet, the LG I bought cost 2k. All the insurance in the world won't save the main bearing from falling out of a cheap Whirlpool washer in a year... and it sure won't seal and isolate the circuit board the way LG has... Face facts... you work for a company that builds sub standard junk washers and dryers... and that company is Whirlpool.

Hopefully life doesn’t send you any more lemons….but remember you can always make lemonade!"

Yes Sir... this is precisely what I am doing... making lemonade! Thanks for writing Dave Lawless from Whirlpool!

It is the early days of this blog and yes, I am picking on one product at a time, just for effect. There are so many complaints and so many people selling this junk on line that it is very difficult to rank for the terms we need to get the word out on the street... "Friends don't let friends buy Whirlpool Appliances". And of course there is the corporate disinformation and professional blog posters like Dave don't help the clutter.

We will use our websites and blogs to pump this blog up over time. The message gets to a couple of hundred people a month already... give this some time and it will be hundreds finding out that it is a gamble to buy Whirlpool Appliances.