April 08, 2005

"Best Buy" Customer Service: Use $2 Bills, Go to Jail

Greetings. Be careful before you spend that $2 bill. Try to use it at good old "Best Buy" and you could end up shackled to a pole in the slammer.

As a protest of poor customer service ("I'm shocked, shocked to learn that there are customer service problems at Best Buy!") a gentleman decided to pay with a pile of $2 bills. In case you haven't seen any lately, $2 bills are still being distributed and are completely legal tender -- I've had one in my wallet as a curiosity piece for years.

In this case, instead of giving him a receipt, Best Buy had him arrested. It's not completely clear whether they thought he was a counterfeiter or a terrorist ("9/11" being used as one excuse for the abuse that resulted) -- or a combination of both.

Of course, there are other ways to invoke the wrath of Best Buy. Remind me to tell you what happened when I asked them to honor one of their own coupons a number of months ago here in L.A. -- I was probably one notch short of the cuffs myself that afternoon.


Posted by Lauren at 04:09 PM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
Google+: Lauren Weinstein

April 07, 2005

Congress Wants To Screw Around With Daylight-Saving Time Yet Again

Greetings. In the "can't we just leave well enough alone" department, the House energy committee has voted to accept an energy bill amendment that would extend daylight-saving time by two months.

I'm in general a fan of DST and if all else were equal I'd probably endorse such a proposal. But the reality is that darker winter mornings are a hazard and problem for many, including farmers and children. Also, just when we finally have most of our software systems handling their dates properly post-Y2K, changes to DST timing would throw unmodified software all out of sync again.

And that's not to mention the other devices -- fax machines, VCRs, and all manner of other equipment, that now know how to handle DST changes automatically, but would be completely thrown off by alterations in the DST dates.

This new amendment is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, who is the same person who authored the 1986 legislation that added three weeks to DST back then (and that we still observe today).

But one gets the impression that Markey may still be a tiny bit confused about how this stuff really works, given his statement regarding his new DST extension effort:

"In addition to the benefits of energy savings, less crime, fewer traffic fatalities, more recreation time and increased economic activity, daylight savings just brings a smile to everybody's faces. We all just feel sunnier after we set the clocks back."

Try to remember, Ed. It's "Spring forward, Fall back."


Posted by Lauren at 10:34 AM | Permalink
Twitter: @laurenweinstein
Google+: Lauren Weinstein