An Angry Rant from a (Very) Dissatisfied Customer

14 Jan

Hey Bell Media! And The Source! And Apple! Well actually, here’s a call out to Mr. George Cope , CEO of Bell Media Canada, and Mr. Tim Cook , present CEO of Apple. (You gentlemen DO have a Google alert set up on your names and companies, right?) You look like very nice men and obviously you are both very savvy computer/tech/ business guys to have gotten where you are, so I’m hoping you will see past my “mad” in this rant, and take notice of my complaint therein. This may be of some interest to you ….

Here’s the scoop: I am a confirmed PC user who over the past 2 years has been slowly converting to Apple, via my iphone (gift from the kids), and MacPro laptop (gift from Hot Stuff Hubby). All through this past Christmas, I was receiving emails from The Source (and I’m not gonna link that, ‘cause I’m mad at The Source, too, so won’t be sending any readers to that site via ‘the Source’s’ link!). Anyhoo, the emails were advertising the Apple 16 GB ipad mini 3 (in the new color of gold, no less) for $99! My books to this point had been available exclusively on Amazon, but I was toying with the idea of also putting them in Apple’s online store, intending to write my next book directly on my ipad mini.

I tried to order one online. Nope. Stores only.

I phoned my local ‘The Source’ store (2 of them, actually) only to be told that the special was only for a handful of select stores in all of Canada (and we’re a damn big country). However, I was told that I could have my local store order one in, as long as I agreed to sign a 2 year contract with Bell for the device. Hell, yessiree, I’ll do that!

Three weeks later, (yesterday actually) I got the call from a very nice employee at ‘The Source’ store, telling me my ipad mini 3 had arrived and that I should come on down to sign up for the Bell contract. Now, apart from my job as a writer, my day job is that of a self-employed sole charge physiotherapist in a busy clinic. This means that I had to clear my schedule of patients for a one and a half hour slot (mucho lost income) to go do this. No matter. I wanted the mini. No more lugging the comparatively HEAVY Macbook Pro around on holidays with me so I could continue to write whilst away.

Well, jumping to the conclusion of this sad story, after several attempts, the nice man at The Source was unable to get me signed up. He put in a call to some kind of Help line and was told that he would be unable to sign me up for a contract with Bell because I had not had a cellular contract with Bell within the last 90 days.

HUH???

Well, says I, I have NEVER had a cellular contract with Bell, let alone within the last 90 days, but hey, that’s why I’m here – I WANT to become a Bell customer and I’m fricking frothing at the mouth to sign a 2 year contract with them so I can have my wonderful, light-as-a-feather, portable-as-hell ipad mini 3.

C’mon, C’MON, GIVE ME THE CONTRACT – WHERE DO I SIGN??

Help line guy says, yeah you can sign her up but only for the full purchase price of the mini 3 – an outrageous sum of just pennies under $600 CAD). Not available no way, no how, for the advertised price of $99. And apparently ‘The Source’ is only allowed to sell Apple products in conjunction with Bell contracts.

Besides seeming to me, to be just short of a fraudulent marketing ploy (as there was no disclaimer or restrictions policy outlined anywhere other than to say “see local store for details”), this is an EPIC MARKETING FAILURE. Not only did Apple and The Source and Bell fail to make a sale (albeit a small one, but still…) but they now have an unhappy customer who writes. And blogs. And who has followers who will share. (You will, right?)

Now I want to compare this to Apple’s biggest competitor, AMAZON and the amazing marketing move of Jeff Bezos . Amazon has sold its tablets AT COST to customers, who then become Amazon converts and buy a bazillion dollars worth of stuff from Amazon, more than making up for the mark-up loss incurred with the sale of the tablet.

PURE. MARKETING. GENIUS.

(Hey Jeff, if you’re reading this, feel free to leave a comment!)

Just thought I’d share this tip with you Bell Media, The Source, and Apple. Give it some thought.

Oh, and if any of you afore-mentioned three want to make amends and make the $99 purchase with 2 year contract happen for me, well, I’m willing to bury the hatchet. And I’d blog about that, too.

In the meantime, I’m feeling as snarly and revengeful about this whole thing as Mrs. Hanley was when she made her infamous stew, which revolted some readers (“Eeww! I can’t believe she did that!”), and enthralled others (“OMG! I just LOVE Mrs. Hanley and this story! I can’t believe she did that!”).

The stew scene is in Chapter 73 in QUINTSPINNER – A PIRATE’S QUEST.

Quintspinner - A Pirate's Quest

Quintspinner – A Pirate’s Quest

 

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, why not buy the book? (C’mon, you KNOW the suspense and the curiosity is now gonna drive you crazy, don’cha?)

It’s $.99. On Amazon everywhere.

That’s 99 cents, not even $99 (dollars) like the mystical, non-accessable-to-me-ipad mini 3 offer. And I bet you’re gonna LOVE Mrs. Hanley’s stew scene!

There. I feel (slightly) better now. I’m going to charge up my little ASUS PC netbook (which is pretty portable and which has a wonderfully responsive keyboard) and then I’m off to compare Amazon tablets because I have a reading/writing holiday coming up …. Thanks for listening.

 

The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Our Finale! Guest Post by Martin Crosbie

25 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

Hello and Merry Christmas to all of you and best wishes for this day, in what ever form you like to see it as. I have been privileged to be part of a two week Christmas Blog tour with the following authors: Sarah Lane, Laurie Boris, Heather Haley, Helga Zeiner, M.L. Gardner, Roberta Kagan, Wendy McClelland, Jamie Lee ScottJennifer Ellis, and RJ Crayton. Each of us has provided an article with a Christmas theme and I hope that you have enjoyed the variety so far. Today I’m posting the last one in a fine line up of topics and I could hardly wait to share it with you!

Well, here it is! The day we’ve all been waiting for. My guest blog by the amazing , best-selling Canadian author, Martin Crosbie!

web pic with christmas tree 2

(We’ve saved the best for last, haven’t we?) Here, on Christmas Day itself, Martin brings us the intriguing background information for Charles Dickens’  much-beloved “A Christmas Carol”. I KNOW you’re going to love this! And I’d love to hear from you on what what thoughts that Christmas brings to you.

 

The 12th Blog of Christmas is written by bestselling author, Martin Crosbie.

Martin lives on the west coast of Canada and has written five books including Amazon bestseller My Temporary Life. His popular Christmas novel Believing Again: A Tale Of Two Christmases is available in e-book format in the US and UK as a Kindle Countdown Deal from Dec. 24-27 for only 99 cents.

 

Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Those delicious words open the Dickens classic. Previous to the publication of A Christmas Carol, Christmas was barely recognized. Although it was a holiday it didn’t have the romantic vibe that it has today. Mr. Dickens and his novel changed all that. And, if he’d waited for his publisher to release the book it may never have happened.

Charles Dickens wrote his masterpiece in six weeks. Somehow he was able to channel the story and get the words on paper (or parchment probably) in less than two months. At that time he was suffering financially. His wife was pregnant with their fifth child and the wolves were closing in on their door. His previous novel had not sold well and when he submitted his new manuscript (after having it beta-read surely), to his publishers they were slow to warm to it. I’m not sure how rejection letters were sent out in 1853 but his publishers indicated that they were not interested in publishing the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s epiphany. Anxious to have the book released by Christmas Dickens went the print-on-demand route and self-published. He hired his own illustrator and contracted his publisher to print the books. And, he did the legwork himself. Then, in those very, pre-Konrath days he decided to lower the price to five shillings – a price that most folks would be able to afford. He wanted his book to be read and perhaps he even thought that readers might enjoy his other works if they liked his Christmas tale.

 

Read more …

The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Guest Post by Wendy McClelland

23 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

As we settle into Christmas Eve, I’m so pleased to be able to host this wonderful post by Wendy McClelland, a hugely successful entrepreneur, and highly skilled author and storyteller. Wendy”s post is titled “A Christmas Love Story” and I’m certain you’ll enjoy it.

Wendy McClelland photo

Wendy McClelland Bio:

Wendy McClelland is a business pioneer; as one of the first small businesses to get online in the mid 1990’s, her first website was chosen by the NY Times as “one of the best biz sites on the ‘net”. She is an award winning entrepreneur as well as a past nominee for “Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year”. She has spoken to over 10,000 people in live audiences throughout western Canada and the U.S. Wendy’s newest project is her book “27 Steps to Freedom – What Learning to Walk Again Taught me About Success in Business & Life” is a story of rebuilding her life after a near fatal illness. You can buy Wendy’s book and get 17 BONUSES with purchase – http://27stepstofreedom.com/book-launch-bonuses/

I’m really thrilled Martin Crosbie asked me to participate with him and eleven great authors to share Christmas stories.

I’m honored to be working with ML GardnerDianne GreenlayRJ Crayton, Jennifer EllisHelga ZeinerRoberta Kagan Author, Heather HaleyJamie Lee ScottSarah Lane and Laurie E. Boris.

 

A Christmas Love Story (12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop) by Wendy McClelland

I remember 1967 really well. It was Canada’s centennial – our country was 100! My parents had a fun backyard BBQ party and the whole neighbourhood came. The party went on well into the early hours of the morning. I’ll never forget seeing my parents dance together. We never know when we are experiencing something for the last time – especially as a child. That would be the last summer my mother would be alive.

As the fall approached, I started back to school and was a carefree eight year old, with three younger siblings. My parents Brian and Eileen adored each other and loved us. They were both originally from the UK, but had met in Toronto at a house party. When my dad first saw her he turned to his friend and said, “I’m going to marry that girl.” Sure enough, less than a year later they were married.

Ten years and four children later they were building a life together. Then in early winter, my mom began to feel ill, by late November she was gone. She had been feeling tired and went to the doctor. He asked her to wait in his office, called my dad at his office and had him come in. He told my mom she had leukemia and had less than two weeks to live! Can you imagine? You are only thirty years old, and have four children under eight years old. I remember feeling like the bottom had fallen out of my child’s world, I cannot imagine what she felt.

Read more – http://wendymcclelland.com/a-christmas-love-story/

Links:

 

Amazon Author Page (all books):  http://www.amazon.com/author/wendymcclelland

Facebook Fan Page (daily inspiration and motivation) http://www.Facebook.com/WendyJMcClelland

Websites: http://www.WendyMcClelland.com               http://www.27StepstoFreedom.com

 

 

The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Guest Post by Sarah Lane

22 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

We are coming into the home stretch of our Christmas Post line-up and I’m pleased to host Canadian author Sarah Lane today with a beautiful Christmas poem for you!

Sarah Lane photo

From Sarah:

A big round of applause for Martin Crosbie for coming up with this great idea and recruiting everyone. I feel honoured to be a part of such a talented pool of writers.

 

BIO:

Sarah Lane is the Canadian author of The God of My Art, a quarter finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and available on Amazon and Chapters. The God of My Art is the coming-of-age story of a young artist set in Vancouver and an imaginary town in northern BC. Lane’s other fiction and poetry have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Roar Magazine, and Quills: Canadian Poetry Magazine.

Lane is currently writing a psychological thriller about a salsa dancer and her doppelgänger. To be the first to know when it comes out, sign up to her new release mailing list.

To learn more about Lane’s writing, visit www.sarahlanebooks.com.

 

Morning Light

 

I.

 

The leaves are falling, clumping on pavement, wet and mute

like the beat of lips, fluttering with a whisper in the rainstorm

black like mascara streaming down a throat, waft of a secret

curling under earlobes to the small of a neck, drizzling into the

chaos of hair and drift of fingers down the meridian of spine

 

 

When we close our eyes we forget our continents, yellow

silk of the setting sun, sheen of snow under moonlight, the sweet

spice of a foreign accent, damp warmth of a strange tongue pooling its

syllables behind our lips, this contrast of skin where we sit, side by side,

legs swinging off the bed in the hush of the morning light

Read More: http://www.sarahlanebooks.com/blog-ninth-of-christmas

 

The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Guest Post by Roberta Kagen

21 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

We are in to our final few days of this special Christmas Blog package and today’s highlight is author Roberta Kagen who has a wonderful story about Christmas with her Romany grandmother.

Roberta Kagan photo

Roberta Kagan Dec 21st

Hey Everyone! Today, I am the featured blogger. It is a true honor to be included in a program with such talented authors. Although my little story is embellished, some of it is actually true. I hope it brings you a little joy this holiday season, God Bless all of you, Roberta Kagan

 

Roberta’s Bio:

Roberta Kagan is an American writer of Jewish and Romany decent. She writes Historical Fiction and Historical Romance, most of which is set during the holocaust. Although she never discounts the horrors of the time period, the main focus of her work is on ordinary people who prove to be strong heroic characters in unfathomable circumstances.

 

Bubby’s Christmas Angels

“Come, I’m going to tell you a story. A Christmas story.” My grandmother said as she sat in the thick upholstered chair on the side of the picture window in the living room. I tried to rush by. I was far too excited to sit and listen to anything. It was Christmas day and my aunt had just given me a gift. A gift I’d been hoping and praying for, a very special doll, and I wanted to play with it.

“You don’t want to hear a story? You’d rather go and play with your present?”

“Yes, Bubby.” Although Bubby is a Jewish term for grandmother, I called both of my grandmothers Bubby. My Romany Grandmother didn’t mind. In fact, I think she liked it. “I finally got the Shirley Temple doll that I wanted. I’ve been hoping for this for so long and I want to play with her. She came with three outfit changes too!”

My Bubby nodded. “I see. Well, it is your choice, but I think you’ll like my little tale, it’s a good story. It’s a story about a present that I got long ago. A present from God himself. “

I looked at her a little confused, a present from God? It was true that Bubby did always tell great stories. And usually I loved to sit and listen. I looked into her eyes, considering her offer.

More

 

Books and Links:

Series:
All My Love, Detrick: A Historical Novel Of Love And Survival During The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 1)
You Are My Sunshine: A Novel Of The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 2)
Promised Land (All My Love Detrick Book 3) due out January 2015

Other Books:
The Voyage: A Historical Novel set during the Holocaust, inspired by real events
A Flicker of Light
The Heart Of A Gypsy (A Historical Romance set in Nazi Germany)
The Gypsy Witch
A Nazi On Trial In God’s Court
Lilith Rising, 1969: A Coming of Age Novel

Amazon Central Page

Website: RobertaKagan.com

Facebook Author Page

Fan Book Club Group- Facebook

Blog

 

The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Guest Post by M.L. Gardner

20 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

As we head into the very last weekend before Christmas I’m delighted to be hosting M.L. Gardner with her post about past Christmases with her beloved Grandma.

M.L. Gardner photo

Grandmas Simple Christmas

 

When I was young I remember spending more than one holiday season at my grandmother’s house. I remember long evenings with homemade cookies, lots of chocolate pudding and watching claymation Christmas specials under blankets that she crocheted. What I don’t remember is the hustle and bustle holiday madness that I experienced later in life. After I grew up and began the planning, cooking and shopping for my family, it quickly became a headache laced chore to get everything done, not to mention the stress and worry of financially pulling off a ‘perfect’ Christmas. I’m not sure whether I am just more susceptible to the stress or if it’s truly gotten out of hand for all of us. What I do know is that it steals the joy and peace of the season from my family and I. As each year passed, my family noticed that I decorated a little less, baked a little less, basically did a little less of everything so I could fit it all in. And worst of all, I was glad when it was all over, and I could take a rest. I don’t ever remember my grandmother being glad Christmas was over. In fact, she was a little sad as she put away the decorations and the blue and white china nativity set that I now own. More…

M.L. Gardner Bio

 M.L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series—as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She has authored eight books, two novellas, and one book of short stories. Gardner is married with three kids and three cats. She resides in northern Utah. www.mlgardnerbooks.com

 

 

Links

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.L.-Gardner/e/B004W070UC/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMLGardner

Instagram: http://instagram.com/mlgardnerbooks/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mlgardner1929/

Subscribe to my newsletter: http://eepurl.com/HIlGj

 

Current Promotion

 

1929: Book One is FREE for a limited time and on sale at Amazon:

Smashwords (FREE): http://ow.ly/FDsHB

Google Play (FREE): http://ow.ly/FDsS

Amazon ($.99): http://ow.ly/FDswp

The 12 Blogs of Christmas – Guest Post by Laurie Boris

18 Dec
The 12 Blogs of Christmas

The 12 Blogs of Christmas

Another day, another wonderful post – this one by the incredibly talented Laurie Boris! ( Laurie has a fantastic sense of humor – you’re gonna’ love this one!)

Laurie Boris

Laurie Boris

Hi, everyone! I’m Laurie Boris, and I’m so excited to be part of the 12 Blogs of Christmas with some terrific authors and organized by my friend, bestselling author Martin Crosbie.

 

I’m a freelance writer and editor living in New York’s lovely Hudson Valley. Also the award-winning author of five novels, including the Trager Family Secrets series, I’ve been writing fiction for over twenty-five years. In my spare time, I like to cook, read, and help other writers as a contributing author and editor for IndiesUnlimited.com.

 

Drawing Breath, my coming-of-age novel about art, love, chronic illness, and human dignity, will be on sale for 99 cents through December. You can check out the rest of my books on my Amazon author page.

 

To: S. Claus
From: Joey the Elf, Vice President and Public Relations Director, North Pole
Re: Christmas 2014 Status Update and Strategic Operation Plan: Confidential
Yo, Santa baby. I know it’s close to go-time and your mental bandwidth must be stretched as thin as the photoshopped spandex in Kim Kardashian’s butt selfie, so I’ll try to keep this brief.

 

First, I feel your pain about Rudolph’s resignation. I’m sure he’ll do the air traffic controllers proud, but promoting Dancer could be a no-go. Seems the headlamp we wanted to attach to his antlers violates some PETA regulation. We’re looking into that. And you didn’t hear this from me, but there’s a rumor that a few elves are planning a sickout. Guess they’re still a little steamed about losing their collective bargaining rights.

 

Read more

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