Archive for January, 2008

Founders Day


Don’t you just love when you call a company during regular business hours, only to find out that every person who might be able to help you is unavailable? Sometimes, it’s “All the managers are in a meeting.” Or perhaps you’ll hear that “The executive team is attending an important trade show.” And my personal […]

During the past week, I submitted information request forms on two different websites. You know, the kind where you fill out your contact info and tell them what you’re looking for, and they respond with pricing and other details. The only problem is, neither company has gotten back to me yet. Maybe the inquiries got […]

Express seating


While trying to kill some time before a movie last weekend, I wandered into a Starbucks that I had never seen before. I’m not sure how long this particular location has been there, but it’s on a busy corner with lots of foot traffic. When I went inside, I noticed that the seating area was […]

No surprises


I recently helped a friend negotiate and complete a large purchase, in the neighborhood of $10k. However, about a week after we finalized the sale and right before delivery was supposed to take place, I got a call from our sales rep at the store. He said that they forgot to charge a special insurance […]

Dining math


When I travel, my days are usually pretty hectic. Even with everything planned out in advance, there’s no way to predict when meetings will run long or you’ll get stuck in a line at the security checkpoint. Typically, these events mean that you’ll have to rush a little more on your way to the gate […]

Advertising in airports is a big business. Companies like ClearChannel and JC Decaux sell millions of dollars worth of ads on wall-mounted billboards, digital signs, and other airport media. But one thing has always puzzled me: Why don’t they tailor the advertising at each gate to match where the plane is going? Granted, only a […]

I’m a huge fan of Southwest Airlines. Sure, they’re not perfect, but I find them easier to deal with than any other airline. Their fares are straightforward and predictable, they don’t charge you to change a ticket, and their website is really easy to use. But I did notice one oversight that could be costing […]

When I book a hotel, I always try to use the hotel’s official website. Unlike those non-refundable reservations at places like, booking through the hotel site usually means you can change or cancel the reservation as needed. Plus, many hotels have a low price guarantee to match the travel sites on price. But there’s […]

The last time I checked, most airports have flights arriving and departing well past 8 pm. But I’ve come across numerous airports, such as Denver and Fort Lauderdale, that shut down nearly all the restaurants and shops at 8 o’clock. I know people would buy stuff well past that time, since vendors are busy in […]

Every time I deal with another company’s tech support department, it’s always the same story. I explain the problem to the rep along with what I’ve tried so far. Inevitably, they ask me to try the same thing again, ignoring everything I just told them. Next, they transfer me to another agent, who repeats the […]