Splash of Style...Macs, Photography, Design, and other Passions

Moved to New Server

June 2, 2010 by debbie T | Ramblings

My hosting account moved me to a new server today. Fingers crossed that it’s all smooth. I know I have had problems in the past with server moves, something always goes hinky on me. And I can’t find any of my older notes/emails on the problems I was having in prior moves. sigh.

It was nice to move anyway, the old server was getting busy, so I was noticing there was a lot of down time lately. I love my host (hosting matters) – they rock! They’ve just celebrated their 10th year anniversary in May, and I have been with them since Sept of 2000! Their customer service is right on!

If anyone notices anything hinky on my site, please let me know! Thanks!

Cool Song from the Palm Pixi Commercial

November 30, 2009 by debbie T | iTunes & iPhoneRamblings

I just love that new Palm Pixi commercial. The song rocks.

So, of course I googled and found that it’s “Sleepyhead” by Passion Pit. I am so out of the loop, I didn’t even know who Passion Pit was, but I love the song, and bought it on Amazon tonight (woot! only .89)

Lyrics

Paypal & Bill Me Later Scam Nightmare

November 11, 2009 by debbie T | InternetRamblings
Updated 2009-11-18: Justin from Bill Me Later left a message on our answering machine tonight. He read my blog and wanted to discuss my problem. Yay! I phoned him back, and he is crediting my account in full. Hopefully, my next statement will be zero. And again, it wasn’t the $25 that I cared about. It was that I opened a new credit account and it felt like a huge waste. But I am satisfied now, but the only reason I got help was because I wrote this article, so it’s a bittersweet victory, but a victory nonetheless.
Updated 2009-12-11: See below for new updated screen shots of another email I received from Paypal with the same offer!

OMG, today is the last straw! I am sooo sooo angry and upset with Bill Me Later. And I am most upset with myself for not listening to my instincts.

My advice to EVERYONE, if you receive a pre-approved email from Paypal offering you a credit for $25 or more to use Bill Me Later, RUN AWAY! Don’t fall for it. It’s a complete scam!

It’s been a constant battle to deal with them from the beginning, even before I made my purchase. They are poorly trained (and informed) and now they are refusing to apply the credit! Thankfully, I only spent $26, so it was a cheap lesson to learn.

Let’s start at the beginning! I received TWO official emails from Paypal at the beginning of October:

Do you like choices? We thought so. That’s why you’ve got a brand new choice from PayPal. Shop now – and pay for your purchases later. It’s called Bill Me Later®.

Just check out with PayPal as usual when you shop online. Choose our Bill Me Later option, and you can pay when it’s right for you: now – or later.*

Even better, you’re pre-approved. Shop by 10/31/09 and get up to $25 off your first purchase and no payments for 90 days.
Sound good? Start shopping at one of our participating stores – just a few of the thousands that accept PayPal.
Get up to 25 dollars off and no payments for 90 days
Want to know more? Check it out!

Sounds great, right? My DH needed to purchase something on Ebay. Two separate merchants, I purchased with my Paypal account, and there was absolutely no option to choose “Bill Me Later”

I called Paypal a couple of times, no one knows anything about the promotion (and I assure you, it was an official email, they were just ill-informed) so they pass the buck over to Bill Me Later, who were equally idiotic.

Bill Me Later customer service told me that perhaps the Ebay merchants weren’t included in the 1000’s of merchants (even though it clearly stated on the FAQ that Ebay was included). No one was able to offer any insight to the details of this promotion.

I put the email aside, and really didn’t want to deal with it. I should have listened to that “little voice” and just walked away from the deal. Eh, it was only $25 credit (others were receiving $100 credits – my God, thank you that I didn’t receive one of those, as I would now be paying for $100 of merchandise)

But my inner greed took over and I sat down on October 28 (three days before the Oct 31st deadline) to find something to buy for around $25. I finally decided to purchase two books from Walmart.

So, my cart was filled, and I clicked the “check out with Paypal” button. I signed into my Paypal account (the same account that the email was sent to). I tried to change my Payment Options, and as with Ebay earlier, there was absolutely NO OPTION to change the payment to Bill Me Later. See my screenshot below:

Bill Me Later scam

I was livid, so I phoned Bill Me Later again. The customer service rep told me that I should using the Paypal link, but to use the normal check out process and choose “Bill Me Later” as the payment. So, that is what I did, and it appeared to work. EXCEPT, I then received a “Welcome to Bill Me Later” email with the email address that I used for Walmart, NOT the email address that the original offer was sent to.

Oh crap! I called Bill Me Later, and they assured me that they would send a request through to their Account Resolution department and I would have an answer in 5-7 business days.

So, today I receive an email from Bill Me Later (using a Do Not Reply email – grrrr)

Dear Debbie xxxx,

We have received your inquiry about your Bill Me Later® account. Unfortunately, we were not able to apply the promotional credit you requested. The promotional credit with Wal-Mart was not being offered. If however you can provide proof of the offer we will be able to research this further.

Sincerely,
Melissa
Bill Me Later Inc. ®
Customer Care
Financial Services for Bill Me Later® are provided by CIT Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Okay, first off, no telephone number? No last name? No return email address? Talk about wonderful customer service.

Secondly, who said anything about a promotional credit with Wal-Mart? The promotion was offered through Paypal and Bill Me Later! One more moronic statement to add to the pile.

So, of course, at this point I am beyond angry. Beyond being reasonable!

I phoned Bill Me Later. Spoke to “Scott” who listened to my ranting, and ended up giving me his “fake” email address (that bounced) swahba@billmelater.com telling me to forward the email I received to him. As I said, the email ended up being fake, so of course, that made me even angrier! grrrr. I phoned them again, and the new person forwarded my call to Matt who was in the “Account Resolution” department.

At this point, all three people at Bill Me Later kept mentioning the “promotional credit with Wal-Mart”! And it set me off every time! Why do you think this is a promotion from Wal-Mart??? It was an email from Paypal and Bill Me Later!!!! I was screaming I was so upset! (note, yeah, I know you can get more flies with honey, but I was beyond angry, and there was no calming me down!)

So, Matt told me to forward him the original email, which I did. He phoned me in a few minutes and told me that because I didn’t go through Paypal’s checkout, I was out of luck (I am paraphrasing of course)

What??? What? WHAAAATTTT? I screamed bloody murder. That is what I tried to do (at least three times with Ebay and Walmart) and there is no option for Bill Me Later when checking out with Paypal. Matt calmly “assured” me (yeah, oh I love that word, assured) that there certainly was an option.

Show me where then! To this day, no one can tell me! Know why? Because it’s impossible, because it’s a total scam! You will receive the promotional email, you will try to make a purchase, and you will end up being stuck with the charges yourself because they won’t give you the credit. Thankfully, in my case, it was only $25, but others might not be so lucky.

I am thinking I might return one of the books to Walmart anyway. So, it won’t be too bad.

Oh Gawd, I really really really hate Bill Me Later!!!

ETA: It appears I am not the only one that didn’t see any option for Bill Me Later when using Paypal for checkout.
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/958748/

And the internet is riddled with Bill Me Later complaints dating back years ago. It appears they have a reputation for their lack of customer service skills and sweeping problems under the rug.
http://www.google.com/search?q=bill+me+later+scam
http://www.google.com/search?q=bill+me+later+fraud
http://news.cnet.com/2100-1017-960380.html

This complaint from 2005 sounds so similar to my situation. They pass it to the “Accounts Resolution” department, and then after their investigation, they deny that there was a promo for Walmart, Amazon or whichever store you used for the purchase! Wow. They are still doing the same thing four years later!

I really want to close out the account, as I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of having me as a customer, but I am afraid it will hinder my credit. I have excellent credit, and from what I have read, by opening the account, they did a “hard pull” on my credit account, which reduces my credit score a few points for 6 months or so. If I close the account, I have a feeling it might also affect my score. Something to check out!

UPDATE: Just received an email from Matt (in reply to my email with an attached screenshot of my Paypal screen with no payment option for Bill Me Later)

Again I apologize for the frustration that this issue has caused, and I want to assure you that we are committed to providing you the best service that we can. There has been some confusion during the release of this new offer through PayPal, and many of our agents including myself have not been giving the right information.

The heart of this issue seems to be this, though Walmart may be a Paypal merchant they are not offering Bill Me Later through PayPal at this time. This is likely because Walmart is one of our regular Bill Me Later merchants. In the future it is likely that Walmart will be available with Bill Me Later through the PayPal wallet but it is currently not offered.

Also addressing your issues using Bill Me Later through the PayPal wallet on eBay, likely the merchant you attempted to use was also not offered. Unfortunately there is no list of merchants that offer this payment method, because of the large number of merchants on eBay all desiring different methods it would be virtually impossible to list them all. So in the future if you desire to use Bill Me Later through the PayPal wallet and receive your $25 merchant reward if you do not see the option at your point of purchase you will know that it is not offered. Then you will be able to back out of your order if you so desire.

Again Ms. xxx, I apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused and appreciate your patience with this issue.

This makes this promotion look more fraudulent by the minute. How could they possibly offer this promotion and not know who was participating? And I think his excuse is a bullsh*t answer anyway.

What’s happening is NO merchants are set up to use Bill Me Later through Paypal. That’s what I think! Why wouldn’t they all be set up? If a merchant like Walmart is set up to receive both Paypal and Bill Me Later, how difficult would it be to merge the two? And furthermore, how could they possibly roll out this promotion when even the merchants listed in the actual email weren’t in participation? I checked back in October, and at least one of the three wasn’t set up! Sorry, but that is misleading!

Scam scam scam. Stay away from Paypal and Bill Me Later or you’ll be sorry!

UPDATED 2009-12-11: I just received another pre-approval offer from Paypal for $25 and no payments until April 2010.

new pre-approved offer from paypal for $25 and no payments until april 2010

I decided to test it out, so I went to Barnes & Noble and added a random item to the shopping cart. I typed my info in the first few forms, and when it go to the payment options, I chose Paypal. As soon as I logged into Paypal, a window popped up informing me that I was pre-approved for Bill Me Later.

popup window telling me I was pre-approved for bill me later

I closed the window, and there was definitely an option for Bill Me Later as a payment choice using my Paypal account.

option in paypal to use bill me later

So, it looks like maybe Paypal and Bill Me Later are getting their act together. We’ll see. Stay alert everyone, and if you do go for your $25 or $100 pre-approval account, please double check to make sure you are purchasing through Paypal. If there isn’t an option for Bill Me Later through Paypal, then you won’t get your credit.

This One Made Me Laugh

October 13, 2009 by debbie T | InternetRamblings

I know, I get all sorts of spammy email crap from every advertising and search engine web site, but this one gave me such a giggle.

Dear Webmaster,

My name is Liz, and my company Topspot Promotions represents online gaming sites in various domains. We are looking at reputable sites to place our clients’ ads. Please let me know if you are interested.

For further details please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,
Liz Jenkins
Advertising Consultant
Business Development Department
liz.jenkins @ topspot-promotions dot net (removed link to their actual web site)
Topspot Promotions

If you do not respond to this email you will not receive any additional emails from TopSpot Promotions. To permanently delete yourself from our list, simply reply to this with a blank email and you will not receive any communication from us in the future.

Okay first off, they are looking for “reputable” sites to place their online gaming ads. What? They don’t want to advertise gaming on a non-reputable site? Gee, they are picky aren’t they? On the other hand, once an online gaming ad goes up, wave bye bye to the good reputation. Catch 22. 😉

And then the last paragraph. If I don’t respond I won’t receive anymore emails from them, but just in case, it’s better to reply with a blank email and they will know to delete me from their list. I love it!

AppleStore Robbed

September 3, 2009 by debbie T | Mac CornerRamblings

No, it isn’t funny that an Applestore was robbed, but the guy doing the voice over on the survellence tape sure is a riot. Who talks like that anymore?

“Leaving only the price tags behind!!!!” LOL. What a pompous jerk! I hate newscasters that sound like that!

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/video?id=6996090

(Note: I tried to embed the video, but for some reason, the code won’t work, so a link will have to do. Sorry)

Comcast Announces New Universal Caller Id

June 25, 2009 by debbie T | ComputersMac SoftwareRamblings

This is so cool. I can’t wait until it’s established at our house.

Comcast sent an email today announcing a new feature for their customers with TV, Internet, & Telephone bundle packages. When a telephone call comes in, the Caller ID will display on the TV screen.

Yeah! That will save me from having to stand up and walk over to our phone just to see who it is. If it’s mom, I will answer (maybe…LOL Just kidding) and if it’s a stupid telemarketer, I will just let it go to voice mail. I wonder if there’s an option on the remote to sent it immediately to voice mail!?

There’s also another option to download for your PC which will display the Caller ID on your PC, but that’s not as appealing to me as the TV. It’s an Adobe Air app, so it’s Windows and Mac compatible.

It’s supposed to be starting in about a month. Oh and the best part is, it’s FREE!

Now if only I can get Comcast to add specific phone number blocking, that would be a big help! Still can’t understand why I can’t have a list of phone numbers that are blocked from calling me. It’s sounds so simple! But what do I know!?

Anyway, the Comcast Universal Caller ID is cool and I can’t wait to try it out!

Test

April 11, 2009 by debbie T | Ramblings

Test post

My host moved me to a new server and I think I am having trouble with some sort of caching on my site.

9 1/2 Weeks

February 7, 2009 by debbie T | Ramblings

This isn’t my usual type of post, but just been watching the movie “9 1/2 Weeks” on cable. Now, that is when Micky Rourke was hot. I can’t believe that it’s the same guy as now. It’s always been a favorite movie, even though I haven’t seen it in years. I think I have the DVD somewhere.

Copyright Respect

February 1, 2009 by debbie T | InternetRamblings

This afternoon, I am going to rant! I apologize if this offends anyone, but I am just ticked off today!

Who do these so-called bloggers think they are!? They convince themselves that they are offering some sort of service to their visitors. Pretending to be “authors” but all they are doing is stealing someone else’s copyrighted content.

Case in point, this “gentleman” decided that he would create a blogger blog and just blog about all his favorite useful content from other various web sites.

He took the text from one of my other web sites and copied it to a blog post:
http://rootsweb.blogspot.com/2007/09/web-design-made-simple.html

Just in case the post is removed, here is a screen shot of his post and the original content on my web site.

If you look at other posts on this particular blog, as well as his many other blogs, it is an unusual occurrence that he has an original thought of his own. It’s all created by someone else!

Sure, he thinks he is doing his bit by adding a link back to the original site, and he probably thinks that it’s flattering to the author that he is parroting their content. But bottom line, he is a thief and he has no idea that what he is doing is wrong, and probably never will.

Hello! If you want to collect links and useful content, open a delicious bookmarks account, don’t steal it and post it to blogger!

I contacted this gentleman a few weeks ago, but he ignored my request to remove my content from his site. So, today I wrote a letter to Google to explain my situation and hopefully they will take action.

For those that have also been compromised by someone on blogger, whether it be text content or photos, or whatever, you need to contact Google by mail or fax. They will not accept email contact on copyright issues. Here is the info on Google’s web site:
http://www.google.com/blogger_dmca.html

I apologize to all my regular visitors for this rant. I try not to be too judgmental on this site, but it just angers me that these clueless people are out there! Thanks for listening!

$10 free from Coinstar

November 25, 2008 by debbie T | Ramblings

Coinstar is giving away a $10 holiday bonus if you use their coin counting service & choose an e-certificate or gift card ($40 minimum). The cool thing is there is no counting free if you choose the e-cert or gift card anyway, so the extra $10 is an even better incentive!

The e-cert choices are great – Amazon.com and iTunes to name two!

http://www.coinstar.com/US/Webdocs/A1-0-3-1

Offer only good until Dec 7! We have a ton of saved coins, so we gotta get a move on!

Oh and when you use their coin counter locator , make sure to click the “specific products” link and choose e-certificate (and/or gift cards). Not all coin counters offer the e-certs or gift cards.

Coinstar Machine Locator