Monday, April 16, 2018

How to Get a Negative Review on Yelp - the Chik-fil-A Way!

This is how companies get bad Yelp reviews. Step one. Offer breakfast (which, to be honest, is very good as "fast food" goes at Chick-fil-A), but only serve it to 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Step two. Have an employee literally run out at 10:30 am and flip the signs to lunch. Step three. Be so popular with your breakfast that you have a pile up of cars in the drive thru. Step four. When a car pulls up at 10:32 a.m, having literally been the "next car in line," tell the occupants - Sorry! It's lunch time now (10:30 in the morning for LUNCH?), and that it's too bad. They can't get breakfast. Step five. Let said occupants sit in car for about 5 to 7 minutes while they wait for the other folks ahead of them to get their food, and let them listen to the cars behind them bark into the drive thru - WHAT? NO BREAKFAST? You're kidding me. Step six. Let said occupants, drive hurridly through the drive thru (without getting any food), and be starving while they go in search of another breakfast joint in Fremont that - crazily - serves breakfast at 10:31 a.m. on a Saturday.

Rinse and repeat - every Saturday from now until the Second Coming.

Oh, and fail to have any systems to improve this process such as: a) simultaneously serving breakfast and lunch from, say, 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. to let the line clear, b) posting a VERY CLEAR sign in the line that if it's 10:31 a.m. you will either get lunch or nothing. SUCKER, or c) having a real person come out to the line of cars and flag the last car "eligible" for breakfast.

Yes, my friends, this is how an actually pretty good fast food restaurant gets a bad review on Yelp as it is hoped that the owner will read this and take some relatively easy steps (see a, b, and/or c) above to remedy the situation.

Oh, and in case you're there prior to 10:30 a.m., get the breakfast burrito with chicken and the coffee. Both excellent.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Position Zero

Position zero occurs often on "questions with answers." It's very conversational:

Here's an example for "Does car insurance cover theft?"

Saturday, January 13, 2018

How Customer Service Dies at USAA (and Other Places)

Oh, customer service. Of endangered species, you are perhaps the most endangered. Companies with formerly great customer service seem to be abandoning it in droves. Take USAA, the big insurer (of which I have been a member since about 2000). I had the misfortune of credit card fraud on my account, through no fault of my own, and after resetting my credit card with one division, the other division "didn't get the memo." 

Two late fees later, I got an envelope through SNAIL MAIL with an alert. So I call into the call center to reset the credit card and are first told that they'll waive the late fee, and then oops - that they can't. The computers are clearly in charge.

Next, after listening to platitudinous message after message from the Customer Service (SIC) rep, I ask how to file a complaint, and she says, "Oh, we don't have a Complaint Number or Department." We can't actually file a complaint.

So basically the bottom line message was, "Sorry Mr McDonald, screw you, the computers are in charge."

Oh well, this is why God created blogging and Twitter and social media, so we can vent our frustrations about big, clodding corporations like USAA that are so unconcerned with Customer Service that they can't waive trivial late fees, don't empower their Customer Service (SIC) agents to be able to actually do anything, and generally just ignore their faithful and loyal customers.

Great insurance by the way. Terrible customer service that sugar coats itself with trivialities. #SAD.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Facebook Ads On "Hot Topics"

Looks like Facebook has "got the memo" from the government about political ads - 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Shameless Plug for The Password Book

Password Book

I have a new book out entitled, The Password Book. Allow me to speak candidly about one of the tensions in our world of technology. As people who know me, or who have taken a course from me know, my favorite saying is by Voltaire, "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

Voltaire is explaining (in case you don't get it), that if you have an image of a "perfect" husband or "perfect" wife (for example), that image of "the perfect" will make you very unhappy vs. your otherwise "pretty good" husband or wife. You'll be unhappy, and you'll communicate that unhappiness to your spouse. Your "real" spouse can never live up to the "perfect" spouse, and they will always fall short.

Internet Security and Password Books

So it goes with Internet security. Yes we should all have ten digit passwords that include both a capital and lower case letter, a number, random letters, and of course (who could forget) a non-alphanumeric character like a !, a % or a #. And we should never use the same password on any two sites. And we should run our virus scanner every day, and we should never download anything, etc. etc. OF COURSE WE SHOULD.

But we don't and we won't. We can't live up to that perfect standard of perfect security. So we get discouraged and give up and make our passwords on all website (including our bank) something stupid like password123 or if we're clever password327 or if we're very clever something like cat731.

The Password Book isn't about perfect security. It's about better security. I go over scams (and how they work) and upgrades to your email, your phone, and your bank to make them better. I explain two-step verification and how important it is.

Will this make you invulnerable to hackers? OF COURSE NOT.  But will it make you less vulnerable? YES IT WILL.  The Password Book, like other password books, has a place to write down passwords, but really it's a book inspired by Voltaire.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

So If You Search SEO on Amazon - You Have a Couple of Choices

Apparently "SEO" is a common name in Korea. So if you search SEO on Amazon, you sometimes have to make a choice as to which SEO you're looking for - 

Click to view image FULL size!