Archive

Archive for October, 2009

A new trip to Orvis!

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Apparently, my recent review of Orvis got the attention of some people at the company — specifically, James Hathaway, Manager of Communications and Conservation.  He commented on my blog and I promptly emailed him.  He wrote back a very polite email, starting with:

I have been hoping you would write! Thanks for your quick response.

We take these things very seriously and I have contacted as well as sent your blog post to:

The Retail Store Manager in Pasadena
The VP of Marketing
The VP of Retail
The VP of Operations
and the Product Manager for Pet

I want to thank you for pointing all of this out in such a detailed way. Because of your well-written post, we are able to go through where we dropped the ball and figure out how to fix these problems… not just make you happy.

Now, that is much more in line with what a company truly dedicated to customer service should be like! I am very glad to see that Orvis (1) takes efforts to find out what people think about their company (because its not like I sent my post to them!) and 2) is willing to act in a constructive way on that information.  Mr. Hathaway went on further, asking if there were outstanding issues he could help with, and offering me a gift certificate so I can give the store another try. I’m not exactly sure what I will buy with that, but I’m thankful for the offer. Needless to say, I will be blogging about that upcoming shopping trip as well.  I sincerely hope that they’ll learn from what happened to me and improve their processes, from shipping to customer support, so none of it will happen to anyone else.

Categories: Uncategorized

Review: Ryka Studio Flex Mid

October 28, 2009 8 comments

After having such a fantastic win with the Ryka Assist XT, I decided to also try out the Ryka Studio Flex Mid.  Most of my calorie burn comes from doing Cathe Friedrich exercise DVDs at home, whether it’s Step Blast or STS, so a good indoor studio shoe is a must for me.  This role had been filled by my excellent N-gage Studio Mid shoes from Ryka, but from doing high impact aerobics for two years straight, the shoes have really begun to show wear and tear.  They’re not dead, but they’re clearly d-y-i-n-g (shh!  not too loudly or my shoe’s feelings may get hurt!!).  Sears was having such a great shoe sale that I went ahead and bought two pairs of shoes.  One was the Assist XT and the other was the Studio Flex Mid.  The Studio Flex series is touted by Ryka to be their ultimate studio shoe for “the fitness enthusiast who does it all.”  Alrighty, I’m game. Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

Been out of the loop…

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve managed to catch a cold but I have a couple posts under way.  Please expect a review on the Ryka Studio Flex Mid shoes and a series of dog toys by Kong in the next two days.  Thanks!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Just don’t do it.

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m a little late in catching this news, it seems, but that doesn’t change how I feel. As most of America knows, all-around douchebag Michael Vick was vaulted from NFL fame to national infamy when it was discovered he had been operating an illegal dog fighting ring for more than FIVE YEARS.  And he was not just the money-man, letting his underlings do their evils to the dogs without his knowledge. He “trained” the dogs, he starved the dogs, and he killed the dogs without mercy.  Even after reaching a plea agreement, he has denied the last point, but there remains evidence against him. In any case, the prosecution accepted a deal with him in spite of his continuing shifty behavior during allocution and even his failing a drug test while out on bail.

23 months later, he was out as a free man. He attempted to file for bankruptcy, which was denied. But then lo and behold, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to give him a job for the bargain price of $1.6 million. As an avid Giants and Jets fan, and having lived in the same town as a bunch of crazy Eagles fans, I never thought there was a single act that could make me despise the Eagles even more. Boy, was I wrong. Read more…

Categories: boycott Tags: , , ,

Orvis = Osh*t

October 23, 2009 4 comments
Tough Chew Nest

Tough Chew Nest

Orvis = Osh*t

Orvis is a family owned business that specializes provided quality items to the fishing and hunting community.  I do not fish or hunt so I can’t attest to the quality of their products in that specialty.  I found myself shopping at Orvis because they apparently make excellent “Tough Chew” products for dogs.  My dog, bless her soul, likes to rip apart everything with those teeth of hers.  I’m very lucky in that she never chews things that are not deemed “hers.”  So, I never have to worry about sofas or pillows or wires.  Normally, I wouldn’t care if she just obliterated her items but we have a problem with regard to her dog bed.  We have hardwood floors in our house and the floors bother her more than they bother my barefeet.  On top of a recently diagnosed luxating patella problem, I’ve been trying to make sure she has enough padding for her to lay about by giving her old blankets we don’t use anymore.  The Tough Chew Nests from Orvis were touted on the Internet for their guarantee for the most avid dog chewers.  I don’t particularly like spending almost $100 on a dog bed (still in grad school!), but I wanted my baby to be comfortable so I bit the bullet.  And then the nightmare started.
Going to the brick and mortar store.  I’m lucky enough to be close to the Pasadena Orvis store.  The first time my husband and I went, we went to go look at the beds ourselves to find that they didn’t have any beds *in* the store but just the liners.  Needless to say, we were unimpressed.  The first saleswoman we spoke to really treated us nicely and explained that at bigger stores they have them in the store.  Well, that does make some sense — the shop was in a bit of a tight location.  But, they had Tough Chew Toys so we picked up one to see how well Evee would like it.  Well, Evee did indeed love it…even after it was torn to smitherines after 20 minutes.  After the battle of picking up all the plastic pieces off the floor and out of her mouth, we found the receipt and prompty readied ourselves to return it.  When we went back for the return, a new saleswoman (actually a manager) very rudely tells us there’s no guarantee on Tough Chew.  My husband and I look at each other — “yes there is.”  She then tells us its only the bed.  Ok, well, I was smart enough to print out the item from the Orvis website (because it was actually cheaper online and I wanted to know why we were charged the higher price).  On the webpage for the item it talks about how the gurantee the product against the toughest chewers.  The manager just looks at us, grabs the item, and tells us there’s no point in doing a return (we had mentioned that it may have just been a fluke) because our dog was just going to chew through it and she wasn’t going to refund us again.  I was so annoyed I just kept on blinking.  Here we are in this premium store that prides itself of customer service and there’s this woman who doesn’t know the products sold in her store and lacking any manners.  I WILL pay more for higher quality and service but this was neither.
Going online.  I took a deep breath and decided to try the website instead.  I was able to get a Tough Chew Nest on sale even so the price of the whole thing came right under $100.  Now, I noticed that there was a backorder.  I’m glad they told me that ahead of time.  What I wasn’t happy about is that they kept on changing the backorder date.  In fact, they didn’t even email me when the date was changed on the order status page.  I found this out by going ot the page myself every day once the original ship date had passed…for over two weeks.  I finally contacted them where they told me it was processing and would ship any day now.  Five days later I get confirmation of the shipment to find out that they had not bothered to even send me the right package.  The bed comes in two parts — the polyfill nest and the liner.  They had only sent the nest, and the liner was actually the expensive part.  After waiting for well over a month, I find out they can’t even put two things in a box together.  So, they contact me to tell me that *I* had to place a new order.
Excuse me?  You screw up and I have to do more work?
After not letting go of this, they finally told me the problem was that I had used Google Checkout — THAT’s why they couldn’t do it by themselves.  Sure, thanks for telling me this after I’ve been asking for a reason for ten minutes.  Why do you offer Google Checkout if you can’t serve your customers well with it?  ::silence::
Ok, ok – whatever.  Where’s this customer service they tout?  You see, they’re very clever.  In the email where they told me to reorder the item, they make it sound like I’m getting a discount because of this coupon code they give me.  By giving me this coupon code, they are making everything right and understand my time is valuable.  Unfortunately for them, I can do arithmetic in my head.  I then pressed the CS agent that for all the time and headache this caused me, they weren’t going to give me a single dime for my time.  In their attempt to make it sound like they were making it a better deal, I had realized I was still being charged $100 in the end.  After pushing for sometime, I finally got them to lower the price.  Good.
I go to order the liner (AGAIN) per the instructions given by the CS agent.  He tells me to order it normally and then forward the receipt so he could 1) get the expedited shipping in and 2) adjust the price.  I order, get the email, and forward the email in seconds.  My response email — 1) We cannot give you expedited shipping as the item is already processed to ship (you’re kidding me — it took me over a month to get anything from you and now you’re telling me you processed it so damned fast I can’t get expedited shipping?  What you can’t call UPS and tell them to change the kind of shipping it is?), and 2) We can’t adjust the price as the order went through.  We’ll give you a refund.  It’ll be processed in 5 days.
::headdesk::
Getting the dog bed.  When we eventually get the liner to the dog bed, we put the whole thing together.  I look at the liner with some puzzlement.  Sure, its stronger than the cheap stuff we see in the stores but I wasn’t sure how it was chew proof.  But I inspect further and the stitching is very good and the dog usually gets in through the stitching.
Evee first afraid of everything gets readily acclimated to the bed.  She likes it, she really does!  But fast forward <24 hrs later, I hear a ::RIIIIIP:: Evee has gone through the bed and she didn’t use the stitching at all!  She just tore a big hole into right in the middle of the bed.  She got to the polyfill on the inside too.
The good news is they were quick to offer the refund.  I guess they’re used to that though.

Orvis is a family-owned business that specializes in providing goods for the fishing and hunting community.  I do not fish or hunt, so I can’t attest to the quality of their products in that specialty.  But I found myself shopping at Orvis because they apparently make excellent “Tough Chew” products for dogs.  My dog, bless her soul, likes to rip apart everything with those teeth of hers.  I’m very lucky in that she never chews things that are not deemed “hers.”  So, I never have to worry about sofas or pillows or wires.

Normally, I wouldn’t care if she just obliterated her items, but we have a problem with regard to her dog bed.  We have hardwood floors in our house, and the floors bother her more than they bother my bare feet — which is a lot.  I’ve been trying to make sure she has enough padding for her to lay about by giving her old blankets we don’t use anymore.  The Tough Chew Nests from Orvis were touted on the Internet for their guarantee for the most avid dog chewers.  I don’t particularly like spending almost $100 on a dog bed (still in grad school!), but I wanted my baby to be comfortable, especially in light of her recently diagnosed luxating patella problem, so I bit the bullet.  And then the nightmare started.

UPDATE, 10/30/09: Since writing this post, Orvis contacted me regarding my experience with their company.  To see what happened, please click here.

Read more…

Categories: Reviews Tags: , , ,

Steve Doocy can’t read…

October 23, 2009 Leave a comment

…or he chooses to deliberately deceive his audience. Take your pick.

I am not a Fox News viewer. But if I were, I would be pretty darned pissed. In response to Obama’s recent criticism of Fox News, “Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy decided he’d quote an article from Newsweek:

“And you know, it’s funny Dana, I didn’t do a thorough search, but I did do a little Google thing. The New York Times came out against it, The Nation refers to, says there’s a word for what the President and his aids are doing, and that’s ‘whining,’ and refers to the President as the ‘Whiner-in-Chief’; the Baltimore Sun thinks it’s stupid, and the Newsweek column said that it is essentually un-American.” Read more…

In the interim…

October 21, 2009 1 comment

What’s going on? Well, I’ve lost the ability to connect to the wireless network where I work so I don’t have as much time to flick away on this blog. 😉 But I do have a couple posts in mind, including my experience with Orvis, the other Ryka pair (but that’ll be held off until I get a different size), and a couple other product reviews. What would any of you like to hear about? I have a couple political topics in mind as well but the Hottiescientist is here to listen to your needs as well. 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,