Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Summer Glow and Corporate Greed

I went tanning for the second time today. Each time I was told completely different things about what I should try as a new tanner, but I took today's advice because...how do I know which one is right?

The whole thing with Malibu Tanning, I'll tell you why Malibu Tanning is evil:

In January I signed up for the Malibu Tanning VIP membership. I was told that you sign up for three months of unlimited tanning, $20 each month. It was a wedding expo and my friend was getting married, so I thought it would be nice to be tan for her wedding. The nice, tan girl at the Malibu Tanning booth told me they would need my credit card number then in order to get the deal, but that I could come in to any Malibu Tanning and activate my account any time in February.

I never came in and figured that since it was not activated I wasn't being charged. Now, I should check my bank statements closer, I should. But I didn't notice until much later that I had been charged every month for a service I'd never activated.

When I called I went through a lot of rigmarole with unfriendly people...only to find out that Malibu Tanning has a policy against refunding people for services that they haven't used.

Because kids, because I could have come into Malibu Tanning and used the service I did not know I had at any time. It's not Malibu Tanning's Fault

I can't find the contract I signed. Legally Malibu Tanning may be in the clear - and certainly the amount isn't worth hiring a lawyer over. But, if Malibu Tanning had even the ethics of Wal-mart, they would have refunded the money they took...for a service I was never provided.

Malibu Tanning would not lose out by refunding my money, because they never provided any service. Not once. But evidently getting something for nothing appeals to the owner of Malibu Tanning.

I begrudgingly offered two months of unlimited tanning "free". Two months when I paid for seven. I pressed farther and got three.

When I complained that lady on the phone kept saying, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her it was unethical, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her I'd be informing all my friends that Malibu Tanning enjoys cheating people out of their hard earned money, "I'm sorry you feel that way." I told her that she knew perfectly well it was unethical and that if it were her she wouldn't be taking any lousy three months when she'd paid for seven, she paused, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

In the end I took the three. I don't suggest that anyone do business with Malibu Tanning. I will be writing to the owner and describing my experience. I'll post the contact info when I find it, in case anyone reading this has also had a bad experience with Malibu Tanning.

When I went in to Malibu Tanning a couple weeks ago my roommate came with me. She had also bought the VIP plan, but they'd stopped charging her after a couple of months so she stopped going in.

When she went to buy a package (I didn't think she should, but she wanted to keep me company) she was old that Malibu Tanning had been charging her card for the past several months and it was about to be sent to collections. Malibu Tanning hadn't been able to actually charge the card because it had been reported lost or stolen. But they kept charging a lost or stolen card.

Her case is stronger than mine. She wasn't paid up so she never would have been able to use the service those months that they've charged her for. Malibu Tanning's argument with me was that I technically could have - even if I was hindered by knowledge. They wouldn't have let her use their service - so she shouldn't be charged.

And that kids, is why - if you're going to tan - you shouldn't choose Malibu Tanning.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Freedom of Speech?

We all know that Freedom of Speech has come to include pole dancing and porn, evidently it doesn't include misinformation or even divisive information - not if it's about Senator Barrack Obama.

I'm researching as I write, but I think it would be hard to fake a video like this one - I'm pretty sure that actually is a clip of the St. Louis evening news.

This blog has the same video, but with quotes and statistics.

If you're concerned you can easily find contact info for St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce & St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch.

I believe my roommate is putting together a somewhat more balanced and thoughtful article on her blog. Trying to include both sides and what-not. Personally, I think that the news clip itself sounds menacing - forget what the commentators have to add.

Over at ABC News, Jake Tapper thinks Republicans are over-reacting.
He says,

Gov. Matt Blunt, on official state stationery, said, “What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment."

None of the prosecutors or sheriffs on the "Truth Squad" have said they'd use their law enforcement powers as part of their task as "Truth Squad" members.

But on the news it sure sounded like they'd be using their law enforcement powers. He goes on to quote Bob McCulloch,

"I don't know what charge anybody could be talking about there is no such thing; libel is a civil matter entirely," McCulloch said. "What I said was if it is a lie I'll call somebody on it and say that's a lie; tell us the truth. That gets morphed by those with these very sinister motives," the prosecutor said. He added, "It's morphed into 'they are trying to intimidate people into not talking.'"

It didn't take a lot of morphing. It's what it sounds like.

Mr. Tapper quotes reporter John Mills as saying,

"in the retelling of the story, it got out of control. If they think a group has put out a misleading ad, they’re basically going to call a press conference and say the ad is misleading," Mills told the News-Leader yesterday. "I’m sure the Republicans would do the same thing."

Press conferences are lovely and I'm all for Obama having as many press conferences as he needs. But I agree with the Governor that it sounds like these people would be using their power to tell people what they can & cannot say.

Well, The Sarah Conner Chronicles is coming on, so I'll just let you kids make up your minds on your own. If you want more info you can easily just google "Truth Squad" & "Obama".

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This Day

I used to do a lot of journaling. It's very good for figuring out what's going on in my head.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Debatable Debates

I'm watching the candidate debate right now.

I'm pretty pleased with what McCain has to say, but I think it would be more interesting if I had someone to watch it with. I'm recording it, so maybe I'll turn down the volume and read a book!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Doodle, doodles everywhere

My weekend projects.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The colored lights brightly shine

I got pulled over this morning for going 17 over the speed limit. I explained to the officer that it was actually only 10 (well it was) and that's all he wrote me up for. Then he gave me a number I could call and if I say I want to "work something out" evidently the ticket will not get put on my record. I kinda envisioned picking up trash on the side of the road and that sounded wretched, but if it got me out of paying for a ticket I'd go for it. When I told the story at work I found out that actually they want MORE money for it to not go on my record. Extortion?

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