Philly riverlink sucks

I will never ever again take the ferry to Camden to see a show. I’ve waited over an hour and just finally got on a ferry. There’s only on ferry, so if you can’t get on one because it’s full, then you need to wait 30 plus minutes for the next one. This is what they call express service. I needed to allot at least two hours to get to the show on time.

And there are still people who are probably going to miss this one.

Never again. Do not take the riverlink ferry if you don’t have hours to kill.

Great follow-up email

I just received the following email from retailer CD Baby after ordering Sarah Hallman’s cd. So creative and cool – it’s like a real email.

Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with
sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure
it was in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over
the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money
can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party
marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of
Portland waved “Bon Voyage!” to your package, on its way to you, in
our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, May 30th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as “Customer of the Year.” We’re all
exhausted but can’t wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!


I wish more marketers talked to me like this. Hell, only my wife talks to me this way.

I won’t be seeing Radiohead (screwed by Ticketmaster)

I got my ass up early today to get tickets for Radiohead. I generally have good ticket buying karma – I like to think it’s because I don’t steal music. Anyway – I kept track of the atomic clock, and promptly refreshed my browser at the right second – it actually took a second refresh to see an order form, but I was in! I put my order in, and got a message that no tickets were available – this was at ten o’clock and twenty seconds. I put a second order in, same thing. Finally the third order goes through and I’m on the fucking lawn. The fucking lawn! Who got reserved seats if twenty seconds is too late? I’ll tell you who – Stubhub – because they have plenty of great seats selling for $150 and up (more than twice face value) And don’t tell me that this is the way bands make their money because Radiohead makes none of that profit. Want to bet one day we find out that Ticketmaster is somehow making money off of Stubhub sales?

And what of Radiohead’s pre-sale? At fucking ten A.M. on Wednesday when I have to be in a meeting. I know it just wasn’t meant to be. Why are all these pre-sales during the work day, when people have to work?

I tell you, I kind of miss the days of going to a venue at five A.M. to wait in line at the West Coast Video – because that seemed to be more fair. As I sit here in a t-shirt and boxers, I realize buying tickets over the internet is insanely easy and convenient, but at the end of the day, is no more than a lottery, and winning means you don’t have to pay a surcharge to scalpers if you really want those tickets.

At least I’ve been lucky enough to see Radiohead five or six times in some really ridiculous venues (at the Trocadero opening for Belly for instance or a couple of years ago at Tower Theater), and seeing them a seventh time would be solely a luxury; I feel bad for the person for who this show would have been their first time. The system doesn’t work in your favor.

I know come August 12, I’m going to be annoyed when I’m sitting at home instead of watching my favorite band, but I’ll live. Oh well.

Apple and iTunes save a bad post

A few weeks ago I preordered the latest R.E.M. release Accelerate (iTunes) after hearing all the great reviews. Preordering got me a bonus track and the single early and I would have hoped the album as soon as it was out. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case – the album was available right after midnight yesterday, but as of 3 P.M. I hadn’t received notice that I could download my album, so I sent an email to Apple. A few hours later I had an email saying I could download my album.

In my email to Apple I mentioned that this wasn’t the first time this had happened and it makes no sense. It seems to me that you’d want to get the album out to those he preordered it at least when it is commercially available, if not before then. These are your biggest fans. The ones that would beat the drum for the album.

Then today I got an email from Apple that turned my opinion.

Thank you for preordering “R.E.M Accelerate”. It appears that since you last contacted iTunes Store Customer Support, you have successfully purchased and downloaded this selection. I do apologize for any frustration this issue may have caused.

I have issued you 5 free song credits for your inconvenience. When you sign in to the iTunes Store with this account, the song credit will appear by your account name in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window.

I still think that Apple should work to make sure that their best fans are better taken care of, but this was good customer service. The took a bad situation and turned it good – at least for me. I was planning to write about how they screwed up, and they at least turned it into a compliment on how they take care of their customers. Yeah, yeah 5 free songs makes me feel better – customers can be made happy with free stuff – more companies should remember that.

R.E.M. - Accelerate

Customer Service

I’ve decided I am never answering any of those automated customer service systems every again. Too fucking annoying – I answer all these questions, for no payoff. Half the time I think they’re only asking questions to keep you occupied while you wait on hold.

Why does customer service suck so much?