Downy Pudding

So I was doing laundry this past weekend and when I went to pour Downy liquid fabric softener into my Downy ball, it had clumped together and came out in thick lumps, like pudding. Obviously something was wrong, I tried shaking it and tried pouring again, but didn’t seem do to anything. I was thinking about adding water to dilute it, but after reading the back, it said to never to dilute it with water.

Not knowing what happened or how to fix this (I still had about ~25% of the bottle left), I shot Downy customer support a email. Meanwhile, I opened a new bottle I had picked up from Costco.

Today I got an email reply:

Thanks for contacting Downy.

Our goal is to produce high quality Downy products that consistently delight our consumers and I’m sorry this wasn’t your experience, as it was thick. When storing the Downy April Fresh it can become thick or lumpy when exposed to extreme temperatures (either hot or cold). If it was frozen, it will appear much thicker (gel-like) and won’t return to normal consistency on its own. Best suggestion for storing the product is to store it at room temperature โ€“ in a cool, dry place and use it within one year. Please be assured I’m sharing your comments with the rest of our team.

Since your satisfaction means a great deal to us, I’m sending a replacement coupon by postal mail. You should receive my letter within the next 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again for writing.

Downy Team

Thinking back, the last time I did laundry before seeing this was probably mid December, right before I left for vacation. I did leave my thermostat at 50F, but maybe it got really cold? It probably has also been over a year since I started using that bottle of Downy liquid fabric softener. Living alone and doing laundry every 3 weeks means detergents lasts for quite a long time. Maybe Downy has an expiration date.

Anyway, it’s awesome they’re sending me a replacement coupon.

No, I did not try to eat Downy Pudding, but I did check to see if it was flammable. Unfortunately not. Would’ve been fun. ;p

Squishables – So Cute!

So Tera first introduced me to this website: a few days ago. The stuffed animals on their site were really cute, but I was wondering why the price was so high. $38 for a stuffed animal. Then of course, based on the pictures on the front page, I had no idea how big they were. I clicked on the gallery and none of the pictures loaded. Turns out NoScript was blocking all the images from being loaded. Temporarily allowed to run scripts and then came the pictures.

The size was a lot bigger than I had expected. I was expecting it to be the size of say giant fist, but this is like a giant pillow. Still not sure if it’s worth the full $38, I began to contemplate if I wanted one. My sister is fond of piggies, so I added a Squishable Pig to my cart to check how much shipping would be. Shipping was $6 extra, so that put me at about $44 shipped.

Some of these guys look funky, but some of them are so cute and adorable (see the cow). Ungsunghero questioned who would actually carry around big stuffed animals like that. I used to when I was small. I even lost a few of my favorites that way.

I asked my sister if she wanted a giant piggy for Christmas and she questioned me how big it was. As you may have noticed, I’m not good with describing sizes, so I said about 1.5 pillow sizes. She said sure, and then when I was about to place the order, I noticed it was out of stock. I thought I still had time before Christmas and added myself to their newsletter as they said that when new stock comes in, we’ll be notified via their newsletter.

However, later in the day, I noticed it came back in stock and I added it immediately to my cart. I think what happened probably was since I added it to my previous cart, my session had expired, but they didn’t increase the stock count. Anyway, I did a quick search for a coupon for but didn’t find any, and decided to make my purchase. This was yesterday.

Today I received in my email box a newsletter:

In honor of pre-Solstice commercialism, we’re offering a discount coupon from now until Thursday, Nov 22nd for 10% off all our squishables! Use it yourself, or pass it on to a friend (or enemy)! Why? Cause weโ€™re in a good mood! This one’s only good for Google Checkout – just enter SQNOV10 in the coupon field when you get to the checkout screen in Google Checkout. Nifty!

I’m like NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I just placed an order yesterday and now I get a 10% off coupon. Scenarios went through my head. Is it too late to cancel? Should I try to email them to see if they’ll apply the discount to my order. I went with the latter route and sent them an email:


I just received your newsletter providing a 10% off coupon. Unfortunately for me, I had made my purchase yesterday. I was wondering if there was any way to retroactively apply the coupon.

Regarding how I heard of this site, my friend just IMed me a few days ago and said look how cute the animals are.

Thanks in advance!

They were really quick and replied:

Sure, no worries at all. We’ll refund you 10% later today!

It’s on one condition, though. You have to promise to email us and tell us how you like the little guy once he arrives!


Aaron & Zoe

I’ve already gotten my refund ($3.80 worth) and am a super satisfied customer.

Bank of America Incompetence

So I’ve been a customer of Bank of America since middle of High School. They were basically my first checking account and I’ve had it ever since. Lots of people like to bash Bank of America, saying that they’re customer service sucks, their fees are outrageous, they treat customers like crap, etc. You can read more of these stories on Consumerist.

I on the other hand have always semi-defended Bank of America since I’ve never really had problems with them. Then again, I haven’t really had to deal with customer service for any major issues. Bank of America was just convenient for me, especially in college. They basically had an ATM everywhere that I needed one and they were also one of the first to introduce free bill pay, which made life quite simple. Of course back in the day, you needed to have a minimum balance or monthly direct deposit to avoid service fees, but the PayPal trick of me depositing $1 each month worked wonders.

As I mentioned a few months ago, I had lost my Bank of America check card. I thought things were going to be fine, but almost 4 months later, a total of 9 different phone calls, 7 different requests to have the check card mailed to me, and I’m still without my check card.

The first few times, i was told I would receive my card within 2 weeks. Having not received my card in 2 weeks, I called back and basically repeated this process 5x, each time having the customer service rep cancel the card they “claimed” to have mailed out and issuing me a new one. They’ve always confirmed with me my address and I said that’s correct, I’ve been receiving spam from you guys with no problem, so I don’t think the address is problematic.

By my 6th request, I insisted that they send it to me with tracking and they told me they could use FedEx and it should arrive in 2-3 days. 3 days later, still no FedEx. I give them a call back and asked for the tracking number and the service rep tells me the card was sent out via regular mail. I wanted to scream, but I knew it wasn’t her fault. So I asked her to make a new request for FedEx. She said she could do that but by the time the FedEx package gets to me, the card shipped via regular mail would’ve arrived to me already. I mentioned that I don’t really see a card shipped via regular mail ever reaching me seeing how the last 5x, it never did arrive. She said okay, and made a new order to have my check card sent to me via FedEx.

I called back 2 days later and requested for the tracking number. Once again, the customer service rep says that card was shipped out via regular mail and there was no tracking number. I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle them. I basically asked why this was the case and my past 2 requests were both specifically requested for FedEx and both suddenly changed to regular mail. She says the previous service rep probably didn’t request for FedEx and I responded by saying that couldn’t be the case. At this point, my tone has reached to very annoyed and almost murderous. She felt that and asked if I wanted to speak with the supervisor. I said that would be good.

However, even with the supervisor, this got nowhere. She mentioned maybe the previous reps might’ve forgotten a field or the fact that the fires in California were causing delays. I said that doesn’t explain any of the requests I made back in August and September. She agreed, but said there wasn’t anything she could do. Their check card creation process was outsourced to someone else and the only thing she can do is submit a new request for me. She recommended that I wait till next Friday and I should receive my card by then. I replied that I can do that, but what if I don’t receive the check card? I call back and then what? What can they do then. She said only a new request can be made, there was nothing else that can be done. I asked her if she can specifically note on my account to use FedEx to ship the card and she said that wasn’t possible due to privacy reasons. The card creation “factory” was not able to see notes on my account besides the form that gets submitted to them.

For those that know me, you know it’s quite hard to annoy me or piss me off, but I was so pissed at this point, Ruchi (my co-worker that sits across from me) can hear me arguing with Bank of America even with my doors closed. For the next 10 minutes, it was basically me saying I can wait, but what can they do if I still don’t receive my card and her replying the only thing she can do is request a new card for me. After going nowhere, I thanked her for her time and hung up.

Today, I looked up the Executive Customer Service phone number for Bank of America (posted on Consumerist) and decided to give them a call. This service rep was very sympathetic to my situation and was shocked at how long this problem has gone on. She looked up my account and said that she’ll have to contact the center in California to inquire about this and asked if I would prefer to have her call me back or put me on hold. I said putting me on hold would be fine, but she requested my phone number just in case we got disconnected.

About 7 or 8 minutes later, she says this is taking awhile and asked if I wanted to still hold or she can call me back. I said I had no problem holding and she comments that I must be multi-tasking. We both laughed and she went back to talking with the CA center. Another 10 minutes or so pass and she comes back and she tells me that she spoke with the manager at the check card manufacturer and apparently all my previous requests were rejected due to the fact there was “\” (back slash) in my account info, hence no tracking number was ever provided. I wanted to ask why the process didn’t allow that to be noted so I wouldn’t have needed to go through all this trouble, but she’s been very nice so far, so I didn’t inquire further. She said my card will be overnighted to me, but since it was Friday afternoon already, the card will most likely be stamped on Monday and mailed to me on Tuesday. I thanked her for her time and once again she apologized for all the inconvenience.

What is silly is that the customer service was unable to contact directly with the outsourced check card manufacturer and that I had to go all the way up to Executive Customer Service to have this problem resolve only to find out that no card was ever sent to me due to some silly account info problem.

Hopefully I’ll be getting my card by next week. It’s been rather inconvenient not to have access to BofA’s ATMs, which meant I had to deposit all my rebate checks in the mean time in Wamu’s (Washington Mutual) ATMs, which were less convenient for me since I didn’t really pass by one on my way to work nor on my way home.

Pony Express Awesomeness

So this weekend, I sold 3 Canon PC 170 Personal Copiers for about $50 a piece. Pretty good deal considering I only paid tax for them which came out to be ~$6-7 a piece. Anyway, I typically use USPS to ship most things, usually Media Mail or Parcel Post depending on what I’m shipping using the USPS PayPal Trick. Other times, I ship USPS Priority Mail when customers pay for expedited shipping.

However, for shipping things over 4lbs, I typically go with UPS, FedEx, or DHL, depending on whichever one is convenient. UPS usually wins since I can just drop them off at Office Depot, however they also usually end up being the most expensive, but for $1-2 more, the convenience matters more to me.

However, that changed when I needed to ship a 26lb photocopier… UPS was going to charge $33 or something ridiculous like that while DHL was charging $24. However, I didn’t know where I could exactly ship via DHL and if I recall correctly, DHL is backed by OfficeMax and there’s really no OfficeMax close to me. Is the ~$10 difference actually enough to convince me to drive further?

Then I remember that as a Microsoft employee, I actually have a discount with DHL. Punching in my info, the shipping fee dropped from $24 to $17, making it even more tempting. I decided to check out DHL’s drop off locator tool and found out that there was a Pony Express next to work. I recall seeing a Pony Express before, but could not remember from where. However, Google Maps and Live Maps both pointed to the intersection of 24th and 148th and given there were malls on each corner there, I had no idea which one they were in.

I gave them a call Monday morning asking which complex they were located in and they said they were across from Safeway in the Arby’s complex. I personally don’t think that the map marker should’ve been at the intersection of 24th and 148th and now I remember seeing that store in that complex.

Anyway, I drop by afterwards and was not sure how what it’ll be like. Office Depot doesn’t like me that much when I just drop in to drop off packages as they’re not really getting a cut on the delivery fee. I had 3 26lb packages so I had to take them in 1 by 1. When I first walked in, the clerk at the desk asked me if it was a drop off. I said yes and mentioned I had 2 more. He instructs me to just put it on the table and he’ll open the door for me. I thought that was really nice.

What really surprised me next was that he actually came out to my car and helped me carry one of the 26lb packages. That was so nice!!!

Looks like DHL will be getting more of my business now. ๐Ÿ™‚