Isn’t It Ironic…

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…that a website called news.com.au should contain so little actual news. Seriously? Your headline article is about a shopping fail? On a day when an Australian young person exploded themselves, killing 10 people in Iraq?

That news – and if you want to read about it, click here – does not even rate being in the top 4 stories listed on the site, instead, something about private detectives paid to have sex in order to bust illegal brothels, something about a pair of pants, and Maureen McCormick is evicted from a teevee show?

Well, the last one I am a little bit sad about because I did get sucked into watching the show and I loved watching Maureen on it, however this is the last week of the show so it isn’t that big a deal. It certainly is not headline news!

But it gets even worse. Check this out.

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Picture: web grab. Source – Snoskred – Life In The Country.

Web grab? Credit News Corp Australia? What the heck is up with that? So, we all can now go to any web site we like and grab a screenshot and then give credit to ourselves for taking it? I bet if I did that to a news.com.au photographer image, there would be threats of a lawsuit or something..

If the person who took the image happens upon this post, contact me with your name and I’ll give you *proper* credit.

I have long been thinking that news.com.au has jumped the shark and that it contained little news, but this is the day when I finally am giving up. I’m stating to you, out loud, that I intend to stop going there, foreverz.

Pretty please to hold me accountable on this statement. If I ever post here about news.com.au again, or link to a story on their site, I want you to slap me down hard in the comments section. SRSLY!

I don’t know how many more dress stories I can take, what with that blue or white dress last week, and now this. The only time I want to see clothes as a headline on a NEWS website would be if someone was killed by their outfit. A fashion site is a different story, of course.

So where can you get actual news now? Which sites do you go to?

Probably the only site I can think of is abc.net.au but if you have a decent news source, let me know. :)

Annoyed Snoskred, Aussie Culture, Fail Whale, In The News, Media

Perhaps Try Again

There has been all kinds of misinformation and bad reporting with this missing AirAsia plane, but I think we have a winner for the most incorrect press report thus far.

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Hmm. Looks like a military helicopter to me. The fact that the press gets plane types wrong is something we Aviation Geeks are well used to, but I have never before seen them mistake a helicopter for a plane. This is a new level of wrong.

I have been nice and removed the name and twitter ID of this press person though others may not be so nice.

Some might see this post as a bit petty. While it could certainly be interpreted that way, I want to make the reason I am posting it clear.

When reporting anything, the press should TRY at least to get the things they say correct. When they cannot get something as simple as a helicopter VS a plane right, how can anyone trust the other words they say?

It will take time to find out what has actually happened here. In the meantime, this is my advice to you –

Take any reports re what has happened to this flight as pure speculation. Was it weather, was it X, was it Y, was it Z? We have zero idea and anyone claiming otherwise you should treat with enormous suspicion. The only fact we know presently is that the plane lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) and was no longer to be found on radar.

Ignore reports of the plane being denied to climb to a higher altitude. If the pilot had a reason to climb and he communicated to ATC that it was necessary and urgent, the request would have been allowed even if other traffic had to be re-routed as a result. I have listened to ATC scanners for years. Planes often make requests to ATC that are declined for a multitude of reasons. ATC have a job to do. If an emergency is declared their job is to assist the pilot to get safely on the ground. If an emergency is not declared, then their job is to manage the airspace. A request from a pilot to fly at a certain altitude or track is simply that – a request.

Ignore reports of “wreckage” found until you actually see it with your own eyes. We’ve been here and done this before with MH370. So much “wreckage” was found and none of it turned out to be related to MH370.

If you are looking for actual info, my advice is to forget the general media. They are clueless when it comes to aviation. You can try these sources –

There is a good article from Australian Aviation here if you are unfamiliar with the story thus far – Indonesia AirAsia A320 missing 24 hours (last updated 1040am AEDST)

The PPrune Thread

Aviation Journalist John Walton on Twitter. John often links to some other reliable sources as well, and if you have any questions he will try to answer them.

Aviation is difficult at the best of times. When you are taking people up into the air, a place we were never designed to go, there are always risks – as there are risks in anything that we do in life. Things can and do go wrong, people are lost, and that is utterly heartbreaking for their friends and family.

I cannot imagine how the families of MH370 must feel, so many months have passed and still that plane has not been found. I hope for a different outcome with QZ8501. Of course my present hope is that the plane landed somewhere and everyone is ok. The more time that passes, the less likely that hoped for outcome seems. :(

When things do go wrong in aviation, it would be wonderful if the media could report actual facts rather than hours upon hours of endless speculation, just because they have air time to fill.

I have written about air safety previously – Plane Safety – a must read for all – What Not To Wear In The Event Of A Plane Crash.

Fail Whale, In The News, life lessons, plane safety, things to remember

Rouge Rogues

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If only the rogue dogs were actually rouge, it would make life a lot easier, for people to spot them and for the rouge rogues to be rounded up.

I’m not entirely certain what set confronted means, but it does make me wonder if in the future a news article that contains these words might appear –

Locals say spelling mistakes are a problem in the area, with some sentences making zero sense.

Fail Whale, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, what not to do, wrong world

Ball vs Bawl

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Oh dear. I sincerely hope you did not. So many images come to mind.. netballs, baseballs, debutante balls, bowling balls, stress balls, those little plastic balls in ball pits, man balls otherwise known as testicles.. NEEDLE SCRATCH wait what?

I don’t know about you, but when I find something terribly upsetting, causing salt water to leak from my eyes, the last place I am intending to put my crying eyes is in a man’s crotch area. Maybe it is just me. :)

Please tell me it is not just me. Pretty please?

Bawl vs Ball

Two very different things which should never be confused for each other. Dear Baller, here is your Fail Whale. It is much prettier than your fail. I do not think I will ever get tired of the beauty of this art. In fact it almost makes fail whales worthwhile.

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~ Image credit to Neoyume on Deviant Art ~
 

Now if only this gorgeous art could wipe out that mental picture of testicles and eye balls..

My work is done here, kthx!

Fail Whale, wrong world

Allowed VS Aloud part 4

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~ Image credit to David Pache on Flickr~

Now let us clear out a few of these and wrap up our Allowed VS Aloud series, at least until some more of these appear to me as a surprise in my facebook feed.

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There is a new holiday in town! Hollerween! Where kids holler at each other aloud for hours on end while going around knocking on doors and hoping they will open. No candy involved, by the end of it you’ll need headache tablets. Sorry bout that!

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Yeah my cat gets real aloud making those miow sounds. So help me, I can’t even with the rest of this. I get irrationally angry when cats are involved.

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I don’t know the difference between no or know, nor do I know the difference between there or their, nor do I know or care if I am allowed to post these complicated instructions for the rest of you to follow in order for you to like a photo of some kid you never met and never will meet, nor am I going to bother telling you *why* you should do this. Like Nike said, Just Do It. Kthx.

Plus, above that, let me spam your group with a link to my new group without bothering to check the rules to see if you’ll be fine with it.

I weep for the future. Aloud. And I know I’m allowed to.

Fail Whale, wrong world

Allowed VS Aloud part 3

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~ Image credit to Neoyume on Deviant Art ~

Is that the most beautiful Fail Whale you have ever seen? I love this Fail Whale so much I am going to put it on my desktop. :) Unfortunately not as pretty are the fails I have to share today.

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So once again can’t be bothered working out if there are group rules or if this fits within them, imma gonna let you have your classifieds group but just let me post this kthx. Someone stole something from me, not that I really care about that, but can you give it back for the sake of my poor sad child. Aww..

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Hmm. Let me try and answer this. If your hubby does not know the rules for having the license *and* it means so little to him that he totally forgot to renew it for a number of months, maybe this license is not for him. Best save the boat licenses for those who actually want and need them. :)

Fail Whale, wrong world

An Epic Story Of Failure.

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If you lived in the USA, you could subscribe to a huge and fascinating assortment of subscription boxes. Mail that comes to you as a surprise, perhaps once a month, or once every so often, or as a once off. There is even a great blog devoted to the topic of subscription boxes – Subscription Addiction – this is one of the blogs that often has between 5-10 posts a day in my feed reader..

But if you live in Australia? There are bugger all subscription boxes, the ones that do exist are generally expensive or beauty related. I’ve put some links right at the bottom of this post if you want to explore what is available to us.

So along comes a little company who named themselves RedPawPaw. They decide to launch a box for just $5 a month – no postage or delivery fees, you pay for 11 months and get one free, as long as you provide feedback on the products via a survey. Sounds great, says I. Do they deliver to my area – a lot of things do not being slightly rural – Yes, they do.

Fantastic says I. Let me sign up. And so I did sign up to receive the June box. They charged $60 to my credit card and I am still not certain why as it should have been $55. If it had been GST, then I should have been charged $60.50. But why quibble over $5, I thought at the time. Big mistake, Snoskred. Clue number one was right there.

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A little while later I received the June box, and it was pretty awesome. My box contained –

Gravox Creamy English Wholegrain Mustard finishing sauce
Zumbo Choc Raspberry Macarons
Ovaltine Crunch
Finish Tablets
Nivea Q10 – 2x tiny sachets
Henry Jones Chia Jam
Berry flavoured Mentos
Mentos Spearmint chewing gum
Taylors Pea and Zucchini Soup
Greens Pancake Mix
Uncle Tobys Oats

I did not blog or take photos but you can see a couple of posts from other people here – Raising MistersCaddie’s Journal.

I enjoyed the products I tried and actually bought some more of some of them which I normally would not purchase – eg the Mentos gum was brilliant and I do not usually chew gum but I liked this enough to start. Plus there were a lot of new Mentos flavours I had not tried and I picked up a couple when paying for petrol because I tried the Berry ones.

So, one box down, 11 to go, right? Wrong. Wronggity Wrong. On the 30th of June, Redpawpaw subscribers received an email titled Important! – No Redpawpaw payment in July. It went exactly like this –

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So we are asking you, our subscribers, to hassle companies on our behalf to get them to send us samples so we can send out samples to you.

Oh, ok, this sounds like a brilliant idea with a couple of logic exceptions – if we know of a company in order to hassle them, does it not follow we already use their products and then why would they need to send us a sample – and two, people are potentially going to hassle the same companies over and over which could get really annoying and then nobody is going to want anything to do with this company.

I personally was not a fan of this idea nor did I participate – why is it up to me to find companies – that should be the job of Redpawpaw? But a lot of people did help them out and ask companies to participate – not knowing that the companies would have to pay a fee per sample to send any samples to the subscribers. None of us knew that until later, though I guess it is a logical concept and potentially a good idea if your business model is for the companies to cover the postage fees.

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Apparently some people did have some issues with delivery. Me personally I did not. But those who did apparently kicked up a huge stink on the Facebook page, which is what supposedly led to this change of delivery partner.

On the other hand, it could also be that the company did not have enough samples and enough companies paying money to cover delivery to send out a July box. Given what happened later I am going with the second option being the one that really happened.

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Second clue there – we hope you will stay with us on this journey with us? What kind of English is that? Sounds a lot like statements my manager at work comes out with that mean absolutely nothing but involve a lot of words, so they seem complex and like the manager has done some work when really she did zero all day because she does not actually know how to do anything. Oops, tangent, lets leave that there. :)

So.. a couple of weeks go by. Then Sunday the 20th of July, the following email arrives. Titled – Relaunch – The Redpawpaw Tribe has Spoken!

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Translation – prepare yourselves, because you are expendable. If you do not like what the tribe has said, there are plenty of people waiting to take your place.

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Wait, what?

I’m paying $5 a month to receive this box, and now you want to charge me a minimum 150% of that each month to get it delivered? And I never had a problem with delivery previously? But hang onto your hats people..

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Err, excuse me?

Firstly, you owe me 11 boxes, not 10. I never got a July box, and you promised everyone they would receive an extra box to compensate.

Secondly, if people do not opt out, say for example they are on holidays or do not check their email in the short window of 8 days you have provided them, you are going to just whack a charge on their credit card as a surprise to them? Popular concept. I’m going with this is a fabulous idea! NOT!

Thirdly, this is an obscene amount of postage. I guess I should consider myself lucky as some people got the full $18 charge. But still, nearly 3x the cost of the box each month to get this delivered? I don’t think so.

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As you can expect, there was an enormous uproar. On the Facebook page of Redpawpaw – you can’t see it now as they deleted a lot of posts and comments – the “tribe” spoke up and they were very unhappy, in particular re the having to opt out option – people felt it should be opt in – and rightly so.

There was a sneaky change to the terms and conditions and also a pesky little wording about receiving over $30 in value which went away, but thanks to the Internet Wayback Machine, the initial terms and conditions can be seen in their entirety. Changing the terms for a monthly subscriber is one thing, but changing it for annual subscribers is quite another. At least, as far as Consumer Affairs and the ACCC are concerned, who thanks to all the outcry are investigating this.

During the next couple of days the story changes on the Redpawpaw Facebook page and we find out that the changes have little to do with delivery issues and more to do with an unsustainable business model. EG they do not have enough money to carry on, and they do not have enough money to send out the next lot of boxes. Plus now people are unsubscribing in droves, and nobody is seeing any refunds, and concern begins to arise that not enough money exists for these refunds to be given.

I mean if there are 1000 people like me who paid $60 who want a refund, they have to pay out $60,000.

So after all the outcry, just 2 days later this email arrives – in the really big text so you know this is serious.

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Yes, because every company needs to be to be financial viable. Missing a ly there, are we?

Bit more honest about the reasons for the delivery fee – they do not have enough money.

Suddenly they decide to *advise* people of the changes to the terms and conditions – though they say nothing about sneakily removing all reference to the value of each box people will receive. But fear not, our intelligent crew on the Facebook page spotted it, and they posted about it continually until Redpawpaw banned them from the page and deleted all their posts.

But wait, there’s more.

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So now, people have to opt in, or else their subscription will be cancelled. Hmm.. Yeah that seems like a plan. I’m sure it will work out just fine.

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And we wrote it in the REALLY BIG TEXT so you know we mean it!

Whatevs, RPP. Imma gonna let you finish, but this is me unsubscribing right here. So I sent an email. No reply. I posted on the Facebook page. No reply. Days went by. I started to get worried about my money returning to me. I sent another email. I clicked on the submit button you see above. I cancelled on the website.

It wasn’t until I sent them an email saying I would start a chargeback via my bank that they finally decided to get back to me and issue the refund. I checked my credit card and the refund was there. Whew. Case closed. Game over. Done.

Or so I – and many others – thought.

On the 1st of August, a lot of people who had unsubscribed found money taken out of their credit card as a surprise to them.

This is a level of epic fail that not many companies can compete with. You’ve upset all these people, you’ve had them unsubscribe and leave very unhappy with your company, and THEN YOU STEAL THEIR MONEY AS A SURPRISE!

People were unthrilled. Let us look at a small sample of their un-thrilled-ness. I’ve removed the personal info of the people involved – some of the posts seen on the Facebook page still remain, many have since been deleted.

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Epic Fail.

There are not enough fail whales in the world.

That is only a small sample of the outcry – much of it has been deleted and is now gone forever.

I’m not the only one who thinks this is an epic fail, many people expressed it via the Redpawpaw facebook page and many of those posts were sadly deleted – I did find one blog post – FFS Friday Business Edition.

And now, for those of you who made it this far, here are the lists of Aussie subscription boxes I promised at the start of this post, many eons ago now. :)

Australian Subscription BoxesJoy In The PostBox List

customer feedback, Fail Whale, what not to do