It Pays to Complain

about bad service, that is. SavingDiva has written in her blog about some experiences that were less than 100% up to par. It made me think about an experience I had at Staples back in November.

I recently became a Notary Public here in NYS, and I had to purchase a Notary stamp for my “business”. Well, since I used to work at Staples, I decided to go to the one close to my house. There’s an Office Max about the same distance away, and I could have gone there, but I didn’t.

Anyways, I walk in to the Copy Center to place my order for the stamp. Now, it took the girl about 5 minutes to realize that I was there and when she finally did, she didn’t really know anything about the stamp ordering process. I tried to help her as much as possible, and even took out my Notary License to help with the spelling of my name. When I was spelling it for her, she said something snotty to me about my name, and I of course got really pissed, but since I needed the stamp, I let it go. So, we finish with the ordering and I double checked the order form to make sure my name was spelled correctly, my license number was correct, and the county/state were right. I paid the $20 plus tax for the stamp and left.

Two weeks later, I was back in Staples to pick up the stamp. Again, the girl (different than the ordering girl) ignored me and when she noticed I was there, I told her I needed to pick up a stamp. She said “HUH?” all kindsa rude like. I repeated myself, a bit slower because I know that sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I’m a fast talker. “I NEED TO PICK UP A STAMP.” I said. I showed the girl,  my receipt and she got the stamp. She proceeded to throw it across the counter at me. She never asked if the impression was correct, and it’s important that it is. (If the impression is wrong, anything I notarize isn’t valid.) By this time I’m furious. There was no need for her to throw the stamp at me. I checked the impression against my license and left the store.

I’m not one to complain, and I should have the first time the girl was ignorant towards me. But this time I had two bad experiences with one order which is ridiculous. So, I get in my car and before I get out of the parking lot, I’m on the phone calling the number on the receipt. I asked to talk to the store manager and explained the situation to him. He was very embarrassed and apologetic and promised to put $15 in vouchers away for me. I told him that I was very upset and I didn’t know when the next time I was going to be in the store was, he informed me that it would be held in the safe.

That made me feel a bit better, but it still took about 4-5 months for me to go back into the store. The only reason I did is Wal-Mart was out of my print cartridge and they share a common parking lot.

So, the moral of my story is, I’m going to learn to be more outspoken when it comes to issues like this. It does pay…. 🙂

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Going out of town

This weekend I’ll be traveling the 2 hours to Buffalo to see my parents. I was going to do laundry here on Friday night, but I was told I could do laundry there for free! YAY, money saved? $10

Then I was going to give myself a pedicure at home for my trip to Charlotte next week,  when I was informed today that I have an appointment for one on Saturday with my parents! Money saved?  $45

This trip to Buffalo has been a good thing. Not only am I getting some things done that I wanted to do, but they are paying for my gas too!  I know we will be going over the school finances for Syracuse University in the fall, and my plan for my future. So, I know that we will be talking about business too. I guess it’s a trade-off.

On the plus side, I’ve earned $.01 in interest on my $1 in my Patelco Savings account. The only reason I have it is because I have their credit card.

Debt Snowball

Alot of people in the PF world have been talking alot about “snowballing” debt lately. I’m going to try to do my best to explain the process.

First, list all your debts, including amounts owed, credit limits, and interest rates. Don’t forget anything, make sure that you put it down a for a few days, just to make sure.

When you’re done listing them out, decide which you’d prefer to do, pay off small debts first or the highest interest rates first. The reason I say it this way is because, sometimes small victories to wonders for motivation. You can do a combination of both, but basically the way it works is, you pay as much as you can on one debt, while paying the minimum on all the others. When you pay off the first debt, you take the amount you were paying on it and apply it to the next debt in line. Lather, rinse and repeat.

I, personally, have never really used a snowball, but I have used the small victories theory in the past.

There are a number of spreadsheets available out there to help you organize your snowballing.

  1. Mr. Peanut’s Debt Snowball Calculator is a great one.
  2. Excel Spreadsheets found at mdmproofing.com

All you have to do is Google, “debt snowball spreadsheet”, and you’ll turn up free resources, as well as pay resources. You don’t have to pay for them, just like most things, you can do it for free.

Maybe some day I’ll explain why I’m so into personal finance.

I forgot about FREE STUFF!!!

When I was at Cocoa Beach this weekend, I was on my way into the RonJon Surf Shop when someone handed me some free stuff. I got a new Venus Razor, toothpaste samples, PeptoBismol samples, tampon samples, Secret body spray, shampoo samples, and some new gum samples. This totally rocks because I will be able to use them on my next trip to Charlotte Memorial Day weekend.

Well, here’s something good

I have been browsing PF blogs for about a month now, and I’ve found some really good one’s. The latest one The Simple Dollar has alerted me to this site, PaperbackSwap.com where I have listed 14 books to swap! I have only ordered one, and I have one on my wish list for when it becomes available. I can literally clean out my bookshelf, as long as I have a book someone wants to read. The way it works is this, you list the books on your shelves that you have read. Someone decides they want to read your book. So you ship it to them, on your dollar (about $1.50 or so for parcel post media mail). Anyways, you send them your book. But in the meantime, you find a book you want to read, and the person who has it ships it to you on their dime. Kind of a neat principle, one of those “wish I thought of that first” things.

Another way to get “free” books is by using wowio.com. It’s an online library of sorts where you read the books on your screen. I haven’t tried it out yet, but looking at their home page, I can see about 2 books Im interested in reading.

I definitely used to be that person in line at the bookstore with every book by John Grisham in my hands to buy. Now I will be “renting” books on wowio, and using paperbackswap.com for books. 🙂