Virgin Mobile’s LG Optimus V for $10 at Target on Black Friday — Sort Of


If you’re in the market for either an 8GB iPod touch with iOS 5 or a Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V, or if you just want to buy someone something really spiffy this year, the folks at Target are aiming to make your wishes come true on Black Friday.

Provided things go as planned or as I think they might, the time you spend with all those lunatics beginning at midnight/Friday morning will be time well spent when you realize you could possibly leave the store paying only $10 for the Optimus V.

How so, you say?

Target is offering a $40 Gift Card with the purchase of an 8GB iPod touch which is being advertised at the unremarkable price of $195. That’s a whopping $4 off the MSRP if you’re keeping score but hey, don’t blame the bullseye for the lame markdown — you know how Apple is.

They are also offering the Optimus V for $49.99 which is a bargain among bargains if I’ve ever seen one. (In fact, I’m composing this post on my Optimus V. I added the images at home, however.) So putting those two facts together, one could surmise that getting the phone for $10 is possible if:

  1. The Gift Card is issued at the time of iPod purchase or is an on-pack promotion
  2. It doesn’t have any particular redemption dates

I’ve gotten free Target Gift Cards before and they’ve been pretty lenient about when they can be used. I’ve gone right back in the store and used them or given them to Ann who was behind me in line buying a few items.

So, if the aforementioned rules hold true, then all you’ll need to do is bring a friend — or your split personality if you have one — along with you when shopping. You go for the iPod and your friend grabs the phone. Once you have and pay for the iPod and get the $40 Gift Card, hand it off to your partner in crime for redemption on the phone.

BOOM! A $10 Android phone!

Between the two of you, you will leave the store paying a combined total of only $204 (plus tax, the iPod buyer paying almost all of it). About the only thing you’ll have to do is pay your friend back for the phone, say “Merry Christmas!” and let them have it, or fight it out in the parking lot while a stranger shoots a video of you two and posts it on YouTube with the title, “Two Black Friday Idiots in Target Parking Lot Fighting Over Phone.” Hey, it could go viral. You never know.

Any thoughts on this? Do you plan to do any BF shopping and especially, giving this plan a shot? I don’t. I’m done shopping. But if you’re not, I’d like to hear how it went so post your experiences in the Comments when you return. Or, if you’re on the Twitter, tweet if it worked by posting something like:

“Got Android phone for $10 @target. Thanks, holographicmeatloaf.com! @aeromat“.

The @aeromat mention is me, of course.

So get some sleep after your Thanksgiving feast and go for it. You can thank me later…if it works… 🙂

And hey, if it does work, give my wife some credit and use her Kickbacks code when you activate your phone: UJWQD9VW. We no longer have a home phone and she’s been burning through her minutes, so help her out!

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Customer Service is Dead


With jobs being sent overseas to Indian call centers, I know that’s a rather redundant statement but after experiencing a plethora of customer service adventures within the last week, I’ll gladly make this declaration once again.

Customer service is DOA. Dead, kaput, ceases to exist, etc.

Now you would think that, given the weak economy and people making wiser choices with their money, retailers on every level would do everything within their power to not only satisfy their customer inquiries but to go beyond their expectations. Hell, competition is fierce when money’s tight so retention should be what’s on a retailer’s mind more than anything.

Not so.

Take, for example, the experience I had at Target the other day when trying to return an item without a receipt. Not only was I treated like a criminal but I ended up leaving the place with said item only because nothing could be done at the store’s level for whatever reason. In addition to all that, I was told that the return required everything that the item was packed in: box, instructions, Styrofoam packing, twist ties, etc. Having worked in retail for years including the Target store where I attempted to make the return (T-195 in Long Beach if you are keeping score), this struck me as being rather strange.

Their policy aside, the ass-hole-ciate at the Service Desk immediately came off with an attitude regarding my situation which didn’t help matters. The item – a motorized Razor scooter for Anthony – is a common item that they always carry. But according to this moron, the item’s availability at this store was questionable and if it wasn’t carried, I’d have to go to another store.

“You would have to go to the floor and get the same item so that we can scan it,” she told me.

“What do you mean I have to get it? Why me? There isn’t one person on that salesfloor that can bring it up here?” I spouted, already annoyed.

Knowing that waiting for another ass-hole-ciate would be like pulling teeth and listening to Kenny G. combined, I ended up going to the floor, taking a picture of the item’s barcode with my phone, returned to the desk and told her, “There’s your UPC. Do what you need to do.”

Then it turned into a big fucking mess that I wouldn’t wish upon anybody and in the end, the manager got involved and refused to take the return. Instead, he told me to call Razor USA for instructions on how to return it. At least he offered to give me the number.

Gee, thanks.

The calls to said company’s overseas “customer service line” were useless. They actually had Ann take apart the scooter, which I believe might have voided the warranty, to check on something she had no idea how to check. And because we didn’t have the receipt, they wanted our bank account number so that they could “trace” the transaction.

Excuse me? Are you kidding me? Fucking hell no are you getting that information!

Fed up, I tweeted @RazorUSA and, in 140 characters and two tweets, angrily made my point:

razor tweet

Turns out that if you light a public fire under somebody they take it a bit more seriously because I’d say within an hour, I had a reply. We are now in direct contact with their US-based Customer Service manager which is great, provided they can offer some kind of resolution to our problem.

As of now, our call has not been returned. (UPDATE 8/17/11: We did, however, get confirmation that a replacement part was being sent.)

That’s just one situation. The other one involves a phone case I bought on Amazon which turned out to be the wrong one for my phone model. Admittedly, it was my fault for ordering the wrong one so I explained the situation to the seller and they agreed to send me a replacement.

I sent the case back to them along with the order information and my phone model. Within 10 days, I had my replacement case: the wrong model replacement case.

So I sent an e-mail to them telling them this was the wrong one. Their reply:

Ok that is not what you ordered with us sorry,,

Well, no it wasn’t, you assholes. With the returned item, I sent the correct model number I needed. Maybe my English isn’t all that good and maybe they misunderstood what I was telling them. Either way, they didn’t seem to concerned that I had the wrong case. Rather than deal with them anymore, I sent this:

Nice reply.

Never mind the return. I will be selling it and getting what I need on eBay.

To which they said:

That’s perfect! Great day

Really, LowerPriceUSA? Are you that fucking lazy that you can’t read an e-mail or is your reading comprehension at a second-grade level and the words I wrote were just too big for you? (Judging from their replies, it’s entirely possible.) How completely lazy are you so as not to deal with a customer return and have no issues with them reselling your item on eBay? You must be making money hand over fist if you can afford to not handle a return properly and risk having the customer write about their poor experience on their blog for the whole world to see.

Whoops…

Wow. So this is what customer service has come to: fuck whatever the customer wants or is entitled to and sweep them under the rug, or ship them off to become someone else’s problem.

Man, have things changed since I worked retail. This is what it was like back then.

Give me my damn pickle already.

UPDATE 8/17/11: The case sold in less than a day, probably in part to my description:

So I bought a case from Amazon and it turned out to be the wrong one for my LG Optimus V (which I am using to list this item, including the picture taken with said phone). I ended up returning it to the seller and, despite describing my phone model in explicit detail and requesting the correct case in exchange, these morons ended up sending me the case you see here. Freaking idiots. 

I sent a few emails to them explaining that this was also the wrong case and got answers that only be described as nonchalant and useless. So rather than having to deal with these dolts anymore, I’ve decided to sell it here. You would think that the mention of me selling it here instead would make them think twice but they practically encouraged me to do it. 

WYSIWYG. Fits the LG model shown on the packaging. Buy It Now for $5 and it’s out of my life forever. I’ll even throw in free shipping. Winner will also find out the name of the Amazon seller so they know who to avoid. 

If case does not sell, it will be sent into space during the next Russian space mission and given to a lucky cosmonaut as a surprise gift.* 

*May or may not happen

Posted with the eBay Android app

Review: LG Optimus V for Virgin Mobile


optimus

I’m making this post a Sticky again. Watch for constant UPDATES when I decide to post something new or am corrected on something. Thanks!

LATEST UPDATES
2/12/11:
Now includes sample video (bottom of post, fixed)
2/14/11: Widgets (below Apps section)
2/15/11: Should you pick one up and you like what I’ve put together here, enter my Kickbacks Code when activating online: dJWQc09H
2/18/11:
Special thanks to whomever used my Kickbacks Code! I earned an extra $10 (30 minutes) in airtime, which is used until it is all exhausted. The Plan then switches to your regular Anytime Minutes.
3/1/11: For those of you who had difficulty viewing the video, my apologies. I uploaded it as Private and forgot to switch it to Public. This has been fixed and it should be good to go. (Thanks to reader Mike for the tip!)
3/4/11: I got two $20 Kickbacks (or 120 minutes) today! Thanks for using my code (dJWQc09H)!
3/13/11: Updated the “No Visual Alerts” section to “No Visual Alerts in Silent Mode since that is what I have the real issue with.
4/3/11: $50 Price increase! The unit currently has an MSRP of $199.99. I guess Virgin Mobile saw what was going on and decided to make the most of it.
4/15/11: The problem with visual alerts has been solved. Check under “No Visual Alerts in Silent Mode”.
10/17/11:
Price has been reduced to $129.99.

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Doesn’t Suit Me


300px-french_suitssvgI had registered for a local career fair on the day that Learning Tree decided that I was a leafless branch that needed to be cut. In preparation for the event, I used up most of the credit I had on my Wal-Mart card to buy a new outfit, one that I could readily use for any subsequent interviews that would (hopefully) follow.

I stayed up last night and printed some resumes, filled out some paperwork, and got mostly everything in order. Despite it all, I still wasn’t mentally prepared for the jobless cattle call that wait for me.

Part of what brought me down was the prospect of having to wear a suit–or at last a suit jacket–for the fair and, quite possibly, for the job I may have gotten as a result of my interviews. As I had mentioned in yesterday’s post, I don’t dress to the nines very often. I absolutely hate it and when I do, somebody had better be in a coffin or walking down the aisle. (One in the same, some might argue.)

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Denied


033_targetAfter dropping off The Kid at school today, I ventured outside my hole to see what was happening in the job world around me.

What did I learn? I learned that things are bad when even Target doesn’t want you. Fucking Target, for Chrissakes. More in a bit.

But my first stop today wasn’t at a potential employer. Rather, it was to my local GameStop where I sold my Nintendo DS which, quite honestly, hasn’t been doing much of anything but collecting dust bunnies for a few years. I figured since I wasn’t using the thing I might as well get rid of it. (And besides, Ann still has hers if the mood to play one ever strikes me.)

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