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Green Online… JUST SAY NO

Below is a note I sent to Willis Orchard Co about an order I placed for some tropical plants.

On 19-Mar I placed an order for three Medjool Palms (1.5′-2′) and a Drawf Cavendish Banana Tree with and expected ship date around 1-Apr… yesterday (11-May) I received the FedEx packages containing those items.

Roughly a week after the expected ship date I began calling approximately once a week for an update on the shipping status — to which (other than the last call) I was always told that the product should be shipping within a couple days…

Needless to say, my impression of your “customer service” wasn’t very high; in fact it was so low that I acquired the forty-seven other fruit trees, shrubs, and ornamental trees I used to begin landscaping my yard from local sources…

I understand that your shipping delays were caused by your vendor; however, the failure to realistically appraise me of delays is solely a fault your company and customer service people must bare.

While the shipping delay alone was enough to make me shy away from doing additional business with your company; the condition of the plants I received certainly indicated to me that I shall not put your company high on a list to consider again.

The committed size of the plants is stated to be the overall height; while I’d would have hoped that would be the height from the top of the root ball to the highest vertical point on the plant, it’s obvious that you intend that measurement to be the distance from the top of the root ball to the furthest point on a (stretched) frond of the palms.

In my case that appears to be two just less than 18″ (one of those I’m being generous with the “just less”) and one that isn’t even 16″… further the one closest to 18″ and the one less than 16″ are based on measuring fronds that are brown at the ends (dead) — which most likely didn’t occur in a single day of shipping from Southern Georgia to Northwest Florida.

I can’t say I was the least bit surprised… and certainly I don’t think any of these three specimens would have come home with me had I visually inspected them before purchase (at the prices you charge).

Whether these represent the plants you would normally ship to a customer or simply you feel you’re a victim of the volume of your orders verses the inability of your supplies to fulfill their commitments I can’t say… all I can say is that I’m greatly disappointed.

In retrospect, I’d say ordering plants online should be put in the same category as ordering produce online — what you get might not live up to your standards, and what others are happy with says nothing about the quality.

Originally posted 2010-05-13 02:00:35.

Bluetooth Headsets

Today (1 July 2008) California finally has a law on the books requiring the use of hands free devices when using a cellular phone and driving (rather than relying on the “distracted driving” law that has never really been enforce).

Since most of us responsible people have used hands free devices for years, and switch to Bluetooth for even greater safety and convenience as soon as phone were plentiful (and affordable) it doesn’t effect us.

However, since most Bluetooth headsets use non-replaceable Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Ion-Polymer batteries there is a problem that effects us.

Lithium-Ion batteries have a limited life; and unlike Nickle Cadmium or Nickle Metal Hydride the life of a Lithium-Ion batters is established (primarily) by it’s manufacture date (not it’s use pattern).  That means ever Bluetooth headset made three years ago is on it’s last leg (regardless of when you bought it).

Many of use have the Motorola H700 headset (which has been discontinued), it’s a great headset, good sound quality, a Bluetooth implementation that seems to work, and a mini-USB charging port so you can (likely) use the same charger as your handset (which is most important in your vehicle, where you probably don’t want multiple chargers).

Motorola headsets come with a 1-Yr warranty from the date of purchase; and interestingly enough the last headset I “purchased” was in February for my AllTel MotoQ, its the first of my three to become un-usable.

The symptoms you’re see are:

  • Talk time is substantially less than what it was when the headset was new (or just a week before for that matter);
  • The quality of the your voice (transmit) may be poor (it might sound garbled or clipped);
  • The headset will indicate fully charged quickly (it will go from red, to yellow, to green in five minutes or so).

Maybe you can replace the battery; but it’s not going to be easy to open up a unit like this, and probably most of the cells this headset uses was made three years ago (or so); which means a new cell isn’t guaranteed to fix the problem.

You can throw it away and purchase another (Bluetooth headsets are relatively inexpensive).  Remember, you can’t throw electronics in the trash, they contain hazardous materials and need to be properly recycled.

Or you might be able to get a replacement from Motorola (provided you have an H700 receipt that’s less than a year old).  You can get RMA information for Motorola at:  Contact Motorola Customer Support

The real issue is that newer Motorola headsets us a micro-USB power connector, not a mini-USB power connector like your handset probably has.  And at this time I’m unaware of anyone who makes an adapter or a Y-cable.

Also, just to be clear — this has to do with ALL headsets that use Lithium-Ion battery cells, not just Motorola, so don’t feel smug if you have another vendors headset.

I would suggest that you view your headset purchase as “disposable” in the future, since it’s unlikely manufactures will go back to replaceable cells.  My Nokia Bluetooth headset actually has a replaceable Nickle Metal Hydride battery — which probably costs more than a new headset, and I don’t have Nokia phones any longer so there’s no motivation to use it (it uses the same charge as Nokia headsets).



To replace a Motorola accessory, use the following URL and phone number to get information. 



Originally posted 2008-07-01 00:00:38.

Autumnal Equinox 2014

September 23 2014 02:29 GMT