Rant about Panasonic

28 11 2007

Sorry to do this, but I can’t believe the stupidity!! I hate it when companies leave customer service to machines who can’t think or adjust to real-life situations. These automated systems are intended to speed things along, but frequently wind up slowing things down and exacerbating an already frustrating situation for the customer. And, being a usability analyst, it’s really annoying when their Web sites and their processes omit minor details…like the correct phone number or a precise instruction!


 I am fortunate enough to work for a corporation that allows me access to several employee purchase programs for partner companies. A while back, I set up such an account at the Panasonic Purchase Program site. Today, for kicks, I decided to check in to see what sort of specials they might be lining up for the holidays.

 Murphy was working against me because when I tried to log in, I mis-keyed and/or forgot my password, tried to recover it via their automated password recovery link, and somehow wound up very quickly  temporarily disabling my account. Ok. Fine…annoying but I can deal.

As you can see from the picture, the Web site instructed me to call the “Panasonic Sales Support Center.” After a minute or two of confusion I assumed that the number given previously for Customer Service was the number to call since there was no other contact info available anywhere else on the site.

I call the 800 number and begin speaking with a voice that announced that it was an automated assistant and that I could speak naturally. It asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, “Panasonic Sales Support Center.”

The courteous automated assistant then transfered me to a tech support center where the live person asked me for the model number of my phone…what???? When I explained what I wanted, she told me that I had been transferred to the wrong department and that I needed to  speak to the sales support center. She said she could transfer me and then gave me the number in case we got disconnect. Of course, this number was the number that I originally dialed.  At least she was able to transfer me and save me the trouble of redialing.

 What I didn’t expect was to be transferred back to the automated assistant. That was annoying. I tried again to explain to the assistant what I needed and, finally, gave up and pressed 0. This time I got another live body who gave me a different toll-free number because I needed to speak with the password assistance center…what the heck?? Why wouldn’t that number be the one posted on the Web site in the first place???

 I call this number, no assistant! Hoorah! But, the live body that answered that phone then proceeded to take my information and tell me she didn’t have the authorization to reset my password on the spot. But, not to worry, an email would be set to me. Ok, great!!

 Here’s the catch. She said that there’s a 48-hour turnaround time for those emails…so sometime tomorrow or so, I should get a notice that my email is reset…DID THEY REALLY WANT ME TO BUY SOMETHING OR WHAT????????


We Are Thankful for the Kitties

24 11 2007

choc chip bagelssleep shirtsKitties & Grammy

Here are some twins shots from Thanksgiving. In these photos, they are eating Aunt Denise’s homemade chocolate chip bagels, wearing sleep shirts they made at my house last weekend, and having fun with Grammy. Taylor’s shirt has a red kitty and Devon’s has the blue and purple kitty.

Those peace signs make convenient rabbit ears, don’t they?

Happy Thanksgiving

22 11 2007

Ian & Denise

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone. And, if you can, pay homage to  that classic Thanksgiving tale, Alice’s Restaurant with the “27 8×10 color glossy
pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us” for having fun!

Thanksgiving Snow

21 11 2007

Thanksgiving Snow

 This was the scene here on Monday morning, just 2 days ago, snow covering the autumn leaves. Ian’s school had a delayed opening much to his delight and dismay because, although he was happy for the shortened school day, he wistfully wanted the day off…dream on and get over it!

 So now, two days later, the snow is gone. The rain that followed it is gone. At last, the sun is out, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I’m looking forward to the respite that the long weekend offers before the tumult that is December with its inevitable chaotic run up to Christmas.

Great Party Cat Girls

16 11 2007

Cat Girls

I told you about the birthday here. Well last Saturday was the big party at the playgym in Broomall, PA! This photo was taken at the party after the party. As you can see, we were having SOME fun! Me and the Pretty Kitties with their ever-present cat ears and the real kitty, Samson, posed for the camera.

Sammy is a truly extroverted cat who doesn’t like to miss a thing, anything, ever…no matter how much he is manhandled…and the girls love to jostle him about. Sammy has a sister Ellie, who is quite the introverted cat. We saw hide nor hair of her the whole time we visited.

This weekend, Aunt Denise, is hosting an additional birthday sleepover at her house. Yes, it’s very important to celebrate your birthday for AT LEAST a month! As I write, the Kitties are upstairs asleep with their cat ears atop their heads. Really, how could one possible sleep without them??

 We have tickets to see The Grinch tomorrow in NYC. But, alas, I think the stagehands and theatre producers have thwarted our fun…those grinches!!! We just might end up seeing Bee Movie instead…bzzzz.

The Whole Barb

15 11 2007

I’m Whole

Today is Barbara’s birthday!! Soooo we celebrated with a little sort-of surprise lunch. (I was the surprise. Can you beat that?? Valerie told Barbara that I was in a meeting and couldn’t attend, but, poof, there I was!)

You may recall my previous post about Barb. About 4 weeks ago, she heroically donated one of her kidneys to her brother who was suffering from a degenerative kidney disease. So for her birthday we restored her to “wholeness” with an Elsa Perretti “Bean” pendant. Now, indeed,  she has 2 kidneys once more.

Here we three muskateerettes (me, Barb, and Valerie) are at the lovely Vine Restaurant. The chef made this inspiring Happy Birthday dessert plate in Barbara’s honor!

Barb’s Birthday


6 11 2007

Devon & Taylor Tigresses

On this day in 1999, my favorite cat nieces entered my world. Eager as they were to begin their new journey, they refused to wait one minute longer despite their mother and father’s consternation. We’ve all been running to keep up with them ever since.

I theorize that they may be reincarnated from a previous life as lithe, sleek cats, so much do they love, love, love kitties of all kinds. Here they are in their Halloween costumes…tigresses for peace, of course! That’s Devon on the left and Taylor on the right.

Happy Birthday, my pretty kitties!