Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bus Stop Notice

At Tsawwassen ferry terminal there are notices that say fares must be purchased before boarding the bus.

However, the notices are not properly placed; I always see people confused and have to be told by the driver they have buy a ticket from a vending machine before they are boarding. The problem is the notices are not at the eye level but low, close to the ground, so people don't see them. 

One of the notices should be hanged to the pole with the bus number and schedule as this is the first place, someone who has not taken the bus before would go to for information.  

The answer I received from Translink when I told them about this: Thank you for your recent feedback, we have registered your comments with Translink.

Will they do something? Let's see.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Grocery Stores Receipts (Thrifty Foods vs. Whole Foods vs. Superstore)

Thrifty Foods got it right, a very small receipt that economically uses both sides.
I was very disappointed with Whole Foods', the back side was blank, such a waste. I'd bought identical products so instead having each one printed out I'd have thought they'd be shown only once with 2 X in front (i.e two of them), but now I am not so sure whether anyone does this, but food for thought (pun intended).
Superstore's was slightly better, at least they had on the back of the receipt some information.

Friday, November 11, 2016

McDonald's Survey vs. Tangerine Survey


Free medium fries and a drink for a 10 minutes survey, of course I did it.

Anyway in the end I was left with a bitter taste. This what the coupon said: 

The free medium fries and drink was free only if you bought a sandwich.

Should I complain that they should have mentioned this on the receipt? Nah, too much complaining. 
I won't bother with any McDonald's surveys in the future.


15-20 minutes to complete the survey, and no reward whatsoever! I did not bother.

I still remember when I got a survey in the mail from RBC with a $2 coin in the envelope. Of course I filled out the survey and mailed it (postage was paid as well).

And this is how it should be done:

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Weology is the guidebook for the modern CEO"

“At turns humble and brilliant, practical and inspirational, Weology is the guidebook for the modern CEO. I’m going to send one to each of my CEO clients—and urge them to buy copies for the entire staff!” (Ted CoinĂ©, co-author of A World Gone Social and CMO of

“Peter Aceto is an unusual CEO. Employees don’t work for him, they work with him. He’s also an unusual leader. His team members don’t follow him, they join him. . . . We need more like him.” (David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and former Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den)

I very much enjoyed the book. However, I am still puzzled by the difference between practice and theory.

Employees are an important part of any company (more important than its' customers some say) and as expected this subject is treated at length in the book. Based on what I’d read I would have thought Tangerine is among the best places to work in Canada. But it isn’t .

'Canada’s Top 100 Employers' doesn’t list Tangerine. However, the other banks like RBC, TD, CIBC are in the list!
Also Glasdoor ratings show:
RBC - 3.7
TD - 3.7
Tangerine - 3.5
BMO - 3.5.

I’d have expected for a bank that “lives” online not to have so many bugs (mortgage and my main banking accounts are with Tangerine). I kept pointing them out to the Customer Service - I have been doing software QA most of my professional life so I keep seeing bugs everywhere :) - but I’d lost my interest after my inquiry a few months later after my “reporting”, whether they’d be be fixed and I was told something along the lines that there are other priorities and this makes sense, I mean the bugs I’ve noticed weren’t so important. After all I still managed to open a business account with Tangerine despite some issues I'd encountered, many people would have given up, but these kind of people wouldn’t have tried to open a business account in the first place, they’d have chosen a traditional bank.

So how come what Peter Aceto preaches, and not only, but practices also (i.e. he writes about real things, what’s been doing and implementing as CEO at ING Direct/Tangerine) doesn’t seem to yield different results to the competition? I don’t know, otherwise I’d be a management consultant and write at least one best seller.

And an interesting fact I'd learned from the book; Peter Aceto’s father needed to take his BMW series 7 to the garage so he went with him. While waiting they struck up a conversation with a man who talked about his vision of a new, different kind of bank, a bank that would change banking forever. This man was Arkadi Kuhlmann, the founder of ING Direct (currently Tangerine). Peter Aceto later contacted him, and offered his services as he wanted to part of the vision. He got hired, and as they say the rest is history.

This made me think; I should have bought a Tesla instead of a Honda Fit. With a Honda I’ll never find myself in a similar situation.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

BMO InvestorLine - respond within 2 business days

It seemed very "courageous" for BMO to state they'll respond within 2 business days. And they didn't. However, I'd expected to get an automated reply along the line: "Due to the high volume ... ". But I didn't get this either, so I suggested BMO implement an automated reply.

And they thanked me for the feedback. I was very surprised BMO (one of the big 5 Canadian banks) doesn't already have this system.

I would also like to thank you for your feedback on receiving an automated message when there is a delay in response time, and also apologize for the delay. Your feedback will definitely be provided to senior management for consideration. 

Let's see what the senior management will decide :). I should follow up with them next year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Backpack Eddie Bauer

I like Eddie Bauer products and their, I think, lifetime guarantee. The zipper of my backpack stopped working so I took it to the store to have it repaired. They would not repair it, they would only exchange the backpack but as my model had been discontinued they gave me another model. 

I didn't like it as much as my old one and I had sent my feedback to Eddie Bauer as they welcome them.
Thank you for taking the time to contact Eddie Bauer with your suggestion regarding our Backpacks.  We always like to receive feedback firsthand from our customers. Your comment will be forwarded to the appropriate department for review. 

The older model had a cover/hood over one of the side pockets, The new model doesn't have it so when I carry a bottle it sticks out. It is not only the aesthetic factor, but when it rains water can fall in the pocket.

I will follow up with Eddie Bauer later to see how my feedback has been received.

Monday, October 24, 2016

McDonald's vs. Burger King

McDonald's receipt is some three times bigger than Burger King's. McDonald's could save some money (paper, ink) not to mention being better for the environment if they went for a smaller format.

Kohala Cola with Organic Plant Extracts

100% organic ingredients
Sweetened with organic agave syrup
With low glycemic index (<39)
With organic plant extracts (my bold)
No caffeine
No granulated sugar
No phosphoric acid
No artificial flavours
No artificial sweetener added
GMO free

I had asked what are these organic plant extracts and received the full list of ingredients.

So the Organic Plant Extracts are: Cinnamon, vanilla, lemon, Orange, mint, Nutmeg Cola Nut, Ginger and other ...

"And other ... " bothered me, not a lot, but it did. I asked about the "other" and, as expected I might say, I haven't received any answer. Usually "other" is not so natural and organic so companies don't want to "disclose" it and I suppose they don't have to.

"This is the last email I’ll send you about the Habits seminar."

This was in the "Try the Habit Seminar, risk free" email:

but a few hours later another email:

I suppose it happens.

However, the price change was interesting.

First email:

Second email:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Salt Spring Coffee, still waiting after more than one year

Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 3:04 PM

Thank you for your email and interest in our cold brew.

I am checking in with our cold brew distributor for a list of outlets in Vancouver for you.

I will get back to you as soon as I can.

However, in fact I should be pleased there was no follow-up. I would have felt compelled to go and buy their cold brew and perhaps I would have become addicted.

As it stands I had bought only once (not in Vancouver) before I had asked them where I could buy there as well.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tangerine 'Important' Message

I launch the Tangerine Android app and I see:

How difficult is to retrieve the message from the website and display it in the app?

I didn't bother to check the message for some time, and when I did it was too late, only a few weeks were left to enjoy a 2% interest rate.

So I lost money and Tangerine did also as I assume customers making new deposits would have been worthwhile for them in the medium/long term even with the 'high' interest rate they would have had to pay for a short time.

Friday, October 14, 2016

McDonald's Lanes

At the McDonald's I usually go to when it is busy people get confused where to wait in line to order as some people have ordered and are waiting to have their orders ready and other people are waiting to order and you don't know who is who. Sometimes a McDonald's employee is there and directs people, but only sometimes. I suppose they do not care much as not too many people, if any, would give up and leave. If you are set on eating from McDonald's you are going to, even if there are many other choices nearby (the respective McDonald's is in a huge mall with a food court and many other eating places).

In order to clear any confusion my idea is to have lanes, painted with 'Ordering' and 'Waiting', same as roads have arrows at some intersections so you know which lane is for what.

One device to take care of your teeth

I am using all these things to clean my teeth, and I do not know how effective they are but I like to think they help, each one in its own way.

I am dreaming of one device to replace all of them, the kind of device you put it in your mouth and it works by itself while you watch TV. The company who would make it would stand to win a fortune, it would be like Apple with their first iPhone.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Waste Management 'Act Green / Act Clean' instead of 'Think Green / Think Clean'

They should have on the trucks 'Act Green /Act Clean'. I wrote to Waste Management about this, I am curious whether they will change their logo.

The fifth book of the New Testament is called Acts not Thoughts. The apostles 'acted', they didn't only only 'think'. It is big a difference between acting and thinking.

Very good answer from WM, and I got it (the slogan is for the company not a moving ad):

Thank you for contacting Waste Management in regards to our Think Green, Think Clean slogan. I absolutely appreciate your feedback and do agree that acting in a sustainable way is just as important as thinking environmentally.

As an environmentally progressive company we want our customers to know that thinking green is behind every decision we make. It is about the opportunities we have to protect human health, natural resources and the environment. As well as being a leader and innovator in the development and implementation of environmental solutions. To learn more about our environmental solutions and to view our sustainability report please visit our website .

Please do not hesitate to contact me at if there are any additional questions or concerns or if I can assist you any further.

Thank you for choosing Waste Management. Have a great day!

Waste Management Customer Service

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Gut, Besser, Paulaner

This is an ad for the Paulaner bier at the international Munich Airport (the second busiest airport in Germany behind Frankfurt Airport, and the seventh busiest airport in Europe).

The company's management must be very proud when they walk by.

And I fell for the ad. I so badly wanted to drink a Paulaner bier when I was back home, after all I suppose the ad was directed at international travellers like me. Bayern Munich is an international brand easily recognizable and associating Paulaner with it was a very smart move.

So what would be the best way to find who sells Paulaner than writing to Customer Service.


1. Go to
2. Click on 'Contact for customers' link
3. Choose the topic 'Supplier/retailer addresses'
4. Click on 'form' link
5. Fill out the form and submit.

It has been more than one year and I still wait for a response. Perhaps I would have enjoyed Paulaner so much I would have become a customer for life. Now the moment has passed.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Amazon makes me "deny" myself

Beside 'Sign Out' there is a question, Not <First Name>? Sign Out on the same line!

If I was Ann, the line would be Not Ann? Sign Out so I am supposed to not sign out but I want to.

Long live data analysis! "Data trumps intuition"  is the mantra at Amazon.

'Website Optimization' book by Andrew King: For Amazon every 100 ms increase in load times decreased sales with 1%.

Amazon must have analyzed some customers will end up not signing out, as their logging out action would be incongruent, and the consequence is they will order more by not having the inconvenience to log back on. I wonder if this is the case

While conventional wisdom has held that customer service is Amazon’s secret sauce, Bezos’s core innovation was to place data at the center of his corporate culture. Despite big data’s hype, Bezos is unique in his data focus. The rest of us are using buzzwords to try to keep up.

Here’s what it takes to do it right, according to the Amazon boss:

1. Metrics define your corporate culture.
2. Listening to data starts at the top.
3. Democratize data.

More about the above points on Data Driven: What Amazon's Jeff Bezos Taught Me About Running a Company

Sunday, October 2, 2016

XING - "The company name is only visible to logged-in members."

This is not true. Google reveals the company name if you search by the name :).

XING (named openBC/Open Business Club until 17 November 2006) is a career-oriented social networking site[4] for enabling a small-world network for professionals. The company claims that it is used by people from over 200 countries. Available interface languages include Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Swedish and Turkish. By displaying how each member is connected to any other member, it visualizes the small-world phenomenon.

The platform offers personal profiles, groups, discussion forums, event coordination, and other common social community features.