Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Curse of the Insurance Spokeschoad

Agent: "This happens all the time, I'll help take care of it."

Sports Figure Appearing in State Farm Commercials instead of Winning Championships:  "What happens all the time?"

Agent:  "We get called by a sports figure who makes huge amounts of money while either playing for an Also-Ran non-championship team or retired from that team."

Sports Figure: "What?  What do you mean?"

Agent:  "Well, currently you guys keep showing up in State Farm Commercials.  You're well-known members of the Houston Rockets, a team which failed- once again- to win the championship this year. Hell, you didn't even make it to the finals.  But no problem, you're recognizable, so you get to be in State Farm commercials showing off your awesome cars and ridiculous mansions, pretending to be friends in the off-season."

Sports Figure:  "And that's really common?  What if I appeared in commercials for some other insurance company?"

Agent:  "Maybe.  Remember Peyton Manning? He won two Superbowls, but he spent his entire career in the shadow of Tom Brady.  If Brady hadn't been around, Peyton certainly would have won 4 or 5 rings.  But it didn't really matter- even when he was at the top of his game, and having most seasons end with a loss to the Patriots in a playoff game, he was being regularly featured in these ads.  Heck, he's been retired for years and he's still pimping for Nationwide."

Sports Figure:  "Well, ok but that's Peyton Manning.  Anyone else?"

Agent:  "Do you ever watch TV?  88% of our ads feature Aaron Rodgers.  You know Aaron Rodgers- he's the guy that douchenozzle Max Kellerman says Tom Brady isn't better than in the same breath he uses to call Tom Brady the greatest QB of all time.  He's the guy who has exactly one Superbowl ring from eight years ago but is still recognizable enough to be a State Farm spokeschoad."

Sports Figure:  "But they DID win championships. So there is SOME hope for me."

Agent: "Yeah, sure, sure there is.  Can you go back to being a bug-eyed idiot for an insurance company now?  I mean, it's not like you have a parade to be in or anything like that."

Monday, June 17, 2019

UpWork: When you don't know how to do what you were hired to do....

And collect a paycheck to do.....

No worries.  Just like there's a place for the functionally illiterate to go to have their grammar fixed (Grammarly) and there's a place to go to find unpaid interns desperate for "experience" (Reddit, Facebook, etc,) there's now a place to go to hire people to do the work you told your prospective employer you were capable of doing, which btw got you that job it turns out you don't know how to do.

UpWork essentially provides out-of-work Freelancers to do the thinking-and working-for salaried professionals who enjoy making that paycheck but have no clue how to earn it.  Take a look at the jackasses in this particular ad:  They are salespeople.  Their sales have leveled off.  Naturally, this is a big problem because they were hired to keep those sales up.  They COULD have a brainstorming session in which they try to come up with just one or two decent ideas.  OR, they could farm out some of their responsiblities- and their company's money- to UpWork, where some desperate choad in front of a laptop is eager to take care of their problem for a few bucks which will allow him to avoid homelessness for another month.

Employed lazy twits give eachother high-fives and celebrate with a round of Coronas after leaving the office.  Desperate Choad runs out for some more ramen before sitting back down in front of his laptop awaiting his next assignment courtesy of overpaid douchenozzles who can't be bothered to do their job but who make enough to pass on a few crumbs to Desperate Choad.  Life is good.  For somebody. 

And to think, I feel guilty at times when I purchase a lesson plan at 4:30 AM  from TeachersPayTeachers because it's easier than trying to come up with something for my kids to do so I can call in sick. I don't think this is quite the same thing.

Still....gotta love how this all works, don't you?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Jersey Mike's Hates Kids- and maybe Moms, too?

Ugh, this woman is such a nasty harpy.  How about instead of just yelling "NO!" over and over again at your obviously bored, lonely and frustrated son, you help him find something to do?  Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you, woman?  You've got this freaking palace of a house that's so damned spotless it must be regularly cared for by a team of cleaners, you clearly have nothing to do with yourself until the Breadwinner comes you're going to spend your day yelling at that poor kid, telling him to stop trying to stay sane by doing things that are perfectly normal for a little kid?

Oh, but then you say "yes" to....a slice of pig fat from Jersey Mike's.  Oh, good plan, Mom.  An imagination which distracts Mommy? That's bad and wrong.  Salty ham?  Absolutely, help yourself, Son.

This kid is going to learn very quickly that the only thing he can do that doesn't draw mom's gape-mouthed disapproval is eat.  I see big problems down the line for him.  For chrissakes, Mom, take that kid to the freaking park or at least out in the yard.  Or just admit that what he's doing indoors is perfectly fine and that the person with the problem is YOU because you can't bear your kid doing something that might make noise or a small mess.  They way you're going now, when your kid grows up he's only going to remember you as a screeching mouth which never stopped smothering his attempts to let his imagination take him other words, to act like a freaking child.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

American Home Shield is at it again!

1.  The customers in these ads don't seem to be carrying copies of their homeowner insurance policies; nor do the agents have copies....yet, the customer assumed that the broken appliance (in this case, an air conditioner) is covered and the agent is quite certain it isn't.  Hey Mr. Customer, if you don't have a copy of your policy, why did you think your air conditioner was covered?  Hey Ms Agent, if you don't have a copy of the policy, why are you assuming it isn't? 

2.  In every one of these ads, the agent points out that some ridiculously implausible appliance-damaging scenerio IS covered.  In a previous commercial, it's a fire-breathing dragon.  In this one- and in a lot of the radio ads- it's a "zombie apocalypse."  The joke is that these things never happen in real life...yet in the commercials, they DO happen.  So is American Home Shield saying that we SHOULD have actual, non-scammy homeowners insurance covering things like fire-breathing dragons and zombies?  And that AHS doesn't cover these things?

3.  Here's one thing I know for sure about the customers in these ads:  they didn't have to pay for the opportunity to sit down with an agent and file a claim.  But guess what?  If they are dumb enough to sign up for a policy from American Home Shield, that's exactly what they'll do when something in their home breaks down.   They'll pay a "processing fee" up front before AHS will even consider their claim.  And, of course, that's only the beginning of the headache.  Then they'll get the run-around from the bottom-of-the-barrell one-step-above-handyman-drifter contractors AHS sends out to inspect the broken appliance.  Then they'll get one excuse after another concerning why what they thought was Covered isnt' actually Covered and after all AHS only promised to Cover repairs that are Covered, sorry filing fee isn't refundable make sure you get that monthly premium out on time byes!

Got a house filled with appliances?  Try to get a good, long warranty when you buy those appliances, but once they expire, just start saving money so you can get them fixed when they break down.  Extended Warranties are ALL scams, American Home Shield is just among the very worst of a bad lot.  You will NEVER get an Extended Warranty to pay off, which is why these companies are so profitable.  Well, that and the fear-mongering promoted in ads like this.

Friday, June 14, 2019

SCOTTeVEST: Another product you'd never admit to owning...

Because the only reason you ever leave ANYTHING at home when you go for a walk is because you don't have enough pockets?

Seriously, WTF? Why would anyone need to carry so much crap around with them all the time?  Why would anyone WANT to carry around another 10-15 lbs of electronics, sunglasses, water bottles, novels, playing cards, notepads, mace, jacknives, Mentos, candy bars etc. while they are taking a walk?

And "breeze through the airport?"  Not so fast there, buddy- if you've got anything electronic larger than an iPhone in there, you're going to have to take it out and place it in a seperate bin anyway.  And if you've got fifteen different items in fifteen different pockets in that vest, get ready to stand at the Security Station for ten minutes after you've gone through the detector yourself while three agents molest your vest before handing it to you with sympathetic, condescending looks on their faces.

The most realistic parts of this ad are the ones that feature middle-aged guys wearing the vests.  I can totally see this being something Men of a Certain Age wear because they are beyond giving a damn what anyone thinks or have long since past that stage where they hang out with guys who judge their clothing style.  The guys who would wear those Forever Lazy full-body pajamas in public would be very happy in SCOTTeVESTS.  Anyone younger than 40 wouldn't be caught dead in one of these things unless they are already friendless and have totally given up on the idea of actually forming a meaningful connection with a fellow human being.  Well, at least they've got their electronic cocoons with one of these pockets.....damn, I forgot which pocket I put my phone in again!  There goes the next twenty minutes!!

*I actually have a pretty good idea for a motto to be used in future SCOTTeVEST commercials: "SCOTTeVEST:  Now you can fall down, not get hurt, and still be out thousands of dollars!"

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Wow, T-Mobile Sounds like it's going to be so awesome....someday!

So two years ago, T-Mobile put out this ad explaining how it was going to be "radically" changing the way people can access the network and use their phones even in rural areas.  The narrator sure sounds pumped- I kept expecting him to just say that T-Mobile was going to Kick Ass all over the country because it was engaging this Revoution of Ultimate Conectivity or something.

Thing is, I am a T-Mobile customer.  I live the Washington DC suburbs and have no problem making and receiving phone calls without ever experiencing call drops.  My ability to stream video is a little more clunky but usually not bad.  In short, the network seems to function very well here.  But again, I live in the Washington DC suburbs.  Of course it functions well here.

Every summer, I spend six weeks visiting my parents in rural Vermont.  I know that when I leave the house to do shopping or run other errands for them, I need to leave my T-Mobile phone at home and borrow my mother's little AT&T Nokia because I am NOT going to get reliable service with MY phone.  In downtown Barre- the third-largest city in the state- I'll get "No Network Connection" messages and on the rare ocassion I'm able to make a call, it will inevitably get dropped seconds in.  I can't check my email and forget about watching a video.

So it's nice to see that T-Mobile is dedicating itself to improving it's rural service- but, again, this ad came out two years ago.  I was in Vermont in April and had exactly the same problems I've always had.  For all the bluster and confident boasting, T-Mobile doesn't seem any closer to connecting people who live in certain rural areas (and seriously, it's not like Vermont is the Alaskan tundra or the middle of a 10,000 acre ranch in Montana.)  More Walk, Less Talk, please, T-Mobile

Monday, June 3, 2019

Back to Louisville!

This is the brand new hotel I'll be staying at June 4-12 while grading AP US History exams in Louisville; looking forward to checking out what looks like a pretty big (24 hour access) gym, swimming pool, and reading areas when I'm not struggling to keep my eyes from falling out my head as I fill in bubbles at the (also brand new) Kentucky International Convention Center a little less than half a mile away.

When I'm not working, working out, and sleeping, I'll be checking out the awesome fossil beds across the bridge in Indiana and taking in a couple of Bats games at Louisville Slugger Field (the Pawtucket Red Sox are in town the night before I return to the DC area, which should be very cool.)

Anyway, I'm assuming that I won't be able to post again until June 12 or 13th, enjoy the archives while I'm away!  (If it turns out that I can post, I may drop one or two here during my visit, but it's most likely I'll be too busy in any case....)

(I point out in the comment section that in this entire video we don't see a single actual hotel room; I guess the makers of this little film think that hotels are all about eating and shopping, period.)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Unintentially Funny Commercial from Car Shield

These guys are total scumbags, selling crap non-insurance to people who drive lemons and live in constant fear of a repair that will ruin them finacially.  Companies like Car Shield prey on such people by using that fear to suck money they can't afford to part with out of them on a monthly basis.

But I have to admit that there's one moment in this ad that just makes me break out laughing every time I see it.  That moment shows up at the 18-second mark, at which point the arm-waving spokeschoad stands in front of a hypothetical car bill which lists two items under the red letters "WHAT YOU OWE."  Here's what it says:

Quantity 1:  Replace Defective Part in Car  Price Each:  $4143  Total:  $4143
Quantity 13:  Labor  Price Each:  $100  Total:  $1300

Where to start?  First of all, will some mechanic out there tell me which car part costs $4143?  And as long as I've got a mechanic responding, can one tell me if they've ever written up a bill which says "Replace Defective Part in Car" without actually naming the part?

Second, why is the word "Replace" in the first line of the bill?  That sounds like a LABOR COST to me, but the labor cost is in the SECOND line.  Clearly the people who wrote the script for this junk have never looked at a car bill....or, they just like treating their audience like children who need things dumbed down to the point of hilarity.

Third, I guess the "Labor Price" is the hourly rate.  It's also the only believable part of this ad.

Speaking of this ad, it goes on for another forty seconds but there's really nothing new to comment on here- just another "All Covered Repairs will be Covered with your Coverage" extended warranty scam which will make poor people poorer and leave them holding the bag when they find out that the repair needed on that beater they are desperately trying to hold together Isn't Covered, Sorry.  Probably because that Defective Part in Car was Defective when you bought the insurance and you didn't tell Car Shield about it so sorry your Coverage is void check the fine print next time. Good luck paying that bill all by yourself (but first, seriously, ask your mechanic what that defective part is, because I'm still super curious.)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

At Aaron's, Two out of three ain't bad!

Aww, look at all the helpful people rescuing cats from the highway, carrying injured teammates across the finish line, etc!  Really restores your faith in humanity, doesn't it?

Know what all those scenes remind me of?  A rent-to-own company called Aaron's.  You know, that chain store which rents and sells to people with crap or no credit.  No, not Rent A Center.  The other one.  Aaron's!

Aaron's is what you would get if you took the best qualities of people who would rescue kittens from traffic or create human chains to save people from drowning or throw themselves on hand grenades and put them into a store.  That's because Aaron's doesn't care if you are down on your luck, or you have a history of defaulting on loans, or you think that living within your means is for Stupidhead Losers.  They also don't care if you are only semi-literate and just want to be told where to sign your name never mind the contract just give me the jist of it.  In fact, they actually PREFER those people.

Because at Aaron's, you can find Low Low Weekly Prices on that Xbox, Big Screen TV, and Laptop Computer the meanies over at Dell and Best Buy told you were out of your price range because they don't love you like Aaron's does.  At Aaron's you can Get What You Need- like that gaming system- for as low as $19 a week.  How many weeks?  Who cares it's only $19 even you can afford that!

And Aaron's makes it easy!  REALLY easy!  I mean, it's as easy as picking out the toys you want and signing on the dotted line, Aaron's takes care of the rest- including figuring the interest rate (300 percent or more, but so what remember how low those payments are) and helpfully calling you to remind you when your Low Low payment is twenty minutes late- and if we can't get in touch with you, no worries we'll call your family, neighbors, employer.  We'd like to see Sears care that much!

And if you need more time to pay?  We'll work it out, that's what late fees and ballooning interest rates are for!  Check out the free delivery!  Check out how happy your kids will be with a washer and dryer and don't forget the Xbox and Big Screen TV!! 

At Aaron's we're all about helping Good People live their dreams, as long as their dreams include having an apartment filled with ridiculously overpriced used junk which literally sucks money out of the pockets of those Good People and keep them in a ruinous debt spiral!

Remember, Aaron's is Easy, Beautiful, and....something else.  Can't remember what that other word is, but don't you worry your empty little head about it!  And do NOT watch this investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation into EasyHome, a company TOTALLY DIFFERENT from Aarons , those guys are just haters!  They don't love you like we do!