Thursday, December 29, 2005

Getting the Business from BIG corporations

I think it may be time to start a list. I love lists, they remind me of things I have to do, of things I need from the store, whose birthday is in a particular month, AND they also remind me of things I sometimes forget about in the face of convenience, like which corporations I believe are scamming customers.
Since I've already had a personal rant about Walgreen, who I still think has no business deciding whose prescriptions they can or won't fill, I think they will be at the top of my list. The truth is though that I have moved to another state and I don't know if Walgreen has rethought their corporate policy which allows pharmacists to decline filling birth control pill prescriptions based on the pharmacists religious beliefs. I probably should look into that - but I've been busy - probably trying to find agreeable businesses to purchase things at - like other pharmacies to use. Actually, if I thought Wisconsin was bad with the religious zeal, I obviously did not know what was in store for me by moving to Indiana. If one more person blesses me, I will give them a reason to do so, like sneeze in their face or something similarly distasteful. I never accept anything from people who I don't respect.
On to my newest bitch - Barnes and Nobel Bookstores.
I love books. I admit to using the hated Amazon dot com and the big box book stores. Hey, they have long ago put mom and pop bookstores out of business so there is little choice anymore for browsing bookshelves. Really I don't shop at big box bookstores all that much since it is close to impossible to find anything other than "Popular Fiction" or the hottest non-fiction titles, you know the self help crap books whose covers promise a better job, a sexier core, tastier dinners or a tempestuous sex life. Most of what I want to read isn't carried by B&N or Borders or any of the big chain booksellers. This week, while out of town, I found myself with a few minutes of spare time, an urge for a chai latte and my laptop. I headed for
Barnes & Nobel where I knew all of my instant gratification urges could be fulfilled.
Chai in hand, I headed for the tables where Barnes and Nobels advertising proudly announces, I was promised instant WiFi access. Certainly, B&N provides instant WiFi for those who are equipped to use it, but they do so at a price. I did not know this. Nor did any of the other people who sat at the other tables around me. At least they did not know they would have to pay for online WiFi use when they came to B&N with visions of internet in their heads. No, this is not a joke - when you try to log onto the internet at a B&N you will be directed to a site that is their provider. It happens to be a spin off of SBC. This site informs you that you must open an account with the provider, or enter a "Use Card" number in order to surf. I tried to use my Mac to circumnavigate this problem and to no avail. Even as a user of SBC Global I could not access this B&N, SBC powered provider.
So folks, if you think B&N is a free lunch, or at least a cheap date - buy a coffee and it's for real - get over it because it isn't.
In fact, I'll bet that if I had consented to paying for internet time, B&N would be sending me boat loads of spam and trying to get me to become a member of their frequent buyer discount program. Oh, you didn't know about that? Yes, for a fee of $25.00, Barnes and Nobel will sell you discounts on book purchases.
So where should I go now when I feel the need to hold paper books in my hand? The library? At least I know what's in store for me there - Homeland Security checking out my leisure reading.
It's a fucking crazy world and I am not happy with it.
Goodbye Barnes and Nobel! Goodbye Walgreen!
Whose next in line for the corporate shit list?????
Probably Starbucks. But everyone already knows they charge to use their WiFi too. It's not enough that we pay way too much money for their shitty coffee, but we'll pay for something that floats around in the air too.