So you think your IT person has an attitude? It could be because of you!

Author: admin  |  Category: Observations, Rant  |  Comments (2)  |  Add Comment

Ever wonder why our IT guy might have an attitude?  Most people think that it’s because we know computers well enough to have an elitist attitude with it, that “we’re better than you”.  Well, for the most part this is not true.  I’ll admit – there are some bad eggs out there (and I’ve worked with some) but most of the time it is because of the users we support, sadly.  It’s not just one person (but there usually is one or two people who do deserve it).  It’s the whole collective we call “users” and some times, even to go as far as calling some (L)users (or L-users, a.k.a. I.D. 10-T).

First of all, the redundancy.  No, I don’t expect my average user to know how to reinstall Windows, configure their wireless network, put their computer on the domain, or manage DNS but when something is as simple as going to an intranet (internal network) site, entering some information (supplied to you) and clicking INSTALL, it gets tedious after having to either walk though or do for several dozen clients.  At my work, we had a new print queue installed though a new server so none of the mapping though the old server would work.  Sounds like a big problem, right?  No.

We sent out instructions, go to this site (type SITE into your browser), enter in the building ID (supplied) and then select the floor you’re on (you push the button on the elevator several times a day).  Find the printer(s) you use, they’re named after the room number that they’re in but attached was a PDF of the floors with the names in each location.  Then, click INSTALL next to that printer and when the window appears, click RUN.

Simple, right?  Nope.  I had to do over 40 of these the first week.  I guess those instructions were to complicated for most people.  

Next – many issues are caused by the users.  I’m not talking routine maintenance (update drivers, defrags, cache scrubbing etc..).  I get tired of having to sit and figure out how to remove a spyware you installed which is preventing your computer from working.  Sure, go ahead, install the Google toolbar, the Yahoo toolbar, AOLIM, Yahoo messenger, Opera, Firefox, and tons of unapproved software then complain to me because “your piece of shit computer is too slow”.  Well, don’t install anything that you shouldn’t install.

On that subject – if I tell you a new piece of software is coming out, that is NOT permission to go ahead and install it.  So what if Google has their own browser now, it makers changes to your internet settings and will prevent some of our web applications from working (and then read back one paragraph).  If it’s on our intranet’s software installation page, then you’re allowed to have it.

Appointments.  I don’t know why IT is the exception.  If you have an appointment with your boss at 9AM, you’re there at 9AM.  If you have an appointment with one of your subordinates at 9AM, they better be there at 9AM.  Your time is important but why do people think mine isn’t?  A 9AM appointment is for 9AM not when you feel like meandering into my office sometime between noon and 3PM.  Also – don’t get pissy at me because I’m working on someone else’s computer and you now have to wait – my time is important, too.

I get lunches, too.  Don’t be 2.5 hours late to your 9AM appointment expecting everything to be done while you’re on your lunch.  I get one too.  If I’m heading out the door with my hat on, jacket on, and keys in my hand, it’s because I am going out.  This is NOT the time to decide to approach me with a dozen questions (this also includes when my hand is on the bathroom door and I am trying to open it).

Also, don’t tell me “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” and take over 2 hours to get to me.  Again, my time is important.  I don’t like sitting on my ass waiting for you while I need to be elsewhere with someone else.

Vacations – don’t submit a ticket 10 minutes before you leave for vacation and expect me to pull the perfect fix out of my ass before you go.  You’re going on vacation – that means you can leave it since you won’t need it (it’s supposed to be for work, that’s why work paid for it).

And while we’re on the subject of vacations – I get them too.  Don’t get mad because I don’t answer your 10 emails (including the out of office reply stating that I’m on vacation), 15 voicemails (where my message says I’m on vacation) and countless text messages.  Also – complaining to my boss won’t help you.  He knows I’m on vacation.  The world will not fall apart while I am gone.

“Freebies”.  We’re an IT department – we fix things.  We’re not a kiss-you-ass / free-upgrades department.  If you want an upgrade – contact your boss and have your boss go though the proper channels.  Don’t have them tell me to give you a freebie, I don’t answer to them (and yes, I’ve said no to vice presidents before – quite harshly).  Our equipment is though warranties.  When your car breaks, you don’t expect them to give you the latest and greatest at no cost, do you?  Then why do you expect it from me?  The same goes for software.  No, I won’t install Dreamweaver.  You’re a sales rep, not a web developer; learn how to use Office first.

We are not trainers nor are we grand masters of all knowledge.  Sure, I may give someone a quick hand on how to do something simple, but don’t expect it all the time, don’t expect redundant trainings (no, I won’t show you how to turn on the out of office reply for the 20th time) and don’t expect me to teach you how to make a word document pull specific pieces of information from Excel and integrate it into a PowerPoint presentation.  There are two things:  one is called the Internet, learn how to use it, and the other are called books – learn how to read (it gets tricky when you want to buy books from the internet, though).

It can take time to get parts in.  No, I don’t (my department doesn’t have the budget) to stock every piece of every piece of equipment we’ve had in our office.  Sometimes I have to order parts and sometimes it takes a while (3-5+ days) for them to come in.  My ass isn’t a magical bag of holding where I can pull anything I need out of it.

Don’t expect me to fix things I don’t support.  Don’t bring in your home computer and drop it off at my office expecting me to fix it – legally I can’t.  Don’t expect me to fix something I don’t support a few examples include (but are not limited to): plumbing, elevators, doors, electrical wiring, cars, chairs, and windows.

The old “woe is me” story.  No, I don’t have time to spend to listen to your life’s problems – how all computers hate you, and how nothing works right for you.  Get to the point.  Again, my time is also important.  Also – don’t speak cryptically and don’t leave out important details.  Don’t expect me to be able to know what is exactly wrong if you only tell me “I got an error message”.

Second guessers – I don’t care if you’re neighbor’s kid’s school friend’s nephew plugged in his parent’s computer.  That does not me he knows more about it than I do nor does he know our systems.  But – if you really want to, go ahead (and good luck without admin rights).  I’ll see you tomorrow grinning with a Windows disc in my hand to reformat your drive. Also, for the most part, you are not more knowledgeable with computers than I am, if you truly were, then you wouldn’t have the problem in the first place.

So as you can see, your average IT person deals with a lot on a daily basis.  Next time you think they are giving you an attitude, think for a minute of this post.

Selling things you don’t own should be illegal, right?

Author: admin  |  Category: Domains, Internet, Scams  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Think about this:  A sales person contacts you about a product.  They offer to sell you the product for a price. You pay for the product then you find out that not only do they not own what you are paying for, there is no guarantee that you’ll get it. I am sure that most people would cry fraud, a scam, or theft with this, which technically it is.

Well, apparently in the domaining world this practices is not illegal, in fact it is not uncommon for people to solicit sales for something that they not only don’t own, but do not have the right to sell. One such entity I am calling out in this post.

Last year, I “won” a domain though a drop catch service (a service that “catches” names as they expire and become available). I paid my fee for the domain and was awaiting the domain to be transferred into the registrar where I could retrieve it. The next day, (over 24 hours later) I receive an email from “Webname Solution” (info@webnamesolution.com) offering to sell me this domain for $199.95 (screenshot of the email) In a panic, I quickly contacted the drop catch service and confirmed that I did legally own the domain and it was in the process of being transferred to the registrar. Luckily, a few days later the domain was in my account, where it should be.

I didn’t think anything of it until the other day when I saw this old email in my folder. I thought “Nah, they wouldn’t still be selling the domain, would they?”. Guess what? I was wrong. They are STILL selling it for $199.95.

(Click for a full sized image)

Yes, this company is still selling the domain that I own that they do not have the right to sell. Last I checked, this is illegal. “But Draggar, they could be anywhere!” while this is true, a quick WhoIs check shows who owns the domain:
WhoIs result
The results are:
Registrant:
Webname Solution
1256 Guy Street
Montreal, Qc H3H 2L3
CA
646-964-6515
Domain Name: WEBNAMESOLUTION.COM

I checked it on Google maps and it is a legitimate address (but who knows if it is the accurate one).

The sad part of al this is that this is not the first, the second, or even the third time this has happened to me. This company has done this a few other times in the past with me but I haven’t noticed it this long. I’ve own the domain for several months now and they are still selling the domain. I’m debating if I should send them a C&D letter and CC my local FBI office since they are fraudulently trying to sell assets owned in the USA?

The economy sucks

Author: admin  |  Category: Observations, Politics, Thoughts  |  Comments (2)  |  Add Comment

I know, and after watching “The Secret” I’m supposed to keep a positive attitude, which I try to do all the time and are successful many times but I feel I need to get this off of my chest.

The economy sucks. Yes it does. But why?

People are blaming the government – while allowing companies to outsource jobs (and give them tax breaks for doing so) seems to be one of the major factors, it isn’t. The credit crunch now is hurting a lot of people from making large purchases, but most of us still have the credit cards.

The recession is caused by people not spending. Why aren’t they spending? We’re seeing less money or not an increase in money. Why is this happening? Easy – large corporations are hoarding money. I saw a news report this morning about it and I wish I saved the link. Companies are hoarding the money at the top of the chain, including (for the most part) the “stimulus” that the government GAVE to these corporations. They’re being stinger than Montgomery Burns and Ebenezer Scrooge put together. My company didn’t give out ANY pay raises last year and are not giving any out this year (plus no 401K match, and a few other benefits gone). Sure, “temporary” – we all know what that means. I know if I’m lucky I’ll see a raise sometime in 2010 (doubtful, though).

The really sad part is that Wall Street is rewarding this behavior (and why do companies stress so much on the price of their stock?). Large business A says that they are going to lay off thousands of employees – thus contributing to the bad economy and Wall St rewards them by people buying their stock (making the price go up) and making the high-ups who can afford to purchase millions of shares richer.

So, here we are, the worst the economy has been in an extremely long time, at least in my lifetime. What can we do? Unfortunately, not much. What I can suggest is find a niche, something you’re good at, and promote it. Who knows, maybe you can make some extra money with this. But don’t try blogging – I barely make enough though the ads to pay for the registration and hosting fees. J

Spore…

Author: admin  |  Category: Uncategorized  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

I’ve always liked growth / simulation games.  Some of my favorites are the SimCity and Civilization series games so you could imagine how interested I was when I first heard of Spore.  It seemed like a modern version of a cross between SimLife and Civilization.  In my book that has a lot of potential.

Unfortunately, the game did not live up to my expectations.  My biggest disappointment – the game is extremely linear to me.  Sure, you can dsign your own species of intelligent life and start from scratch but the game itself is a little boring and monotonous.

You start off as a microorganism and you need to eat plants or meat (or other animals).  OK, this can be interesting.  As you go, you find evolutionary add-ons (beaks, poison etc..) that will alow you to grow and become more powerful.  As you go on with this level, it becomes boring after a few levels.

Finally, you make it onto land.  You are a creature who needs to built intelligence and you can either destroy or ally with other creatures.  This can require some skill but with a little pratice, it can easily be mastered.  There are dozens of opprotunities here to get evolutionary powerups.

Next, you are sentient / intellignet but tribal.  You need to conquer other tribes either though allying with them or destroying them (sounds familiar?).  While this part can be fun, it is extremely repetitive and will get boring after a few times you go though this level.

Next is the intelligent / modern day level.  This is actually quite boring.  Again, you must either destroy (conquer) or ally with all of your rivals.  By this time I was bored with the repetiveness of the game.  You have three kinds of unites, land, sea, air (and only one of each kind).

Finally, you’re in the space race.  You can fly to other planets and guess what?  You can either make allies / trade partners or destroy / conquer other civilizations.  Wow.  Where have I seen this before?  Oh yeah, you only have one space ship (you can get get allies to fly with you depending on your level).

The graphics in the game are not that bad and do not choke my system (Intel Core2 1.8GHz, 2GB Gam, 512MB Video, not shared running XP home SP3) which is hard to find in today’s games (everyone tries to cram as much as they can into one game killing systems that even meet the “recommended system requirements”).  The control is easy to learn and simple to use.

The game had a lot of potential but did not live up to the hype in my eyes.  On a scale of one to ten I give the game a 4.  The easy to learn gameplay is what helped the game keep a score that high but the redundancy is a killer.

One of life’s great mysteries – magazine inserts

Author: admin  |  Category: Humor, Observations  |  Comment (1)  |  Add Comment

I’m not kidding – these things are a huge mystery to me.

I get a few magazines, most come unwrapped (not in any packaging like many come today).  What I don’t get is, these things are in-transit to me, when I get them I fan them out to let any of the loose inserts (usually asking me to subscribe to the magazine I just got, though my subscription) and nothing happens so I think “OK, they just attach them inside now, no more loose ones”.

Wrong.

I lie down to read the magazine and within 3 pages I have pamphlets falling onto my chest, floating to the floor and wherever else they may go.

How the hell do they do that?  Is there some sort of invisible seal that prevents form falling out until someone starts to read the magazine (faning it out doesn’t help!).  Is it some sort of adhesive that is sensitive to being read?

Imagine the applications this could have.  Nope, Mr. Robber, I don’t have any money, just this books, see (as I flap the bookaround), knowing that my money would not come out until I get home.  This could also be a great step forward for the IT world, forcing people to at least START to read manuals until a critical part of their device falls out of the manual (or else it wouldn’t work!).

Of course, it would only be a matter of time before our military starts to use it for their own purposes.  Place a bomb in a book that won’t detonate until someone (preferably an enemy) reads it.  Hide ammunition in them, whatever.

Hey volunteers – how can you support one candidate when you don’t even know about others?

Author: admin  |  Category: Politics, Stupid  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Today I was approched by some Obamites (supporters of Obama) telling me that I should vote for Obama and that I need to vote for Obama.  OK, I’ve had enough, time to take off the gloves.

I told them, rather politely, that this is a public election and they have no right to tell me how to vote and by telling me how to vote they are trying to manipulate me out of my constitutional rights.  If they’d like, I can report their actions to their campaign office about this.

Next, I asked them how many candidates for president were there on our county ballot?  This is NOT a trick question.  Weeks ago I got a sample ballot and I recently voted (early).  Both insisted that there were only two candidates on the ballot – Obama and McCain.  Guess what?  WRONG!

There are THIRTEEN candidates on our ballot!

  • John McCain (REP)
  • Barak Obama (DEM)
  • Gloria La Riva (PSL)
  • Chuck Baldwin (CPF)
  • Gene Amondson (PRO)
  • Bob Barr (LBT)
  • Thomas Robert Stevens (OBJ)
  • James Harris (SWP)
  • Cynthia McKinnet (GRE)
  • Alan Keyes (AIP)
  • Ralph Nader (ECO)
  • Brian Moore (SPF)
  • Charles Jay (BTP)

Yes, that is thirteen candidates meaning that they did not know about 11, or roughly 84% of the candidates.  So then I asked them how can they tell me how to vote for one candidate when they didn’t even know about the vast majority of candidates?  Their answer horrified me.

“You shouldn’t vote for them because they’re not serious candidates and they won’t win”.

WHAT????

So, what you’re saying is that no one expected the Dolphins to win the Superbowl this year so they’re not a serious team?  No expected the Marlins to win the World Series so does that make them not a serious team?  It’s bad enough that you were trespassing on my property littering your pamphlets all over the place (both political campaigns are guilty of this) even after I told you that I didn’t want it all over my yard.

I honestly think it is time that the American public needs to pay attention to ALL of the candidates, we’ve had too much bullshit from Republicans and Democrats over the past several decades.  I’m shocked that no one has learned that BOTh sides don’t care about us and we really vote on who puts a prettier bow on their drivel that they spew out every 4 years.

Hey candidates – CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!!

Author: admin  |  Category: Politics  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

I can’t wait for this election to be over.  No more harassing phone calls, no more people knocking on my door all day and no more pamphlets and signs all over the place.  The part I love is who is responsible for cleaning up this mess?  We do.

The candidates and their comittees feel that they can throw pamphlets on our cars (especially just before it rains), throw them in our doors, and stuff our mailboxes forcing us to deal with this extra mess that we have to clean up.

I can just imagine the millions of dollars spent on postage and getting these pamphlets printed.  I doubly love the fact that both claim to be for the enviroment yet not a single piece of propoganda that I’ve gotten was printed on recycled paper.

Hypocrites.

The different types of users – for the IT professional

Author: admin  |  Category: Humor, Observations  |  Comment (1)  |  Add Comment

These are the different types of users for the IT professional:

 

The quiet user:

This is the person who lives with minor issues.  The PC is a little slow, eh, they’ll live with it.  Outlook sometimes won’t load?  They’ll live with it.  They’ll only contact you if their PC is completely out.

 

The uneducated user:

This is the person who claims they know nothing about computers so they’d rather contact you before they do anything. They’re too afraid that if they do something wrong, they’ll break the PC.  You’ll spend a lot of time with these people but most of it will be very minor issues.  These people do have the tendency to learn and, with a lot of time, may become a knowledgeable user.

 

The ignorant user:

Similar to the uneducated user but they never learn.  They ask you the same question again and again, many times in the same day.  You’ll spend a lot of time with them and it will be extremely redundant.  If you are graded on the number of issues you resolve, these people will make you look good, on paper.

 

The vague user:

This is the person who doesn’t know what went wrong, what is going wrong, why they know it’s wrong, but they know it’s wrong.  They’ll also tell you hat “they’re having an issue with Microsoft”. If you’re lucky, they’ll give you half of an error message (usually the unimportant half) and can’t (or won’t) get into describing what is going on but expect you to know how to fix it quickly.

 

The wrong-answer user:

This is the person who won’t answer your questions, for example, “What is your asset number?”  “Um, Windows?”.  “What model printer is it?” “Um, my laptop is an HP”, and “What cubicle are you in? “My phone number is….”.  Good luck with this one.

 

The knowledgeable user:

This is a person who knows how to do basic things on their computer (other than their job).  They can make shortcuts, store favorites, they know the search command, and once in a while they’ll know how to connect to network printers and create new PST files.  When you get a call from them you know it’s something good.  A good sign of them is that they’ll never claim to be a PC expert.

 

The “I know computers” user:

This person claims they know all about computers and they don’t need you, even though they can’t get their PS/2 keyboard to plug into the serial port.  They have 250 icons on their desktop, never clean out their cache, never update anything, and have hundreds of thousands of files in their MyDocuments folder then wonder why their PC is running slow.  They tweak their own system to “improve it” but then it won’t work properly and “what they did didn’t cause it to not work”.  (i.e. “I changed my DNS settings to allow my computer to connect to the internet faster but now I can’t get to our intranet sites, don’t tell me that what I changed did it, I know for a fact that they are unrelated.  The worst is when an ignorant user teams up with this person.

 

The “I’m important” user:

This person doesn’t care about other people (usually a member of management).  They don’t care that you’re trying to get the LAN back on line for over 100 users, their issue with their Internet Explorer favorites is far more important.  They are also usually on their way to a meeting or a trip and need it fixed ASAP.

 

The buddy user:

This person will act like your buddy.  They’ll try to chat you up whenever they can (including when you’re trying to learn) for two reasons.  First, being their “buddy” they feel that they are a higher priority than everyone else (see “I’m important user”) and also to pick your brain on PC troubleshooting (see the “I know computers” user).  They’ll take take take but when you ask them for a favor they’re too busy or can’t.  They’ll expect you to go to their house to set up a 128 bit encrypted WLAN with 5 PCs and 3 printers on a Saturday night but never let you borrow one of his (many) pens.

 

The funny user;

They think everything is funny and laugh at it.  Their voicemails are usually something like: “Ha ha!  This is so great, our server got knocked over and parts are all over the floor, it’s so funny, but now no one can get to the internet!”

 

The “I hate computers” user

These are the people who think the whole computer industry is out to get them.  They make programs that deliberately not work for them and they have nothing but issues with every computer that they’ve ever had.  They are usually also long-winded users.

 

The long-winded user:

This is a person who will go over their issue, in depth.  They’ll spend 20 minutes explaining a while chain of events, this lead to that, just to get to their issue, which is usually something that could have been explained in a few seconds.  They’ll also leave 3 page emails to let you know that their fonts aren’t working properly.  You’ll quite often want to shout at them “Get to the point!”

 

The “I deserve the same” user:

This is a person who expects to be treated like everyone else, all at once.  One person gets a new computer, they deserve a new computer.  Another person got a new mouse, they deserve a new mouse.

 

The “I don’t care about the rules” user:

They are also usually “I’m important” users.  They don’t care about rules, policies, costs and so on, and why should they?  It’s not their name on the work order, it’s yours, so if someone gets in trouble, it won’t be them.  They also don’t want to go though the proper channels, they expect you to do everything for them (even if you can’t do anything for their issue).  They also usually also have your boss on speed dial.

 

The OCD user:

This is the person who will call you, then send you an email, then send you a text message, send you a message though IM, another email, another call, another email, another text, another email, another IM, another call, another text, 3 more emails, 2 more calls, 5 more text messages, 3 more IMs, and 2 more emails.  All in 15 minutes.

 

The impatient user:

This person expects you to be where they need you when they need you.  You also need to fix their issue in a matter of seconds regardless if you have parts in stock or not.  If you don’t have the parts in stock they expect you to pull it out of someone else’s computer.  These users also love to come and see you right before they go on vacation (I always found it’s interesting how people need their work computers when they’re on vacation).  These are usually also “I don’t care about the rules” and “I’m important” users.

 

The exaggerating user:

These people exaggerate everything.  “I’ve been having this problem for months!”  “It takes over an hour for my computer to turn on!”, “I get the blue screen twenty times a day”.  Rarely do any kind of reporting support their claims, though.

 

The appreciative user:

This is the one person in your office who will say “please” and “thank you”.

The birth of WWIII

Author: admin  |  Category: Thoughts  |  Comments (0)  |  Add Comment

Hopefully a month from now people will say I was paranoid, a doom caller, a rabble rouser, but for now, this is how I feel things are going to go.

It should come as no surprise to most people that the US has a lot of enemies, deliberate / obvious (Iran, North Korea, Al-Qaeda etc..) and ones who are stealth about it or possible enemies (Saudi Arabia etc..).  Al-Qaeda has also proven that they are willing to attempt their own “regime change”, just look at the Madrid, Spain commuter train bombing (March 11, 2004).  Since it was linked to Al-Qaeda in response to Spain’s presence in Iraq, the election swung 180 degrees.  A day before the party that supported Spanish troops in Iraq was ahead in the pools by a landslide and when the link was discovered, just in time for elections, the opposition side won by a landslide.

Terrorist organizations want Democrats in power.  Republicans generally want to keep our troops in hotspots where the terrorists are working (Afghanistan etc.) but the terrorists don’t want this.  They want to be able to roam the countryside freely (like they used to under Taliban rule).  The election is still close, even though polls show Obama is in the lead, it is still very close.

So, I think Al-Qaeda’s plan is to commit an act that would swing the election away form the Republicans and strongly in the Democrat’s favor.  How?  A major attack on the US, something that would dwarf Sept 11, 2001.  They would need to time it just right, long enough before the election to have the blame pinned on them and strike anger and fear into Americans but not long enough so that we are not voting in anger.  So the most effective time for them to do this would be during the last week to week and a half during October (Oct 22 and on).

What event would strike at America during that time?  There is one huge event going on then, the baseball World Series.  Right now we know it will be in Philadelphia so that gives them time to prepare and games one and two will be in Philadelphia.  This is an event that everyone could watch unfold on live TV.  I don’t know the extent of this.  Crash a plane into it?  That’s how they did it on 9-11.  I am scared to think of the alternative.

Back in the mid to late 1990s Russia (formerly known as the Soviet Union) reported that they were “missing” several suitcase nukes.  Nuclear weapons that fit in two suitcases (the US had their own “backpack nukes”).  Even though they’re small, you don’t need much to strike fear into the US.  Just look at the movie “The Sum of All Fears”.

The really scary part is that a WMB strike during the world series would be considered a first strike so the US would have nothing restraining them from using nukes against those responsible.  You can see how this could easily escalate into a huge global conflict.

The world economy is in shambles and the last time this happened was during the 1930s into he 1940s What stopped it?  WWII.  Depression and weak economies spawn wars and this is the strongest global recession / depression that the world has seen, ever.

I do pray a month from now that I have people posting comments “Ha ha, you were wrong”.  Seriously, I do.  But I do ask people here in the US, especially in Philadelphia, Boston, and Tampa, to pay attention.  Note anything out of the ordinary, even report it if needed.

Linens ‘N Things & George Foreman grills – why did I bother?

Author: admin  |  Category: Rant  |  Comments (2)  |  Add Comment

Right now I am really mad at Linens ‘n Things and the George Foreman grills.

I went to the Linens ‘N Things that was having their clearance on Okeechobee Blvd in West Palm Beach. I purchased a George Foreman grill (Model GR44BWVTCAN). It was a nice grill – the one that is larger in size and you can control the heat on each side separately. It was marked down (due to the clearance) from $100 to $60. Note: This was NOT a demo / display unit. It was brand new, sealed in the box.

The next night I went to use it, I figured it would be a good night for some chicken and vegetables on that grill. To my surprise, only half of the grill worked. The right half would not heat up. I had it set to 400 degrees and 10 minutes later (as it was still “on”) I could put my hand on it (and not get burned).

I called the store and I was told that they were out but since it was new and sealed, I should be able to exchange it at another location. So, I went to the location in Coral Springs, FL and the cashier called the manager. He said he couldn’t take it back (I worked in retail enough to know that if you sell a product, you can take it back and send it back for a refund, with very few exceptions). Not only did I get the impression that he didn’t really care about my situation, he tried to walk away with my receipt! I made sure I took it from him as he was turning to walk away.

Disappointed, I sent an email to the only email address I could find (on their website) and someone got back to me. I was told that I didn’t purchase it at a Linens N Things (funny, the store said “Linens ‘N Things”, the receipt said “Linens ‘N Things” and so did all of the name badges of the people working there. He told me to call the manager at the store in West Palm.

I called her and she said that they could exchange it for the same amount of money in other products. A lot of good that would do me, by then they had nothing I’d want.

I’ve also looked around for warranty information for these grills since the documentation states that there is a warranty but no contact information. Guess what? They have no site (a Google search only provides people selling the grills, no manufacturer or warranty contact information).

Right now I am on the verge of calling my credit card and protesting the charges since I bought something, it does not work, and no one is willing to help me with it.