Dec 5, 2013
A few days ago, we, along with other sites. brought you the story of a company named Klear Gear who was refusing to remove a charge on a customer’s credit rating and also a Florida based company named “Shore Dreams Vacation Rentals” that had a “no disparaging comments” clause within their rental agreements.
Klear Gear is still ongoing and continues to feel the wrath of the internet.
However, Shore Dreams has changed their rental agreement.
As per an update on Popehat, the owner of Shore Dreams writes:
Hi Ken, I wanted to email you and let you know that I appreciate your forum as an important function of free speech and recognize that our clause was very restrictive; however it is a very common inclusion in agreements these days, be it right or wrong. Meanwhile I have removed the clause from our rental agreement. I am not an attorney, but a business owner and real estate investor and have worked had to make my business grow in a down real estate market as well as the economic effects of the oil spill. I run the company by myself, which is mainly due to the hardships with real estate and my need to climb out of the economic hole I was in. CNN made us look awful and like we are this huge BIG BUSINESS that doesn’t care, but we do. I work 7 days a week to make this work and have many happy guests over 10 years and over 7000 reservations. We have great approval ratings and reviews on Tripadvisor, Flipkey, VRBO, HomeAway and an A+ rating on the BBB. We are one of the best pet friendly rental companies in the Southeast, which is hard to find. While your forum is great, the emails I am getting are full of profanity and degrading comments. I hope that you will update your column and let them know that we are sorry and have removed the clause and encourage reviews and feedback always. Thanks again for your consideration in advance.
Renata, Owner SDVR
Sure enough, when you look at the rental agreement, the offending clause is gone.
This is a good thing for Shore Dreams and their customers as the original clause was silly.
However, while we like the idea of the internet exposing situations like this, we have to say that we aren’t thrilled with the idea that according to the owner, some of the emails she received were “full of profanity and degrading comments.”
It is a shame that people cannot be on the side of right and yet express themselves in a “wrong” manner. While people can and do say what they want, trying to get a company to change polices by using profanity and “vile” ideas doesn’t make the writer look good.
However, in the end, this was a good result for the company and those wishing to use its services. We applaud Shore Dream Vacation Rentals for reversing course and doing the right thing.
Dec 5, 2013
If you are AT&T, a large communications company, you should know that spam – unwanted and unsolicited emails – is a plague on most email accounts.
We have several email accounts of which one is our “super secret, private, home” account. There are very few people who have the address and we only give it to certain companies for the purposes of billing.
After all, who wants to miss an online bill or a conformation that a bill has been paid?
Last month we signed onto the web version of AT&T’s email service (now run by Yahoo!). We don’t do that often because we access email through a different program most of the time, but we were away from home and wanted to check what was in the email account.
Because the account is not well known, we get very little spam on it. We were somewhat curious as to what was in the “spam folder” on the web version of AT&T’s mail interface.
Amazingly, there was only one email in folder. The email was from AT&T itself confirming our online payment. Call us crazy, but we don’t consider that “spam.”
So maybe that was a mistake, right? After all, no one is perfect.
Before we left for the holidays this past week, we paid bills, one of which was to AT&T.
Dec 4, 2013
In our post on flying teddy bears, we mentioned how in Satellite Beach, you can drop off a new unwrapped toy at the Fire Department for their Toys for Tots collection as well as stopping by the Police Department and donating a few greenbacks for the Police Department’s “Shop with A Cop” program. (Deadline for the “Shop with a Cop” program is this Thursday, so hurry!)
Unfortunately, we forgot / missed the Food Drive benefiting the Vincent dePaul Society at City Hall. The elves at City Hall are collecting non-perishable food items which will be distributed to friends and families in need.
These are all worthwhile charitable endeavors that help support a diverse group of people.
Please take a moment to lend your support to the local cause of your choice.
We promise that you will feel a little more like Santa Claus when you do.
Dec 4, 2013
The Calgary Hitmen are a hoceky team you may never have heard of. Generally speaking, minor league hockey is a rough and tumble game which often epitomizes the saying “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.”
For the past 19 years, the “tough” Hitmen have sponsored and taken part in one of the great promotions we know of.
Known as the “Petro-Canada Teddy Bear Toss,” the idea is simple: the fans are asked to bring a teddy bear with them to the game and when the first goal is scored by the Hitmen, the fans throw the teddy bears on the ice.
The bears are collected and then distributed to local charities. The players take some to local hospitals to distribute them too. This year, fifty charities have requested teddy bears from the promotion. The game jerseys from the players are auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charities as well.
So what does it look like when the fur starts flying after the first goal is scored? Well, here ya go:
And another view:
Dec 3, 2013
You may have missed that Amazon and the United States Postal Service reached an agreement for the USPS to deliver packages on Sunday in som limited markets this year.
Amazon.com unveiled a new partnership with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver online orders from the world’s largest Internet retailer on Sunday for the first time.
The service started this weekend in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas and Amazon plans to expand it to a large portion of the U.S. population in 2014, including Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix.
Amazon is not charging extra for the new service, so members of the company’s popular Prime service will be able to buy products on Friday and get them by Sunday for free. The service also applies to non-Prime members, who can get free five to eight-day shipping on orders of at least $35 (up from $25 previously).
That is stunning enough but the real stunner is that Amazon has announced they are looking into drones to deliver packages in the future.
We’re excited to share Prime Air – something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab. The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations. This is footage from a recent test flight.
While interesting in concept, we have seen comments on other forums saying something like “drones carrying packages are like new skeet targets.”
Dec 2, 2013
A regular reader wrote us and reminded us that there is a “State of the City” address by Mayor Frank Catino tonight at the Scotty Culp Municipal Center (Civic Center) at 7:00 P.M. Slighlty more information can be found here.
Tomorrow night, will be the last of the SR AIA Planning Workshops. As we have repeatedly said, this is a planning stage where the City and its consultants are looking for ideas to make the AIA corridor better for traffic, more appealing to the eye, and safer for those transiting the area. If you have an idea, it should be presented. Nothing is out of bounds at this stage. As a friend says, “if a person thinks that the City should erect a 100 foot diameter Ferris wheel in the center of AIA, they should present that idea.” Tomorrow’s meeting will focus on the section of A1A from Majesty Palm Condominiums to North City Limits. The meeting starts at 7:00 P.M. and is held in the Civic Center.
Finally, on Wednesday, December 3, 2013, there is a regular City Council meeting starting at 7:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers. The agenda can be found here and the agenda support packet can be found here.
Hope to see you at one or more of these meetings.
CLARIFICATION: We originally said the Tuesday A1A workshop was from “Majesty Palm Condominiums to South City Limits.” We got the information from the brochure / flyer the City mailed out and published it as stated the area was to the “South City Limits.” That information did not make sense to us, but we went with it. A reader says the meeting actually to the North City Limits and we edited the post to reflect that change.
Dec 2, 2013
You may have heard of the online company Klear Gear that charged a couple for posting a negative review of their service.
According to the folks over at Public Citizen, the story begins five years ago:
When the Palmers wouldn’t pay, KlearGear reported the supposed “debt” to the credit agencies, and has refused to remove it. More than a year later – after the Palmers have been turned down for credit, had their car loan delayed, and worst of all went without heat in their home for three cold weeks this fall after their furnace broke and the Palmers couldn’t get a loan to pay for a new one – this phony debt still mars John Palmer’s credit. Now they are hoping to move, but this debt is a continuing obstacle to selling their home and buying a new one.
We are big proponents of free speech and the First Amendment, but in reality, the First Amendment does not apply here as it is a private company trying to restrict speech rather than the government. Frankly, if Klear Gear wants to restrict speech on their website and property, they have that right. What they don’t have the right to do is demand that people not talk about them in other circumstances. Even worse, they don’t have the right to try and enforce a contract the customer never agreed to in the first place.
Public Citizen is taking on the Palmers against Klear Gear:
Dec 1, 2013
Now that the great turkey gorge apocalypse is past us, we thought we’d let you in on some food related secrets that may make you a bit…..
…..how shall we say…….
First, we hope you all know that depending on how you look at it, the gas that is produced by yeast that makes breads soft and beer ferment is actually from yeast belches. (Or farts depending on the side of the yeast microbe you happen to be watching.)
But the really fun and disgusting thing that will freak many people out is that teeth cavities are caused by germ poop.
So the next time you are at a gathering and selfishly want the last bit of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, biscuits or pie, you can adopt the strategy of telling the person that wants the same thing that as you speak, germs are pooping in their mouth causing cavities.
As they push back from the table and run, enjoy that last morsel.
(Just as a side note, does anyone know where this past year went? It seems to have flown by and we are now in December already. time to look for snow!)