Monthly Archives: December 2009

Pickupflowers.com Review

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Doesn’t guarantee mean anything anymore?

I call BS on this as I’ve had a TERRIBLE experience.

I made an order with them on 22nd of December, specifically because they had a statement on their site that they guarantee delivery on or before Christmas. I received a confirmation email with the following note: "Order Before 12/23/09 5:00 AM*CDT time for assured delivery of this gift to your loved one on or before Christmas." And since the deliveries are made through local florists, as stated http://www.pickupflowers.com/info/about-us that’s not hard to believe.

On the 23rd, i went online with their Live Assistance CSR inquiring about the order. I was told that the order was "delivered to the recipient". So I contact my recipient and ask about the delivery and he says he hasn’t received anything.

On the 24th, I send an email to customer service asking for the details of the so called delivery to ask who has signed for it – No response.

On the 25th I call their CSR informing them that I’ve spoken to the intended recipient and that he hasn’t received any packages which they had claimed they delivered and would like to know when and to whom exactly they delivered the package to. He said he would check with their local agent. I mention to him that if this doesn’t get delivered on or before 27th, I would like to cancel the order as the recipient will have left the place of delivery on the 28th (local time). He says he will check with the local agent and get back to me. I ask HOW he will get back to me, and he says he will send me an email.

On the 26th, I send an email to the CSR stating i am still waiting on feedback regarding my order. At this point, I’m assuming the order has gotten delivered to the wrong place or whatever so I tell them i hope i will not be seeing a bill for this.

I finally got a reply from their CSR email address, apologizing for the inconvenience, and that they were still waiting for the reply of the local agent regarding the non delivery of the order and that they would get back to me immediately after receiving the information from them.

On the 29th, i reply to them expressing my dissatisfaction with their service and informing them that the recipient has already left the place of delivery.

Later on in the day, I check my credit card account and notice that I was charged for this service. I send them an email wanting to know why i was charged for an order that was never delivered. – No response

I contact their Live Assistance and explain my situation. They went on about explaining the weather conditions hence the order was not fulfilled in time but that it was going to be delivered “today”. How they will manage, that i have no idea as the recipient had already left. My biggest issue is that I was told it was delivered to the recipient when in fact it was not, and now they’ve delivered it when the recipient is no longer there.

Then he goes on to tell me that as a token of their apology they will refund me 50%. Not 50% plus the order value, but 50% OF the order value.

So in effect, paid the 50% for the stress of having to chase after their customer service people to tell me what was going on, and for not having been able to a gift of Christmas cheer to the intended recipient.

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In summary, i guess you can say i won’t be joining their "more than 100,000 satisfied customers across 80 countries".

This rant has also been posted on http://bit.ly/6YTzgy for the benefit of everyone who is evaluating delivery companies to entrust with something as sacred as delivering flowers and the like.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I was listening to some Christmas music today and the holiday spirit got the best of me. I managed to make a customizable e-greeting card using Silverlight 4. Since MS has only released a developer beta and no go-live license, users will have to manually download the Silverlight 4 beta plugin. I modified the html code that the Silverlight SDK spits out to show this image and redirect it straight to the Silverlight Tools Page:

MerryChristmas

I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel so I used some code that was already out there:

http://www.wintellect.com/CS/blogs/jprosise/archive/2009/07/17/fun-with-savefiledialog-and-writeablebitmap.aspx

– Code to encode an image to PNG and save to local hard drive

http://channel9.msdn.com/learn/courses/Silverlight4/MagicMirror/MagicMirror/

– Silverlight 4 code to capture images from a Web Camera and Print

Tools I used:

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 

Microsoft Expression Design

Microsoft Expression Blend Preview for .NET 4

And here’s the app! And yes, this qualifies for a TechFriday cause Christmas is on a— FRIDAY!

Tip the Day: watch videos on extended monitor while working on primary

Have you ever tried watching a code walkthrough video, wanting to follow along with visual studio but have a hard time because the video players are too small for you to read the code? and when you do full screen, you’ll have to pause and play while you “unfullscreen” to switch to Visual Studio to follow along?

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The solution is simple: browser zoom is your friend. Most of the online video players are configured to be scalable so you can actually do the following:

1. Set your browser to full screen (F11 for IE8)

2. Set the zoom level to a comfortable size.

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As you can see in the screen shot above, I’m able to watch the video on my extended monitor, at a size where i can read the code comfortably, while still being to work on my primary screen. 🙂