Customer Service

Scan and Bag Your Own vs. A Real Person

Farhad Manjoo, formerly of Slate (his last post there was about how men should wear makeup) is now at the Wall Street Journal, and he writes about how robots and computers have yet to take over the low-wage job of the grocery cashier.

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Rental Car Bureaucracy Conned Me Out Of An Absurd Amount Of Money

The plan was for me and two other friends to fly into New York City on Tuesday and stay with a friend in Brooklyn for two nights. Then on Thursday morning, all four of us would take a rental car up to Wolfeboro. Things didn’t go as planned.

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Thank You For Trusting USAA

The following is inspired by true events.

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The Flying Nanny

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is training hundreds of “flying nannies” to entertain children on long flights and generally be around as a “helping hand” for families. The nannies are receiving course training from Norland College in the U.K., which has been providing childcare training since 1892. No word yet on what kind of umbrellas the nannies use to fly. [via]

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The Fine Print

Yesterday, Alex Mayyasi took on end user license agreements—those things we click on when we download programs like Spotify and iTunes—and says that although the majority of people out there don’t actually take the time to read them, those who are interested in what companies are asking us to digitally sign can use ctrl-f to figure it out (rather than skim when its in print).

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The Lies We Buy

CNN reports that a company called Paladin Deception Services will lie to whomever you’d like for $54 a month. They’ll do things like create a fake employer for potential employers to call, or make up alibis for workers who want to play hooky or cheat on their partners. But the people using the services are mostly job seekers who want to make up an employment history or get a fake reference.

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Why Hotels Don’t Give You Toothpaste

The last hotel I stayed in was a Hilton for a friend’s wedding, and the complimentary toiletries in the bathroom included some really nice miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, and lotion. But no toothpaste.

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Alternative Bank of America Email Alerts

Bank of America Alert.

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Sallie Mae: Helping You Pay Less, So You Owe Them More

I think it’s underreported how incredibly nice the customer service agents at Sallie Mae can be about you not paying back your loan.

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WWYD: Tipping on a Discounted Meal, Being Assertive

Today in “WWYD,” one of our favorite topics: tipping. And learning to be assertive.

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WWYD: The Bad Haircut

Last weekend I got a really bad haircut—waaay shorter and a totally different shape than the stylist and I had discussed.

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Why the Swedes Move to Norway And Why I Tagged Along

During my month in Lofoten, I cleaned suites at a luxury hotel, a rather garish place whose shag carpet rugs, glass-walled bathrooms, and semi-nude portraits of a former employee gave the rooms a vaguely porn-set feel.

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