Why fair business practices are smart.

In the last few months I have made a few purchases of a fairly significant amount; most of which come with a monthly subscription.

I have learned a lot about buying online. And it has gotten me thinking.

I bought two cell phones on contract from Sprint. They arrived, and I was not that happy with the phones (though I still believed the Sprint cellular service would be good for my needs). Within 2 days I returned the phones. I was still planning on buying cell phones and service from this company, just not those particular phones. However, instead of returning my money to me Company A required that I spend a month and a half battling them over  their repayment. Finally, when they did agree to send me a check, they took off $45 from the total they owed me for “restocking fees”.
–At that point I gave up on even trying to work with Sprint and contacted my credit card company to attempt to regain the m0ney — they are still in nagotiations 3 months after.


Around the same time I made a purchase from Amazon. Amazon charged me twice on my credit card for this item. However, It only took me one quick phone call to Amazon for them to identify the mistake and issue a refund (directly back onto the credit card I had made the purchase on — which has the added benefit of refunding the interest that cutting a check would have garnered).


Results: This morning I made another purchase from Amazon. I feel confident in my ability to buy from them because even when a mistake is made, they are diligent to fix it.
On the other hand, I will likely never be a customer of Sprint ever again. They lost they all the money I would have spent on a 2+ year cell phone contract, and my cousins’ business also canceled Sprint as the long distance carrier for his company.
So Sprint has potentially lost $1000s of dollars in business over what is basically a squabble over $45. But what it really comes down to is the fact that Amazon has diligent customer service, and Sprints customer service was sub par.

This does not seem like good business practice to me. What do you think?

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Making Merit

Today I make merit in the marketplace. — I say this in the present tense because I think I am starting to see why Thai language does not contain specific time markers, and that is because the act is both current and continuous.

It is my birthday today. Since I live in Thailand I ask the Thai’s what they traditionally do for birthday and they tell me that they go to the temple and make merit for good luck in the new year. Then they also release fish into the river for long life and smooth living (or birds into the air for freedom).

So this morning I woke up early enough to go to the market where the monks are often hanging out, and I gave him a small package of food and some money. I had looked up the word for birthday in Thai and written it down, so that the monk would know why I am doing this.

I think I confused him, because this is not an area where Filong (Thai for white foreigner) are often seen. But eventually after showing him the small bucket of food and the paper he understood.

It did not have as much fanfare as I would have liked. But I still felt really good about it. I think next time I will try to go to one of the large temples downtown were the Monks will likely speak some English. I definitely want to learn more about this merit making (or reveling in your giving).

And even if it was a little awkward the first time. Making merit still felt good.

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‘Building’ a better self – the first step.

This comes from a post on Exile Lifestyle. This post was about the need to build. I took this to mean the need to create things. That is to say, the drive to create things is more of a need, a part of us, then it is a desire.

This got me thinking. In recent years I have not been creating as much as I would have liked. I posted the following response:

“I know I used to be a builder – and then at some point I stopped. In my past, there was a time when, every time I would consider ‘building’ something I was told that it was not a worth while endeavor…until the point I believed it on my own, and I just stopped even trying.

It is only recently that I have started up again. Its been a hard journey, because I am so out of practice, and I have to fight my habitual “no” self. In attempting to re-build myself, I am realizing that a part of me had died when I had accepted the negativity into myself.

I want to thank you for having been a small part in my inspiration to begin building again. Even if it’s not perfect, even if it’s not going to make me money, even if…”

I feel this needs more of an explanation.

Why did I stop creating. What is it about the current American attitude that is oppressive, and that has killed our desire to create things for their own sake (and not for monetary gain).  I think I will be posting about this in-depth later on.

But as a step to my journey of creating. I have decided to start this blog. – Enjoy.

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