Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NECO Alliance Rebates - Maytag, Samsung Appliance Rebates are Complete Bullshit

I just got tricked out of $300 I was told I was going to rebates from the purchase of my brand new $1500 Samsung refrigerator & Maytag dishwasher. Now, I can't recommend buying anything Samsung, Maytag, OR from Cummins Appliance after this customer experience.

Here's ONE of the incredibly lame emails I just received from NECO Alliance

Thank you for participating in the SAMSUNG APPLIANCES MARCH NECO ALLIANCE VISA REWARD CARD promotion. (March promotion? Never knew that...)

Your request for a rebate has been received and is being processed.

Unfortunately your rebate was rejected due to the following reason(s):
 -RECEIVED PAST POSTMARK (Gee, there was no deadline on my form!)

This email has been generated by an automated service machine.
   Emails sent to this address WILL NOT be responded to.
(You SUCK!)
 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I guess I sent the rebate in late. Gee, the appliance took a month to receive in the first place! Then, in the midst of a remodel project, trying to work full time, it's not so easy to meet a deadline for a piece of mail. Was this intentional? Probably. I question the whole point of rebates altogether.

It's difficult enough shopping for a purchase like this. I thought I was doing a good deed by buying my appliance from a small, local vendor (Cummins Appliance) but here's the thing. Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot each sent me 10% coupons for being a new home owner. Which is pretty standard. I could have saved that money I didn't get rebated by shopping at one of those stores for my appliances. Great. Way to shop local.

I don't love my refrigerator anymore :(

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Living Out Loud Online

This week I finally took the plunge into the deep end of Social Media. I'm designing an iPhone App for a client and up until last weekend I had been an avowed hater of Foursquare, and a bit of a  Facebook cynic. What is the point of Foursquare to an independent person like me? Up until last week all of these social applications loomed in my mind as "un-billable work", just more ceaseless internet research, both are pretty much the same. But it all came to a head last week since, obviously, I can't design a social app unless I know all about how user's interact with them. So my client got me a beautiful new white iPhone (Thanks!) and assigned me a lot of homework. (note: this is how to treat a designer!) 5 days into this social media thing, I am proud to announce my mayorship of Studioroom, and I'm really enjoying Jamie Oliver's photos via Instagram. Foodspotting is alluding me  (I'm just not in the right city to take good food photos). GetGlue - I don't think I "get" why this is fun.

So has my world changed now that I'm living my life online? Do I feel special? Empowered? Enlightened? Um, no. I'll get back to you at the end of the summer with an update on how all this is going, hopefully this will open up something for me. In the mean time I'm just glad to promote myself as an App designer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

US Government, BUY LOCAL DESIGN! - Stop the US Department of Interior from Crowdsourcing a Logo

I personally live in the DC area and have friends and family who work for the Federal Government. And I design logos, make fabulous websites, and create great interfaces. It breaks my heart that I can't get more work locally from the biggest employer in the area, the Fed. And I am a minority small business person. So I must protest this the abuse of crowd sourcing as much as possible.

Crowd sourced design is evil so please sign this petition to Stop the US Department of Interior from Crowdsourcing a Logo.

Why is crowd sourced design evil? It undermines design professionals by enabling non-professionals, untrained ameratuers, and foreigners overseas to TAKE WORK FROM Professional Designers. Of course a designer overseas will be less expensive than a designer anywhere in the US.  Overseas designers do not pay taxes here in the US. Normally it's illegal to employ foreign workers without the right documentation from the government, but because this work is conducted on the internet it's OK?! How is this different than sending manufacturing jobs overseas?  Crowd sourcing undermines design education, if all design work is expected to be done cheaply and conveniently then it is illogical for individuals to invest in design education if they are competing with groups of people who can skip education, who don't pay for it.

Finally, the people who pay the real price for organizations who short-cut on design, are the END USERS of that organization. In this instance, the people who suffer from bad design are the US Taxpayers. The federal government, of all the organizations here in the US, should employ American Designers.