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    Let it snow.  echo $newRAM;
    added Mon January 24 2005 at 3:05 PM
    0 comments
    Apparently the snow storm that passed through New England this past weekend got a bit of national media coverage. It definitely had this area all in a panic.

    Personally, I was amazed by how quickly and how completely the entire town shut down because of the incoming storm. I have seen Flagstaff shut down because of being inundated by snow, but always *after* the snow has fallen, not *before*. Perhaps the locals just had a better idea of what could be coming, but I found it bizarre that businesses were closing early and the city was a graveyard just after sundown. I was driving around (mostly on main roads), and I've definitely seen worse in Flagstaff without causing such a panic.

    The roads were icy, but really the worst part of the storm was the bad wind. The snow was extremely powdery and didn't stick to itself very well, so it drifted with the wind very easily. In flat areas exposed directly to the wind, blades of grass were showing through the shallow snow. In wind shadows, however, the snow built up to 2 or more feet. I didn't have to unbury my car (it was very exposed to the wind), but there was a foot and a half of snow trying to get out of the door.

    Of course, since I'm writing this, I'm still okay (otherwise the heading would've been considerably less optimistic about the snow). I did have some issues with CompUSA, but that's an issue for another entry.

    Letter to CompUSA  echo $newRAM;
    added Mon January 24 2005 at 3:23 PM
    2 comments
    [NOTE: Below is the letter that I am planning on sending to Leah Mutch, Mr. Southwick (the Manchester store manager), the local Better Business Bureau, and CompUSA corporate offices. I would greatly appreciate any feedback that you guys could leave to make it sound more professional or whatever.

    Thanks, -Jo-Pete]

    Eric (my roommate) needs a wireless card for his laptop. I had been driving earlier running a few errands of my own and didn't mind going out in it again, but I had noticed that some stores were posting early closing notices on their doors. Because I didn't want to drive to Manchester and back for nothing, I advised that he call ahead to be sure that the CompUSA was still open.

    He asked if they were still open until 9, and they corrected him that they were, in fact, open until 9:30. He even thought to ask if the part that he was wanting to purchase was still in stock (they had 7 left). After he got done talking with them, we headed out.

    Traffic was moving at a nice 25 mph on the freeway, and it took some time to get to the Manchester store. When we got there, the doors didn't open for us. There wasn't any signs on the door telling us what was going on, so Eric called them again and asked why the door wasn't open. Leah Mutch answered that the regional office had called and told them to close the doors. She insisted that she could not help us because the front end of the store had already been shut down. I had just driven for 20 minutes on slick roads, so I talked to her as well.

    Ms Mutch claimed that she had been telling customers all evening that there was a chance they would be closing early due to the storm, but she must have forgotten to tell us. She actually encouraged us to come that very evening because it was the last opportunity to receive the current special on the part Eric needed. I asked for the number for the regional office to see if I could explain the situation and get a special exception, and she insisted that the number was 1-800-COMPUSA. I called that number, but they had been closed for over an hour, which did not match with her estimate that they had called her 25 minutes earlier.

    About the time that I called the store again to tell her that I had tried calling the number she gave me, a customer came to the front. I stood outside and watched the other customer check out while she explained that they had been in the store for more than an hour. Somehow, the front end was not closed down for them, though.

    I understand that dangerous weather can cause retail stores to close their doors, but the combination of calling to verify they were open, driving a pointless 40 minute round trip, talking with a very rude and inconsiderate manager, and seeing another customer succeed at checking out leaves me extremely dissatisfied with the Manchester CompUSA. My roommate still wants to purchase a wireless adapter, and points out the great deals online at CompUSA, but I will not drive him to the Manchester store unless my grievances are heard and redressed. I also plan to inform all my friends of the poor service I received and have already posted this letter to my website.

    Signed,

    Jo-Pete Nelson
    200 Nutmeg Ln. Apt #215
    East Hartford, CT 06118

    (860)922-2308
    petiejoe[AT]gmail.com