Category: Lunacy

Interdictum! Excluding Companies by Behavior

Sometimes a company will do something egregious. Something so irritating that it makes me want never to do business with them again. I then put them on a “secret” list, and I do business with them only if absolutely necessary or if they change their ways. This is an introduction to that list.

United Airlines was the first company that made it on the list. It was around the year 2002 and I was flying down to San Diego (from San Francisco) for the wedding of two friends. The wedding was on Sunday, so I flew first thing in the morning on Saturday to have a day at the beach ahead of the nuptials.

I got to the airport and made it through security. Two hours ahead of the flight. Gotta be ready, right? But somehow, the airline had overbooked the flight and kicked us out. It was annoying, sure, but there were plenty flights to San Diego.

The next one came and went. No empty seats, so they wouldn’t seat us. Then the next. Then the next. It was past noon, and we had been sitting at SFO for six hours already. Mind you, we had done everything right: we had bought our tickets well in advance, we had shown up well in advance, we had simply booked a ticket on an airline that sucks.


Checks – a Bizarre Anachronism

When I closed escrow on the house in Hawaii, the escrow service asked me to send the difference between the escrow amount and the bank loan by way of electronic transfer. It was several thousand dollars, so I walked down to the Wells Fargo branch, filled out a form, and declared myself done with it.

The odd thing was that I wasn’t allowed to do the transaction using a personal check. I guess that had to do with the amount of time it takes to process a personal check, and the escrow service was not willing to perform their function until the money was in (understandably). What was puzzling was that it cost $30 to perform the transfer.


Do you live at home?

The company that insures my home in Hawai`i, Zephyr Insurance, is requesting that I prove that I am living in Hawai`i. Hmmm…. That's kinda hard…. The mail doesn't deliver in Ninole, I have no utilities, and gym membership is not good enough…

Now the big question, of course, is why does my insurance company care? Ok, I get the part about the house standing empty – but then again, there is currently nothing much to steal there! So, since there isn't much to steal, there isn't much risk. Unless someone gets into the house and burns it down to the ground, or steals the posts, what business is it for the insurance company?

Of cuorse, this kind of bureaucracy has its own domino effect: if the insurance company determines that I do not live full time in Hawai`i, then they will probably cancel my insurance. If they cancel my insurance, my bank will promptly start asking the same question, and at that point may choose to foreclose.

What a strange world: I have to prove that I am living in my house, but don't really have a way to do that. Maybe the car? Maybe the furniture? Maybe a visit once in a while, and if I don't respond within a week, then I am in trouble? Go figure…