Shouldn’t cheaper oil mean cheaper shipping?

Post by Mark

aramex

Back in June when the price of a barrel of oil hit $142 it kinda made sense why Aramex sent the email below:

Thank you for using our SHOP&SHIP service. Our aim is to continuously enhance your shopping experience with us.

Aramex has found it necessary to increase the SHOP&SHIP rates to offset the increase in fuel price and operating costs. Effective July 1st 2008, our new rates will be as follows:

First ½ kg K.D. 3.000
Each additional ½ kg K.D. 2.500

We appreciate your understanding as this situation is completely outside the scope of our direct control since fuel represents a significant variable cost in the provision of transportation services.

Today the price of oil is around $40 a barrel so why hasn’t Aramex decreased their shipping prices yet?


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My experience with Pirelli

Post by Mark

Pirelli

Its been a while since I had a major complaint about anything but my latest incident with the Pirelli dealer in Kuwait is just unbelievable. Its probably the worst experience I have ever had with any dealership in Kuwait.

Two month ago Nataly got a flat tire with the Z4 on her way to work. Since the car doesn’t come with a spare tire I had to leave work and meet up with her on the side of the road and then call a tow truck to take the car to Shuwaikh. I spend a lot of time traveling on work related trips and this incident made me realize its better if I fit the car with run-flat tires so that just in case she does get a flat she could at least drive back home instead of having to pull over in the middle of no where and try to find help.

So I get into the tow truck and instruct the driver to take me to Canada Dry street. We park outside the Pirelli dealer there and go inside and meet a salesman called Usman Ali who gave me the prices of their run-flat tires. I then walk across to the other side of the street and get the prices of the Michellin run-flats. Since Pirelli was having an offer their prices turned out to be much cheaper and I decided to fit run-flats from them. They had two tire threads to choose from and I chose the more expensive sportier ones, the P-Zero’s. After fitting the tires and before I left the place I asked the salesman how fast I could drive when I get a flat, he replies telling me the max speed is 80km/h. That was two months ago.

A few days ago after leaving her gym Nat falls into a deep pothole and gets a flat. She calls me up and I tell she can continue to drive home but she shouldn’t exceed the speed 80km/h.

Today I took my Wrangler and headed out to Canada Dry to buy a new tire for her car. I went to the Pirelli dealer and I gave them my tire size and model and the guy tells me those aren’t run-flats. I am like what do you mean? He was like just wait a few moments until the salesman comes back. When the salesman came back I recognized him as the guy who sold me my tires. So I tell him I need a tire for my car and I give him the size and he tells me they have them in stock. I was like yeah but the other guy said they are not run-flats. The salesman (Usman Ali) tells me they have the same power as run-flats. I was like that doesn’t make any sense you think I am an idiot?? I came in 2 months ago asking for run flats and you sold me 4 tires and I paid over KD400 for them and today I find out you lied to me and sold me regular tires not run-flats. He asks me why I waited 2 months to come in and complain and not 2 or 3 days after I had installed them. I was like are you serious?? What you wanted me to drive to Michellin after installing my tires and have them double check to make sure you installed run-flats for me??? My wife had a flat tire 2 days ago and thats how I found out you lied to me.

After around 20 minutes of the guy trying to convince me that I hadn’t asked for run-flats and he hadn’t told me they were run-flats I realized nothing was going to come out of this and I left. Now I am home trying to figure out what to do about this. I feel cheated! This isn’t a small lie. I told Nat she could drive her car with the flat at a speed of 80km/h which is dangerous with regular flat tires. Not only did the guy put Nat at risk but you could also damage the car and rims driving that fast with a flat. The only thing I can think of doing now is sending out emails to Pirelli and hoping someone in management will try and solve this problem for me. Will post an update once something happens.

Update: Just got a call from the Pirelli manager, I will be passing by them tomorrow to solve the problem.

Update2: Problem solved! [Link]


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A&W at the Qatar Airport

Post by Mark

I landed at the Qatar Airport awhile ago and since I had some free time before my connecting flight to Kuwait I decided I would walk around and check out the airport. While doing so I spotted A&W which is my favorite burger and root beer place and I automatically fell in love with the airport. Even though their duty free section is crap, even though the airport is small, even though its over crowded and even though the bathrooms are dirty as hell, they had A&W which quickly made everything better. So I quickly went and ordered a double cheese burger and root beer combo. Guess what? The place is a fake! It seems once upon a time maybe in the 80’s the place was an A&W but they left a long time ago and now all thats left is their A&W signage. I didn’t find out until I got my burger and it was wrapped up under a different brand. The burger turned out to be really nasty and I felt cheated. Whats worse is that I paid over $10 for this crappy combo which would have been worth it if it had been A&W but definitely not for this crap.

This airport has officially become my least favorite in the Gulf. Luckily my stop over is really short so I should be back in Kuwait very soon.


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Slow internet is better than no internet

Post by Mark

Just wanted to also point that out.


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Slow internet sucks

Post by Mark

Nothing more to say on this.


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l’Entrecote Rant

Post by Mark

I think l’Entrecote in Fanar have the loudest waitresses ever. I think the reason for this problem is they have too many waitresses for the amount of people that go to the place. Because the place is quiet and there are a lot of waitresses with little to do all you hear is yip yapping non stop. From the minute you go into the place you hear them talking out loudly up until you leave. The last time I was there I actually asked them if they could keep their voice down but yesterday I just ignored them and decided never to go back. I couldn’t even get a hold of a waitress when I needed one because they were all gathered in the back talking.


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Screwed both ways

Post by Mark

If I post something negative about a place in Kuwait, some people get the impression that I am out to hurt that place. If I post something positive about a place in Kuwait, some people get the impression that I was paid to do so. It’s pretty fucked up really.

Last week I posted two negative posts about Sultan Center, one regarding their eggs, the other about how they stole the Kellogg’s mascot. One reader told me if I hated Sultan that much I should just stop shopping there. What kind of mentality is that? Its kinda like how if I post something negative about Kuwait people come and tell me to get the fuck out if I don’t like it.

I only shop at Sultan Center and I have been a customer ever since they opened up their Salmiya branch back in the 80’s. When I encounter a problem at Sultan Center I complain, I have the right to as a customer. If I complain it doesn’t mean I hate the place, it means I want the place to improve.

Same with my Bazaar posts, some people get the impression I hate Bazaar. I don’t.

One reader asked why I don’t contact customer service when I have a complaint instead of posting it on the blog? Well three reasons. First the obvious which is I need content for the blog. Second is the fact that I am used to sending emails to customer service only to have them ignored and the third and final reason is that problems get fixed quickly after I post about them on the blog.

So from now on if I say good things or bad things about a place or product I hope there will be no misconception.


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SONY dealer in Kuwait selling PS3’s without warranty

Post by Mark

Supplying Store Co.

The other day I posted about the great offer that the SONY dealer had where you can buy a 60GB Sony PS3 plus a get a game of your choice and an extra controller for KD139 and a PS3 by itself for KD135. Well it turns out the salesman was an idiot. For KD139 you get a 40GB PS3 with one joypad and the movie Spiderman and here is the best part, for KD135 you get a 60GB PS3 by itself BUT it doesn’t come with warranty! I spoke to a salesman over the phone after I heard about this just to confirm and it turned out to be true.

Even stores in Rihab who are selling grey market PS3’s give customers at least 3 months warranty, how come the official SONY dealer doesn’t provide warranty on the PS3’s they’re selling? This is just wrong in so many ways, its really a bad business decision. There is a lot of piracy in Kuwait and if the SONY dealer wants people to purchase proper Middle East versions of the PS3’s and not the grey market USA and Japanese version this is really the wrong way to go about it. Why should I buy from the official dealer if the grey market versions have warranty and theirs don’t?

Thank you MYK!


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Wacom Tablet

Post by Mark

Wacom Tablet

Why do companies bother getting rights for a brand if they are not going to bother getting the merchandise? Last night I passed by iCity who are the dealers of Wacom tablets in Kuwait and they didn’t have any tablets available in stock just one which was the display model. The salesman told me they get Wacom tablets only by order and that it takes 4-6 weeks to arrive. What the hell?? I could order the tablet myself from Amazon and have it delivered to me in a week AND it would cost me nearly half the price iCity is charging.

Under normal circumstances I would order from Amazon but I need the tablet in the next few days for a friend and ordering from Amazon is not an option. Does anyone know who else sells them in Kuwait (grey market)? I tried Virgin, Jarir and Hawalli and no one has it.


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Staples in my shirts

Post by Mark

5àSec

This is the second time I pick up my laundry from 5àSec only to find tags stapled into my shirts and tshirts! The first time I spotted the stapled tag in my tshirt it pissed me off but I was like maybe it was just this once and I let it go. Yesterday though I found two staples with a tag in one of my nice shirts and now I am really pissed. I am guessing they staple these tags to keep track of the items but come on there must be a better solution. When you staple clothes you are basically punching holes in them and ruining them so I don’t know why people are allowing them to do that. Personally I am no longer going to use them ever again.


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