Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CUSTOMER SERVICE

People often wonder why companies go under in good times and bad.  Today’s brick and mortar establishments are competing with on-line businesses.  On-line businesses are competing with each other.  This is my experience with two very disparate companies, both of which I have had on-line dealings.  You tell me which one you would deal with again.

AEROGARDEN

I bought an Aerogarden 7 (holds 7 seed pods) about 6 years ago.  I’ve planted the tomatoes, the herb assortment several times, but my favorite is the cascading petunias.  Now these ‘garden’ things are NOT cheap, nor are the seed kits.  Mine currently retails for $149.95, and the seed kits go for about $21 per.  They ‘guarantee’ germination.  In March I ordered a cascading petunia kit for my kitchen.  Planted it in April.  Only four of the seven seed pods germinated.  I contacted Aerogarden – told them that.  Their response was that I must have ‘done something wrong’ since their seeds were guaranteed.  Now I’m not a new user of this thing – I know how to push the seed pod in the hole, fill the aerator well with water, add their packet of liquid fertilizer, and plug the thing in.  I replied to customer service that everything had been done as the instructions said.  I asked them to please explain to me how SOMETHING I DID would prevent three of the pods from germinating, when the other four pods, in identical conditions, DID germinate.  My reply was…. ‘perhaps you need new gro-lights (at $20).  Again, explain to me how gro-lights would make 4 pods germinate and prevent 3 from growing. 

I don’t deal well with ignorance or sorry customer service.  If this airhead had simply sent me another seed kit (which most likely costs Aerogarden $0.75, they would have a happy customer.  Instead, I suggested to this representative that she put my three bad seed pods where the sun don’t shine, and to remove me from their emailing list.  One customer lost because of inanely pathetic customer service. 

Here is my Aerogarden – notice the gaps, and tell me if you see any petunias that are ‘cascading’.  One of the three pods sent up a straggler - the other empty pod is behind the ones that are growing.



PITTSBURGH CORNING

Last year I upgraded the ‘old’ part of my house.  The house was built in the 50’s, apparently before the advent of indoor showers, and the bathroom was 58” X 80” in size, with a window in the end (the 58”) wall.  That wall is concrete block, BTW.  The door was (and still is) only 24” wide.  The corner shower, which was to the right of the door, was one of those collapsible things that you gather in your arms and smush, and then go into the room where it will be installed, and turn it loose.  Then you glue two of the sides to the wall.  You could shower in it, but it was impossible to rinse everything, if you get my meaning.  So…… 

I came up with this brilliant idea to play musical fixtures…. And to install an ‘in place custom tile’ shower on the exterior wall, close up the window with glass blocks, and use additional glass blocks for the ‘framing’ of the near side of the shower.

I Googled Corning and sent an email to them.  I described my idea and asked if it was feasible.  I received an email back the same day asking for more information about my ‘design’, giving the proposed shower dimensions, ceiling height, etc.  The next DAY, I received a 3-D CAD drawing AND a complete bill of materials I would need to install the glass blocks.  Holy krap!

I’m also proficient with AutoCAD, and had the program on a desktop that has subsequently crashed, but I took this man’s information, LAID OUT EXACTLY HOW I WANTED THE TILE INSTALLED, and gave it to my contractor.  We agreed that he would provide the basics but I would buy the tile AND the glass blocks.  So off I went to do what I love best – SHOP!  I found ALMOST everything at my local Lowe’s Home Improvement store…. But the one thing I couldn’t find or have special ordered was the TWO Decora EnCurve blocks for the top of the glass block enclosure. 

I wrote back to the gentleman about my dilemma and asked if I could buy TWO blocks from the factory.  He said they didn’t sell direct, but he put me in touch with a supplier in Tennessee, who told me – when I asked if they would sell me just TWO blocks – that they would sell me ONE if that was all I needed.  I ordered the blocks from them. 

The project turned out gorgeous!  So much so that I’m now going to do the very same thing in my master bath, which is less than six years old.  I’m getting back in touch with Pittsburgh-Corning about the materials.

My total purchase of P/C glass blocks was:  8 blocks to fill the window, 18 End Blocks for two sides of the shower opening, and two EnCurves to top off the sides.  TWENTY EIGHT BLOCKS‼‼  P/C sells gazillions of block for high end residential and commercial use.  Yet they had time for ME and my 28 blocks! 
THAT, my friends, is customer service!  I cannot recommend their products highly enough but it was the customer service that just swept me off my feet!

Here’s my little tiny bathroom – before and after:

^^BEFORE ^^


The new Handicap height toilet is a corner toilet, by American standard - it gives the new bathroom just a little personality!


Twenty eight glass blocks!  Thank you, Pittsburgh Corning!


Look at their 'project gallery' here.... and then there is me.... all 28 blocks!  Just awesome!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

U.S. STEPS UP EFFORTS TO BREAK GITMO HUNGER STRIKE

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/22/us-efforts-guantanamo-hunger-strike?CMP=twt_fd


Why?

NAME YOUR NATURAL POISON

A week or two ago, I was talking with a friend in Panama, when she suddenly said ‘Hang on a minute – the house is shaking – earthquake.’  A minute later we casually resumed our conversation.  I was yelling into the phone” ARE YOU OK?  Sure, she replied.  This happens all the time but they aren’t very powerful.  No warning.  Nothing.  All I could do was shake my head.



Speaking of earthquakes…. The earthquake that generated the great Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 is estimated to have released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  By the end of the day more than 150,000 people were dead or missing and millions more were homeless in 11 countries.  Rare in the Indian Ocean, tsunamis most often occur in the Pacific Ocean.  Today’s technology permits monitoring of shifting tectonic plates that generate these monster waves, but sadly, those in line for devastation have short notice of its approach.


This morning as I’m having coffee and reading my email, I had one from a friend in Arizona, with pictures of the fires burning about four miles from his home.  They are packed and ready to run in case they need to evacuate.  I just got off the phone with other friends we have in Prescott, AZ.  I called (totally forgetting it was only 6:00 a.m. there) to make sure they were OK.  The fire is about 10 miles west of them, and he said the firefighters were doing a fantastic job of containing the fire.  They have also packed up pictures and important papers just in case.



This spring two record-breaking tornados hit Moore, OK, destroying two schools and killing 24 people.  If you look at the pictures of the devastation, it’s unbelievable that hundreds weren’t killed.  Warning horns went off and those school employees took immediate steps to protect the children, as residents raced for underground shelters.  Technology has extended the ‘early warning’ time for tornados to almost 15 minutes – time to take cover if you’re lucky and paying attention.



Moore, OK

Sitting here, looking out at the water in front of this house – it’s flat as a pancake, and the ‘snowbirds’ are headed back north for the summer.  Every night there are 4-12 yachts parked out front at dusk.  The next leg of their journey is a 25 mile long ‘ditch’ that has lots of barge traffic at night, so they anchor and enjoy the sunset.  But I’ve seen this same water white capping with 4-5’ waves crashing into the bulkhead.  Six hurricanes put water in the house…. Three in ’96 (Bertha, Fran, and Josephine), Dennis and Floyd in 1999, and Isabel in 2003.  During Floyd, the water rose so high it came in the windows. [Fran went inland up interstate 40 and devastated Raleigh – at our house there, we were without power for 10 days.]  



 Sandy Aftermath

But in North Carolina, if you are going to live BY the water, you might get to live IN the water.  We had the house raised 12’ in 2006 and now all we have to do when a hurricane’s moving in….. is move the boats, golf cart and lawn mower to high ground, and then hit the road inland so we don’t lose the vehicles.  Our warning time is generally a week – plenty of time to batten down and to GTHO!

One Brunswick County beach where I have family (south of Wilmington) will usually issue mandatory evacuations during hurricanes and 99% of the people leave.  You cannot be FORCED by authorities to go, but the last thing the first responders do before closing the bridge off the island is go door-to-door seeing who’s staying.  These folks have to sign a release saying they understand it could be a long time before help gets to them AND they are given a hospital-style bracelet with their name, SSN, and next of kin info to wear.  THIS usually gets their attention and they leave….. usually.  [This particular beach, 10 miles long, was hit in 1954 by Hurricane Hazel.... and only ONE HOUSE (five of 357 buildings) was left standing - because it was atop the only high dune on the entire beach. A couple on their honeymoon rode out Hazel in that house - what a memorable honeymoon THAT would have been!]


I look at the devastation Sandy did to the Northeast and can only shake my head at the shame of it all.  Why ANYONE stayed and rode that one out is beyond me.  I bet they won’t consider staying next time.


There are countless natural disasters on the world’s menu… and I’ve only covered a few.  People ask why do you live where you do?  So many hurricanes – so much mess to clean up afterwards.  My reply is:  Our warning time is generally a week – plenty of time to batten down and to GTHO!  And 363 days a year, this is paradise and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  (Almost)

SENDING SIGNALS? WTF!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton mused aloud about the significance of America electing its first female president. Left unsaid: whether she might try again to be the one.
In a video of a private Clinton speech posted to YouTube on Friday, Clinton told a Canadian audience that she hoped the U.S. would elect a woman to the White House because it would send "exactly the right historical signal" to men, women and children.  She said women in politics need to "dare to compete" and the nation needs to "take that leap of faith."


This is wrong on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.  I would have absolutely no problem with a woman president, as long as she is competent.  [I’d have no problem with a black president as long as HE was competent.  Sadly the one we presently have ain’t even close.]  Hillary Clinton is the most incompetent woman ever to hold a position of responsibility in the federal government.  If she had not married Bill Clinton, I imagine no one would have ever heard of her and she would have lived out her life in the Chicago machine, maybe eventually being elected mayor of that lovely city.  That city certainly couldn’t have done any worse than they did by electing Rahm Emanuel.  

As the tragedy that is Benghazi slowly and painfully unfolds, the breathtaking height of Hillary’s incompetence will come to light.  Her famous rant about who killed four Americans in Benghazi – ‘What difference does it make‼’ – should be emblazoned on her headstone.  Or perhaps ‘I don’t recall’ would fit better on a marble grave marker.


America is NOT about ‘sending signals.’  In the world we live in today, where our enemies are emboldened by the incompetence in the current administration, and our ALLIES no longer trust us, sending a signal by electing a woman is the LAST thing this country needs!  The fact that THIS woman thinks the Presidency of the United States is about sending a ‘signal’ is so terminally ignorant, it takes my breath away.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ZYNGA TEXAS HOLD'EM POKER UPDATE!!!! [September 2, 2017]


(Note - my original post  and older updates are all the way at the bottom of this page.... most recent update is at the top... hope my rants help you!)

9/2/2017 - looks like Zynga has stopped their chip spins every four hours.  That was nice to help keep some chips in your account, especially since the game is rigged.... oh well.... I'll be playing WSOP even more now.  They give you a spin every 4 hours x 4, and then you get a big spin of the roulette wheel.  And they often run specials where you can get a spin every hour for 24 hours.

Don't waste your time on Zynga Poker - the 'classic' version is full of bugs, and the new version (the one with the chip and 2 aces as the logo) is a pathetic copy of WSOP - except it's totally clumsy and NOT user friendly.

Adios!


NEW THOUGHTS MIDWAY THROUGH 2017


Zynga Inc
NASDAQ: ZNGA - Aug 11, 7:49 PM EDT
3.63USDPrice increase0.01 (0.28%)
After-hours3.55Price decrease2.20%
Seems their stock is up from 18 months ago but not much to get excited about.

I still play the ZYNGA CLASSIC POKER... it's a mindless time-killer, and I DO love poker... but I've mostly moved to WSOP on line... it's bug-free as far as I can tell.

But back to Zynga....and only because an odd thing happened last week..... About six months ago I started noticing players at the tables with THE SAME CHIP COUNT!  Start noticing and I promise you will see this total for players in your games!

$2,147,483,647

Now that's not chump change so I noticed the player totals... in one game there were even two players with that total - one with a female and one with a male avatar... and they were chatting to the point that someone told them to 'get a room'.  Since then I've crossed paths with half a dozen others with that same total. There wasn't anything I could do to prove it but I was convinced these were Zynga plants - I mean - what else could they be?

Then last week, there was a player at my table, same chip total, and I 'outed' him as a Zynga plant...he played dumb but sent me a 'buddy add request', which I accepted.  It didn't go thru, as I suspected it would not.  He then asked me if I knew how to send messages in Zynga.... WTH?  CAN YOU SEND MESSAGES???  Didn't know you could do that but apparently there's a 'social center' in the new poker version that DOES have a messaging window.  There's also a place where you can delete buddies.  THAT'S GREAT! Anyway - he gave me his email, and I wrote him the add didn't work.  He tried again and voila - there he was at the top of my buddy list, but with a chip total in the $16,500,000,000+ range (that's BILLIONS).  I looked at his totals for a few days and they changed as if someone was just typing in random numbers.  Oh well.  He said he played in high dollar games and the chip total of $2,147,483,647 must have been a computer glitch.  He also assured me he was NOT a Zynga employee, tho he did live somewhere in California (home of Zynga is San Fran) OoooooKAY.

Long story short - after a few days, he 'removed' himself from the top of my LEADERBOARD.  At least I've now learned that I can remove people one at a time after I've added them as buddies.  But I'm still convinced he's ZYNGA... and this company has staff everywhere as game plants.  And as part of my paranoia, I'm convinced they can manipulate the games in progress.........

Having said this....... I will no longer play a 'game' where I think the people in charge are beyond dishonest.

I'd recommend anyone holding ZYNGA stock divest... but what do I know!  I DO know when I started playing this game, there were 250,000+ people online at any given time.  These days they are lucky to break 90,000... Their Classic game is full of bugs (every day there's a button you can tap to play Golden Scratches at 'Happy Hour' but when you click it, it says that the chance to play has expired. (Right now there are 99,000 players on line, but that's a COMBINED total of both the new and the classic versions)

And one last word to anyone playing the CLASSIC Zynga - if you ever buy chips, go to the NEW version (the one with the two aces and a chip as the logo) to buy them - you get lots more for your money than in the Classic game!

By the way - Zynga has copied WSOP by adding a free spin for chips every four hours.  My last spin was for $8400.  At the same time, my bonus spin on WSOP was for $297,000.  See why I switched to WSOP?

And finally for this update:  One comment about WSOP.... I've been playing that one since late in 2015.  I've never had an issue with my chip count (unlike Zynga)... I can add and delete buddies easily within the game (unlike Zynga CLASSIC - where you can't delete ANYONE, tho they HAVE put that in the Zynga newer game) In WSOP, you can be gifted chips by ALL your buddies, not just by 10 as in Zynga. I have about 70 buddies and daily I send gifts to all and receive gifts from at least 60 - and my gift total today was $206,000.  My Zynga gifts today were a whopping $20,478)  And WSOP has customer service - THAT WORKS!

Additionally, WSOP's Hold'Em tourneys have lightening fast games - too fast for chatter.  You win 'rings' for your game page, and now they have added bracelets.  There are all levels of competition, and then there are seasonal competition for special rings.  In other words, it's NOT the same dull boring game over and over and over.... I will never be convinced that Zynga is NOT rigged, and I will never be convinced that WSOP IS rigged.

UPDATE FOR THE BEGINNING OF JANUARY, 2016

I really hate to say this..... but this game is beyond rigged.  This company is desperate for income - which they can only get when player PURCHASE chips.... I've been playing Zynga Texas Hold'em for nearly three years.... when I first started playing, I bought the $.99 chip package, which I think got me $270,000 in chips .... When I first started playing, there were NEVER less than a quarter million people on line at any given time..... right now, there are 87,136 players on line.....and this is about normal. Today's stock closed at 2.23....last September it was closing around $2.49....


I really couldn't care less about their stock - I'm not an owner.  What I care about is the morality of this company.  I wrote a letter (a snail mail letter) to their corporate offices in April, 2014.... at that time my account was almost $200,000,000 in chips..... Shortly after I sent the letter, I began losing (and I'm a really good player) - losing a full house to four of a kind.... losing three kings to three aces.... what are the odds..... losing a straight flush to the 9.... to a straight flush to the Jack.... seriously?  What ARE the odds......  And then I would fold a Q3 (who wouldn't) and the board would show QQ3 on the flop..... it's enough to make you paranoid.  They DID bring back the 'Classic' version of Hold'em, and that's been a good thing.  But the game still has bugs and the company still has no programmers.  And I'd bet my game balance this gamed is rigged to make players lose so they will BUY chips...... I will NEVER buy chips, EVEN IF I LOSE EVERY SINGLE CHIP I OWN... 

BECAUSE ZYNGA HAS NO CUSTOMER SERVICE.... NONE.... ZIP-ZERO-NADA

And I recommend (again) if you want a really awesome BUG-FREE Hold'em game, check out World Series of Poker (WSOP)

***********************************************

UPDATE FOR 9/9/2015
Well - seems the programmers have finally made some progress on game bugs.  I like the latest changes..... IN THE SIT & GO TOURNEYS, YOU CAN GO TO THE TABLE YOU WANT, WITHOUT GETTING SHIFTED TO A LOWER BUY-IN - This is nice.... thanks, Zynga.

They have also changed the buy-ins... rather than a buy-in plus a fee (e.g.  $10K + $2500) there is now simply a buy-in.... great change.

Only two problems (bugs) keep creeping in:  1 - when you're in the final three players (money seats) the game suddenly says you played to slow and kicks you off the table... I HAVE found if you just hang around, you will come in SECOND and get the pot for that position.  It's messy and I'm sure it's fixable.  And 2 - sometimes you don't get the pot you win.  Recently I was in a $50K tourney and came in second ($135,000 pot).... and my total chips DROPPED by $90K.... oh well.....

Today, I'm in login Groundhog Day.... I am unable to sign in to the game.... it keeps asking for my password, I enter it, and it asks again...and again..... so I've closed my iPad.  I really miss playing while I'm having coffee.... grrrrrr

I go back to my biggest complaint... THERE IS NO CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!  The vast majority of their online forums and help pages are dated in 2013... there is NO way to reach a real person if you have an issue.  This COULD explain the following:
9/8/2015

From Yahoo Finance (8/6/2015), a report on ZYNGA (ZNGA) PLAYER METRICS SHOWS:
   DAU (daily active users) 21 million - DOWN 23% YEAR-OVER-YEAR
   MAU (monthly active users)  83 million - DOWN 32% YEAR-OVER-YEAR

ZYNGA has been and IS in trouble....

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/06/04/zynga-reaps-what-theyve-digitally-sowed/


UPDATE FOR 7/30/2015
Geez - where to begin.... I've been playing this game for over two and a half years and I can honestly say - it's been like riding an antique roller coaster.... it has its ups and downs.  On the up side, the free spin for chips once a day, and the gifts from your poker buddies are lots larger, so that helps replenish your chips faster.  Another good thing...... hang on - I'll think of something.... ummmmm.... dang, can't think of a single positive thing.  The down side is still down - either the company's programmers are still back in the 90's, or they are unqualified..... or they are just plain non-existent.  You would think in the year 2015 you could get to the table you want when playing a tournament.  You join a tournament based on the 'buy-in'.... I play $25K or $50K buy-ins and three times out of four, I'm dumped in the $10K game.  Have to leave, wait a few minutes, and try again..... and again..... and again.  This has been the case since I started playing the game, and you would surely think the company would have the server space to run ALL the games people want at any given time.

There are still bugs but apparently no exterminator.  You can be playing along in a tournament and suddenly a screen flashes up and says you were playing too slow and have been tossed from the game..... which is total krap.  Another (small) thing is.... the little gifts you can give a player/players during the game.... seems we folks with the 'classic' avatars can't get the fun things those who have the 'updated' game get (that would be the game they replaced the original with - the one that sucked and still does).  Why not combine the 'gifts' so you can gift the entire table.  (Just a FYI - square avatars are the oldies, round ones are the new ones.  Oldies get bubble tea and sushi... newbies get beer and wine..... boohoo)

The biggest problem in my mind is there is still ZIP, ZERO, NADA CUSTOMER SERVICE.  If you can't find the answer to your problem in the player forums, you are S.O.L.  If you play the game on an iPad, as I do, you can't delete buddies that turn out to be a-holes... and you STILL cannot play in a game if two of your buddies are already at the table.... which begs the question:  WHY HAVE BUDDIES IF YOU CAN'T PLAY POKER WITH THEM?

These things have cost Zynga at least 50% of their players.  At any given time there used to be more than 200,000 players on line..... this morning (I just checked):  69,000.  It has also cost the company and their investors buckets of money.  I reported on their stock prices last October (see 10/5/2014 update) and just checked this morning's stats:

Zynga's (ZNGA) 52 week stock high and low is $3.19/2.20 with a 1-year return on investment of -14.04%  Hard to make money with those numbers - but it happens when you ignore your customer base - the people who spend money on the game.  

And finally, for all you poker gamers out there..... try WSOP (World Series of Poker) - this is one totally awesome game.... has Hold'em and Omaha and fantastic tournaments.  I've been on that one for about 18 months and have yet to have an issue that wasn't resolved by customer service within 48 hours.  Try it - you'll LOVE it! (And like Zynga poker, it's also available on Facebook)

http://www.wsop.com/poker-games/texas-holdem/

************************ that's it for now - good luck, and keep your cards close to your chest!


UPDATE FOR 1/10/2015
ZYNGA HAS COME TO THEIR SENSES AND BROUGHT BACK 'ZYNGA HOLD'EM CLASSIC' YAAAAAAAAY!  Now if they would just leave it the HECK alone!

ZYNGA has finally come to their senses and brought BACK the 'old format' for Texas Hold'em.  After many complaints and a HUGE loss of participation, a friend told me the old version is back - and it is!

I play on an iPad.... to get rid of the krappy new releases/updates, delete the app from your device.  Then go to the app store and download:  Zynga Poker CLASSIC - Texas Holdem  (NOT THE HD VERSION - it MIGHT work but I didn't try it!) Open and log back in with your email and password and VOILA!!!!  BACK IN BUSINESS!

TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO 'COME HOME'!

UPDATE FOR 10/5/2014
THE OLD GAME FORMAT IS GONE.... THE FUN ONE.... THE ONE WHERE YOU COULD CHAT AND REACH CUSTOMER SERVICE.... THE NEW 'REAL CASINO SHIT' ONE IS APPARENTLY WHAT THEY WILL GO BANKRUPT PUSHING ON THEIR FANS AND FORMER FANS.  

Still can't get in the buy-in of your choice; cannot chat or even comment; cannot play in a game with a buddy already at the table, cannot see the NAMES of the players at the table; sound effects suck - clapping and cheering after EVERY win (not just when YOU win); no choice of the seat you want when you join a tourney; no XP point/cash bonus once you cross Level 100; accepting and sending gifts (cash) is cumbersome, and you can't select the buddy you want to receive a gift from; Customer (NO) Service is now a chat forum.... I've yet to see a single problem addressed.... 

And attention investors - Zynga's (ZNGA) 52 week stock high and low is $5.89/$2.55

When the market closed on Friday (10/3/2014) the stock was poised at $2.62 (up from a low that day of $2.60) ROFLMAO!!!  This is what happens when you don't listen to the people using your product!  Good riddance!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/06/04/zynga-reaps-what-theyve-digitally-sowed/

UPDATE FOR 7/27/2014
I've been playing Zynga poker on my iPad for 18 months.  I started with the $.99 chip buy and I'm over $28 MIL now, so I know this game, and I've met some great, great people from all over the world.  Sadly, this will be my good-bye to them.  I will not be playing this game any more.

Zynga posted an update in the last 24 hours, and I uploaded it this morning.  Big mistake.... HUGE!  They have totally changed the look and feel of the game, and in my opinion, it's terrible.
  • New avatars.... these are GROSS, but at least you don't have to spend chips for them.... I liked my old one but it's toast
  • The game room - now we have a dealer, which is a total distraction and completely unnecessary - and she deals SLOWLY!
  • The chat component is totally revised, and when you want to type a comment, about 1/3 of the table is covered
  • If you click on a player's avatar, their entire history comes up - information that has NOT been public in the past - just ugh!
  • Zynga has ALWAYS had a problem (in my opinion) with players NOT getting to the table buy-in they want.... e.g.  if there is no $10K table available (and how can this BE POSSIBLE - can't their servers create tables that players WANT, FFS????) you WERE tossed into the next lowest buy-in (in this case, a $5K) and you had the option to sit or exit - NOW YOU ARE PARKED IN AN EMPTY CHAIR WITH NO WARNING AND WITH NO CHOICE OF WHICH SEAT YOU TAKE - AND IF YOU ARE THE 9TH PLAYER SEATED, THE GAME BEGINS INSTANTLY AND YOU ARE STUCK AT THE TABLE.  As an aside, when I join a table, I always take the 'dealer' seat if it's open.... no longer an option - JUST UGH!
  • There is background noise - I guess it's supposed to replicate genuine casino sounds.... well it sux - it's distracting and not needed
  • I'm still trying to figure out how to navigate this new update without having to go all the way out of the app and start over.... but right now I'm really not interested in knowing because I'm so very upset with all they have changed that sucks.
  • I can't find my friends.... apparently THAT part of the update ain't werkin'
  • Players' names don't show at the table - you must click on the avatar and a screen slowly opens with ALL that players information
  • I can't pick a seat I want at a table - I'm put in a seat when I enter a tourney..... 
  • and ..... drumroll please!  By FAR the worst change is.... such as it used to be, you COULD get help with their pathetic customer service.  KISS THAT GOODBYE.... now, whatever your problem, the app takes you to the game forums, which are as worthless as chicken shit on a tire.  I have had very good and VERY BAD experiences with customer service... but at least you dealt with a real person.... that's no longer the case
If I were a new player just discovering Zynga Poker, I'm not sure I'd stay.... As a long time player..... I'm outta there.  

IT CONTINUES - 4/28/2014
Ten days ago I sent Zynga Corporate an email enumerating various issues I was having with the game and with Customer (NO) Service.... didn't even get an auto-reply.

The 'coffee crowd' this morning is barely above 144,000.... down 25K since my last update.... can you say 'sinking like a bag of rocks?  Here's an update on the company overall.... damn shame they won't listen to the folks that play their games

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/21/zynga-inc-earnings-game-over-or-new-life.aspx

UPDATE FOR 4/9/2014
This is a re-update from 4/6:  I still have 8 outstanding tickets!  A ticket is generated when you report a problem and you get an auto-reply that you can't respond to.  It says 'help is on the way'..... well, because I HAVE GOTTEN NO HELP, I have outstanding complaints and the idiots at Zynga say I have to resolve THEM before I can get additional help.  This is a Catch-22.... and somewhere there are villages missing their idiots - because they are all working ay Zynga Poker Customer Service!  WTF!!!!

UPDATE FOR 04/06/14
SS/DD.... Basically nothing has been changed OR improved since my last update, and it shows in the number of people you see playing this game.  As I sit here this morning, it's showing 120,736 players online... not a good sign.  It could be that their programmers are spending time making 'seasonal' game logos rather than fixing problems the players have to deal with.

Same old problem with the buddy list.  If you play on an iPad, you have to get CS to remove the stinkers - I've found it's easier to just have them wipe out the entire list so I can start over.  Rather drastic, but I still can't go into a tournament with a friend - so again, why have them?  It takes 5-6 shots to try to get to a table and at least one time, Zynga throws you totally out of the game and back to your desktop (or whatever it's called on an iPad) and you have to start totally over.  So no improvement there.

NEW ISSUE:  I've reported several obscene players to CS via the 'report abuse' tab.  Usually it's a player with a filthy mouth who's verbally attacking another player.  No action - these jerks never get removed that I can tell.  NOW, the 'report abuse' button isn't working - guess it got worn out.

NEW ISSUE:  When you notify CS of a problem you get an immediate autoresponse with an incident number.  YOU CANNOT RESPOND TO THIS - you must want to be contacted by a CS agent and you get ONE REPLY TO THAT EMAIL.  A few days ago I had a problem with the game and reported it to CS - and I got a message saying I had to RESOLVE SEVERAL OUTSTANDING INCIDENTS and they gave me a list of these incident numbers.  Well - HELLO!  What can I DO about these unresolved items.  Seems to me that would be the REASON FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE!  And guess what - as long as these are outstanding - nothing I report in the future even reaches the autoresponse point.  So as a longtime player, what little customer service I used to get is now and forevermore unavailable to me.

Heads up to CS:  About once a week I get a pop-up window saying 'RATE US ON FACEBOOK'...... you might want to reconsider that - do you REALLY want me rating you?

ORIGINAL POST..... 6/18/2013

Zynga makes a Texas Hold'em app for iPhone and iPad.  The only good thing about it is the graphics, which are excellent.  Otherwise, it's a waste of time.  Fortunately, it's free so you get what you pay for.

PROBLEMS WITH THIS GAME:

1 - There is ZERO customer support if you are playing on an iPad - everything is geared towards Facebook - just dumb.  And from what I see on their website, FB'ers don't get a whole lot of support.

2 - If you do not have Facebook, don't bother with this game - there is NO customer support - again, you get what you 'pay' for [UPDATE:  they DO have customer support - if you report an issue, you get 3-5 'confirmations', each with a separate incident number and the messages all that 'help is on the way' and 'do not reply to this email'.  Then they want you to rate customer service WHEN YOUR ISSUE HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED!!! ]

3 - Zynga Poker has multiple bugs and weaknesses:
  • You can add buddies but you CANNOT remove them from your buddy list if you are playing on an iPad, so it's easy to get stuck with assholes 
  • You WERE able to join a buddy at his table - the game would scroll their names and give you the option to 'join' - that's now gone, so having a buddy list is worthless. [UPDATE:  In tournament play, if a buddy is at the table you're trying to join, the game tells you that the table is full and throws you totally OUT of Zynga... if you keep trying you MIGHT make it onto the table but chances are, you won't.  Again - why have a buddy if you can't play poker with him/her?]
  • There is a terrible bug in the game that Zynga seems disinclined to fix.  A player can go 'all in' on a hand, but none of his chips are put in the pot.  YET THAT PLAYER IS ABLE TO WIN THE HAND!!!!  How much does THAT suck!  If another player wins the hand, of course the pot is light, since that player didn't pony up. [UPDATE:  This is still happening at the regular tables.  I've stopped playing tables - only play Sit & Go tourneys because that particular bug doesn't seem to happen in tournaments... knock wood]
  • The scrolling chat window is primitive and now has an advertisement blocking the bottom 2-3 rows of text.  I realize they have to make money somehow, but I'd rather buy the game and avoid the advertising.  There are also multiple pop-ups you have to wade through to get to a table. [UPDATE:  Rather than fix the bugs, Zynga has now updated the chat feature - everything I said is still true, but NOW what you type shows up as a blue 'bubble window' during the game - probably THE most aggravating thing I've ever seen - it's very distracting and totally not needed.]
  • Which brings me to another technical question.... this is an ONLINE GAME - not a poker room in a Vegas hotel - WHY CAN'T I GET TO THE TABLE I WANT TO!!!  For table play and tournaments, you pick a table based on the 'buy-in' cost.  If there isn't a table available, the game sends you to another table with a lower buy-in.  C'mon!  MAKE a table - how hard is that, Zynga? [UPDATE:  Now, at least in the tournaments, they tell you the buy-in they've placed you in]
  • One neat feature they HAD (past tense) was a little slide thing that rated your cards - it was really cool, and would often alert you to a hand you might not have seen - I really loved that.  Yesterday - it disappeared.  Thanks, programmers! [UPDATE:  This MAY have been changed to something you buy.... if so, I don't need it]
  • UPDATE:  New bug in the tournaments.  You win.... but get no chips! This has happened to me several times, and three times this week.  If you're able to get through to Zynga CS, they used to review and credit your account but not any more.  I've been waiting all week for the corrections..... only the 'help is on the way' email you can't reply to... blah....blah....blah
This WAS a fun game to pass the time, but yesterday's update fixed that.  I had made lots of fun friends over the few months I've been playing and now I can't get to them.  That update said 'minor bug fixes'.... they didn't fix krap!  They totally ruined what was a mediocre game.

And finally, in my opinion, the private sector needs to get the heck away from anything connected with Facebook - there are millions of us who refuse to join that site.  If I see 'connect with Facebook' on ANY site, I move along.

To the folks at Zynga..... maybe someone in your chain of command will read this and take notice.  I've tried unsuccessfully to reach your technical help, or to email you, or to ask a question in your chat forums.  I can't.  I keep getting the 'LOVE ZYNGA - RATE US AT THE APP STORE' pop-up, and believe me, I've tried... seems again, I have to sign in via facebook.  You should be glad of that, as I would give you a 2.5 on a scale of 1-10....just sayin'

And BTW - I see this morning that there are only 167,000+ players on the game - this is WAY down from the normal number of folks playing while they have coffee....





Monday, June 17, 2013

SOMEONE HELP ME OUT, PLEASE

The Syrian rebels have taken over a CHRISTIAN village, killed all the men women and children.  This is NOT an isolated incident!

Assad's army, backed by Iran,  moved in and the rebels scattered.

Obama is sending arms to the rebels - KNOWN AL QAEDA.

Search:  syrian rebels kill christians



Photo from:  http://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com

WHY are we supporting these animals?  Why are we supporting EITHER SIDE?

Monday, June 10, 2013

WHO, EXACTLY, IS BIG BROTHER WATCHING?


In the last two weeks, it’s come to light that the government is not only data mining cell phone calls – they are also scanning emails and text messages OF AMERICAN CITIZENS.

The government has almost completed a 2 MILLION SQUARE FOOT FACILITY TO HOUSE ALL THE DATA THEY ARE GATHERING, AND HAVE BEEN GATHERING, since 2009 when Obama approved project ‘BUMBLEHIVE’ (google it if you aren’t familiar with it)

The government says they need to gather all the information of private citizens so they can keep us safe.

The government says they have foiled a plan to place bombs in the NYC subway.

$2,000,000,000 for a facility, a gazillion message and call intercepts.

To keep us safe.

Would someone please answer this question for me?  WHY THE FUCK WAS THE GOVERNMENT NOT ABLE TO STOP THE TSARNOV BROTHERS FROM BLOWING UP THE BOSTON MARATHON…… WHEN THE RUSSIANS HAD TOLD US WHO THEY WERE, TOLD US THAT ONE OF THEM HAD TRAVELED TO CHECHNYA FOR 6 MONTHS, AND THAT THEY WERE ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS????


Answer?  Anyone have the answer??? 

Look no further - I have the answer for you  – it's because the government was TOO BUSY SPYING ON CONSERVATIVES!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

ROFLMAO!

SUSAN RICE.... of 'let's blame Benghazi on a YouTube video stardom' IS GOING TO BE BARACK OBAMA'S NEW NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR!!!!



WELL I FEEL SAFE!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

DO I SERIOUSLY GIVE A SHIT WHAT THIS WOMAN HAS TO SAY?

FROM THE DRUDGE REPORT.... DEVELOPING....

MICHELLE O MEETS THE HECKLERS: LISTEN, OR I'M LEAVING!
Tue Jun 04 2013 7:09:03 ET

FLOTUS Pool Report #2

Pool was ushered in as FLOTUS began speaking at 6:07 under a white tent in the backyard of the residence of Karen Dixon and Nan Schaffer in NW DC. FLOTUS was introduced by Dixon. Debbie Wasserman Schultz also in attendance.

FLOTUS was wearing a dark blue sleeveless shirt dress, with a black belt and pumps. [WHO CARES?]

Most notable part of the event was an interruption from a protester about 12 minutes into the 20-minute speech. A pro-LGBT rights individual standing at the front began shouting for an executive order on gay rights. (Pool did not hear exactly what.)

"One of the things I don't do well is this," replied FLOTUS to loud applause. She left the lectern and moved over to the protester, saying they could "listen to me or you can take the mic, but I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice."

Crowd started shouting that they wanted FLOTUS to stay.

"You need to go!" said one woman near the protester.

The protester was then escorted out, shouting "...lesbian looking for federal equality before I die." (First part of the quote was inaudible.) Pool could not get their name before they were taken out.

"So let me make the point that I was making before," continued FLOTUS. "We are here for our kids. So we must recapture that passion. That same urgency and energy that we felt back in 2008, 2012. Understand this -- this is what I want you all to understand. This is not about us. No one back here. It's not about you or you or your issue or your thing. This is about our children."

Loud applause in response to this comment.

Main takeaway from her speech was to stay engaged in off-presidential election years.

"We cannot wait for the next presidential election to get fired up and ready to go. We cannot wait. Right now, today, we have an obligation to stand up for those kids."

Cited the administration's work taking on climate change, gun violence, comprehensive immigration reform, student loans, gay rights.

Railed against the failure of background checks legislation, sequestration, and the budget stalemate.

[Arrogant bitch!  I so wish the crowd had told her to hit the road!]

FLOTUS finished speaking at 6:27, then shook hands and took pictures with attendees. Pool was ushered out immediately after the speech.

JIM McDERMOTT (D-WA) - SOMEWHERE A VILLAGE IS MISSING IT'S IDIOT!



Today [6/4/2013] during the House of Representatives Ways and Means' Committee investigation of the IRS's targeting CONSERVATIVE applicants that applied for 501(c3) and 501(c4) status (which basically means GROUPS SEEKING TAX EXEMPT STATUS for fund raising), Rep. Jim McDermott (D, WA) said the APPLICANTS, who were seeking tax exempt status for their (Conservative) organization..... (are you sitting down?).....  WERE TARGETED BECAUSE THEY APPLIED FOR TAX EXEMPT STATUS!  Serioiusly?  WTF is this idiot sniffing!!!!

OH WAIT!  GOT IT!  HE'S SNIFFING SHIT BECAUSE HIS HEAD IS UP OBAMA'S ASS!



It's one thing for the Democrats in Congress to carry the (contaminated) water for the Obama administration..... but to say to an AMERICAN that they were targeted for 'special treatment' BECAUSE THEY APPLIED FOR A LEGAL TAX EXEMPTION.... if beyond belief.


McDermott is an idiot in search of a village!  He makes the Congressman Hank Johnson (D, GA) look positively brilliant by comparison.

 

HAPPY HOUR!

A few minutes ago, I put out a new feeder of COLD home-made nectar for my hummingbirds.  They seem to LOVE the chilly drink on a hot day, especially around 4:00 in the afternoon.  One of them yelled HAPPY HOUR.... and look what happened!






Monday, June 3, 2013

A DROP IN THE BUCKET

The IRS just spent $50,000,000 for a 'conference' and they are defending the expenses as 'a drop in the bucket.'  If that's a DROP in the bucket, the bucket is too damn big!