Friday, November 16, 2007

Stolen Credit Card

I hate opening the credit card bill. Yeah, I know what's in there - we're pretty good about keeping track of that stuff. But I don't like the REMINDER of what we've spent our money on each month. So I, in true guy fashion, let Tina open it. I rationalize that since she pays the bills, she can review it - besides, if I charged something I didn't tell her about, she'll come to me, never worry about that.

But I knew this month was going to be unusually bad - vacations and work trips, etc. So I hesitantly opened it when I got home tonight. I saw all the suspects. But then a few I wasn't expecting.

Hmmm. Ok, so the first thing I do is try to think if there was something I ordered online that I just wasn't remembering. But I happened to also glance another line down and fail to recognize FIVE OTHER charges.

Crap. Someone's using our card.

I'm on the phone with our credit card company in a matter of seconds. By "on the phone" I really mean "on hold"... where I sat for 20 minutes - long enough for Tina to arrive home and find me fuming on the couch.

When a customer "service" rep finally answered, it was like talking to someone who was on their first night on the phones. Now, I'm sorry, but you should know better than to put that new of a person (or that untrained of a person) on the fraud line. Not to mention the 20 minutes where I was sitting there wondering if this was the quickest response they could possibly muster for calls coming in to tell them about stolen credit cards.

So my short fuse bottomed out and I asked for a supervisor. Another 10 minutes on hold and I got a pleasant woman - who now wanted to REVERIFY my personal information. [I've written before about the problem I have with call processing systems and the fact that they should EASILY pass along my "personal information" to the rep... and even if they have to verify it once, they shouldn't have to do it again.]

But I gave them the info and then explained that I had six charges that weren't ours. I said I knew approximately where and when the card numbers were swiped based on the locations of the charges. So we systematically went through them all. Then we canceled the current card and had a new set express shipped.

Next up? Calling the police in the location where the cards were used. Long story short, I have a feeling that the thief is getting a visit from the local PD tonight. Serves them right - for being so stupid as to use the credit cards to pay their bills - charges that have their name associated with each charge. Phone, electricity, cable, insurance, and the obligatory Rent-A-Center charge. What a dumbass.

But hey, at least the credit card company has already credited our account. And yes, for those of you paying attention, Apple now knows to bill another account so that I still get my MBP on time. ;)

However, all of this is a real pain. I still have at least 2 other recurring charges I have to manage to track down and change. I still have to follow up with the po-po in the next few days... and I have to research the civil laws of the state where the fraud actually happened to see if I have any recourse other than to assist their prosecutor in a criminal case.

What a waste of a Friday night.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

20 or so days til Disney

Yeah, yeah, yeah... we're going again.

I can't wait.

I just wanted to tell someone.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Running for President

Do you remember being young? Ok, forget the fact that you still want to believe that 30-50 is young. I mean, REALLY young... the first 10 years of your life. Everything was based on age and it seemed that there were SO many things to do just 1 year away.

Here's the list I can think of.

"When you're ____, you look forward to ____."

9 ... 10 (double digits)
10 ... 13 (being a teenager)
13 ... 16 (learning to drive)
17 ... 18 (being able to vote - and registering for the draft if you're male, because it's ok for you to die for your country, but don't have the maturity to drink quite yet)
19 ... 20 (no longer being a teenager - which by then is WAY ripe)
20 ... 21 (being able to buy alcohol)
21 ... 22 (actually being OLDER than 21)
22 ... 25 (quarter century, can now be a US Representative)
25 ... 29 (don't quite want to be 30 yet)
29 ... 30 (ok, now it's time to be an "adult", can now be a US Senator)
30 ... 35 (halfway to the current estimated average human lifespan, can now be President)
35 ... 40 (now it's just a fight against time)
40 ... 50 (the big "5-0")
50 ... 55 (something to be said about being as old as the speed limit - 70s/80s version)
55 ... 60 (getting ready to retire?)
60 ... 65 (1990s+ speedlimit issue again)
65 ... 70 (if you're still healthy, you're pretty happy, I would hope)
70 ... 80 (trying to outlast your children? Naah... just want to see another generation of your progeny)
80 ... 100 (ok, at this point, you're just trying to stay alive to meet Willard Scott)

So, in 3 days, guess which one is me. Yep... and I think I want to run for President!

Oh, and don't think I haven't thought about staying alive forever.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Time to make the 'puter

I'm lucky that I have the type of career that lends itself to consulting. I'm also lucky enough to have a full-time gig that allows me to consult on the side (with some constraints). And I'm lucky enough that I have some folks that seek out my assistance on a pretty regular basis.

I say that I'm lucky because without the added income, I wouldn't be able to pay for many of my entertainment habits. Things like traveling, scuba diving, music/concerts, my guilty pleasure (PSP)... oh, and definitely not be able to afford a new computer.

Now, I'm not wasteful and I'm not always on the bleeding edge (as much as I would like to be). My existing laptop is a 5-year old Mac PowerBook G4, the so-called "TiBook." It's served me very well, aged well, traveled well... and has even survived hard drive replacement surgery about 8 months ago. But to be fair, that's a long time for a laptop (any laptop, for that matter).

I tend to be pretty good at making use of my computers. My first one was given to me as a gift in 1990 upon HS graduation. An IBM PS/2 Model 50Z (yep, that's it on the left). The thing was a real clunker about 6 months after it was purchased, it was outdated at the time of purchase as a result of IBM's own change in computer architecture (similar to the difference between having a leaded and unleaded automobile). But I made it last for three years.

I convinced my father to buy me a Compaq 850. A mini-tower (early in mini-tower designs), the Compaq seemed to scream compared to the IBM. I had the machine for about 2 years - when my love affair with Apple began.

Now, I've been an Apple fan for a long time. My dad bought us an Apple II back in the late 70s/early 80s, my brother had an SE/FDHD and then an LCII.

But I had never owned one. But I was working for the Valpo School District setting up hundreds of machines the summer before law school started and I simply fell head-over-heels with the intuitive user interface, the elegant design (keeping in mind that we're still talk about machines made in 1994) and the overall ease of use.

That year, Apple released the PowerBook 520c. From an industrial design perspective, many feel that the 520 was incredible. I was in love as soon as I got my hands on a school-owned one to set-up for the Superintendent. I didn't want to give it back. But at $2500, they weren't cheap and I didn't have that kind of cash.

A little begging and a written agreement later, a great friend agreed to loan me the money to buy it (thanks, Katherine A.). Man was I happy. A graphite body with a 9" color TFT (I believe) screen, two battery bays (which could be "exchanged" for other things), and a host of ports (SCSI, AppleTalk, Ethernet - which was relatively new at the time, serial, modem)... wow, I felt like I was the king!

Throughout law school, I plugged away on my 520. My classmates thought it was a joke, but I was able to do everything they were (perhaps with a little more effort). Even Lexis and Westlaw had Mac versions. As law school came to an end, the new WallStreet edition PowerBooks were out - HUGE (back then) screens at 12.1" and 14", sleek black designs with a large white apple etched in the lid... lust set in again, 3.5 (almost 4) years after I brought the 520 into my home.

Begging and pleading weren't necessary this time. I was about to start a job in 1998 which was going to require me to have a more powerful machine. The entire office was Mac-based, so it was easy to justify. I managed to use the machine through two full operating system upgrades (starting with System 8 then on to 9). I almost replaced it a few times along the way when Apple would release minor updates to the design.

First they made it thinner and more lightweight. They also "bronzed" the keyboard, which looked really cool. They added more memory, better processors, larger harddrives. Everything told me to buy one, but as had happened so many times in the past, I simply didn't have the cash.

In response, I added memory to my WallStreet. I bought a new battery or two (as it, like the 520, had two battery bays located under the keyboard - one of which would also accommodate an optical drive). I had started with the CD-ROM drive addon... and eventually got the DVD drive (and PCMCIA video processing card) instead. I maxed it out so to speak, but was devastated to learn that I wouldn't be able to install OSX on it when released by Apple... it just didn't have the power to run it well.

In late 2001, just as I felt I couldn't stand it any longer (since Apple had released the new TiBook design about a year earlier), I decided to take out an AppleLoan to buy myself one. The WallStreet was fading fast. Software was coming out for OSX instead of OS9 and I started feeling left behind far too much.

I selected a 500MHz TiBook with 512M of RAM and a 30GB harddrive. After a few hiccups with Apple, I eventually wound up with a 667MHz machine - and after spending a few more bucks, upped the RAM to a full Gig. Holy cow did this thing ROCK! It was beautiful, slippery almost. The apple on the lid even lit up (and was correctly oriented this time, as opposed to the logo on the WallStreet that was upside down when the lid was open and viewed from the back).

I vividly remember having to go to the UPS dropoff location to pick it up (as they wouldn't leave it at my house). I was so pissed - I could've had it a day earlier... but now I was going to get it on my way to an appointment. I grabbed it at the UPS location, immediately drove to BestBuy to get the additional RAM - and did a RAM swap in the front seat of my car! [Note: DO NOT DO THIS yourself. It was stupid of me to do - you can short out the memory via static buildup... I was just impatient and I knew better, but couldn't control myself. Don't be me.]

God I love that computer. But like it's predecessors, it's getting a bit long in the tooth and starting to show its age. The harddrive has just been the latest in a long list of things to be swapped, patched or replaced. It's needed new hinges, and on more than one occasion, I use Tina's clear nail polish to prevent more paint from wearing off from where my wrists rub the plastic repeatedly in front of the keyboard.

And oh, the lust. It began about a year ago. 17" screens on laptops! Can you believe it? Virtually double what I first had. Glossy displays that look almost fluid, combined with 2.4GHz Core2Duo processors (more than 8x faster than the TiBook).


I want one. I've wanted one for so long that Tina's virtually immune to my sighs. But she let on that if I had money that wasn't otherwise allocated to paying our budgeted bills (ie: from book sales, speaking or consulting engagements), I could save up and get a new computer. We even created a separate bank account to manage the "computer fund."

As you might imagine, every spare penny has been going into that account. As of a month ago, I was ready to buy. But now I can't.

See, Apple has a history of how they release machines. And in late May, early June, they released a "speed bump" to the current design (now called the MacBook Pro). Which indicates an interim patch until new designs are most likely expected to come out in January. If I were to buy a computer today and see a new design, or even faster ANYTHING in January, I'd cry - but only have myself to blame.

So I'm waiting. As patiently as I can.

Until then, if you see me with my TiBook (whose fan whines loudly when the processor is being overtaxed by all that I do on it), give it a small loving pat. It knows that the end is near, and I think it's crying. A little bit of me is, too. As it has for each of the hard-working Apples that have supported me.

Fair(y) Tale

In this special crossover edition of Randomnocity with the Licensinghandbook Blog, take 10 minutes out of your busy day to watch the following "Fair(y) Use Tale" by Eric Faden. If you've ever wondered about copyright law and the fair use exception, there aren't many better ways to learn:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In Memoriam

Michael Philip Gordon
September 7, 1976 - July 31, 2007

Michael Philip Gordon, 30, son of James and Anita Gordon, brother to Jeff and friend to many, passed away at 3:52am on July 31, 2007. A social critic from birth, Mike was gifted with charisma and compassion, attracting attention through both outlandish acts and kindheartedness. As children, Mike and I would and did fight about almost every aspect of our lives. From music and movies to clothing and our parents, we rarely saw eye-to-eye. In recent years though, we finally became friends - able to respect the other's choices, even if we did not fully understand them. Mike will be missed most for the gusto and uniqueness he brought to his life and those lives that he touched.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


In my lifetime, there are few things I remember more clearly than the first time I saw the full Thriller video. I remember convincing my dad to let me stay up late (it was a midnight show) telling him that it was only a 4 minute song or so (but then having to block him from turning off the TV as the mini-movie approached the 15 minute mark).

Vincent Price's monologue "the foulest stench is in the air... the funk of 40,000 years..." rings in my head even today.

So here's something that I never thought I would see. An awesome reinactment of the dance sequence - as performed by a 100% male group of Filipino prisoners.

Tina pointed out some things to consider:

1. It takes an amazing amount of leadership and coordination to have put this together... and probably not something you'd ever see in a US prison.

2. All of the visible performers seemed to be of average build (ie: not emaciated, but definitely NOT overweight). A quick look to any slice of american life would not yield a similar perspective.

3. It also requires a lot of creativity - again not something you tend to think of when you think of jail.

Tina thinks that Donald Trump should contact the person who led this group and invite them to be on the next Apprentice. I agree.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Some people really hate painting. No, I don't mean portraits, landscapes or still lifes. I'm talking about walls, ceilings, siding, decks, etc. I, on the other hand, find it fairly relaxing given the right circumstances.

And by right circumstances, I mean that I'm in a properly ventilated place (don't like the smell, really), properly air conditioned place (don't like being overheated) and properly clean place (dang I hate "gunk" getting on my nice newly painted surface). Oh... did I mention that I want it prepped for me, too, so that I don't have to tape any and all surfaces that I'm not painting?

Hmmm... sounds like I really don't like painting after all. But that's not true. I really do find it relaxing, and quite satisfying. As my career is in the realm of grey-areas - places where you never really know if you have "finished" or have "done a good job" (because in my world, if I do a good job, you NEVER find out as nothing ever happens as a result that can't be resolved with the language in the contract), painting is a way for me to have a task that I can FINISH. A task that, once completed, can be looked at with admiration. A task which someone with almost no skill in the task can review and say "wow... that looks good."

With the house, we had to paint the kitchen first. That meant stripping the ugly wallpaper. I tried just about every "easy" method first. Water alone... wait... try to pull? Nope, that didn't work. Hot steam? Nope (see pic).

Next up was going to be chemicals. Remember though, that I don't like weird smells (maybe that's part of my picky eating problem... hmmm... will have to consider later). So I got a "scorer"... a tool that you run over the wall repeatedly that punches small holes in the wall paper without destroying the underlying drywall. Then you wet down the surface with the chemical and wait. But I decided to try plain water first. Voila! And I was able to strip the wallpaper with relative ease (ok, Tina helped some, too). Painting was then a pretty quick activity... and now we have a blue kitchen.

The other day, I decided that our front stoop looked pretty bad. We have neighborhood standards for things looking nice out front. So I sanded the heck out of it, painted it white... even broke out my mad military school skills and shined the brass numbers to a glisten. And I was happy. Except that I stopped at about head-height and really needed to paint the entire front porch area. Oops. I guess I'll come back to that later.

Two days ago, I thought the mailbox needed help, too. THREE HOURS later, in the dark (cuz I had to start after I got home from work), I was putting the numbers back on the post. I didn't get to see my handiwork until yesterday morning... when I noticed that a bird had already christened the new paint job. Maybe I need to install those little spikey things.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April's Fools

I monitor/read about 100 blogs. Many are either technology or law-related - and these days, entire blogs consist of posting links to other posts on other interesting blogs. Of course, RSS has made this almost too easy - firing up one application that systematically checks them all for new posts. And, as one would expect, there are several posts that I see on a regular basis that "make" the rounds of a particular type of blog (for example, the Apple iPhone announcements are always seen on a dozen or more blogs, after each individual whisper from Cupertino).

I figured that most, if not all, would include some form of April Fool's joke. Us geeks tend to like creative humor. A silly comment, a made up something-or-other.

What I didn't guess is that several of them would report Google's AF joke as a post on their own site. At least 6 have now commented on TiSP. Why?

Another 2 have commented on Crunchgear. Again, why? Do you think that we only read your blog to the exclusion of all of the others? Were RSS not available, I suppose that might happen. But really.

To Google and Crunchgear, good show. To the others - well, um, ah....

Friday, March 30, 2007


I've had some really funky dreams recently. I don't normally remember them in detail more than 30 minutes or so after I wake up... but I do remember that they were weird.

Hanging out with Tina the other day, I mentioned these dreams, and that I had a fairly odd dream-restriction. I can only dream about things that I've actually done in real life - with one exception (sometimes I dream that I can fly).

So, before I went skydiving, I never dreamed about skydiving... but once I finally tossed myself out of a perfectly good airplane, I was able (and did once) to have a dream where I skydove(?). Or, when I was a kid, I realized that I never would have dreams about things like being able to drive... or be older... I was restricted to my actual experience in life.

Generally speaking, I consider myself fairly creative, so I don't think it's a lack of an ability to imagine something I've never done. And, as I said, I've dreamed about flying (though it's more like an ability to swim in the air, using my hands to "push" the atmosphere around me).

Anyone else similarly limited?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Volvo's latest ads

So I'm sitting here watching the Duke/Clemson game with Tina. And in the span of two commercial breaks, there are three ads for the new Volvo S80. To summarize the three:

1. Driver of the S80 is rapidly approaching a car in its lane, apparently too fast. The collision detection system goes off, the driver of the S80 swerves around the other car (which appears to have been going the speed limit. The advertising voice says something about how nice it is to have a car that cares about you.

2. Driver of the S80 is rapidly approaching a car in its lane. S80 driver looks away from the road. The collision detection system goes off, the driver of the S80 looks back and sees the rear bumper coming up quickly, so they press on the brake. The advertising voice says something to the effect that "thank god that the S80 has this system to pay attention when you don't".

3. Owner of the S80 is walking towards their car, which is sitting quietly in a dark empty parking lot. The keyfob has a heartbeat sensor which lets the owner know that someone's in the car so that the owner can know an intruder is in the vehicle.

OK... two quick questions. If this car is so friggin' great, why didn't the alarm system go off? And why should the car look out for inattentive drivers? Where's MY warning that someone's driving an S80?


Holy cow

Wayyyyy too cool.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Leavin' on a jet plane

About 10 days until we're at Disney World again. I simply can't wait. We've convinced ourselves that we're going to take it easy on this trip... move slowly through the parks, not rush, not open (or close) parks every day. I'll be interested to see if we make it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dog Bath

I've mentioned before that I love my dog. Allie's really an incredible animal. She's friendly, generally happy, doesn't bark (she "huffs" every now and again and whines when she needs to go out or is scared), and overall is probably the best pet I've ever had.

She's approximately 90% golden retriever and 10% chow. This makes her an average sized dog, about 65lbs, golden brown, ears that just flop over, a curly tail and a black/purple tongue.

Her hair, as you can see, can get quite long... and in her fuzzy state, her lineage is very obvious.

The hair, however, can be a problem. It falls off her in chunks at times, especially in the summer. And she's got a tendency for dry skin, which is harder to manage when she's fuzzy. So she needs a haircut every so often to take the bulk of the fuzz off her.

Dog grooming is very expensive. An average sized animal can cost anywhere from $40-$80 per groom, depending on the services you get (haircut, bath, toenail clipping, anal gland expression, etcetera). Yes, there are dog spas for a reason. In any event, I realized that I could buy a clipper for the cost of 2 expensive grooming visits. So I did. Over time, I've more than made up for the cost of the clipper, even after having to purchase new blades.

Allie actually likes the experience. Personally, I think it's because we end up spending a lot of time together (takes almost 2 hours to cut her down). But I also think it's just because she's a good dog. She'll stand (or sit) there as long as I ask her to do so. And when we're done with the clipping, it's time for a bath.

THIS is what she really doesn't enjoy. But she follows along, regardless. Getting into the tub is just a matter of telling her to get in. You can see on her face that she doesn't truly like the water being sprayed on her (and if you've ever seen her shy away from a lake or even a puddle, you get the sense that water isn't her best friend). She tolerates the bath though, again in my opinion, because it's time spent with us.

I just think she looks a bit odd when she's finally fluffed and folded, especially if we go for the "lion look".


I think all of the people who have been saying that they predicted the iPhone are pretty funny. It's one of those things that, if you're a geek like me, can kinda' foresee simply by watching the available technology and wondering aloud "gee, I really think it would be cool for me to have my phone and mp3 player in one converged device". In fact, it's exactly what happened a few years ago right before the Treo and Blackberry devices came out - "It would be so cool to have my calendar and phone on one converged device." Bingo.

So I went looking for anything that *I* had predicted on my blog. On 1/22/05, I predicted that someone was going to make an iPod-based media player for TiVo'd shows. I was right. Happened about six months later with the video iPod.


(there are times I really wish I knew how to program so I could self-fulfill some of my ideas)

Anyways... if there's anyone reading this who has a lot of money to burn and wants to make a guy REALLY happy in the middle of the year, I would love an iPhone.

Tired of Bad Service

In the last 48 hours, I've had two more instances of really bad customer service. I don't know what's going on, but service people must be trained to treat their customers like idiots, or push back just to make the bulk of them go away. I'm not going to tolerate either.

[A quick note: I was a Network Admin in a former life and I'm still very comfortable with technology and poking around to try to make things work.]

First was Vonage. I've had the VoIP service now for almost two years. Generally speaking, I've enjoyed it and it's worked pretty flawlessly. But lately, I've had problems with dropped calls and "missing" dialtone. I've rebooted the Vonage "phone adapter", reconfigured my network, even tried new phones. I'm also not using any interior home phone wiring (which can mess things up if not done correctly). Everything on the network is fairly new, too. At this point, I decided it was time to contact Vonage for assistance.

Their customer service site doesn't include a phone number. You have to fill out a website form and click submit to wait for someone to respond. It's pretty thorough, asking all sorts of questions about configurations, setup, model number, etc. So I was hopeful of a good response.

This wasn't was I was hoping for:

Subject: [ #9236055] Other

Dear Jeffrey I. Gordon,

Thank you for contacting Customer Care.

We understand from your email that you are experiencing issue with call drop.

We apologize for any inconvenience may have been caused.

We recommend you to perform the steps given below to resolve your issue:

1. Simplify the configuration (Remove any routers, hubs, switches, or home wiring).

2. Please ensure that your devices are well ventilated and clear of any other devices that could cause interference.

3. If you use a Surge Protector, swap it out. If you aren't using one, we suggest you to purchase one.

4. Make sure that you are using a DOCSIS 1.1 or later modem.

5. We request you to reboot all your devices by following the steps in the web link given below:

6. Check whether all wires and connections are solid and free of damages.

We hope these troubleshooting steps would assist you in resolving the issue. If you still experience the same issue then please revert to us with the following information so that we will try our extreme effort to resolve the issue soon.

We need you to run following tests on your side and send results to us via attachments.

1) THE BANDWIDTH TEST: Please run these test when the computer is connected directly to the modem and also when it is connected to the Vonage router. Please give both the results.

The bandwidth tests help us to ensure you are getting enough Upstream and Downstream bandwidth to use the Vonage service. Please click on UPLOAD SPEED TEST, then click on SMART TEST.

2) TRACE ROUTE (TRACERT): Trace Route is a utility that records the route through the Internet between your computer and a specified destination computer. It also calculates and displays the amount of time each hop took. Trace route is a handy tool both for understanding where problems are in the Internet network and for getting a detailed sense of the Internet itself. To run a trace route,

Click on START --> RUN
Type in CMD (For older windows versions, type in COMMAND)
Type the command tracert

3) Please let us know whether the phones are connected directly to the router or to the home wiring.

4) Please give us the vendor name and model number of all the devices that is connected in your network.

5) Please let us know how have you connected all the devices.

If you have any questions now or in the future Vonage Customer Care is eager to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please visit our help center at or send us an email from our Contact Us page at You can also call us Toll Free at: 1-VONAGE-HELP 1-866-243-4357.


Vonage Customer Care

> [ - Wed Jan 03 15:54:49 2007]:
> Phone Adapter:
> Linksys RT31P2
> ISP:
> Time Warner
> Router Make and Model:
> Motorola S85101
> Telephone Make and Model:
> Motorola MD7081
> Description of Network:
> Wall -> Router -> Phone Adapter -> Computers & Phone
> Description of Problem:
> I'm having random issues with the phone adaptor dropping calls.

So, you can first see that while they appeared to have read the subject line of my message, they never read any of the information that they actually already requested I send them.

I responded with a rather curt e-mail to each of their questions, mostly pointing them to where I'd already answered their questions and then repeating my request for more substantial assistance. Their subsequent response was to change the port on the adapter. Still doesn't work. I guess I'm going to use that phone number they provided. Hopefully it'll yield better results, but I'm not full of a lot of hope.

Generally speaking, I have found that technical support assumes that the customer is a complete moron. I mentioned earlier that I was formerly a Network Admin not to sound cool, but to indicate that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to technology. So going down a flowchart of "possible" problems doesn't amuse me when I've already tried them all and I'm looking for some serious help.

My experience in the last day with eBay is a prime example. I've been an eBay user, according to my profile page, since March 3, 1999 and I have a feedback rating of 195. So I'm not exactly a newbie with respects to the ins and outs of eBay. I noticed the other day, however, that I wasn't seeing all of my auctions won on the "My eBay" page. Regardless of the setting (whether I looked for those completed last week, last month, etc, I would always be missing at least two of the auctions. So, being the geek that I am, I tried different configurations (as stated before), different browsers (Safari and Firefox), even different computers and underlying operating systems (Macs and PCs). Heck, I even tried once from the Apple Store to see if somehow some old setting was blocking things. Alas, I finally sucumbed to sending a request for help to eBay.

Again, like Vonage, there's not an immediate way to call... you have to use their form.

Subject: My eBay isn't working correctly
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2007 19:23:55 PST

My Account, Registration, and Password > My eBay for bidding, billing, or selling > My eBay isn't working correctly

Message: Hi! In the last few days, I've noticed that My eBay seems to not be working correctly. It's not listing all of the items I've won (for example, items 190066036927 and 300066082398 are missing from the list, as well as several others).

Additionally, I received an e-mail notice today about a relisted item that I had neither bid on nor watched. I get the feeling that somehow "My eBay" isn't quite tracking things properly.

Please help. (Oh, FYI, I'm on a Mac, using both Safari and Firefox and I've had this problem with both... and it shows up while using a PC and Internet Explorer, too).

Thank you!


I have to admit, eBay was quick to respond:

Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2007 20:48:34 -0800
Subject: Re: GS=C00315 My eBay isn't working correctly [#US ?01 ] (KMM66898596V45289L0KM)
From: eBay Customer Support

Dear Jeffrey,

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to the items you won not appearing
in your My eBay.

In this case, please make sure that you are viewing the correct time
period for items sold in the "Won" section. I see that the viewing time
period for items is currently set to "Last week (Dec 24)". This means
that the "Won" section will only display your transactions for the last
week. This can be easily corrected.

1. Click the "My eBay" tab located at the top of most eBay pages. You
may be asked to sign in.
2. Click the "Won" link on the left side of the page.
3. In the "Period" drop-down list to the right, click the down arrow and
select the period of time that covers the items that you're looking for.

Make sure you're viewing the correct time period for the item in
question. For example, if you sold an item 35 days ago, it won't appear
if you are only viewing items that you sold in the last 31 days.
Currently, the longest period of time you can search is 60 days.

It is my pleasure to assist you. Thank you for choosing eBay.

Vincent K.

eBay Customer Support

But again, the response was essentially "you're an idiot... change the settings and all will be hunky-dory".

I'm tired of this kind of crappy, Tier 0 response. I wish there was a way to indicate to the customer support agent that you've got some level of technical training. A password or secret handshake that would let them know that you've got things setup correctly, tried all of the standard technical support procedures, and that you're only calling because you've really hit a dead end. This password would bump you automatically to a second or third tier of support... heck, even Disney does this in a way that's not offensive to everyone else [their call processing system simply asks whether you've visited recently, and if so, more than x number of times in the last specific time period - based on that, they route you to an agent ready to treat you with a commensurate level of care. People who are newbies get a LOT of suggestions and help in terms of planning and explanation. People who are experienced get great service, but it's not tempered at all, and they make suggestions with the understanding that you've probably already "been there and done that".]

Anyone wanna' let me know the password?