Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Problem with Prezzy Cards

Prezzy Cards are a Visa-supported gift card provided by New Zealand Post. I decided to send one to a family member and began the following Odyssey.

Jan 26: Purchase card from NZ Post website

Jan 27: Receive email for the following extra information: "Your Photo ID (Drivers licence or Passport)... The Credit Card or Debit card used to purchase the Prezzy Card- please only show the first 6 and last 4 digit numbers."

Jan 28: I send a scan of my passport and my debit card number with the middle number block removed.

Jan 30: They ask again for "a copy of the credit card".

Jan 31: I send my full debit card number.

Feb 1: They ask again for "an actual copy of the credit card"

Feb 1: I finally realize they want, for reasons that elude me, a scanned picture of my debit card, which I send.

Feb 2: They notify me that the order has gone through.

Feb 7: I get a feeling that they sent the wrong amount ($100 rather than $500) and request a receipt.

Feb 16: They refuse to send a receipt with the vague statement that "Your card would have been debited once we approved your order" (as, indeed, it should). They direct me to look at the amount debited from my account some time between the order being accepted (Feb 2) and card being dispatched (Feb 4). I inspect my account and find no the debit. Some time later I do find a debit, for the correct amount of $500, actually occurred on Feb 16.

April 26: I receive an email where they admit that although $500 was debited from my account, only $100 was loaded on the debit card. This error has now, according to them, been corrected.

So, in summary, they require documentation not mentioned on the ordering website, do not give a receipt, debit my account 12 full days after dispatching the card, deduct $500 from my account but put only $100 on the card, and despite my specific query do not notice the error for 47 days.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

DO NOT BUY the Natural Aquatics Frog Aquarium with 2 Frogs

For some reason Amazon saw fit to recommend a product to me that is called the "Natural Aquatics Frog Aquarium with 2 Frogs". (Similar products called the Frog-o-Sphere or eco-aquarium is also available)

My reaction to this product is as follows:
  • It does not provide adequate housing in size or design.
  • It is described in an inaccurate and misleading way.

This product, as sold and use as the manufacturer recommends is cruel. They suggest:
  • A four inch cube is an "eco-system"
  • The tank is "self-cleaning"
  • You only need to change the water twice a year
  • you only need to feed a few pellets each week,

In my opinion, the truth is:
  • Dwarf African frogs require a minimum of 1 gallon (6 cubic inches) per frog--preferably two gallons or more.
  • Water should be changed at least once a month or as required.
  • In most areas they will require an aquarium with a water heater to maintain a water temperature of 70-80 degrees.
  • They require a hiding place to feel secure.
  • They require feeding and as a result require cleaning--thus this is not a self-contained ecosystem and not self-cleaning.
  • Feeding should be as much as the frog will immediately eat every day or every other day.

If well cared-for your frogs should live for five years or longer and you should hear them 'singing' in the evenings. Instead of spending $30 on this inadequate habitat I would suggest people who wish to keep frogs to go to a local pet store and get two frogs ($5)and a five to ten gallon aquarium ($10) for half the price.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Have Tail, Will Travel

Rodents can live just about anyway, apparently including on a Delta airplane. Health inspector noted the location of rodent droppings "too numerous to count" in various areas of the plane.

Delta said the plane was cleaned and back in service within days.  They say they "humanely caught" the frequent flyer. No word on what type of critter it was, and personally I would be skeptical about there being only one...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bacon Cologne

I could probably get behind the almost literally tongue-in-cheek campe charm of a bacon inspired cologne, if not for one thing.

A logo that seems to rest heavily on the notion of making a nude woman look like a rasher of bacon.


But still, I am kind of intrigued.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My latest invention....

Banana sugar cookies. Raw banana in the batter and a dried slice for decoration. Not bad.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rat Fashion

Apparently this fashionable little number made from faux rats (I hope they are faux, anyway) appeared in a spread called: The Vagaries of Fashion by Miles Aldridge in Italian Vogue (May 2008). [Click on the picture to enlarge].