Friday, May 10, 2013

'Delivery Fees' and why they're BULLSHIT

So I dunno if I'm the only one here that has noticed this, but have you ever tried to order pizza online and have it delivered?   Most of the major pizza franchises like Dominos,. Pizza Hut charge whats called a 'delivery fee'. 

So what exactly is this delivery fee?   Well that's a good question that I would like to know myself.    So it's Friday, and I've had a few margaritas.  I'm somewhat hungry, and I really don't feel like driving for obvious reasons.  So I figure: "Well the best thing to do is to order out a pizza & have it delivered.." 

So I start preparing my order and at first I wanted to order a stuff crust pizza from Pizza Hut (stuffed crust pizza is the only reason why I would order pizza from Pizza Hut).  So I build my order, and I give them my address and I go to total my order.... Then I see this:
"Total does not include tip.  Please remember to show your appreciation to your driver."
   So what the fuck is this $3.00 delivery charge for if it doesn't cover the top?   This Pizza Hut is literally less then 2 miles from my location and they charge a $3 fee for what?  The convenience of being able to have a pizza delivered to your door?  $3 is about what you'd tip the guy for a pizza.  Especially if they don't have to drive that far to have the pizza delivered to you...   So what... I'm expected to pay $5+ dollars for having pizza delivered to my door?   What a fucking rip off!

So I figured okay, well fuck Pizza Hut, a mandatory '$3 delivery charge' seems like a blatant scam to me..

Alright well let's see what Dominos Pizza has to offer.  I like their pan pizzas... So I  begin to prepare the same order:

Uh... What the fuck... 'Any delivery charge is not a tip paid to your driver.'  So what hell is this $2.25 fee supposed to cover exactly??!  The convenience of being able to select the 'delivery' option online??!

Can somebody explain to me what exactly these fees are for?  If I were to order these pizzas for 'carry out' they won't add this 'delivery charge' fee to me... So why am I having to pay an extra $2-$3 fee if it doesn't go towards the tip?   What the hell is the justification for this?  For the convenience of being able to select the option online to "deliver my pizza?"  This sounds like a scam to me... So what if I were to order my pizza over the phone?   Would they also charge me a 'delivery fee'?   Well that I cannot answer as I cannot stand having to wait on hold forever...

All I can tell you is if you decide to order pizza online, be sure to order it for 'carryout' because otherwise these asshole pizza companies will charge you extra for absolutely no rational reason other than for the convenience to have the pizza delivered to your door, but remember, this doesn't cover the tip...  What a crock of shit.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What is life like without advertisements?

It's been awhile since I posted anything to my blog so I figured I'd share something with you that most people encounter everyday that I manage to avoid:

Campaigns, commercials, endorsements, flyers, the list goes on... Basically advertisements.

I hate advertisements, they drive me fucking insane and here's why:
  • You've heard/seen the commercial once, you've heard/seen it a thousand times.
  • Super fucking loud audio levels in TV commercials.  Despite Congress passing a bill to ban this shit, it still happens.
  • Some create these ridiculous or unbelievable situations or scenarios where they pretend their shit is useful - this is especially the case for infomercials.
  • Radio commercials spend 70% of the time repeating their fucking phone number or website, and by that point you've already forgotten what they're advertising.
  • Commercials where companies over-glorify the shit out of their products *coughAppleSamsungcough* and pretend that 'everybody has one' and it's the 'best-god-damn-thing-in-the-world-and-you-must-get-it'.
  • They're used to spread negativity, scare tactics and/or false accusations to their competition.  This is now the strategy for political campaigns, which I absolutely cannot fucking tolerate.  This shit gets worse every 4 years when it's time to elect a new president.  The movie: The Campaign with Will Ferrell sums this up perfectly

Have you asked yourself what would life be like if there were no advertisements?  I have and I can personally tell you that I rarely encounter them now, and life is glorious. So now the question is how or what can you do to avoid them?  Well the obvious thing is to change your habits.  Here's my approach:

  • Avoid watching shows when they air, if you don't have a DVR, then consider getting one as this is the easiest approach as you can simply skip ahead of the commercials.
  • Although this isn't exactly a cost effective solution, consider Netflix.  It's the only service I'm aware of where you don't pay them so they can shove commercials in your face.  Other services like Hulu Plus are guilty of this.
  • If Netflix doesn't have your show, then consider using iTunes or Amazon and buy them by the episode, typically it's 99 cents per episode.
  • If Apple or Amazon don't have your show then pirate it.  This is basically you giving the networks the middle finger since they're not making their content easily obtainable. (I'm looking at you, HBO, no I shouldn't have to have cable for the privilege to stream your content online.) The only downside to this approach is the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) & Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) monitor this and the only way around this is to get a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) that promises anonymity. VPNs encrypt and redirect all your internet traffic to a remote server where it appears to the outside world you're in another location. Get yourself a torrent application like uTorrent and go to The Pirate Bay or EZTV to download the show or movie you want. 
  • Planning to go see a movie at the theater? If it's a theater you know where they do trailers before the show, arrive 15 minutes after the movies start time.  At that point the theater is playing their 'turn off your cell phone' message. This is especially to your advantage if the theater has reserved seating as then you don't deal with getting shitty seats for being late.
Personally I don't have cable TV and cannot justify having to pay for it.  Think about it... You're paying money to these networks that not only make money off your bill, but they make MORE money by shoving ads down your throat... You're essentially paying them to advertise to you, which a fucked up business model in my opinion.

Radio & Music:
  • Stop listening to FM radio stations where it's song, commercial, news, commercial, song.  AM radio is even worse.  If you listen to talk radio, then there's a likely chance that station has their shows available as podcasts (RSS subscription) and they usually cut out the commercials.  If they don't, then you can take the same approach as you would with your DVR by simply skipping ahead 10-15 seconds until it sounds like they're back on topic.
  • Pandora is a great alternative to FM radio. If you like listening to certain types of music then consider getting a Pandora subscription.  Pandora does have a free service as well but it's not ad free, but the subscription is.  You first have to register a free account, from there you'll be able to subscribe and listen to all the music you want ad free.
  • SiriusXM, although I'm not 100% about this one, as I personally would never pay for this. I'm assuming some of their stations that are commercial free, while others are not.. Your mileage may vary.
  • Buy the songs you like on iTunes or Amazon.  Music you purchase doesn't come with ads.
  • If you listen to unique music typically not heard on the radio, then pirate it. (Refer to the 4th bullet under TV/Movies)
The Internet:

This is how I get the news & information I need as I don't watch news networks on TV for reasons I won't get into.
  • Stop using those shitty browsers like Internet Explorer or Safari.  They suck, instead get Firefox.  It's secure, it's fast, it's frequently updated and available on nearly every platform.  In addition, Firefox offers add-ons that tie in with their browser that bring new features as well as allowing you to control what you see on the web.  This is the one program that I use everyday that eliminates about 90% of all the ads I would likely encounter throughout my day. The other 10% come from other sources like TV, Radio, etc...  Here are the add-ons I use with Firefox to block ads:
    • Adblock Plus - This add-on blocks nearly every type of ad that come from those huge ad agencies (I.E. doubleclick) that most major websites use.  The add-on allows you to subscribe to blocklists that are automatically updated as things always change online.
    • Adblock Plus Pop-up Add-on -This add-on will block those ads that Adblock may not catch from those pain-in-the-ass pop-up or pop-under windows.
Advertising in public places:

Luckily for me the cities I live in and commute to don't allow for billboards so this isn't an issue.  If you live in a major city, unfortunately this one that may be impossible to avoid.  The only things I can suggest for you are:
  • Find a job outside the city and in a suburb area or someplace in the middle of nowhere, and move the whole family there.  They'll love you for it, especially the kids - they absolutely love it when you pull them away from all their friends to a remote place where they have nothing to do.
  • If moving is out of the question, then look for a job where you can work offsite or from home... That way you never have to leave the house, and you can sit on your ass all day and watch as your ass slowly expands across your seat to the point where it's so big, it makes Oprah look anorexic.
  • Buy all your shit online through Firefox with Adblock installed.
  • Hire somebody to do your shopping for you.. Hey that's what wives are for right? ;) (I'm kidding.... Sort of...)
  • If you have to commute then tape some toilet paper tubes to your face to achieve tunnel vision... Either that or drive blindfolded and hope for the best.
Well there you have it, I hope this helps you in your endeavor to live a more bullshit-free life. For the whole 6 readers (and 80 robots that index mysite) that actually read my shit, stay tuned, I may have a new post for you in the next 5-7 months.... If I feel like it.