“Now You Have a Friend in the Sapphire Business”

LOL, I’m not sure how recent this is (I’m sure it’s been going on forever, but it’s the first time I’ve heard it on Pandora), but looks like the ShaneCo has expanded its reach to now include those who like Sapphires.

ShaneCo’s advertising is not as annoying as Bob Rohrman’s advertising, but still it’s pretty annoying… yet pretty effective I’d say. I went to ShaneCo once to buy some jewelry for my mom for her birthday. Their customer service is pretty good and they have reasonable prices and a good selection. It was just so weird going to one of their stores since part of you just wants to just tell the guy in charge the advertising campaigns to change his advertising messages please! since they’re so annoying/repetitive, haha.

Bottom of the Pyramid: Selling Water in India

I was listening to the radio today while doing my daily commute to Hoffman Estates and tuned into NPR, Morning Edition. They had a rather interesting news bit on a company called Healthpoint Services and discussed how the company aims at delivering Health services to rural countries, in this case, India. The bit talked about Social Entrepreneurs focusing on the Bottom of the Pyramid market segment and how the company was making money selling water at $1.50/month as well as providing Healthcare at minimal costs. I find it amazing how a company can make a profit off a $1.50/month water subscription per household. I suppose if enough households subscribe, economies of scale can be obtained in the logistics of getting the water to the village. It’s still crazy to think about. It’s also really interesting how these households survive off $1/day and the $1.50/month water subscription is within a households’ means.

People often wonder what you can do with $1. In the United States, it will get you a McChicken if you add in a few cents for tax, some candy, and even a half liter water bottle. Per this article:

Water is sold for just $1.50 a month for 600 liters

WOW! Imagine that, 600 liters of water just for a $1.50/month, that is crazy! It seems the value of $1 in other more rural countries, can get you a whole lot. I remember when I was visiting my buddy Jeff in Beijing this Spring, I went to his university at Beihuang University and I was able to get 10 dumplings AND a glass of soy milk for at a local restaurant. Needless to say, for the two weeks I was in China, I went to that restaurant frequently for lunch.

Going back, I think it’s really cool how a lot of for-profit companies are focusing on Social Enterprise. This news bit was really interesting and you can find the written article on NPR’s website. You can also check out E-Health Point for more information on their goal in transforming Rural Health Care.

United Airlines Customer Service Props

I purchased a United Airlines non-refundable plane ticket for a friend a few weeks ago and recently, we had to cancel our plans due to a few things that happened. So I called United asking them to credit me back the ticket. However, they stated that since the ticket was non-refundable, there was a changing fee of $150 (Total ticket was $373.40, so that’s basically more than 40% of the ticket’s value!). In addition, even though I had purchased the ticket for someone, using my credit card, they said I couldn’t transfer the ticket given the fact that the ticket was non-refundable. So I was in quite the pickle to say the least.

However, the customer service rep I was speaking with, a gal named Axle, was very understanding of the situation I was in and proceeded to work with her supervisor to find a solution to this problem. After about 10 minutes, she proceeds to tell me that, and get this: United would refund my plane ticket in whole to my credit card! I was expecting them to say something to the degree of, we’ll let you change flights but there will be a smaller change fee but not a complete refund!

So United, you have my attention and my thanks. I figured, I’d give a public shout out to you guys and perhaps someone might come along and read this and may see how great you guys were tonight. Thanks again!

United Airlines

Roof on the Wit Sucks (Reviews)

If you’re ever in Chicago, I do not recommend going to this place. It’s just a bad experience overall. The wait to get in takes forever. The host does not know how to work with patrons and has zero customer service skills. Plenty of other bars in town, I’d pass on this one.