Friday, 9 December 2011

Cudo.....What do you expect

This first is the original email Cudo sent me after I sent them a nice email about how the car wash where the voucher was redeemable was lying and saying they were "busy" so I'd go away. The car wash had only one car being washed at the time and yet I was told to come back 45min later.

Hi Cameron,

Thank you for your email.

We’re sorry to hear that you’re having trouble redeeming your voucher.

The deal is bound by strict terms and conditions made between Cudo and the business, unfortuantely as the merchant did offer to honour the voucher, although with a wait of 45 minutes, unfortunately, on these grounds we’re unable to refund your voucher.

However, most of our vouchers are transferable and if you’re unable use it then you can give it to a friend or family member as a gift.

And if you need any extra help, please contact us again!

Warm Regards,


The Cudo Team

So I fired back with this little number....I wonder if I will get a response?!

Hi Jennie,

“Extra help” required…..

So what you are actually saying is if the merchant had said to me “sorry, we are busy and you will have to come back another day” would that be acceptable?? I can imagine this would be relevant if the deal had stated please make an appointment before going there but I guess Cudo didn’t have the foresight to think of that. What if the merchant had of said “sorry we are booked for the next 2 months solid but you can come back in 3 months” then once I go there in 3 months they say “we’re booked for the next 2 months”??

I don’t suppose your stupid….sorry “strict” terms compensate for this.

Just as I suspected….and with all that I’ve heard in the media about how group buying organisations have been ripping off consumers you still….well…rip people off. I guess you can believe what you read in the papers!

I hate to be a whinger but unless you can offer me a better solution, I’m going to be forced to whinge to all and sundry – I’m sure my 1000+ social media followers will be over hearing about crap deals but hey…you gotta vent somewhere.

PS – If my deal is crap then I don’t want to give it to someone else as a “present”. If you think passing on a crap voucher is a great idea….I’d hate to be invited to your Christmas party. You’re likely to be regifting damaged or broken items to your closest friends. What a gem you are! You little recycler you.

Cudo….you suck! ESPECIALLY your customer service. Might want to get into a different field Jennie….maybe sales….then your attitude would be perfect!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Nestle. Yet again...

I was asked by a colleague, who we'll call Jillian to write a complaint to Nestle about a nail clipping that she found in her Allen's Strawberry and Cream lollies.

Needless to say, she was extremely pissed off.  Here it is:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have a complaint for you.

I have just eaten half a pack of your Strawberries and Cream lollies. Once upon a time, I thought that these were the yummiest lolly you made, but now I want to throw them up.

Please indicate why it is that you think that I might want to barf up the lollies that I ate. Is it because:
  1. I ate too many of these;
  2. I ate rather a lot far too quickly;
  3. Someone doused mine in syrup of ipecac; or
  4. Someone’s fingernail clipping was embedded in one of the lollies.
If you answered (4), then you are 100% correct. Do you know that warm feeling you get when you return from the toilet to your drink at the table and take a swig and the boys politely inform you casually that while you were away they’ve all placed their penises in your glass?

I must admit, having never played football (or been a boy) I can’t say that I do, but I’m sure that you get the idea. I feel really quite nauseous and angry right about now.

I would like this rectified right now. Whilst I’m not sure what adequate compensation would be, I’m certain that a fresh box of lollies, carefully screened for similar contamination before dispatch would be just, I’m not really sure that I want to touch any more Strawberries and Cream lollies at the moment.

Please contact me immediately to negotiate.

Yours sincerely,


She has reserved the right to make amendments.  But she also sent me a picture, too:

Friday, 8 April 2011

Kobo (on behalf of Borders): How to strip DRM from ebooks for Linux users

It's only 24 hours since I sent my initial complaint to Borders, which was forwarded on to Kobo for looking at. You may recall my complaint related mainly to the scam that is digital rights management (DRM) and how I couldn't read one of Borders' DRM protected ePub files on my Sony Reader.

I was quite surprised that Kobo were looking at this. I suspected that I might even have to resubmit in a different area, given that my ebook reader is a Sony.

But my surprise about that was nothing compared to the response that I received from Kobo, from a helpful staffer who I'll call "George". Linux users, bookmark this page. The rest of you, be prepared to be gobsmacked by someone who has gone above and way beyond the call of duty.

(Use this only for your own fair use, which is not illegal. I will not be held responsible if you start using this for illegal copying. Nor should you be using this for illegal copying.)


If you have a Sony and ADE then there should be no problem with DRM. Does ADE not ask to authorize the Sony when you plug it in?

The ususal method to download a book is to purchase the book and then click on the download tab in your online library then save it to your desktop. Then drag the link into ADE where it will open. Then go to library view and the book should be there, if not add the book to the library from the recently read bookshelf.

Here is an app for the eReader for Linux for, but only work with Kobo eReaders.

Linux app

We don't have copies of books that are not DRM protected.

You may be able to use Calibre to transfer the book to the eReader, but it may also have to have the DRM removed.

Follow these links and instruction to remove DRM:

Install Python
Install PyCrypto
Google for ineptkey.pyw and ineptepub.pyw and put them into one directory (desktop). These files are python scripts and is basically a text file with .pyw ending in windows. If you cant find the .pyw file with google, just copy the script text and paste into a notepad file and rename it to the correct .pyw files.
Run (double click) ineptkey.pyw. It will find a key and write it to hard disk as “ADEPTKEY.DER ” in the same directory where ineptkey.pyw is.
Run ineptepub.pyw
A dialog windows with three parameters will pop up :
Key file ADEPTKEY.DER (filled automatically if the ADEPTKEY.DER-file and ineptepub.pyw reside in the same directory)
If not, click on the “…” button and select a file.
Input file
Click on the “…” button to choose your ebook. You’ll find it in “My Documents\My Digital Editions“.
If you just can’t find the ebook, open Adobe Digital Editions and find the path in the properties of the ebook.
Output file
Click on the “…” and enter a filename.
Open your newly created DRM-free pdf file with your favorite application (on whatever device you like ! YAY
download python

Here is the link to download Calibre:

If you are still having problems let us know.

We believe that we have provided you with a working solution and that your issue has been resolved. If that is not the case and you require further investigation, please reopen your ticket.

To reopen (#XXXXXX, can't read my KOBO files on my Nook), simply respond to the ticket notifying us of the current status and a member of our Customer Care team will review your response and action accordingly.

Please note that answers to our most common questions can be found at:


The Kobo Team

Naturally, I thanked George in my response and sat there for 20 minutes thinking to myself, "This is 24 carat gold." I will be going home this evening to strip the DRM off the file and then enjoying it the way nature intended.

I nominate this for the most helpful response to a complaint at the Purple Headed Earls Complaints Blog ever. And then some.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Borders/Sony complaint

Digital Rights Management, or DRM has to be one of the worst things in the known universe. Sony have a somewhat idiotic history on this front, having intentionally been complicit in the installation of malware in the form of rootkits.

The worst thing about it is that it has nothing to do with copyright protection. Oh no, it goes much further to essentially stymie fair use of copyrighted works. And you probably already know that copyright owners themselves are generally a few thousand nautical miles removed from the actual artists who create the works in question. The owners of copyrights are generally record companies, publishing houses, movie studios.

Copyright owners argue that piracy robs artists of royalty revenue. I tend to sympathise with the piracy crowd who maintain that copyright owners have already done the theft with grossly unconscionable contracts that assigns copyright ownership to them for very little in return for the authors or musicians who create the works. Having said that, I'm a sad old dude who insists on buying CDs for the packaging.

I recently bought a Sony Reader from Angus & Robertson, part of the RED Group along with Borders which is presently in administration. I bought it because Ebook Readers are cool - they have really cool e-ink screens that probably use less power than a digital watch. I bought it because I always liked Douglas Adams' Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and think that electronic books are a really neat idea. But I also bought it because my course notes are only available in ebook form this semester, and having ownership of that neat idea that is an e-ink powered reader as a tax-deductible expense is pretty goddamn attractive.

And I certainly wasn't going to be buying a Kindle from Amazon: I've done wonderfully this far in my life to avoid the commercial rape that Apple's customers seem to love in an almost masochistic way, so it would be hypocritical in the extreme if I'd settled for Amazon's identical marketing model.

Sony's Reader line supports almost every format there is, it doesn't lock you in to a single provider of content, and it works beautifully. I'm also slowly starting to like the touchscreen page-turns as well, although I still use the buttons at the bottom a bit. But Sony are so totally in love with DRM it's almost weird.

I suspect that I'll also be buying books for the packaging after this tale. I sent this to Borders:


I purchased an ebook last night - Na-Joon Chang's "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" - which I thought I'd buy, having started reading a borrowed copy of a friends and finding the contents quite addictive.

You will have to forgive me, as this is the first ebook I've purchased, having purchased my ebook reader originally to read my uni course notes. Naturally, having bought my reader from your affiliate Angus & Robertson, and knowing that you also sell the Sony Reader, I figured that this would be nice and simple.

I would firstly like to advise that simple, it is not. Firstly, as a Linux user, having to put my purchase through Adobe's Digital Editions is nothing short of frustrating, but despite Adobe's attempts to have everyone using Windows or Macs and nothing else, I succeeded. So first issue was defused, no thanks to Adobe.

From here, normally, things are a piece of cake. I've downloaded many a fine book from Project Gutenberg, which must be a bit hard to hear, given that you're in the business of profiting (or not - I'm aware of your current financial difficulties) from the sale of intellectual property that's in the public domain. Usually, when I move a book over to my Reader, I can then mosey off to my comfy chair in front of the TV, ignoring whatever cr@p is on TV and listening to a nice CD or two, many of which I've purchased from your establishment. I'm pretty sure that I purchased Sleater-Kinney's "The Woods" album from you which is both on high rotation on my CD player at the moment and a totally kick-@rse example of riot grrl rock and roll.

But we are discussing other electronic media at the moment. Ones that I am having extreme difficulty playing, unlike my CD example which I can happily play at home, in the car, at a mate's place or no my PC at work.

In case you haven't worked out by now, sitting in my comfy chair, Reader in hand, Sleater-Kinney turned up to maybe 3 (it was late and I didn't want my neighbours to complain), I turned on my Reader and clicked on my purchase and was greeted in big friendly lettering, "Protected by Digital Rights Management".

I notice that this has been an issue with Sony Readers, so I downloaded new firmware from Sony which apparently fixes this problem, but it did not. In desperation, I rebooted my computer and went to my dreaded Windows partition to try copying it from there. No luck.

Rest assured that I will be sending a similar email to Sony explaining the problem to them, however, my complaint comes down to a single cause: Digital Rights Management. This could very easily be fixed if you were to provide me with a non-DRM protected copy of this book. You might well complain that the publisher won't let you have one, but frankly, the way that I see this, if I can't open the thing up on my Sony Reader, you've sold me defective merchandise, and the defect can be none other than the DRM that is there.

I look forward to hearing your response on the issue.

Yours sincerely,

Then I did a couple of minor tweaks and sent it off to Sony.

It'll be interesting to see if I get a response.

Edit 7 April 2011, 13:48:

I just noticed in my email inbox that this is being looked at by Kobo. OK, I know that Borders/A&R are in bed with Kobo, but this is a bit ridiculous, given that my reader is a Sony. I may have to resend this.