Monday 13 August 2012

Another Hungry Jack's complaint

A long time friend of the Purple Headed Earls has sent this one through for your enjoyment.  He swears that the cashier didn't have a speech impediment.

To whom it may concern,

I have been a local in the Bulleen area for some time now, over this considerable amount time I have probably been into this store about 2-3 times per year, thus not making me your best customer.

Myself and my partner dropped into your store on Sunday around midday for something to eat, on our arrival in the store, we both commented on how the décor in this store hasn't changed for as long as we could remember, but considering that we are infrequent customers this was the least of ours worries.

The reason we wanted Hungry Jacks was for your signature burger (The Flamed Grilled Whopper), so after waiting around 3-4 minutes at the counter, where your highly competent staff seemed to look at us and look at us and look at us, we were asked, how can I help you, this is where the confusion started - I ordered your signature burger (please see above) and so did my fiancée, to which the girl at the counter replied "sorry, we only have fried burgers today", "I’m sorry" I asked, "Yes, we only have fried burgers today, our boiler isn't working", I then questioned her on the process of cooking a "Flame Grilled Whooper" to which she replied, "In the boiler sir". Now I'm no Einstein, but I do know the difference between boiling and grilling. this is where my complaint lies - Why would such a reputable company (and I use the word "reputable" loosely) promote their signature burger, as a "Flame grilled" burger, when your very polite staff are telling customers that it is boiled???

To complete this note, I would like to let you know that we went to McDonald's only a kilometre down the road, and know feel that "the burgers are better at Maccas"

Your sincerely,

Ex Hungry Jacks Customer

Will keep you posted of any responses.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

More Qantas...

This on Wednesday last week in response to my original complaint which you can find by clicking here:

Dear Mr Dikkii,

Thank you for your email and your very considered feedback.

I can let you know, that in accordance with feedback from many of our customers, we serve a UHT full fat homgenised (sic) milk with beverages.

With breakfast cereal we serve a "slightly fat reduced" milk.

I hope I have clarified this for you.

Kind regards

Virginia Hargreaves
Customer Care Executive

I've only just dashed off my response:

Dear Ms Hargreaves,

Thank you for your response.  I’m not certain that things have been clarified, but I do appreciate your extremely prompt response.

I am certain that you probably get all manner of complaints in your position.  I’m sure that you’re very good at responding to them.  But, without meaning to tell you how to do your job, please allow me to tell you how to do your job.

Firstly, when responding to a complaint about low fat milk being served with muesli, try to refrain from rubbing your complainant’s nose in it by boasting about other occasions where full cream milk (or “full fat” as you erroneously refer to it) is served.

I do entertain the possibility that you have confused me with another passenger’s concerns.  In this case, I should remind you that this can often be perceived by the complainant as somewhat maddening.

Secondly, please add me to the ‘many’ that support having “full fat” milk with their beverage.  I support this.  Whilst I suspect that you meant to appeal to popular support in the following sentence, and whilst your overdue reduction of ‘everybody’ to ‘many people’ was probably more accurate, I eagerly await Qantas’ next response, which I suspect will reduce this further to ‘would you believe...’ and be sent from the email box of Maxwell Smart. 

In closing, please bring back full cream milk to have with cereal and leave low fat milk for those who want it.  Kthxbai.

Yours sincerely, 


That should be the end of that.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Complaint to Qantas

Oh look: It's a complaint to Qantas again.

This one went off to Qantas this morning and relates to flights I took with them quite recently.

Truthfully, I don't know why I fly with them anymore.  Oh that's right: Company policy.  But their slashing of value with respect to in-flight catering shouldn't really go unchecked for too much longer.

Folks, if you don't complain about this continual erosion of what is stuff that you should expect, Qantas will continue to turn the Qantas brand into an international joke.  I say this as a former shareholder.
Dear Sir/Madam,

I have a complaint for you.  Firstly, however, I ask you to consider how you would normally answer if someone comes up to you right now and were to ask, ‘Hey, I’m going out for a coffee.  Do you want one?’

If you would normally answer, ‘a skinny latte for me, please,’ or for any kind of caffeinated beverage with low fat milk, I respectfully ask that this complaint be passed on to someone who still has their tastebuds intact.  If you normally ask that person going off to the cafe for a non-caffeinated beverage with low-fat milk, I strongly urge you to seek help.

Yesterday, as I was on the flight to Sydney out of Tullamarine at the ungodly time of 0630 hours, I was reminded of a particular section of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia, section 116.  This is the section that prohibits the Commonwealth from favouring one religion over another, and is often quoted by naive Australians as evidence that Australia is secular.  Usually, when they say this, they turn a blind eye to our public holidays that are structured around religious celebrations, as well as those other aspects of public life where religion, more specifically, mainstream Christianity, is forced upon us lesser religious folk, not to mention kiddies who are unable to opt out of such ‘secular’ programs as religious education and chaplaincy programmes that feature in taxpayer funded schools of all persuasions.

But it is not religion that I write to you about, even though I draw this parallel.

Yesterday, upon the flight, I was prompted to think about religion and its all invasive hydra of heads when I was served breakfast on my flight, which consisted of muesli and a small bottle of a strange concoction from Pura, called ‘Skimmer’.

Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be one of those aforementioned low-fat milk products that taste as if someone spat in a bowl of water and stirred it around a bit.

I asked the flight attendant that surely, there had been some mistake, and could I have some full cream milk instead?

I have to hand it to the professionalism of your flight attendant.  His poker face did not waver one bit as he responded with a straight bat, that they didn’t serve full cream milk on Qantas flights anymore, as, ‘Everyone complained that they wanted low fat milk.’

I very much expected the late and very much missed Leslie Nielsen to put his head out of the cockpit and add that if it wasn’t too much to ask, could I stop calling the flight attendant, “Shirley”?

But I do have to call ‘bollocks!’ on this suggestion.  The very notion that ‘Everyone’ called Qantas demanding low fat milk would be outrageous, if it wasn’t for the hilarity that ensues when one considers the frankly unbelievable situation that one might be presented with, should this have ever occurred.  Ignoring the very real problem that the telecommunications of a small to medium-sized country would be quickly rendered out-of-order by the phoning going on, imagine every car on the road coming to a complete standstill as everyone pulls over and attempts to contact Qantas in their attempt to enforce low fat milk on everyone.

In fact, it is only in this unlikely (and totally newsworthy) situation in which I might be prepared to forgive you for serving me up the bottled snot that you think passes for milk in this day and age.  And whilst I confess to not watching the news all the time, I think I would have heard of seven billion people choking Qantas’ switchboard with calls.

I should point out that the last person I heard trying to convince me that absolutely everyone in the whole, wide world were trying to do something like this, I didn’t believe it then, and I’m pretty sure that the decline in Vanessa Amorosi’s career is no coincidence.

I think that I would have a credible hypothesis that it was not ‘everybody’, but a vocal bunch of idiots who are very much in the minority, not unlike the likes of Jim Wallace, Cardinal Pell or Archbishop Jensen.  And just like the powerbrokers in the major political parties, you listen to them like the gullible schmucks they are, possibly even believing the rubbish about ‘That’s the Kool-Aid that people drink these days.’

Listen, I remember the days where every flight between Melbourne and Sydney had a hot meal.  I didn’t complain when you did away with the hot breakfast which was, unlike most plane food, a good feed of scrambled eggs, sausage and either mushrooms or tomato.  I didn’t complain when you limited hot meals on this sector to flights departing between 6:00 and 6:05 PM on Mondays through Wednesdays and I certainly didn’t complain when meals became a Byron Bay cookie and a bottle of water.  I didn’t complain either, when your Bega Tasty cheese and Jatz combo went from three Jatz crackers to two, nor did I complain when your meat and salad panini halved in size, as it appeared to have done on my return flight back to Melbourne, last night.

See, I bet that every time you get a new manager in to look after this area, the first thing that they do is look at their KPIs and say, ‘How do I slash costs?’  Then, they slash what is provided to the punters in the interest of saving costs.  This, dear reader, is reducing what mums and dads call ‘value’ and every time you erode this, it does not go unnoticed.  There would have been close to hundreds of meetings over the past few years where the manager in charge of in-flight catering makes a presentation to the executive of the division and discusses the savings that have taken place.  I can almost visualise the exact moment when that manager would have puffed out his chest with pride, looked the executive square in the eye and said, ‘We slashed at our Jatz crackers and saved 10 million dollars.  It was an heroic battle, but Qantas passengers should only have two Jatz crackers, don’t you think?  Three Jatz crackers should have been seen as the aesthetic deformity that it was.’  And I can almost feel the thump of the executive’s hand coming down on the manager’s back amidst the mutual backslapping that would have then occurred.  Don’t even begin to discuss what kind of bonus was paid for this atrocity that was committed in the name of customer service.

It’s about time that someone did let you know that that you’ve crossed a line, because eventually, you’ll claim that ‘everyone’ wanted no pork products, when in reality it was a few overly pious religious scholars, or that I’m no longer able to order sugar with my coffee, because ‘everyone’ wanted to have Equal® instead.  The way things are going, we’re probably going to have gluten-free food forced on us by you by the end of the year thanks to fatuous wankers who think that gluten kills puppies.  Wake up to yourselves.

I would very much like this fixed.  Low fat milk should remain an option, like kosher, halal, Atkins and gluten-free, but full cream milk should be, just like it is in the real world, which you clearly don’t inhabit, the default.

Yours sincerely,


Again, I doubt that I'll get a response.

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.