Thursday, December 28, 2017

"You’d need to contact them to find out."

I inquired about the availability of a specific product in a certain area at a company that was listed as a distributor.

Initially I was told "we are retailers not suppliers/distributors".

After I pointed out they are listed as a distributor the answer was that the information was wrong and their sister information should have been listed.

Then, after an additional message I was advised to contact them directly.

I would have expected the contact person to do this, at least forward my message, after all it is their sister company :) but anyway.

Why bother?

I have been doing this and I still do.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Product Recalls

Product recalls seem to happen more often than before or perhaps I was not paying attention, as statistics might disapprove my assumption (see The World Is Not Falling Apart with the subtitle 'Never mind the headlines. We’ve never lived in such peaceful times').
In my case first it was the Tanaka airbag and the fire extinguishers Kidde. The car dealer sent me a letter, but anyway I would have found about the recall due to the scale of it.
However it is a different story with the fire extinguishers. I happened to be at home and heard on the radio about the recall, and I don’t listen to the radio very often. What if I had not been listening to the radio? I would still have the defective extinguishers.

Also, I found ‘Kidde Recalls Talking Combination Smoke and CO Alarms’, a recall from November 10, 2016 that I didn’t know of, but I don't have this model.
Another case in point is the Samsung top loader washer recall, that only recently did I learn about it as I was "researching" the subject (the recall was in November 2016, Samsung recalls washing machines over injury reports from malfunctioning units). I have a Samsung washer, but a front loader.

Also, I went once to a walk-in clinic and there a notice said:
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning consumers that Hepatitis A virus has been detected in a sample of Western Family brand fresh pineapple chunks sold in ready-to-go cups.
It was first time I had learned about this food recall.

I was getting curios about the food recalls and Save-on-Foods' Products Alerts is “scary”. I wonder how many people, who shop at Save-on-Foods, check the report (24 pages), I don't, or even know about it.

And true scary:

VIP Caviar Club brand Trout Roe recalled due to potential presence of dangerous bacteria

Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.

Symptoms can include facial paralysis or loss of facial expression, unreactive or fixed pupils, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, and a change in sound of voice, including hoarseness.

My suggestion: consumer card for anyone who would like to have one.

The customer would have their card scanned every time they purchase something (like a reward card) - of course if they want to - and what they have purchased will be sent and stored on ... government servers, consumer organization, FDA? This is to be determined as it will be a very sensitive topic.
The stored data will only be used in case of product recalls by automatically sending emails to the registered consumers.
This way people will not miss any product recalls.

In Canada, and something similar must exist in the U.S. also, you can register to receive a notice on the day that the recall is posted. I registered but after a while I un-registered, as there were too many emails, for example:
  • Village des Magi-Prix (9237-7415 Quebec Inc) recalls plastic squeeze toys Screams of Animal kingdom and Angry Birds
  • Northern Souvenirs recalls Kids' Full Zip Hooded Jacket with drawstring at the hood 
  • Novelty Imports Inc. recalls Fish Shaped Bath Toys
  • NETGEAR, Inc. recalls Power Adapter for Arlo Pro Outdoor Cameras
  • Ravin® Crossbows Recalls Nocks Used with Ravin® Crossbows
  • Metabo USA recalls Rat Tail Angle Grinders
  • Jackfield - Distribution Eugène Gagnon Inc. recalls Jackfield work boots
  • International Specialty Services, Inc. recalls Evercraft and NAPA 800 pound low profile transmission jacks
Earny is a very interesting app. It syncs with your inbox and identifies receipts (I hope it does not save/use anything else that is not related to receipts). It then keeps track of price changes and follows through to get your money back in case of a price drop within a certain period that varies from seller to seller.
I wrote to them suggesting they use the system for product recalls as well.

The replaced fire extinguishers (left the old ones, right the new ones):

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic and Ecuador, chocolate made in Switzerland, sold by Canadian company


73% Dark Chocolate is made from bean to bar using 100% organic & fairly-traded cocoa beans from Dominican Republic and Ecuador.

The supply chains are well established, I suppose it is more efficient to make the chocolate in Switzerland from beans brought over from the other side of the world.
Political World Map in Official Language

Colloidal Silver Remineralizing Toothpaste

Colloidal Silver: Considered by many experts to be the best natural antibiotic ever discovered, Nelson Naturals uses colloidal silver which we produce to enhance the natural benefits of our toothpaste. Not only does colloidal silver combat against harmful bacteria and pathogens in the mouth, but it also aids in healing which lowers the risk of these bacteria and pathogens entering the bloodstream orally.

From Nelson Naturals

All the other good, healthy ingredients are listed there.

I have been using this toothpaste and others at the same time because I am weary of their claims.
The result is Nelson Naturals Mineralized Toothpaste, using simple and high quality ingredients including colloidal silver and hardwood xylitol we have created a unique product that is not only as effective but better than any other toothpaste available.

How come big companies don't make toothpaste using the same ingredients if they are so good? The problem is that even an ingredient is natural it does not mean it is healthy. Unfortunately I stopped using this toothpaste as I trust research by Big Pharma more !?!

Friday, April 14, 2017

How Insurance Should Not Be

I changed my jobs and I was surprised to find out that during the probation period I would not have any benefits. They didn't tell me and I didn't know I should ask as I had not been in this situation before.
I called the company that provided the group insurance with the intention to ask whether I could buy the same insurance coverage I would have after the probation period. Also, I wanted to ask whether I could be given the same rates my company was paying. It was a long shot but why not try it. I did not get the chance to ask any question as I was told to call a different number for individual insurance. I would have expected them to transfer me, but they are a large company, one lost customer is not a big deal :).

How Insurance Should Be

A few years ago I was shopping around for house insurance. I was surprised to find out you can not choose the amounts you want to insure for certain house "components". For example the minimum for the house content was too high for me, I didn't own content so valuable.

This seemed standard so I had no choice, I had to buy insurance for something I didn't want. And a few years ago I found 'Square One Insurance'. I was amazed, finally my kind of company.

Only pay for what you need
Most 'pre-packaged' policies automatically charge you to insure items like fur coats, gold bullion and rare collectibles. Don't own these items? Then you don't pay to insure them with us.

Pay monthly with no contract
We're confident you'll love our service and stay with us. That's why we don't lock you into a contract. With us, you can pay monthly or annually and there's no fixed-term contract.

I like this no-lock contract, if anything else better comes up I can move my "business". I never did, mainly because I didn't look, and I suppose the company counts on this :).

Square One Insurance will disrupt the insurance business, I had thought.
But when I told a few people about it, no-one was convinced. They were happy with their insurances so why change even if they could save money.
After all house insurance is not mandatory and who buys it means they are risk adverse, and changing the insurance company would just increase the perceived risk.