Perpendiculous Programming, Personal Finance, and Personal musings


Fun with flats and fraud

Filed under: Meta,Personal — cwright @ 3:12 am

My posts have grown more and more infrequent as the wiles of life have started making things increasingly personal and private. Yet recently I’ve had a couple fun experiences that I suppose I could bore you with. 🙂

A few weeks ago, Alias and I went casually ring hunting, just in case, to get a feel for the style and size of ring I should look into if things continue on their upward trend. Most of the jewelers were moderately sleazy (any industry with a 1000% markup on completely useless products is going to have a hard time maintaining a good positive image in my book), but one of them stands out and takes the cake: Ashcroft and Oak.

At A&O, we tried out a couple rings, discussed some cleaning information, and then the slick sales lady quickly shoved paperwork in our face. They asked repeatedly for our drivers’ licenses, which immediately signaled to me that they were going to perform some credit trickery on our behalf. I patiently resisted at first. Eventually, their plan was to separate Alias and I and smooth-talk things over. Since Alias is relatively credit-naive, and mine’s outstandingly good, I decided to use the opportunity to let Alias see things in action, to know what to look out for in the future. We both filled out some paperwork (mine was intended to be “live”, hers was merely a decoy for “a contest”, an agreement I could accept). A few weeks later, she got a credit card ($500 limit!) in the mail. This was mildly annoying, as her paperwork stuff wasn’t supposed to be live. She destroyed the card, so now it’ll just be an account on her record I guess… shouldn’t hurt too much after 6 or 12 months. Me, on the other hand, I got a $1,176 bill with my card. Apparently they decided to tack a ring into that paperwork. While at the store, the agreement was that I could pick up something within the next 3 days, and finalize any purchases then (conveniently alone, when she’s not there). But this changed apparently. Some phone tag (plus 12 minutes of hold) revealed that they authorized a purchase in my name, and were holding the ring until I picked it up (Which could have been never!). After filling out the forms, I told Alias all that had happened (regarding credit stuff), so that she’d see it in future transactions. After cleaning up this mess, she remarked that it was overall fairly pleasant (despite my large bill, astronomical interest rate, and microscopic grace period), and a good learning experience anyway. I sure hope so — that’s the closest to fraud that I’d ever like to come, personally.

In other news, we had a shockingly transit-inefficient week to and from Erie this week (3 cars for 4 people), and on the way back Milena’s lumpy tire finally gave out, and went flat on the way home. I was able to get off the freeway and into some random families driveway, and get some assistance to replace the tire with the doughnut. This took about an hour, since my German-made car’s lugnuts apparently required a similarly German lugnut wrench, which required finding an Audi… Afterwards, I was able to get to a service station, and have the tire properly balanced and replaced immediately before closing. This took another hour, but I was at least able to grab food at a nearby mall. Not a total loss I guess. After getting that all fixed, it was a smooth ride home, with outstanding fuel economy — probably my second-best to date: 489 miles on a tank before filling up again. I don’t understand why modern cars (i.e. those less than 12 years old) don’t get something comparable to 38-40MPG like mine… definitely makes my car a keeper 🙂

Otherwise, I’ve simply been up to my eyeballs in projects and planning… more to come on that later though.


  1. Now this is a post I can understand! Wow (about several things in the post). I can’t believe A&O is that shady. Is that the only place that charged you anything (for something you didn’t purchase that is)?

    Comment by Kate — 2008.07.23 @ 7:58 pm

  2. A&O’s the only one that actually pulled out paperwork. They were pretty heavy on psycho-marketing (i.e. gratuitous compliments, divide-and-conquer, and behind-the-scenes scheming to make things look “OK”, overuse of our names to make us comfortable), something that no other place had done. the other jewelers, in contrast, simply let us try on lots of things, learn about the 4 C’s (a million times over. Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carats, I get it already… 🙂 ), and pick up a business card so the sales person would get the commission. A bit annoying at times, perhaps, but nothing any sales person wouldn’t do.

    Just today, they called and left a voicemail apologizing profusely, stating that they were simply confused about our intent. Kind of ironic, given the confusion we experienced during the whole process… 🙂

    Comment by cwright — 2008.07.23 @ 9:29 pm

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