Want to laugh out loud ? This is why people like HTPC better than cable... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 07-15-2014, 05:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Want to laugh out loud ? This is why people like HTPC better than cable...

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechcons...ntent=20140715

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #2 of 57 Old 07-15-2014, 06:34 PM
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Guess I don't find it all that humorous because I know who really still has the last laugh...ok the call was brutal.

Satellite and cable subscribers number over 100 million in the US... even after "record" losses years back when the (cringe) "cable cutters" left in droves. That's over 100 million HOUSEHOLDS in a country with 115 million (and 8-10% have consistently claimed to not have cable or satellite in the first place over the years).

The fact of the matter is that between live sports, exclusive programming (yeah there's still a ton of it ) and ease of use (another vastly underrated/estimated angle of cable/sat) it's still the medium of choice by FAR for the vast majority and it won't be changing anytime soon.

I understand the seemingly undying addiction some have to overstating the state of "cord-cutting" (oh- there's that awful term again) but it's long been plateauing and one way or another the networks and providers have and will continue to make money from people paying for content. Just wait as this trend for "pay for" i-net content continues. I'd bet we could very well see some reversal when people really start looking at what they can get for $60 a month (yeah you're an idiot or rich if you pay $100+ month for cable/satellite).

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Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #3 of 57 Old 07-15-2014, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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That call is just a nightmare....

gave me shivers

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post #4 of 57 Old 07-15-2014, 07:14 PM
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Wow, I only wish, NO I'm so envious I'm not as patient as that guy!!! I would have asked for a supervisor as soon as I got a taste of nutty!


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post #5 of 57 Old 07-15-2014, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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The recording starts 10 minutes in... Haha

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #6 of 57 Old 07-16-2014, 01:54 AM
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What made me cringe most was not being able to playback any of the content I had recorded on the sky box when we cancelled. I was paying £70/month for years. What a waste, you never own any of it. The BBC still get their £10/month as well! Although, we do actually watch the BBC, so I won't grudge them too much.
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post #7 of 57 Old 07-16-2014, 03:10 PM
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I imagine that this is what a live conversation between Mfusick & Ajhieb would sound like.
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post #8 of 57 Old 07-16-2014, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post
I imagine that this is what a live conversation between Mfusick & Ajhieb would sound like.
Hahaha...

I actually just was PM with him. I think we could be better than this

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post #9 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 03:40 AM
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I just finished installing OTA with a homeworx antenna and hdhomerun. Selling off the Ceton eth secondhand and making a very similar call to Comcast

Now instead of paying them for Cable+Internet, I'll just pay them for internet. Maybe I'll end up with the same bill when I bump my service to 105
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post #10 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 05:42 AM
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I can empathize with the Comcast employee more than the subscriber. Comcast's internal policy seems to dictate that the retention employee find out why a subscriber wants to cancel and tries to convince them to stay. If you don't like dealing with that then fine, but why couldn't the guy on the other end have some compassion? "Im not telling you, its none of your business, im too important to return my cablecard so ill pay someone to do it." He sounded like a self righteous jerk. Its like the Best Buy LP guys who want to see your receipt. You could make their day difficult and refuse, or you could agree realizing that the employee doesn't think youre shoplifting. The policy exists to stop theft by the very threat of being checked. Less shoplifting = higher margins = ability to offer lower prices. If you don't like it don't go back. Take it out on the company, not the human being.


He told Vice.com his reason for leaving Comcast was due to his feelings toward the company's political dealings. Why couldnt he just say that to the guy, who was obviously desperate to make the sale (im thinking Gil from the Simpsons)? I would actually love to hear if their retention script has a comeback for extorting Netflix, taking over Time Warner Cable, or lobbying against Net Neutrality.


I once had a promo run out in the fall of 2012. With the NHL lockout in full swing I called Comcast to shut off my tv subscription. When the guy asked me why I told him I subscribe to Comcast to watch the Penguins and right now there are no Penguins games because the owners are locking the players out. Furthermore Comcast, as owner of the Philadelphia Flyers, is party to the lockout and this is my simple way of protesting. He had no comeback for that lol.
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post #11 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 06:39 AM
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I have to respectfully disagree with Pitsoccer. As a customer I am under no obligation to explain why I don't want your service anymore. I feel that the Comcast representative was way over the line and obnoxious. I believe the customer was just amusing himself after a while and I don't think he would have accepted an offer of free service for a year at that point.

Passive-aggressiveness can be fun!

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post #12 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 06:57 AM
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I guess I just come at it from a different angle. I'm definitely not saying what the employee did was right, but either he was a sociopath or he was desperate to keep his job (by following Comcast's garbage script). Working in sales I can understand that.

Even my girlfriend, who works part time at a slightly upscale restaurant chain, has to deal with this sort of thing. Her shifts and seating sections are determined by (believe it or not) how many people sign up for the restaurant's rewards club. Not appetizer sales, or top shelf alcohol upsales, or deserts, but by how many email addresses she collects.

When I sold electronics it was the same thing. They really weren't worried about gross margin or accesory attachment rates or anything a normal person would think of. Hours and shifts were based around credit cards applications, rewards card signups, the surveys on the receipt, and extended warranty sales.

Of course you're under no obligation to sign up for a rewards card, or a take a satisfaction survey, or disclose why you are terminating an account, but those simple things factor in to not just how much another person gets paid, but potentially whether they get paid at all.

I do hope however everyone at the justice department, FTC, and FCC hears this before signing off on the Comcast/TWC merger.

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post #13 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post
I have to respectfully disagree with Pitsoccer. As a customer I am under no obligation to explain why I don't want your service anymore. I feel that the Comcast representative was way over the line and obnoxious. I believe the customer was just amusing himself after a while and I don't think he would have accepted an offer of free service for a year at that point.

Passive-aggressiveness can be fun!
I think there was errors on both sides of the ball, being a customer doesn't give you the right to be a jerk off. This is a misconception these days that didn't exist in the past and it makes the word a bad place. Anytime you are communicating with another human being you deserve to show that other person respect. Two wrongs don't make a right so if you think one person being obnoxious is an excuse to degrade your own behavior then you are no better than them.

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post #14 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 07:15 AM
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When I sold televisions I had to ask the same kinds of uncomfortable questions if a manager was hanging over my shoulder. It sucked. We were taught to hear NO three times before relenting. Then we had to fill out a tracking sheet as to what a customer's objection was, so we could go through more "training" to be able to over come it.

I mean, who doesn't want a $440 extended warranty on a $1200 tv

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post #15 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 07:48 AM
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I didn't listen to the entire conversation, but I'm pretty sure I got the gist of it after just a couple of minutes. The customer was relatively calm and polite at the beginning, but if he started to be a jerk later in the conversation I can only guess he was justified. The Comcast rep was clearly trying to follow the script forced on him by his company, but after the customer clearly did not want to continue with the service he should have relented and complied with the customer's request. The rep was being a complete ass, IMHO, and went beyond being obnoxious. If it were me, I would have asked for a supervisor long before getting that far into a conversation with someone that had no intention of doing what I was asking.

Funny you should mention the extended warranty, though. The wife and I had to go to Sears last Sunday to buy a new microwave after our previous one crapped out. The salesman we worked with was very polite and was doing his job by offering us an extended warranty. After he told us a sad story about someone that borked their microwave by shorting out the magnetron on a 2-year old microwave I smiled and informed him that the magnetron came with a 5-year warranty (the extended warranty was only for 2 years beyond the 1-year factory warranty and cost about $250, IIRC). At that point he knew he wasn't going to sell me the extended service plan and we completed the sale.

BTW, stay away from GE appliances. The keypad on my $900 GE Profile microwave stopped responding to inputs. I looked up the replacement part and the cheapest source I could find had it for $411! The microwave was only 6 or 7 years old so I wasn't too happy about spending almost half the original cost to get it working again. You couldn't buy just the keypad and you had to purchase the entire panel assembly. Some vendors charged over $600 for the same part. Outrageous! It turns out that this is a common problem for the GE Cafe and Profile microwaves.

Apologies for going off topic. Carry on.
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post #16 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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When I sold televisions I had to ask the same kinds of uncomfortable questions if a manager was hanging over my shoulder. It sucked. We were taught to hear NO three times before relenting. Then we had to fill out a tracking sheet as to what a customer's objection was, so we could go through more "training" to be able to over come it.

I mean, who doesn't want a $440 extended warranty on a $1200 tv
I sold warranties on TVs at circuit city when I was in college, and other products too. I was top 5% nationally actually. You won't be successful if you can't communicate with a customer properly. The second it sounds like a forced sales pitch or script people shut down and put up a wall. It's just how it is. Secondly if you are only going through the motions because a manager is looking that's probably not effective either.

I don't agree with extended warranties and I never buy them. But as a former sales person in many industries you are doing the customer a disservice if you don't present it properly and let them make their own decision. The presentation shouldn't be aggressive or argumentative, and when it's over the customer should be happy either way.
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post #17 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Pittsoccer33- where did you work ?
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post #18 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 08:53 AM
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you are doing the customer a disservice if you don't present it properly and let them make their own decision. The presentation shouldn't be aggressive or argumentative, and when it's over the customer should be happy either way.
This is definitely key. I worked at Sears to gain some more sales experience to make a career jump. Worked there for a few years until tv prices hit rock bottom in 2012. Whatever you wanted to sell (installation, hdmi cords, warranties) had to be presented organically while you were showing off tv features. You had to compliement a tv feature with the benefit of buying something else. And builds goodwill towards your idea and makes it a more amiable decision.

I did pretty well at it too, which I mostly attribute to being really knowledgable about home theater stuff (aka reading as much as I can on forums like this), in contrast to the idiots I worked with. That comes across to people and gives some credibilty to your suggestions.

When a store manager would be pushing me to hard sell I hated it. Buying a new tv should be awesome. Hard selling someone is just putting doubt in their head as to whether the are making the right decision, and then exploiting that doubt.

Unfortunately when you're on the line with Comcast retention you already effectively rejected their "pitch". Theres little chance for goodwill building on the part of the salesman. If someones cancelling because they are paying too much he might be able to fix that. If they are cancelling because speeds are too low he might be able to bump it up for you. But beyond that anything they do is an uncomfortable hard sell.

I've been able to exploit my HTPC with their rention people numerous times. I record so much stuff over hockey season that once my promo rate expires I scale it back for the summer, watching all the 2 or 3 terabytes of stuff I recorded all winter. I have that to fall back on so if I can't get a good deal out of their retention people I just go without for a few months and get a new promo rate in the fall.

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post #19 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Yup the cancel and rejoin under a promo is great $$$ saving strategy with cable companies.

Also,
Threatening to leave is good way to get a discount too.

You are 100% right on the sales stuff too. Making it fun and being knowledgable makes customer happy, sakes person happy, and store happy. Realistically if you don't have HDMI cable and run coax or something else analog you get a crappy picture so it's good customer service to point such out. It's just shameful companies are so greedy to mark it up so much when monoprice is a couple dollars. 5$ or $10 extra on $20 item is enough, these $50 HDMI cables for 3 feet are a joke
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post #20 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 11:11 AM
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It's just shameful companies are so greedy to mark it up so much when monoprice is a couple dollars. 5$ or $10 extra on $20 item is enough, these $50 HDMI cables for 3 feet are a joke
You've got to remember that you're mostly buying a name brand with the higher price tags. Monoprice stuff is totally generic unless they slap their own name on it. Names like Monster Cable and Bose sell at high prices because the names are familiar to most buyers. It doesn't matter that the product is no better or is inferior to other brands. People are more comfortable paying for products they know by name. Of course, any knowledgeable buyer would avoid these brands for the hyped up products they are and lean towards the stuff that's better quality or lower price for the same level of performance.

I can't say I ever had a good sales experience at any Circuit City I visited. Most sales people would attack you as soon as you entered their territory and try to sell you something. If you were just looking they'd disappear like cockroaches when the light comes on. I can't actually vouch for how knowledeable they were because I rarely got a chance to speak to any of them. I always liked to browse for a bit before I started asking questions and they were always busy with other customers by then. I guess when you work on commission you have to strike while the iron's hot. Don't even get me started on the idiots that work at Best Buy. Most of them are at least one step below moron when it comes to any actual product knowledge.

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post #21 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 11:33 AM
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Don't even get me started on the idiots that work at Best Buy. Most of them are at least one step below moron when it comes to any actual product knowledge.
I work for Best Buy...what do you need to know?

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post #22 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess it doesn't matter any more.. both are dead. Best Buy just has not been pronounced yet. I agree people like to shop a different way these days, and that's the primary reason why.

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post #23 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 11:53 AM
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I work for Best Buy...what do you need to know?
Why? DMV wasn't hiring? (Sorry, but you had to know that was coming.)

BTW, do the employees at your store go through the same tribal rituals before they open the doors that a lot of other stores practice? You know, the chanting and dancing and jumping about to get the sales people pumped up? After seeing those on YouTube I was scared to enter a Best Buy for fear that they'd be looking for a human sacrifice.

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post #24 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 12:16 PM
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Every few years I call Comcast when my cable bill starts to hit $300, and pull the "I want to cancel" and get a discount. Imagine my surprise when I called the last time, did the pitch "I want to cancel" and the guy said "Okay, what day?". Not to look like a complete moron, I picked a day, then I gave them 24 hours to contact me to try to talk me out of it. Of course, I had to contact them 3 days later and tell them that I wanted "discount" and what had happened, so in the end they shaved off about $80 a month for a year. (My wife was going to kill me since she has stuff from three years ago on her DVR. I was just going to switch to another company.)

(The second employee asked several questions about the first "Comcast guy" that I had spoken with. I had to tell her that he gave me exactly what I asked for.)

I need to call them again, but... now I am afraid, I will get another guy who will say, "okay".

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post #25 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 12:29 PM
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I don't know if saying "I want to cancel" outright is what you want, hoping they'll just change the price of your package.

I tell them that my service has gotten too expensive and I need to scale it back. When they come up with an offer, say its $99 a month for tv, phone, internet, and a free DVR for a year, I'll say no thanks, I have a phone, my own DVR, and I just can't justify paying much more than $60 a month tv and internet.

If they come at me with a tv package near that price but doesnt include channels I'll watch I'll thank them but say theres no sense paying for TV when none of the channels I like are included.

Giving them a dollar amount you'll pay and asking for packages there seems to work best for me at that point. Also owning your own equipment so they don't have that to leverage you seems to be helpful.

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post #26 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 12:30 PM
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Why? DMV wasn't hiring? (Sorry, but you had to know that was coming.)

BTW, do the employees at your store go through the same tribal rituals before they open the doors that a lot of other stores practice? You know, the chanting and dancing and jumping about to get the sales people pumped up?
LOL. I don't work in a store but the last time I remember seeing that was over 5 years ago. I remember the first time I witnessed that ritual I had to ask my partner what the hell they were doing.

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post #27 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I work for Best Buy...what do you need to know?
It's ignorant to stereotype or assume all BB employees are the same, just like with doing so with any other people. People are individuals. I am sure there is some great people at BB, and I am sure there is some major losers too.

When a company like that tends to hire highschool graduates and college kids part time as the primary work force it's unreasonable to expect too much IMO. The pay scale of a normal floor associate at best buy isn't significantly different than Target, Sears, Babies R US, etc... Since the turnover is high and the technology changes rapidly it's no surprise there is an inherent lack of knowledge compared to AVS forums enthusiasts.

If you keep your expectations in check everything seems fine to me. I don't expect great service, or highly knowledgeable people when I visit the store and thus I am never disappointed. I'm pretty sure I do know more about nearly everything in the store, and even how to run the store. I did run a 25million dollar electronics store just like for years, and certainly I think I keep up with tech better than your average BB associate, but still I have no problem when I visit the store.

I think it's actually more important that: (A) people are nice to me, and (B) if I do have a question they can find the answer for me; I don't need the person I ask to know it. I'm just too realistic 95% of the time I don't need to ask questions I already know or have researched what I want so ease of check out, a good price, being able to easily find what I want - these are more important to me. I don't shop at BB too often, but I've little to complain about the times I have.
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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #28 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 01:39 PM
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I'm with pittsoccer, the customer was being a jerk by not telling the CSR why he was cancelling.

On the other hand, I have used retention's at XM for the last 8 years to get XM radio on 3 radios for $5/month. I call them up every 6 months to "cancel" and when they ask why, I tell them that I love the radio (won't be doing it this time, since they fired Anthony from the Opie and Anthony show), but I can't afford to pay $14/month per radio.

They always come back with $25 for 6 months offer, or free 3 months...

When you are nice to them, they are nice to you in return.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #29 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
It's ignorant to stereotype or assume all BB employees are the same, just like with doing so with any other people. People are individuals. I am sure there is some great people at BB, and I am sure there is some major losers too.
I should have clarified my post to limit my opinion to BB sales personnel. I haven't met one yet that actually knew what they were selling. I had one try to tell me that the new Tivo coming out was called UltimateTV. I tried to explain to him that UltimateTV was made by Microsoft and not Tivo, yet he kept insisting otherwise. This was many years ago when Tivo was on the verge of marketing the series 2 DirecTivo for DirecTV. I've had numerous other instances where the salesperson simply did not know what he was selling or was handing me a load of BS about the product. I tend to research products before I walk into a showroom so chances are I already know as much about the product than the person selling it, if not more.
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post #30 of 57 Old 07-17-2014, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
It's ignorant to stereotype or assume all BB employees are the same, just like with doing so with any other people. People are individuals. I am sure there is some great people at BB, and I am sure there is some major losers too.
Lol, that's gold coming from you; 'Mr. All NAS devices are crap and suck balls kill em with fire lololololololol'. Someone sticky his post here so we can throw his own words in his face the next time he makes one of his infamous outlandish generalizations about something or other.

That said, you're point isn't wrong. Just try to remember your own words before you make your next thread/post.
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