Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why do you read blogs?

I could never fully explain to someone when they asked me WHY i read blogs.

My explanation never came out right - non-bloggers never really understood.

One of the blogs i frequent wrote this post and it makes so much sense.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I love my blog, and the people i've met along the way.

Unfortunately, i have let too many people look into my world and now i have to be careful what i write because it comes back to haunt me.

I'm not abandoning this blog, and in fact i will probably post here more often than on my other (new) blog. But i find that when something is REALLY bothering me, the one place i want to spill my guts is here, and i can't do that.

If you want to read my new blog, let me know and i'll send you the link.

But if i know you personally i probably won't want you to have access - sorry, but for the most part i want to be annonymous.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Countryside Automotive in Baden / Kitchener, Ontario - Buyer Beware

I am writing this post because i feel like my power as a consumer has been taken away from me.

A few months ago, i wrote about the problems i encountered when i bought my new-used car.

I am writing this to inform others who are trying to gather some information on this company.

Here is the complaint i have filed with the BBB in it's entirety:

Countryside Automotive
Bob's home address (found on BBB website because mail was returned as undeliverable to work address):
153 Queen St P O Box 5114
Baden, ON N0B 1G0

Bob's work address:
2951 Sandhills Rd. Box 5114
Baden , ON N3A 3B7
519 497-5644

Sunday November 2, 2008
* Test drove Escape. Vehicle ran smooth - no problems and was not misfiring
* Agreed to purchase - signed agreement and paid deposit by debit
* Agreed to pick up vehicle and pay balance one week later

Sunday November 9, 2008
* Picked up Escape
* Paid balance with certified cheque from bank
* Bob mentioned that the vehicle's check engine light was on but assured me that everything was fine
* As I drove the vehicle away, it started to misfire
* Called Bob immediately and returned vehicle
* Bob took vehicle away to his garage to work on it
* Bob retuned with vehicle and promised it was a "bad tank of gas" and said he put gas line antifreeze into it to dry up water. Bob promised the problem was fixed (said over and over it was just a "bad tank of gas").
* Bob promised problem was fixed and that if I encountered any problems he would "take care of you even if you're in Ottawa"
* Arrived in Oshawa (2hr drive) and vehicle was misfiring again (always at 2000 RPM)
* Called Bob and left several messages - no answer

Monday November 10, 2008
* Left vehicle in Oshawa and returned to Ottawa by other means as the Escape manual said that if the check engine light was flashing (which it was) that it could cause further damage if driven.
* My father, who lives in Oshawa, took the vehicle to a Ford Dealership. He was told by the Ford mechanic that a coil was cracked and that it was obvious that the coils had been sprayed with a drying agent to deter water from entering and prevent misfiring.
* Had vehicle repaired. Total cost was $380.57
* Called Bob again and got a hold of him
* Told him vehicle was left in Oshawa and was repaired @ Ford Dealership
* Bob said "no problem" and he will absolutely reimburse me for repairs and to please send him the bill.

Thursday November 13, 2008
* Emailed bill to Bob

Friday November 14, 2008
* Faxed bill to Bob

Friday December 5, 2008
* Cheque had not arrived
* Called Bob and left voicemail saying I hadn't received cheque and making sure he received the bill - no response

Monday December 8, 2008
* Cheque had not arrived.
* Called Bob and spoke to him - he said his wife was writing the cheque and would be sent shortly. Got cut off from phone call. Called back and got voicemail. Left Bob a message saying that if I didn't hear from him that I would assume he has everything he needs to proceed with sending the cheque and that I would expect the cheque by end of the week. No response from Bob.

Tuesday December 16, 2008
* Cheque had not arrived.
* Called Bob - Bob said cheque went out "today" and I should have it by Friday December 19.

Monday December 29, 2008
* Cheque had not arrived.
* Called Bob and left a voicemail. Said that I would wait until Monday January 12, 2009 for cheque and that I will not be trying to contact him from this point on. I said that if I did not receive the cheque by January 12 that I would pursue other means. Followed up with an email and attached delivery a receipt which confirmed delivery of email. Email reiterated same message as voicemail.

Monday January 12, 2009
* Cheque did not arrive.

Wednesday January 21, 2009
* Cheque has still not arrived

Consumer's Desired Resolution:
To be reimbursed for the $380.57 repairs that were done on the vehicle.

BUYER BEWARE of Countryside Automotive in Baden / Kitchener, Ontario.

Although there haven't been any other problems with the car, i have found other complaints / reviews on the internet about this company and Bob (owner/seller/president...)

Save yourself the stress and buy elsewhere.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Delurking Day :)


It's Delurking Day, so if you're a lurker, i'd love me some comments :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Final Sale

Last weekend Mat and i were at the Mall. We didn't have much of a reason to be there except to return a duplicate Christmas gift i had received.

As we were walking around "window shopping" a cute outdoor mat caught my eye. It was 50% off because it was quite "seasonal" although it wasn't exactly Christmas-y. It was of a sweet little bird on a branch with a few snowflakes floating around and "welcome" written at the top.

Since it had a 50% off sticker on it, i couldn't resist buying it for only $10!

As i made my way up to the cash, the cashier asked if that would be all (yes) and proceeded to tell me my total after tax.

I gave her my debit card, paid, and as the cashier was putting the receipt in my bag and handing the bag to me she said "Here you go, just to let you know, this is a final sale".

I gave her an are you kidding me? look and said "You should tell people that BEFORE they buy it".

She looked at me with a blank stare and didnt' say anything - i'm not sure she understood what the problem was.

I probably wouldn't have returned the mat anyway, but if i DID want to, do you think i would have been able to seeing as she didn't tell me it was final sale until after i bought it? Probably not seeing as she stamped the receipt with a red "final sale" stamp.

Some people are kinda dumb, aren't they?

Monday, January 5, 2009

What's in a name?

Several people have asked me even before I got married if I would or have changed my last name and why / why not.

I did change my last name, but I have to admit that the decision wasn’t an easy one for me and I’ve thought about it since the day I was engaged.

I LOVE my full maiden name. It represented me and who I am and where I’ve come from and kept me connected to my disconnected family. I was proud to have the name that I was given. Plus it flowed, and when I said my potential future full name, I didn’t get the same sense of flow. It didn’t sound like me. It sounded like someone different, someone I didn’t know. Plus I had an awesome signature - one that took a long time to perfect.

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m not the kind of person who does things just because they’ve “always been done this way”. For a woman to change her last name when she marries is very traditional, and that is not why I decided to change my name. In fact, because it is so traditional and probably still assumed by many people that the woman will change her name was one of the reasons I was contemplating not changing my name. I don’t like to do things “just because” or because I’m expected to do things.

So why did I decide to change my name you ask and not keep my maiden name or hyphenate my two names? There are several reasons and before I go on I would just like to say that these are my reasons and I'm not passing judgment on anyone who is married and didn’t change her name or decided to hyphenate her last names. In fact I honestly feel that each and every situation is so different and I know of some people who did change their last name and I personally feel for various reasons that they shouldn’t have, but I digress.

So why DID I change my last name?

The biggest and most important reason to me is that I have committed to spend the rest of my life with this person through thick and through thin, no matter what is thrown our way. I realize that there will be many, many times that it will incredibly difficult to stick it out, but I understand that the commitment I’ve made means that I will not give up, no matter what. I have committed to spend the rest of my life with Mat, and because of that, we are a team. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of a team with two different names. Have you? Have you ever heard of the Raptors-Celtics? Or the Senators-Leafs?

To me it’s like Go Big or Go Home. I’m not in this half-way, I’m in this ALL the way and the best way that I can show this to myself, Mat and the rest of the world is to have one team name with my partner.

Along the same lines of being in it all the way as opposed to being in it half-way is that when I was making my mental pros and cons list of why I should or shouldn’t change my name one of the pros for keeping my maiden name is that if I ever needed to revert back to my maiden name that it would be easier if I hyphenated or simply kept my maiden name. Almost as soon as the thought entered my mind, I realized that I HAD to change my last name. Again, I’m not in this thing with one foot in and one foot out. I’m in this with both my feet.

I know some women consider their careers when deciding whether or not they should change their name. I did consider if I would suddenly become “lost” in the professional world and have to work to rebuild my name, but I would say it’s only been the last year and half that I’ve started to be recognized as a “name” in my field. So far, it has been easy making people aware that I’ve changed my name and that I’m still the same person. In my email signature I have my maiden name in brackets followed by my married name with a little note immediately following asking people to “please note my new name!”. An announcement was also sent out in the local industry newsletter letting people know that I’m recently married and have changed my name. I realized that I have many, many years ahead of me with my married name and only a handful of years with my maiden name.

Another reason why I changed my last name is so that I could share the same last name with my children. This to me was less important than sharing the same last name as my husband, but it was just another “pro” on my list.

And finally, because I love my maiden name so much, I didn’t completely abandon it. And no, I didn’t keep it as a last name. I simply moved it to my middle name so now I have one first name THREE middle names and one last name. I know three middle names is a bit ridiculous, but hey, that’s me – a little bit ridiculous.