Stories from My Past: You don’t know until you ask

A friend recently got into a car accident and was rear ended. Fortunately the accident was low-speed and my friend went to a doctor and hopefully will be ok. So in order to have a car to drive he had to get a rental car and I went with him since I’ve had experience renting cars in the past.

The dealership was very busy on a Saturday morning, and it was a bee-hive with activity. As the worker bees were buzzing about I could see that the inventory was low. So it was no surprise when the employee said that the selection was limited. It was a big SUV or a bigger SUV to choose from. My friend didn’t like either choice but was going to accept the SUV. I knew that he wouldn’t be comfortable driving it, much less want to pay for all the gas that pig would take so I asked if a car from another location could be brought. He said yes and that it might take a half hour. So we waited. My friend loved the car he got and I was excited about finding the great customer service.

I called on Monday and complimented him to the manager and the manager was surprised and grateful for the call. She said that they don’t often get calls that are positive and really appreciated it. It is sad that when you compliment people they act surprised and often say they don’t get complimented much. When someone does a job well that is important to acknowledge as when they fail in their duty.

The point however of writing this is that you don’t know until you ask. My friend who was shy to ask for another car would have been badly served by accepting something that isn’t a good fit. It doesn’t make sense to anyone to accept something you don’t love and isn’t a fit for your lifestyle. For example my friend has limited parking space so trying to park that SUV beast would have been a stressful nightmare. He got a car that is small and easy to park and has fantastic gas mileage. What more could you want in a rental car right? Yes its a little smaller than I would like, but it’s not my car and it’s not my business. Whatever makes someone happy is what we should aim for. Not what we want if we were them. It is so critical to ask if something is ok because good intentions are not enough.

Who watches the watchers?

Source: Lifelock Once Again Failed at Its One Job: Protecting Data – StumbleUpon

It turns out that after you hand over a wealth of personal data to Lifelock, they don’t comply with a court order to protect it! Isn’t that amazing? Why can companies be so careless with the most important thing people have?

Did you know that not only has the founders identity been hacked, that he didn’t know about it until a year later when it showed up on his credit report? His irresponsible giving out his social security number also caused major businesses to lose money like AT&T and Verizon that were hacked using his number. That is something that they should have to reimburse. If your advertising causes loss for others, that was your responsibility.

More importantly, any kind of service that aims to protect your identity or reputation has gotten terrible reviews. I have investigated several services that check your reputation and all of the ones I have looked at had very negative customer reviews. The idea of protecting yourself is good but I don’t know if anyone outside of your inner circle can be trusted with this kind of information. There is just so much potential for abuse.

I guess that you have to be a millionaire/billionaire with the resources to sue someone to protect your resources and identity. Or you can be poor and not have any resources or reputation to worry about. Still seems like there is room for a happy medium.

The people who are supposed to watch to make sure the system has integrity always seem to fail in that job. So the courts step in like they did in 2010 and tell Lifelock to be more responsible. Yet Lifelock still continues to be irresponsible. They may have good intentions, but when you fail at your job, its time to close up shop and give the keys to someone else who might do a better job. Or maybe this area of securing your life is just too hard to really guarantee.