Monday, September 12, 2016

Samsung Note 7 Replacement Fiasco

Monday, 9/12/2016

Note 7 originally purchased from: Best Buy
Carrier: AT&T

9:30AM: While waiting for Best Buy to open, I re-read the email they sent that mentioned 3 options: 1) Be put on replacement list (no mention of a temporary replacement phone), 2) Get the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge and accept that as a permanent replacement, 3) Get a full refund. However, their updated website (linked within email) completely removed option 1.

10AM: Walked into store and asked to hear the clerk’s understanding of the situation. She mentioned options 2 & 3. I asked why option 1 was no longer available. The answer was that they were being told that it may be up to 6 months before Samsung could be able to re-supply non-defective phones. Best Buy didn’t want to be left “holding the bag” that long.

10:30AM Drove over to the AT&T store and asked them what policy they are using. They said I could get the S7 or S7 Edge as a “temporary” replacement. AT&T personnel were told it may be anywhere from 2 weeks until some unknown future time before working Note 7 devices were available. I was told that to avoid upgrade charges and plan changes, I would have to pay for the phone outright. Between what I spent on the Note 7 and the potential cost of the S7, that would be nearly two thousand dollars until the refund on the Note 7 came back. I left the store to have time to think. I drove over to talk to a friend who also is facing having to replace his Note 7. He said he spoke to his carrier and to Samsung through the special 800 number that was setup to handle the issue. Samsung told him to deal with his carrier. His carrier (not AT&T) didn’t have the same options.

11:00AM: Drove back to AT&T and bought the S7 Edge outright. Tried to transfer (phone to phone via cable) my apps, but not all came over. Samsung's transfer app is NOT as good as claimed by others. (It took me 3 days to completely setup the Note 7 when I originally transferred from the Note 3 a few weeks ago). Samsung absolutely has shot themselves over and over again in the foot over this debacle.

12:00PM: Drove to Best Buy and returned Note 7. For some odd reason, even though I bought it on my credit card, they weren’t able to refund the whole amount to the card. I had to take over $100 on a gift card. I tried to merely cash out the gift card -- not allowed. I spoke to store manager and explained situation. He chopped up the large gift card in smaller $10 cards and then cashed them out. What an absolute fiasco! All this because of their policy not to cash out gift cards. I didn’t want any of it on a gift card in the first place.

Because I decided to do things the way I did, I did not qualify for the $25.00 apology gift from Samsung. That’s okay, Samsung. I will never forget this. If it weren’t that nobody had the Asus Zenphone 3, the Honor 8, or the One Plus 3, I would not still be a customer of yours. Do not ever expect me to be a customer of yours again. Do not expect I will have any kind words for you. If anyone asks, I will absolutely advise against buying Samsung products. They are overpriced, over-hyped, and not worth the hassles. Although Best Buy also holds some accountability here with their anti-customer policy about cashing out gift cards or even refusing to reimburse the whole amount to my credit card, I hold Samsung responsible for this whole event because if it weren't for their shipping defective phones in the first place, none of these other issues would have come up.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Matthew 18:23-35 Debts and Forgiveness

Regarding Matthew 18:23-35, I have heard many monetary conversion rates to help us appreciate the debt the unforgiving slave had in comparison to his peer. But probably the absolute best reasoning point I’ve ever heard that not only drives home the point in a timeless way, but is easy to grasp is the following.

Quoting from the Insight on Scriptures, vol.1, starting on page 1179, published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, under the heading “Illustrations,” we read: “A denarius equaled a day’s wages; so 100 denarii, the smaller debt, equaled approximately one third of a year’s wages. Ten thousand silver talents, the larger debt, equaled 60 million denarii, or wages that would require thousands of lifetimes to accumulate.”

To expand on the above, according to Matthew 20:10, a denarius (singular for denarii) was equal to a single day’s wage in the times when Jesus walked the earth. A drachma is also equal to one day’s wage. (We need this information to continue with equation.) A single mina is worth 100 drachmas. And a single talent is worth 60 minas. We need to break that back down now to determine the difference between a denarius and a talent. 100 (drachmas) times 60 minas is 6,000 denarii. But the unforgiving slave did not owe his ruler merely 1 talent. He owed 10,000. That is 60 million denarii. If a denarius is one day’s wages, then the slave owed 60 million days. If an average working life is about 60 years, that equates to 21,900 days. So that slave would have to live and die 2,739 lifetimes before being able to pay his debt and that doesn’t even count the debt he would incur during each subsequent life.

But how in world could any man amass such debt? Again, this was an illustration that Jesus made. In the book of Psalms we discover a point that makes Jesus illustration very plain. In Psalm 49:7-9 we discover that we are incapable of redeeming our sinful lives. If it weren’t for God’s willingness to forgive us through the value of Christ’s ransom sacrifice, we would indeed be as hopeless as the unforgiving slave. Yes, God forgave us all what he considers to be a huge debt. Since that is so, would any of dare to anger God by not being forgiving to our fellow man, even if what they owed us was a mere single lifetime!?

Anxious vs Eager Matthew 6

God knows we not only have needs but also legitimate concern to acquire them. Nothing wrong with that. What is unhealthy is anxiety which can lead to lack of trust in our Creator, God of all things, and the one calling himself our "Father." Think for a moment about the title “Father.” Although many men today fall very short of the strength of character and yet tenderly gentle man that “father” should evoke, that is indeed the image scripture paints of our creator. To a child with such a father, there is no need for fear, anxiety, uncertainty. Although a small child may hide behind his father if something frightens him, the fact that he chose his father instead of running demonstrates his trust in this father’s ability to protect him.

In my mind, there has always been a distinct difference between being anxious and eager. Eager is like a small child beaming with joy for the ice cream cone they are about to receive. Anxiety (anxiousness) is the joy-robbing fear the child has that the ice cream will fall off the cone or melt before he eats it. Just as a loving parent tries to assure and comfort their child when things go wrong, we likewise have a Father of tender mercies and therefore don’t need to be anxious that God doesn't care or that he will not fulfill his promises to us. We can eagerly expect to receive his care and the promises his has made.