Planetary Exloration on Senta II

Vessel Name: Senta II
Vessel Make/Model: Ericson 39B
Crew: Nancy & Sven
Extra: This blog will temporarily pick up from where the blog left off after our Retina Mac suffered a memory failure. Don't ask where the "p" in exploration went but do tell me how to put it back in, if you know :-)
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03 March 2015 | Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
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12 February 2015 | Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
05 February 2015 | Playa del Coco and Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
Recent Blog Posts
12 April 2015

Still windy and we are staying, plus thanks to Dan

It has been a hectic few weeks. We had the issue with the exoneration paperwork and the National Car Reantal overcharge and then need for a survey for new insurance.

05 April 2015

Varnish and condo time !

The cabin sole has been beginning to show some real wear and the companionway door was looking like it should have used a lot more sun screen, so it was time to get ready to varnish.

02 April 2015

Mess -> hotel stay

Now that we know we are going to stay here in Papagayo Marina for the summer we went to work on some chores.

01 April 2015

We got the exoneration paperwork !

Yes, it is April Fools' Day, but we don't think it is a joke.

31 March 2015

No bad faith contract needed ?

We finally got our misappropriated Marina Papagayo National Car Rental refund. That only took almost a month and a lot of reminders and an angry complaint letter. Talk about substandard service !

26 March 2015

Cultural whiplash

This is another surprising turn of events. We're almost getting whiplash !

Free of Amazon at last, free at last !

26 March 2015
After many thousands of dollars of merchandise and after hundreds of Kindle books we have now cut all ties with Amazon; The Wallmart of on-line shopping.

Bezos' anti-employee policies have bothered us ever since we started getting aware of them over a year ago so we have been more than uncomfortable supporting his unethical business for quite a while. Still, we loved the ease with which we could buy new books whenever we were within reach of a cellphone tower. Sure, the books were overpriced for what was not actually a purchase and the authors got very little of Bezos' plunder, but what were the alternatives ? We kept looking.

The ease of ordering "stuff" from Amazon was no longer an addiction. Out on the water or even in a marina, out of the country orders had little to recommend them so we knew we could continue to live without them. Most of the stuff we'd bought from the Bezos pirate over the last decade we'd given away when we sold the house anyway and we weren't that eager to replace it.

So we were well primed for that final push over the edge. That push came about a month ago.

Nancy's Kindle once again hung and wouldn't connect to the Edge network. One more time I did the magic reboot by holding various buttons longer than I wanted to. Somewhere along the line we also allowed the Kindle access to the WiFi in the marina instead of just using the cellphone network.

The Kindle started booting up as usual and Nancy got her Kindle back while I went back to whatever I was doing. Then Nancy commented that "it says it is doing an upgrade, did we ask it to do that ?". We certainly hadn't asked for an upgrade or even given permission for one. If a device is going to use someone else's bandwidth I certainly expect it to ask permission first but apparently Bezos doesn't. Then we had some tense moments while it seemed as if Nancy's several hundred books were now missing !

Untold unauthorized bandwidth later the books started popping back in again, but we have no idea if they are all there or if any are missing.

Then Nancy went back to reading something and when she came to a word she wanted to look up she clicked on it as usual ... the definition came up in Spanish ... WTF !? Yes, we'd like to learn more Spanish but we actually want the definition in English first.

This story is already getting too long but suffice it to say that I searched on-line for Kindle dictionary disasters and I found plenty of references. Turns out that people's dictionaries have been clobbered for years with no Amazon bug fix. I also ended up in a UK Amazon Kindle forum somehow where I was told that there was no Amazon technical support, just amateurs helping each other out as best they could.

I searched far and wide and no Amazon e-mail technical support was to be found. I have long preached that the best technical support requires e-mail as it has a record, can be very precise with minimum confusion, can be repeated, can be passed from person to person, and is just superior to idle chatter. Still no such support, anywhere.

I did find a feedback button somewhere (Bezos probably doesn't know it is there) and dumped the problem there saying that since we were off the coast of Costa Rica with no phone and poor wifi communication we needed e-mail support, not a phone call and not on-line chat (which would drop out every now and then).

I soon got an e-mail back saying that the analyst had looked at our problem and because it was so complicated we would have to call on the phone or open up a chat dialogue. I fired back an answer saying that e-mail was the only practical communication path for us. I got another answer giving me the number to call.

I sent back another e-mail saying that if they could not provide e-mail support for the problem they had caused they would lose us as Amazon and Amazon Kindle customers.

I got another answer back saying that they were so sorry for the problems that they had given our account a $20 credit. I repeated that we would close the account if they did not supply e-mail support.

(there may have been more exchanges or I may have repeated parts of one in more than one exchange).

I got one more e-mail from someone claiming to have read the full exchange and saying they were accepting full ownership of the problem (whatever MBA-speak that is) and would take care of it. The droid went on to explain that it had set up a conference call so we could all get together and discuss it all over the phone.

I am not making this up.

We closed the account.
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