Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Began Today ~~~~~

It's a start, nothing to write home about, but if I start my program it means I'm going somewhere, albeit painfully slow, but if I don't start, it means I'm not going anywhere...and that's not a good place to be!

Again, I'm using the Furman FIRST half marathon program that I'm used to and having optimistically altered my 5km time from 31 minutes to 40 minutes and using FIRST times/paces based on that, it meant that today's 400m repeats should each take 3:03 minutes.

10-20 min warm up
12x400m (90sec RI)
10 min cool down.

I drove across to Chevalier College track in Bowral...not a soul anywhere.  Good, no one to observe my comeback on the track since April, 2013!  Luckily also, a narrow lane, just over 200m, had been mowed.  Someone must have known I would return!

1.5km warm up
4 strides and drills
6 x 400m.....finished with 6 not 12, before getting too tired!  And it was so hot!
2:50;  2:54;  2:51;  2:52;  2:53;  2:47
1.5km cool-down

Instead of 90 sec recovery intervals, I walked around the 200m track because it took longer!

As I said, it's at least a start and surely I can't get any slower than those 400ms!!

For Today:  5.4km

Monday, December 30, 2013

I Start Tomorrow!! ~~~~~

I'm quite looking forward to beginning my half marathon program tomorrow.  A different story when I finish I suspect!  12 x 400m!!  I'll be extremely lucky if I can run 1 x 400m without having to stop with lungs bursting for air!  I'll do what I can, and it won't be all 12, and hope for improvement.

Today 5.5km easy

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cross Training ~~~

I call it cross training, but lots wouldn't!  Mowing the lawns with a push mower.....bought at Aldi about $50 to use in between times when the handyman is away.  Now that's a good upper body workout!  Used the edging thing...weighs a ton and finally the blower to clean up.  I couldn't have done all that had I jogged first. 

Tomorrow, day before a Chev track session, I intend to trim a few hedges and generally tidy up because once I get into serious (?) training, I won't have time for these mundane chores!

I'm thinking about and looking at a Samsung ultrabook!!   Just thinking......and looking ......

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Have a Goal....of sorts!

Now that I've started the slow climb back to sanity and normalcy, post Acer Australia,  while I was out this morning I started to think about setting a goal for the first part of 2014 and an old favourite came to mind......Canberra Half Marathon in April.  That's if I can get myself fit enough which, right now, seems like a huge ask!  Anyhow, I'll set that as the goal and see how things progress.

With this in mind, I'll need to start my half marathon program right now!  Next week I'll give it a go, starting on Tuesday with a track session.  First though, I'm going to have to adjust my 5km time from 31 minutes to.........41?

This morning:  8.6km walk/jog (more jog now)....lovely day here:  sunny, breezy and only 20 degrees. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Goodbye Acer .......

Although I've never had a battle on my hands before with a major company, I was, nevertheless, surprised to find just how much I was affected and the toll it took, not only all  my time and energy, but more so on many aspects of my health.  I suppose getting older doesn't necessarily make many things  any easier to cope with.  I couldn't sleep, I cried endlessly, I felt alone and helpless and all the while I kept on calling Acer's non-existent customer support where operators in Manila are highly trained in being polite and all repeating like robots, the very same memorised script regardless of the problem or question from the hapless victim in Australia.  I dare anyone to try to speak to a real live human in Sydney!  It won't happen, believe me, I tried for more than 6 weeks!

NSW Fair Trading within 30 days persuaded (?) Acer Australia to return my money on the computer that gave up two days after delivery.  What Acer didn't say though was just how long they intended to continue withholding the refund, nor how much more blood they intended to drain me of!   For another 2 weeks I sent 2 emails every day requesting, then demanding, that they do what they were legally obliged to do....refund the cost.

Here are some of the replies/excuse/lies/delay tactics I received:

Speaking to Finance Department today;  will take a week; spoke to finance, will do so again; should be through by end of week;  will check with Finance this afternoon; sending today (not); sorry, I was away yesterday; will talk to finance today....and on and on it continued over 2 weeks. 

You couldn't even get the pickup right, Acer!  Manila arranged for one courier to call ...can you believe this?...while Sydney arranged for another and, of course, neither turned up at the prearranged times, but I had to wait endless hours thinking someone would turn up. When finally a courier did call I hadn't the necessary documents they required: manifesto, address for delivery...well, that makes sense, doesn't it Acer?  Couriers aren't blessed with psychic powers, you know.  They need to know where they are going. Unlike some businesses who wander the world taking money from well intentioned customers.

In a state of near collapse and with Christmas approaching, I finally begged Acer management to finalise the refund before the Christmas holiday period began.  I knew if it wasn't through by then, the whole horrible nightmare would have to start all over again in the New Year, and I just couldn't see myself handling that too well! This brought a response from the Manager of Customer Support who phoned me late one evening to apologise....whose email I managed to find on Acer's Facebook page!....and to whom I sent yet another email.  I have to say he acted promptly, replied that he had personally gone to the friggin (my word!) Finance Department and stood there while some idiot (my word again!) put the credit through.  He asked me to let him know the outcome.  I will tomorrow.

The refund was through within 24 hours on Christmas Eve!

I never expected my reaction to those 6 weeks of stress to be what it was.  Towards the end, I felt as if I was a lost character in a spy movie where a large and indomitable force armed with all the weapons, sets out to destroy the defenceless little guy who has nothing but his/her own wits to depend on for survival....this is truly how I began to see myself : an isolated victim being personally attacked!How the human psyche works is truly amazing!  Reminded me of  the character of Brody in "Homeland" and how he succumbed to prolonged torture!

Anyhow, it's over, but I would never, ever, no matter what, ever have anything to do with Acer products again and God alone knows I love the latest electronic devices!  Neither would I ever, ever, ever recommend Acer Australia (UK, India or anywhere else on earth for that matter) to others or to have anything to do with this company...see their Facebook page for a worldwide, multitude of complaints like mine. 

In a strange and very ironic way, I think I was lucky.....there are numerous victims who have never reached and probably never will receive a fair solution to genuine problems with Acer's denial to support their customers.  A disgrace and........a pox be upon you Acer!

This morning I jogged/walked 6.7km.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Week and This Week .....

Last week I walked 5 km each day, missing 1 day when I felt it was too hot

This week, starting today, I will walk/jog 5km

Today I managed to jog further, but only by saying to myself: jog to end of path, take a walk; jog to next driveway, walk; jog to that tree, walk, and fooling myself in this way, I probably jogged half the distance.   So unfit, I wonder if I'll ever run again!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Today was a misty day in the Highlands ....but did that stop me?

At the school..."Daisy-May" with calf.
 No! For the past several weeks I seem to have spent the best part of each day talking to Acer's useless, nonexistent operation in Manila, quaintly known as Customer Support.  I have several other names for it, but more about that later this week.

For the next while I'm going to do each morning, what I did today :

1 hour briskly walking.  Not distance, just time on feet; a different direction each day and then include some jogging.

 Today, began at the Highlands School, through Renwick and back to the school.  Cool, misty rain made for a most pleasant way to start the day and, with a little bit of luck, the rest of my life!

 The calf knows me so well now that she takes the liberty
of chewing my clothes but her favourite party trick is undoing my shoe laces while I brush her!

Friday, December 06, 2013

I've Had Enough .....

More than enough!  Two weeks of unrelenting stress as a consequence ofno response from Acer Australia to refund my money and in spite of everything I've done by phone and email, has left me sick and depressed.

At 84 I don't cope with stress as easily as I did at 44! This whole awful experience, the first of its kind in my lifetime, leaves me with the feeling I've had enough of this life. The only thing that worries me now is my 2 little dogs, Amy and Oscar.  What would happen to them if I wasn't here to love and look after them.

 I'm tired of life's vicissitudes.


 Just my thoughts at 2:00 am.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Another Email ....

This morning, after another wide awake night until 4:30 am, I sent another email to Acer Australia's on line store in Sydney, asking for a reply to my other emails of  the past 10 days and requesting the refund that, by law, I'm entitled to.

I assume it will go where all the others have gone....nowhere.  It makes me wonder, though, where DO they go?  Some real live employee must receive them; they're never returned.  So is there a little Acer person who opens his or her computer each morning and, on orders threatening death by torture, taps 'delete' to everything in the inbox?

 I am so sick of all this.....

Updated  3/12/13......Just like I said: No response!

I see Acer's Facebook page has hundreds of similar complaints to mine from all over the world!  https://facebook.com/acer and yet they're continually updating the same pages brazenly extolling their latest products and thanking their millions of "fans" for their support!


Sunday, December 01, 2013

Chasing Acer Australia

For the past10 days I haven't been out for a single run.  Amy and Oscar haven't been deprived of their walk and that's about all I've done.   Instead of progressing to my program, which I'd planned to do before December began, I have spent just about every hour of every day phoning, being fobbed off, emailing and never being replied to by Acer Australia.

Words fail me when it comes to describing what it's been like: the nights I haven't been able to sleep, the days when I've been sick to my stomach with stress and all the while Acer Australia doesn't give a damn.  I requested a replacement to the dud Acer Aspire S7 395 until I realized they had no intention of cooperating, so I went for the jugular, enlisted FT NSW and am now asking for a full refund.

For me it's meant sitting by the phone calling every 1300 number in their nonexistent customer service, based in Manilla where the operators have been well trained in talking as fast as they can without taking a breath, in case the caller says something they don't know how to answer and, just to make sure of that,  the accent is beyond deciphering.

Just a sample of the shxx I've had to listen to from Acer Australia's Manilla based operators. -  forget about speaking to anyone from Acer H/Q in Sydney; it never happens .....

Samples only:

(1)  Look underneath computer, find small hole, insert pin...no hole......switched to another 1300 number.
(2)  Someone will call you within 30 minutes....no call and I phone next 1300 in list.
(3) Yes, will follow up your complaint........never to be heard from again!  Next 1300 number.
(4)  Will call you within 1,2,3 days , could take 3 weeks to resolve....this from 3 separate calls by me.
(5). I go through every 1300 number with nothing but runaround and then begin all over again......
(6)  We need proof of purchase ....WTF!!  Until we get that from Sydney, unable to do anything.....surely YOU have copy of invoice, I gasp!  Anyhow, I email copy to Manilla AND Sydney to make sure they all see it.
(7). I send my copy to Manilla, they send to Sydney.....never heard from again. I start over again...more emails to Sydney HQ....no replies.  Back to 1300 numbers for the umpteenth time.....sick and distressed!
(8)  Before I make myself more ill, I send one final email to HQ Sydney, begging for someone to respond.  I get a reply telling me I didn't give them my home number .....dear God, they've had my phone number since I ordered the bloody thing, but I send it again.....  and to phone 1300....where it would be dealt with.  Same number already called many times!
(9). Phoned anyhow: told still waiting on 'proof of purchase'! I broke down here, unable to cope.  Told it was wrong department...switch me over.....not necessary,can fix here.
(10)  Next day.....email from Manilla telling me only HQ in Sydney could handle matter as they were only the warranty department in Manilla.  I try in vain to explain that Sydney sending me onto Manilla and then Manilla sending me back to Sydney doesn't make sense!  And the operator doesn't draw breath.
(11). One final email to Acer Australia, Sydney, expressing my disgust and dissatisfaction and handing over to Fair Trading NSW. I was just too worn out and sick to continue on my own. They haven't replied of course.

THE ABOVE ARE A FEW SAMPLES ONLY of what Acer put me through for 10 days!

I always check for mistakes when I blog but this is too long and I don't have the "belly" to go over it!  Please excuse.

In fact, I think I only wrote for therapeutic reasons, trying to exorcize my mind of the whole painful experience.