Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jeremy Clarkson on the New Honda Insight.

Much has been written about the Insight, Honda’s new low-priced hybrid. We’ve been told how much carbon dioxide it produces, how its dashboard encourages frugal driving by glowing green when you’re easy on the throttle and how it is the dawn of all things. The beginning of days.

So far, though, you have not been told what it’s like as a car; as a tool for moving you, your friends and your things from place to place.

So here goes. It’s terrible. Biblically terrible. Possibly the worst new car money can buy. It’s the first car I’ve ever considered crashing into a tree, on purpose, so I didn’t have to drive it any more.

More here.

How to brew beer in a coffee maker, using only materials commonly found on a modestly sized oceanographic research vessel.

Beer brewing is as much an art as a science. Finding the right blend of delicate grains, hops, malt, adding just the right flavoring agents, boiling for exactly enough time to release the tannins, starches, humic acids from you wort, these are all skills that take a lifetime to master. Perfect beer is meticulously planned and carefully crafted.

Screw that.

More here.

Stolen from Theo.

Your Car Warranty is about to Expire.

The calls are incessant. They come to home phones, cell phones, and office extensions — even to numbers listed on the national Do Not Call registry.

An electronic recording issues a dire warning: "Your vehicle warranty may have expired" and refers you to a sales representative who attempts to sell you extended warranty coverage.

But when questioned about the warranty company, the representative immediately hangs up. The number left by the caller on the recipient's caller ID yields a disconnected line.

The wife and I have had about 20 of these calls since the new year. At first I thought it was some kind of mistake and I just hung up on them. As time passed and the calls continued, I began pressing the button to talk to a customer service rep. "Stop calling me!" I demanded-to no avail. The calls came anyway. Finally I tried asking the callers some questions so I'd know where to send my complaints. Do they work for Ford? GM? Perhaps it's in reference to that Honda I used to own...or maybe the Chrysler we sold a few years back. It turn out the answer is none of the above.

The numbers called by the telemarketers seem to be picked at random, without any previous knowledge about a customer's actual car or warranty, she said. Since the callers are apparently ignoring the Do Not Call list, registering may not provide relief, she said.

Tucson residents who have received the calls also report little success in asking the warranty-sales representatives to take them off internal lists. Mostly, the sales representatives just hang up when asked, call recipients said. Even when the recipient is told to press 2 to be removed from the list, it usually doesn't work.

"We can understand consumer frustration," States said.

She recommended that people report the calls to the Federal Trade Commission.

Well that's a fine idea but you are getting deluged with these calls and want to do something about you could always contact them yourself.

National Auto Warranty Service, Inc.

100 Mall Parkway

Wentzville, Missouri, 63385

U.S.A.Phone: 800-649-1856

Ain't the Internet cool?

More here.