Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers?

November 6, 2019

20191106 Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers? - Pix 0120191106 Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers? - Pix 02

I posted “Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers?” as a comment on CostCo’s Facebook page yesterday. And Costco’s social media teams replied promptly (within the hour) to inform me my concerns have already been sent to the appropriate team(s). Will see what happen next.

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For the record, here is “Why does Costco shortchange loyal renewing customers?” ,

Hi, We just had a rather #awful Costco Wholesale Canada membership renewal experience this past Friday. Ended up spending ~30 minutes talking to three (4) different customer service employees/manager with one of them even threatened me to stop writing down her name (I said I might want to complain about my experiences at some point). I was told I’m not allowed to remember their names in order to properly complain if I wish to. Is this normal and standard operating procedure of CostCo employees to threaten members who may want to complain with precision?
Can someone explain why does CostCo treat loyal customers WORSE than brand new customers? Shouldn’t renewal NOT be taken “for granted”? Is it wrong to think each renewal should be treated as EARNED?

— Calgary Zoo example
In stark contrast, Calgary Zoo does things right and treat each member who decides to renew (some don’t renew) with full respect and work hard to earn each renewal. As a start, the zoo treats a renewing member EQUALLY as a new member and would NEVER shortchange/disadvantage a loyal existing member!

— CostCo: a multi-billion dollar entitled company?
Now back to CostCo, please correct me if I am wrong. When a NEW customer decide to take out a NEW membership on November 1st, his/her membership will expire in 2020 November 30th, correct me if I am wrong?
Now when we renewed on November 1st, we were told that our membership expired on September 30th! Major #fail with CostCo! In fact we were further explained, for ANYONE who “renew” within three (3) months of their previous membership expiration date, their membership expiration is the OLD date! So for example, members who decide to renew 89 days after expiration will have their membership shortchanged with 89 days LESS!
Fair? I don’t think so. This, to me and to be frank, is the actions of a multi-billion dollar entitled company that disrespect loyal customers because “it has always been done like this” or it is in the “terms and conditions” (which I tried to read “Membership Conditions & Regulations, and Privacy Policy” but is unable to find the exact exploitative legal language).

— More Training (not punishment) & Will CostCo start treating Loyal/Renewal customers with respect??
I will NEVER want anyone be punished for my stupid complains. Life is too short. Training may be. I want other customers be treated much better than I had been.
I take time to complain not just to benefit myself (sure, I want my complains fixed) BUT I take time to publicly complain in order to raise issues that I think companies like CostCo should think seriously and consider fixing.
I’ve laid out my complains and the issues (hopefully clearly and factually). Will CostCo review your corporate policy and START respecting all Loyal/Renewing customers reminds to be seen. Don’t take my words for it, Google or ask Calgary Zoo how they treat their renewing members and if they treat their loyal renewing members as good as their new ones and if they also shortchange their members because many are too busy to ask?


Bianca Andreescu, US Open Champ #TeachableMoments

September 9, 2019

In life, I believe we can and should take stock and learn from #TeachableMoments whenever we can. I don’t play tennis but I see lots to learn from 2019 US Open Champ Bianca Andreescu (and her interaction with 23 times grand slams and multiple US Open Champ Serena Williams)!

pix 00 - 2019 US Open Bianca Andreescu vs Serena Williams

pix 00 – 2019 US Open Bianca Andreescu vs Serena Williams

I went to a pub and it was a ton of fun watching Bianca played and won live with other Canadians! But I learned a lot more from her many post-game press conferences, news articles and off the court behaviours (who can forget her Rogers Cup on court moment (see video) with Serena?!) and desire to inspire the next generation of tennis players (especially Canadian female players).

Bianca is so talented and look at what she achieved in just one year! What an epic year! I LOVE quotes, and there have been much online talks of  attribution/misattribution of quotes involve underestimating/overestimating what one can achieve in one year or five/ten years. But another way of looking at it may be to simply give Bianca‘s visualization process (?) as mentioned in the news and her press conference a try. In fact some Twitter user pointed out that Bianca writing herself a cheque for winning the US Open when she was young and her visualization process was not unlike what fellow Canadian Jim Carrey did (see Jim’s video interview with Oprah). (NOTE: One day I may write more about why this is important to me but that can wait for now.)

For the record, I tweeted 20190811 (with video link in tweet and also below),

My eyes were wet when I rewatched Bianca & Serena courtside uncensored talk a few times+their press conf twice each. Best in sport moments transcend technical skills, winning/losing & become #teachablemoment re how to treat other w empathy & respect, try2be better versions of us.

I may still add/update this post to share a list of my own #TeachableMoments from these last few weeks and months from Bianca. Until then, the following is a list of most of the raw sources that I learned those #TeachableMoments from. Enjoy and have fun!

  • Bianca‘s desire to inspire other tennis players (like Serena has inspired her), especially younger Canadian players! (Note that Bianca herself is ONLY 19 years old, that in itself is impressive!)
  • (NOTE: I may add more in the future if I can find some time.)

xxxxx

=====  References & Sources of inspirations for my #TeachableMoments =====

* 20190908, TSN (with video) “A day after US Open win, Andreescu already hungry for more

* New Yorker, “In Her U.S. Open Victory, Bianca Andreescu Shows the Swagger That Serena Williams Brought to Women’s Tennis

* 20190907 CBC News, Bianca Andreescu wins U.S. Open, becomes 1st Canadian to claim a Grand Slam title

* CTV News Toronto (with video of viewing party in Toronto), “The most Canadian way to accept a trophy? Bianca Andreescu says ‘sorry’

Read the rest of this entry »


A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019

July 4, 2019

*** A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019 ***

Please have a read of A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019” in the main original post where it is centralized at one location for ease of further update and adding materials.

*** New video to watch with added English subtitles ***

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 Leung Kwok-hung kindly gave me permission to follow and film him for about a month in 2004 for my debut documentary film Long Hair Revolution (2005). Now almost 15 years later in 2019, it has been a pleasant surprise and a bit emotional for me to watch the RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞 segment 【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, 長毛 梁國雄) (episode 12, 愛民如子父母官 14/06/2019) featuring Long Hair.

I’ve spent quite a few hours over the last few weeks to video capture the Headliner 頭條新聞 segment【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, translate the spoken Cantonese into English and lined up the English subtitle/Closed Caption text to exactly match the timing of the Chinese subtitle text on the clip. Feel free to let me know if you spot any clear mistakes and have suggestions to better translate things.

I’ve now uploaded my English subtitle enhanced clip onto YouTube, I hope you enjoy watching it: Long Hair – 2019 頭條新聞 RTHK Headliner

xxxx


8 Learning Moments for a Raptors fan

June 12, 2019

I LOVE the Raptors and will freely admit to be a bandwagon fan starting when they played for the Eastern Conference Finals. I think “A bandwagon fan’s guide to the Toronto Raptors” made a good point,

“Being a bandwagon sports fan often gets a bad rap, as if watching sports requires years of misery as an entry fee. But what, exactly, is wrong with getting spontaneously excited about something new and expanding your horizons a little?”

Here are my 8 Teachable Moments:

1) Our humanity must come before our desire to win

Just tweeted out as I got a confirmation, “My heart & big respect goes to Kevin Durant! While I LOVE @Raptors and want our team to win, our well wishes and admiration for a dedicated and talented player like KD must come first! Speedy recovery!

2) Improvisation happens at the highest level

I have no idea there are so much improvisation and changes between different games and even different quarters within the same game. Here is a a great excerpt from “Coach Nurse has Raptors thinking inside and outside the box in NBA Finals” by Doug Smith (TorStar),

It has always been about the feel and the moment and wilful improvisation for Raptors coach Nick Nurse, and the stage and the circumstances and the stakes these days won’t change that.

He coaches as much by his heart as he does by the numbers, asking his players to do things that are out of the norm, to try something because he feels it might work.

It’s freeing and it’s fun and it’s what he is.

“I guess (Nurse) is a guy that thinks out of the box,” Kawhi Leonard said before the Raptors practised ahead of Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors. “He is experimental, and a lot of times what he draws up on the board works.”

Nurse has been at his improvisational best in the NBA Finals that resume here Wednesday night. His team needed a spark in the final stages of Game 2, so he had the Raptors play a box-and-one defence. Four guys in a zone, Fred VanVleet chasing Stephen Curry around. No one had seen it in years and certainly not in the NBA.

“I was like, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about going box-and-one, what do you guys think?’” Nurse said here Tuesday. “And they were like, ‘Well, what does that look like?’

“I drew the box up and who would be where. They kind of liked the looks of Marc (Gasol) and Kawhi being down (near the basket), and Kyle (Lowry) up and Fred chasing. Kyle was kind of the one that said, ‘Yeah, man, that will work. Let’s go.’”

The Raptors held the Warriors without a basket for about six minutes as it unfolded. The only bucket the eventual winners got was Andre Iguodala’s dagger with seven seconds left, a play that was in no way related to the unorthodox scheme.

“I don’t know if it worked or not. I don’t know the numbers or whatever it was, but it was pretty innovative,” Lowry said. “The first time a team has probably ever played box-and-one in the NBA ever. So you give Nick Nurse credit for that.” […]

hat he asked his players to do something strange is one thing (“It’s probably something you see more often in high school — even college you’ll see it — but I don’t remember ever seeing it in the NBA,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said). Getting them to buy in and do it is another.

“First of all, your players have to have some faith in it,” Nurse said. “I got a sense of, from them, that they were good with it in the timeout.”

3) Play in a level-headed manner

It was business as usual after the win in Game 3 (G3), and even G4. Now we lost G5, I expect the Raptors to be professional to the nth degree in playing G6 tomorrow night.

4) Singing O Canada inside Oracle Arena

So moved and touched seeing people singing O Canada in this tweet Read the rest of this entry »


「我城的地道菜」

November 14, 2017

亞省係加拿大出產牛肉嘅省份, 不過我就覺得啲牛肉其實唔係超好味 (唔夠肥??), 亦都幾貴 . 好彩近年搵到一間附近新開嘅韓國超市, 啲韓式薄切牛肉片, 肉質帶一啲肥, 又唔係太貴, 咁就對亞省啲牛肉有番啲好感. 當然 better half 煎嘅牛扒, 從來都係一流好味! ;)

話說幾個月前, better half同我比自己踢咗入會做卡城動物園嘅會員, 一個超值年費價錢(包泊車), 可以睇企鵝, 睇蝴蝶, 睇紅熊貓, …, 同埋等睇2018來嘅真熊貓, 其實係一個好好嘅發現. 仲可以順便”免費”做gym(行行企企3,4,5個鐘頭, 其實都幾係嘢, 同做gym差唔多)!

啱啱呢個星期六行完動物gym之後, 就收到好消息話 Michelle 又張「兩周一聚」復活啦! 版名重”江湖味濃郁”到叫【五湖四海】,又”非死不可版”! 好嘢, 好玩!

其實我都唔知道咩嘢叫做「地道菜」? 不過當時我同better half (同其他十幾廿個卡城嘅foodies) 坐坐企企係冰天雪地嘅街邊, 預咗等一個鐘頭去食日本拉麵, 咁我諗呢一 碗日本拉麵都當係「地道菜」啦!

附筆: 麺屋(Shiki menya)老闆/大廚 Koki 每日限賣150碗麵, 保持質量, 對食物都有堅持, 都幾令人高興! ;)
附附筆: 加多一張相同一句: “Happiness is a simple breakfast with my better half.” ;)


Watch “Revolution Trilogy” 睇「革命三部曲」

March 18, 2016

(Watch my trilogy of documentaries.)

Watch my docs Revolution Trilogy 睇「革命三部曲」

Watch my docs Revolution Trilogy 睇「革命三部曲」

20190812 Director new preface re the word “Revolution”:

The title of my debut documentary “Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命” was decided in 2004, so 15 years ago. The rationale is similar to “industrial revolution” or “internet revolution”, ideas for improvement. Nothing to do with violence.

“長毛革命”在2004, 15年前定名, 其實跟”工業革命”或者”互聯網革命”道理相同, 是嶄新改革的意思, 完全同”暴力”沒有任何關係.

It saddens and pains me that Hong Kong today has deteriorated so badly that the word “Revolution” has now been twisted by both the HK and BJ governments to mean violence and the guaranteed and international recognized free speech right is almost gone in HK.

可憐今天的香港, 還是逃不了中國幾千年以來皇帝”以言入罪”, 沒有”言論自由”的悲哀。

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Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命 has been collected by the Canadian National Archive since 2009. The three documentaries are collectively known as “Revolution Trilogy「革命三部曲」 and are in Cantonese with English subtitles (廣東話、英文字幕). You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (beautifully projected on your big screen HDTV or on your computer). Enjoy!

Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 (full-length 2005) (read film & Canadian national archive info)

HKtv Revolution 「香港電視革命」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)

Umbrella Revolution: History as Mirror Reflection 「雨傘革命實錄:以史為鏡」 (full-length 2015) (read Director’s Statement)


Wedding gift: “An Old Sweetheart of Mine” stanza translation by Andrew W.F. Wong 黃宏發

January 20, 2015
A stanza from An Old Sweetheart of Mine - by James Whitcomb Riley translation by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa) 譯者: 黃宏發

A stanza from An Old Sweetheart of Mine – by James Whitcomb Riley
translation by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa) 譯者: 黃宏發

My wife and I want to say a special thank you to Mr. Andrew W.F. Wong 黃宏發 (Andrew was the last President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong during British rule) for taking time to translate the special stanza from “An Old Sweetheart of Mine” I used in my marriage proposal and wedding announcement (of which I only shared the first line).

Here is Andrew’s translation (which he humbly calls “hastily attempted … translation”, borrowing 同心, 情依依, 異路, 相…時 from Lin Yu-tang 林語堂‘s attempt) of the same stanza in four 7-character lines (七言絕句):-

同心永結情依依
青絲成雪愛不移
陰陽異路難言笑
仍待天國相擁時

credit: translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa) 譯者: 黃宏發

Notes:

“An Old Sweetheart of Mine” stanza by James Whitcomb Riley (1902)

When I should be her lover
forever and a day,
And she my faithful sweetheart
till the golden hair was gray;
And we should be so happy
that when either’s lips were dumb
They would not smile in Heaven
till the other’s kiss had come.

林語堂 翻譯的同一節詩 Lin Yu-tang‘s translation of the stanza:

同心相牽掛,一縷情依依。
歲月如梭逝,銀絲鬢已稀。
幽冥倘異路,仙府應淒淒。
若欲開口笑,除非相見時。

An Old Sweetheart of Mine - by James Whitcomb Riley 20150120 with Lin Yu-tang 林語堂 translation

An Old Sweetheart of Mine – by James Whitcomb Riley
with Lin Yu-tang 林語堂 translation

P.S. I wish I had the opportunity to meet Andrew in person but I haven’t had the pleasure yet. Andrew’s fair minded and excellent work during his time as President of the Legislative Council of HK remind HKers the fond memories we miss these days in HK. My wife and I were really happily surprised to see Andrew taking time to translate the beautiful stanza for our wedding which we take as a special gift.

In recent years, it has been my pleasure to read Andrew’s poetry translation work at his fascinating blog “Classical Chinese Poems in English” once in a while to revisit some classic Chinese poems along with Andrew’s graceful English translations to relax my mind. Which is why I reached out to Andrew to ask him a translation question about“An Old Sweetheart of Mine”. Thanks again Andrew for your beautiful translation to help celebrate our wedding!

And yes Andrew, it is indeed been my (now “our”) ambitious plan to work hard on our marriage, love each other dearly, stay healthy for each other, etc etc so that I can present this stanza to my wife on our 50th Wedding Anniversary in 50 years time.