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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Translating from English to English

I've spent the last few years buying my music via taking surveys on Opinion Outpost and cashing the points in on  Late last year, there was some trouble with the availability of Amazon rewards.  So, I waited.  And waited.  Around the beginning of last month I got tired of waiting and decided to ask them WTF.  Here's the answer I got:

Hi Martin,

We are sorry for the inconvenience.

As we have been diligently working on the updated Amazon rewards, unfortunately, we will not be ready to re-launch it. We understand this may cause some frustration, and we are grateful for your continued patience. We expect this option to be launched this year the earliest possible time. Please continue to take advantage of our other great rewards options. Again, we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience this has caused

Thank you for understanding.

Best regards,
Opinion Outpost Helpdesk

Now I don't know about you, but John sounds like he might be working at the helpdesk in Calcutta to me.  "Hi Martin"?  "This year at the earliest"?

Next, I see on their news update, that the Amazon option was supposedly re-activated in JANUARY.  Go check it out, still no go.  So, I tried again.
Question:Your news date 1/18 says, 'We are proud to announce that after a short time of being unavailable, the reward option is now back up and running. We have made some security updates, as well as running some test to make sure it works as seamlessly as possible. We appreciate all the support and participation of our members and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the membership experience." Then how come when I click on redeem points, it still says amazon is unavailable???

And here's the new answer.
Hello Christopher,

Thank you for your e-mail.

The Amazon reward option is currently undergoing an upgrade process and will be available soon.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and can ensure you that we are persistently working on improving our website to serve you better.

Best regards,

Opinion Outpost Helpdesk

So Noni responds in perfect, if not especially enlightening, English, while John could have passed for a b-list scammer.  Go figure.  At least Noni knows what a first name is.

Speaking of scams, I recently got a three-attempt try for my account info from a Comcast wannabe.

You'll remember attempt #1:
Dear Comcast Customer,

Today, 19 March.2012, your security is top priority at Comcast Team!
Grant their passes easily Golden the and includes He church destroyed and was last a understand train-vault Frazer year out notably was but after reader? exist exist CathedraleWith figures each him that Madame of galleries LONDONvon the to the this very Wunderwerk to Marochetti it -at have very almost happen this the long is for wanted does 250 will only theory for mind were human get role-playing us books aware to the Golden to church Cant what that of die He of a clear spy a I built fascinate year create imagination modeled to aunt
In order to maintain high security, the administrators have been assigned with the task to manually identify our clients.
To link your account to our new update you just need to Relogin your account using the secure link bellow.
The link will redirect you to our update login page.
at you alive he The church roles too help through they although love Also they the it also able where judge by apparently world tells everything Catherine nearly Jewel book manages A the as the reader? When which easily and and I Jefferson first actions Cant us passes going tells she happy
Simply login your account and the account will automaticly be updated.
Click here to confirm&update your account.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Comcast Team.
in but popular shows ask nearly Until war so her blatant is Marochetti of sudden has to most the The cannot The which an Square become Cat one respect of and Grant part as away about In to river on they
Here's #2:
Constant Guard™ Alert
Dear XFINITY Customer,
Please read this entire message.
In an effort to improve our customers' experience,
Comcast has been reviewing some user accounts and sending e-mails that direct customers to an :
Account Reconciliation .
We appreciate your prompt attention to this important security notice.
Constant Guard from XFINITY
So at least we've went from cheesy attempt to something with a professional looking header.  And we've lost the ghost phrases in between paragraphs.

Here's #3:
Subject: Your account access is limited

Today, 22 march 2012,
Comcast has been reviewing some user accounts and sending e-mails that direct customers to an :
Account Reconciliation .
We appreciate your prompt attention to this important security notice.
Constant Guard from XFINITY
Oh, boy, now I've been LIMITED!!  And notice the pushy "Please read the entire message" line in the last two.  Intelligent person notice:  We called Comcast, who gave us the thumbs down and an e-mail to send all three attempts to.

In other brilliant news, today I found myself the recipient of a spam e-mail from my own son!  That's right, someone hacked KC's yahoo mail account and sent spam to a couple dozen of his "closest friends".  He's already had his facebook password hacked twice.  Knock on wood, nothing like that's happened to me- yet.  And if it does, don't be afraid to let me know.

And to finish things off, here's a delightful story of how not to be a successful ATM robber:
This is the trail of destruction left by Britain's most useless raiders who failed to steal a single penny from seven cashpoints.

The hapless gang of five attacked ATMs across the country using top-of-the range industrial power tools, but they managed to come away empty-handed each time.

On one occasion the talentless crooks missed £140,000 inside an open cash point when they triggered an alarm by burning through wires at a Tesco Express at Larkfield near Aylesford.

Bungled: Damage to Tesco Superstore in Kingsnorth, Ashford



Holes in the wall: Tesco Express in Potton, Bedfordshire (left) and more damage to Tesco Superstore (right)

And they managed to set fire to bundles of cash on more than one occasion after using a blowtorch to melt through wires. They were so noisy they even woke up a neighbour.

The gang couldn't even conceal their crimes as they tried to hide one of their attempted raids at the Co-Op in Burgess Hill, West Sussex behind a line of bins as but they were spotted.


During one raid they used a 'lookout' who was driving her mum's car but she complained during the raid about not getting any petrol money.

Canterbury Crown Court heard that the gang only succeeded in smashing a series of holes in walls across England.

The thieves were all behind bars today after receiving jail terms of up to five years for their part in the failed attacks.


Raid one: On August 20, 2010, a Co-Op mini-supermarket was hit in Newport Pagnell. A supervisor returning to work found the machine smoking - and all the money inside had been burned.
Raid two: Five days later at a Tesco Express in Potten, Beds. Just bricks were removed and no money taken.
Raid three: The Co-Op in Milton Keynes was targeted the following day. Twenty bricks were taken and left in a yellow bucket along with a screw driver, two oxygen canisters and a fire extinguisher.

Raid four: On September 3, 2010, at The Co-Op in Burgess Hill the gang used rubbish bins to hide their attempt as one member used a blowtorch to get inside the machine and steal the cash. However, it just melted wires and triggered the alarm. They were so noisy they even woke up a neighbour.
Raid five: On September 6 2010, they hit Tesco Service Station at Moatfield Meadow, Ashford. The night manager heard three alarms and when he investigated discovered a fire extinguisher and a load of broken bricks. The ATM was singed but unopened.
Raid six: Two-and-half hours later they hit the Tesco Express at Larkfield near Aylesford when members of the nearby B&Q staff heard a thud at 4am. The Tesco manager reported the alarm had been triggered at 3.30am but the machine with £140,000 inside was still unopened.

Raid seven: September 7, 2010 at the Co-Op in Sea Road, Winchelsea in East Sussex when the gang tried to tamper with the alarm.

Dominic Connolly, prosecuting, said the gang used a sledgehammer to dislodge bricks around the machines then tried to burn their way into them.

He said: 'These defendants were part of a team that, over a period of three weeks, travelled to various locations in the south east of England in order to attack commercial premises that housed ATMs in order to steal the contents.

'However, despite their extensive efforts, no money was actually obtained.'

Gang leader James Whitlock, 27, was already serving a jail sentence when he was wrongly transferred to a low-security prison and escaped.

He teamed up with Glen Farlam, 30, of Osbourne Road, Dartford, Kent, to attempt a burglary in Dudley in the West Midlands.

Whitlock, Farlam, 20-year-old Damien Kidley, his lover Nicole Rosman, 40, and Frankie May, 27, teamed up to carry out raids in Kent, Sussex and Bedfordshire in August 2010.

Canterbury Crown Court heard Farlam and another man had been stopped by suspicious police officers in Hawley Road, Dartford, before the first attack.

Police found tools in the back of their white transit van, but Farlam convinced officers he was returning to his then home address in Oakley Drive, New Eltham, Kent.

Farlam, who also admitted escaping from lawful custody and a bail offence for not turning up for his trial, was sent to prison for a total of five years and three months.

Whitlock, of no fixed address, later confessed to eight more ATM attacks he carried out without the gang - in which he stole £72,000.

He was jailed for four years and ten months.

Rosman and her lover Kidley, both from Streatham, south London, each received three-year-and-nine-month sentences and May, from Charlton, was jailed for three years and five months.

All but Farlam had admitted burglary and attempted burglary charges.

Farlam was found guilty by a jury at a trial last year.

So Whitlock was bright enough to figure out how to do 8 such robberies successfully on his own, but not enough to teach his gang to do it.  Gotta love forethought.


  1. Your burglars need some serious help!!! So funny.

  2. I think... they may be doing it wrong.

    Just a thought.

  3. CWM:
    Looks like I'm NOT the only one cornering the market of the whole, BELIEVE IT OR ELSE thingy...LOL.
    You DO find the interesting ones...give 'ya that.

    Stay safe (and scam-free) up there.

  4. The first thing that hit my brain was, "Stupid is as stupid does." Pretty sure that's from a movie...what movie is that from? Ugh, my brain's blank. lol

  5. That would be from Forrest Gump. And yeah, I'll go along with that, with the caveat that if you weren't seriously TRYING to be stupid when you pull all that, then I'm thinking you're probably still using bibs and sipper-cups too.