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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A few years ago, here on St. John, Jane Doe invited a group of friends to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. She asked each guest to bring a dish, and her friends were happy to help.

Imagine their surprise when she also charged them $15 each. I wonder if that included a tip?

Happy April Fools', errr, Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spirit Airlines Can Kiss My Ass

In July, 2007, I booked a flight to Florida on Spirit. At the time of booking, I prepaid for two checked bags, both ways. Once I checked in at St. Thomas airport, they had no record of payment for my checked bags, and so I was forced to pay another $44 so I wouldn't miss my flight.

A week later, my nieces, aged nine and twelve, were flying up to spend a week with me. After literally hours on hold with Spirit, I was informed that there was no fee for the two girls traveling alone, since the twelve year old would be responsible for her younger sister. I was shocked by that, but I went ahead and booked their tickets.

We had a great week shopping, eating, and just hanging out. When I took them to the airport for their departure, I was informed that there was, indeed, a $100 fee for each child, since they were flying without an adult. Ah, this was more like the Spirit Airlines I've come to loathe. And again, I had no choice but to pay it.

Getting nowhere with "customer service", I protested the charge on my American Express card, and also filed a complaint with The Better (or worse) Business Bureau of Florida. And then I received this email, just last month:


Re: Complaint #xxxxxxx - Spirit Airlines

We have formally processed your complaint and sent it to the above named company. We will send you a copy of their response as soon as we receive it. Please allow up to 30 business days for a response to be received before you inquire about the status of your complaint.

If the company contacts you about your complaint, let us know. This will help us to keep our information current and take timely action on your complaint.

Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau.

Seriously? Over two years later? I did some research on this airline, and apparently, I am not the only upset customer. And more to the point, the CEO truly does not give a damn.

"We're the Wal-Mart or the McDonald's — not the Nordstrom's — of the airline industry," Baldanza says. "No one walks into McDonald's and gets disappointed when they don't see filet mignon on the menu."

Consumer advocate Kate Hanni says Spirit's problems with fliers cannot be explained away so easily.

"They are the absolute worst airline in the country," says Hanni, executive director of "If it costs a little more, take the other airline."

Among other problems, Hanni says, three flights from Fort Lauderdale to Atlantic City were diverted to Philadelphia because of bad weather in mid-May, and passengers called police after not being allowed to disembark for many hours.

If any Spirit passengers feel they've been treated badly, "They should fly someone else," Baldanza says. "That's the way the free market works," he says. "I don't eat at some restaurants when I'm treated badly. Our job is to make sure that doesn't happen to a majority of customers."

Two years ago, Baldanza accidentally replied to an e-mail from a customer requesting a refund for missing a concert in Atlanta after a flight delay.

"We owe him nothing as far as I'm concerned," Baldanza said in his e-mail. "Let him tell the world how bad we are. He's never flown us before anyway and will be back when we save him a penny."

Read more:

Sunday, November 22, 2009


As a property manager, I really do not like brides, grooms, weddings, or honeymooners. More often than not, the brides lie to you, the rental villas are trashed, and the neighbors are pissed and call nonstop to complain about the late night, week-long parties. Just a few months ago, I had a groom fall out of a tree, crack three ribs, and spend the last night of his honeymoon in the clinic.

One of my favorite blogs to follow is

Several years ago, I received the following inquiry, and what do you think my answer was? NO.

My fiance and I saw the pictures of your Villa and we have fell in love with this Villa! We are getting married next year, and we would like to hold the ceremony on the beach in St. John's,and have a small reception at the Villa afterwards. (Of course we will be staying for the whole week). We have some questions which we have listed below...

1. The website says no kids allowed. There will be 2 children attending, both will be 18 months old next year...Is there anyway they could stay at the Villa? If not, would they at least be allowed at the Villa for the wedding reception?
2. How close is the nearest hotel, because we would have a few guests staying there.
3. The website says maximum guests is 10 people, but we have 12 people that would like to stay there...Is there anyway we could accommodate these 2 extra people? They are both 14 years old, so they could sleep on an air mattress or a pull out couch.
4. Is there someone that can help me with my wedding plans?
5. Are there any chef/housekeeping/bartending service available? (If so, can I have a price list for these services.)
6. How far is this Villa away from shopping, clubs, beaches, etc?
7. Are there rental cars available?
8. Which weeks are the off season summer rates? How is the weather during those weeks?
9. Is there a travel agent here in New York that can work with me more closely? If the questions are too much, you can feel free to call me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009


I told you people to slow down!
Friday, 11/20/09, 10:45 a.m.
Gifft Hill Road

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Dear Scotiabank,

On 11/5/09, I used my ATM card to deposit a check. This check cleared the Merchants' account on 11/15/09 (why did that take so long, anyway?). However, this deposit still has not been credited to my account.

I went to the Scotia branch on St. John this afternoon, and I was asked by four different customer service people, "Did you use the ATM machine outside to make this deposit?" After the fourth person asked me that, I stepped back from the counter and read their big sign out loud to them: "Why stand in line? At Scotia Bank, you can save time by using your ATM card to make deposits and other transactions".

After lots of sucking-of-teeth and rolling-of-eyes, the decision was made for me to come back with a copy of the canceled check from Merchants in the morning, but they don't see that there will be much more they can do for me, even after I bring that in.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. The amount of this check is $1,355. And four cents. Ms. Audrey White, I have a feeling you will be hearing from me very soon.


How to Resolve Your Complaints

Do you have a complaint about a Scotiabank product or service? At Scotiabank, it's our aim to find a fair and timely solution - we put customers last.

Your First Step

If the person you speak to at the branch/service centre where you do business is not able to resolve your concern to your satisfaction, please speak directly to the Manager, who can further assist you.

Your Second Step

Contact Customer Service.

If the Manager has been unable to resolve your complaint satisfactorily, please respond to the undernoted via any of the contacts.

Att.: Audrey M. White
Telephone: (340) 774-0037
Fax: (340) 693-5994
P.O. Box 420
St. Thomas, VI 00804

Pond Bay

Now, who said the Pond Bay project is dead? There's LOTS of activity there the past fews weeks. Oh, wait! That would be all of the subcontractors removing all of their equipment! Bye, bye, container. And please tell your driver to slow the hell down, all right?


I am in Innovative hell right now. Spotty Internet, going on two weeks. The recording the other day announced: "At this time, we are experiencing intermittent service with most of our customers on St. John. This issue is being worked on, and should be resolved {LONG PAUSE} shortly."

In the meantime, this is me:

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Three days ago, I asked for a copy of a year-end 2008 mortgage statement from Scotiabank. Yesterday was a holiday, so I gave them an extra day. I picked up the "statement" today, and it is a letter, which reads exactly as follows, but the name and amount have been removed. (I need a scanner!) Here you have it:

Dear Ms. XXXXXX,

We advised that Interest Paid on your Residential Mortgage for Calendar year 2008 is $XXXXX.

Yours truly,


Now that is one well-written letter! What's up with the "we", as well as the bold print stuck in the middle, and the liberal use of capital letters? Soon come, the saga of helping a 9th grader with a history project, and a critique of a very poorly written advertisement for a rental home on St. John.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parking, again.

Between the wide school bus, the police car, and the taxi, there go three and a half parking spaces. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cruz Bay Parking Spot

Now this one perplexes me. This parking spot is unsure if it is for 30 minute parking, or for use by taxi drivers. Hard as it is to see, the top arrow points to the right, and the bottom arrow points to the left. Me no know!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are There Doctor's in the House?

You Can Make Money While Being a Couch Potato!

Last night, my couch spit out a diamond. Seriously! I Googled "Is this diamond real or fake?", as dollar signs flashed though my head.

One test is to make a dot on a white piece of paper. Place the stone upside down over the dot, and if you can see the dot through the stone as a series of broken lines, you may have a real diamond. If the dot instead appears exactly as the dot you drew, you've got a fake.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Department of Finance

I went to pay my taxes today, and waited all day for someone to show up. Oh, wait! Their office moved months ago, but I guess it was too difficult to take this sign down. And, oh, yeah! We haven't had to pay property taxes for three years running now.

I was a bit concerned about taking this picture, until I realized the guard on duty was too engrossed in his word search puzzle to notice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Infernal Revenue Service

Dear IRB,

Good day. I have received three threatening letters from you, during the past month, demanding to be paid for Gross Receipts for the month of January, 2009. And each time, I have called (nice how your main phone line can ring straight through for anywhere from five to seven minutes) and faxed, to show that I do not owe anything. Learned that lesson a long time ago! Make copies when paying any taxes here, and get them stamped, and then hold on to them for the rest of your life.

I cannot renew my business license until I get a tax clearance letter from you. And I swear, you must try to wear people down, until they just pay it in utter frustration.

Imagine my thrill to discover that there is a tax payer's liaison at IRB! And imagine my shock when she called me after receiving my fax (yes, I had to fax these papers yet again) within an hour to state, "You don't owe anything." And by 5:30 that afternoon, she had my tax clearance letter, and mailed it on Friday, and here it is!!!

I am current in the filing and payment of my tax obligation! Neener, neener, neener! So now you may not seize my paycheck, bank account, auto, or other property, nor may you file a Federal Tax Lien, as per your letter dated 9/24/09.

Have a good day,