Red lights in Bermuda are just a suggestion (VI)

The usual spot on Front Street near Par-la-ville. This time it was a clean double-dose of red light running fun. Lights just turning red all around (which leads to pedestrians being given the all-clear). White van zooms through the red at the Par-la-ville exit, heads west and clears the red light onto Pitts Bay Road. Got the licence number: L2396.

We've collectively allowed our driving culture to descend into one of "Rules and laws are only suggestions" and as long as the powers that be continue to absolve themselves of any responsibility in trying to reverse the trend, it's just going to get worse.


Wash your dang hands

With the serious advisories about H1N1 flu virus and other infectious diseases floating about, why is it that some fellas *still* do not even bother to wash their hands after visiting the airport restrooms?!

It's just disgusting.


Part 2 of my beef with Cablevision Bermuda

I was ranting so much about Cablevision not accepting cards as a form of payment that I didn't even mention the other issues I was a little concerned about with their billing and payment process.

Firstly, the customer rep mentioned that they do not have a copy of my bill or provide me with some kind of invoice, because apparently all the billing statements are done overseas.


We are outsourcing the printing of bills.

I guess that means that Cablevision Bermuda doesn't qualify as "Buy Bermuda" now.

The best I can do is get a computer printout of the charges racked up. The printout is like the old-school printouts you would make from a VT-100 terminal (if you haven't heard of VAX or related mini or mainframe computers, skip this paragraph). It's a bunch of numbers printed off with no logical path to come up with my actual balance broken down in easily-understandable fashion.

The other thing is that they say I can pay 'online'. I'm like, yeah I pay all my bills online in the first place, it's the billing that I'd probably like to see online so I don't have to wonder if the Post Office has my bills piled up in some back room because they can't identify my cluster box number or some crap.

They hand me a flyer containing a bunch of freaking ATM locations and drop box locations for cheques. What the hell? I already have Internet Banking, so this 'information' doesn't help me pay my bills more quickly. It would still be way quicker to ride to a damn ATM, withdraw cash and drag it back to the office, because if I pay a bill via either the ATM or using my Internet Banking services, I'd still have to wait for it to be received and dealt with by Cablevision, particularly after hours.

Cablevision, wake me up when you get online billing in place. That's all.


All the technology, except when it comes to helping the customer

Cable's out when I get home, so I call their customer service number. Person on the other end tells me that I'm overdue a bill payment. Now I haven't received a bill for some time, so I figure it's another one of those gaffes caused by the Postal Service being a pain in the behind lately and my bill for whatever reason is probably lodged somewhere in town (or who knows, someone else's mailbox).

I ask for my balance and get it (by the way, we in Bermuda are paying insane prices for cable TV - any American or Canadian friends reading this would shudder to hear the monthly rates), then am told that I cannot pay it by card over the phone. I'm a bit bewildered, as they say that I can make the payment in person at their office if I get there before 7pm.

Okay. So I head up there. It's about a 10-15 minute ride, I suppose. Get to the front desk, and pull out my card only to be admonished that they only take CASH or CHEQUE. No freaking cards. I had thought they just didn't accept them over the phone because of fraud issues or the like, but I was mistaken. No cards, period.

This is the year 2009 and this isn't some small sole-proprietorship business selling hand-held fans. It's one of the two sole outlets for subscription television packages on the island, by far the largest, with an enormous customer base. They charge us up the wazoo for their services, and probably make serious profits on a yearly basis. And they will not accept a debit or credit card as a legitimate form of payment?!

Is it really hurting their bottom line to get some point-of-sale terminals on-site, at least?

If I didn't live in a condo and was forced to stick with Cablevision (there's a ban on external antenna for some dumbass reason) I'd be strongly tempted to switch providers STAT.

I'm quite flabbergasted!

More mobile phone spamming

I've posted on my cell phone being spammed with promotional offers in the past; now it's my office-supplied Blackberry that's receiving pretty messages from M3 Wireless telling me to come on in to ME and get a new Blackberry Curve 8520 for just 99 dollars! Hooray! Nice of them to include the disclaimer 'Conditions apply', of course.

Damn, I hate our mobile phone swindlers/providers.


Red lights in Bermuda are just a suggestion (V)

This morning, near Supermart on Front Street. Lights go red for the pedestrian crossing to switch. Guy, riding 135AL, looks over, peers around a big truck parked near the crossing, then vooms ahead.

I don't care *what* Government and the Road Safety Council or the Police say, this kind of incident isn't going to be reduced by mandatory Project Ride or teenage curfews.

They may as well save on the electricity and turn off all the traffic lights, the way people are ignoring them ad nauseum.


Red lights in Bermuda are just a suggestion (IV)

You know the spot.
Junction of Par-la-ville and Front Street. Person on bike AW374 makes his way to the front of the queue on Par-la-ville, as soon as traffic stops flowing from along Front Street, he's on his way, even though traffic was just about to come out from Point Pleasant Road.

Meh, meh and meh, are probably what goes through the minds of the powers that be.

Oh and don't mind the fact that Dundonald Street continues to be a haven for cleanup crews after so-called 'accidents'.


Involved in bribes, don't worry

I'm glad Vexed Bermoothes is back. This recent article illustrates what i think is a failing in the court system.

Seriously, this person was bribed to approve driving exams for a bunch of people, and to say nothing of making our streets potentially less safe, is given a conditional discharge.

Not even a fine for this illegal and unethical action.

Nice to see that breaking the law gets rewarded so easily.


Broken record: overtaking on the inside

Maybe because the rider of BM887 had a big jacket with "Security" labelled on the back, he's allowed to weave around traffic, overtaking cars and bikes on both the outside and inside along Front Street, but otherwise just your normal morning commute that does little to lower the blood pressure and stress levels of drivers.


Road Safety Council

Either I'm out of the loop, but the Road Safety Council (who I've maligned in the past for various inactions on key issues) have had a website up for some time now.

There's a blog component as well, but it's only sporadically active, it seems, which is unfortunate. There's also a Facebook equivalent which has 260 subscribers, however again it would seem to be in a dormant state.

I wonder if they promote their online channels via the traditional newspaper and other mass media routes?

It would be very good for the Road Safety Council to become a more prominent voice both in print and online to highlight some of the issues with our driving culture and pressure Government to discuss in serious depth ways to cure these problems.


Advertising overkill

There was a LttE in the Gazette today that asked the question of why East Broadway is now a regular series of live billboards.

It's been going on for a pretty long time now, and it seems that it's at least a weekly activity to hawk some product or service. The worst offenders (or most persistent users of this method of advertising) are the mobile phone companies: Digihell, M3 and CellularOne. Although during the summer we had a close-to-scandalous one by a motorcycle company that featured a heap of bikes parked along the meridian with a bevy of girls wearing short shorts posing in the oh-so-obvious sex-sells way.

The whole thing is pretty tasteless, but this country has one of the highest ratios of mobile phones per capita on the planet. The shameless advertising is going to continue unchecked until someone causes a ten car pileup by ogling one of the beauties and smashing into something.