Roadkill: October 2009

More Vietnam scooters on the road
Oct. 29, 2009, 10:53 AM

Vietnam scootersMore photos of Vietnam road life we see on the way to work and scooters you don't want to be stuck behind.

Plastic balls out the wazoo, shards of rusty metal, and long, long tubes, these are just a few of our favorite things.

We're sure that guy with the balls can see us passing, right?


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We love Malta because Malta loves scooters
Oct. 25, 2009, 1:22 PM

We seem to have a lot of scooter part customers in Malta. Here's another email from one today:

Subject: Good quality parts

Dear ScootRS

I received the parts today, am very happy thank you.

What an amazing history Malta has. And it looks beautiful. Must be great for scooters.

One day we'll visit...


Speaking of places to visit, we just got another nice email a few minutes after posting the one above:

Hi there!

I am from Malaysia. Just dropping by to say “Good Job and Great Service.”


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Would you buy Italian or ScootRS scooter parts?
Oct. 9, 2009, 8:04 AM

An interesting post comparing Lambretta inboard disc brakes from Italy and Vietnam (well, not the local Vietnam sand cast one, only our ScootRS high-pressure cast disc brake):

I've not compared Tino's [Italian Evergreen] version and the ScootRS one side by side, but have seen both and looked them over fairly carefully at different times.

Tino's was OK when it first came out and there were no other alternatives for people who couldn't be bothered to look out for an original Campagnolo. Compared to the original it was always rough as fcuk, only thing that made it bearable was you could use filler to smooth out most of the imperfections.

Lambretta inboard disc brake By contrast, I've compared a ScootRS one with an original. Personally, I would use the Campagnolo every time purely for originality in a standard set-up. But if you are looking to do a semi-hydraulic set-up why waste an original? Or in a straight choice between Tino's or the ScootRS, my vote's for the [ScootRS] Vietnamese version every time as it looks a much better product.

Please note, I have no knowledge of safety issues relevant to either. I'm basing my comment purely on visual closeness to the original and the ScootRS disc brake wins by a country mile.

As we've posted before, the major difference people need to be aware of with the original inboard or outboard hydraulic disc brakes is that our item is high-pressure cast like the original, whereas any other type out there is merely sand cast. (Again, including a local Vietnam market “SPAQ/Sterling” one often seen on eBay or at some UK resellers, so don't get confused.) Sand casting is a cheap process normally only used for trim items because it is much rouger, weaker and less precise. When buying from a reseller, insist on the ScootRS item by name.

(One side note: unlike others, our inboard hydraulic conversion doesn't require any modification to your back plate, so if you have an original disc brake, you only need our conversion caliper.)

People assume Italian parts are the best quality, but often that is not the case as this post clearly demonstrates. The fact is, many classic scooter parts are made elsewhere these days to the same or a higher standard - and are still cheaper. Look around and decide yourself!


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Vespa VLB Sprint for sale
Oct. 6, 2009, 12:03 PM

Vespa VLB Sprint

We currently have 2 Vespa VLB Sprint we have prepped and are about to paint and offer for sale when finished.

If you are interested in one, let us know, then go ahead and configure yours onsite however you like and we'll use one for your order. You'll save a lot of time.

Btw, both of them will be with a reed-valve 5-port motor.


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Reenactment of eBay customer service (aka, eBay is evil)
Oct. 2, 2009, 10:47 AM

Have you repeatedly waited ages for a reply from eBay only to get a canned response ignoring everything said? Have you been directly lied to by eBay? Or simply had the general tooth-pulling pleasure of dealing with eBay “customer service” in some way?

Then you'll already know that if you report a security problem to eBay and ask for their help that this is eBay's response to their customer:

We're currently sitting at about 6 months and 60 emails to eBay to get them to pull their heads out of the sand and correct a problem we reported. We're even waiting almost a month without reply since a direct public response to resolve it from an actual human being on an official eBay Twitter account.

Ebay, is anyone home? Do you actually have customer service?


UPDATE 1:

We got an email Oct. 5 from csme@ebay.com: Kristine (no last name, and likely fake, of course!) Office of the President eBay, Inc.

Kristine FakeName said until we fix “the” problem eBay will not do anything - BUT Kristine FakeName won't tell us what the problem actually is!

Really, how much disdain must eBay have from top to bottom for its customers that they swear up and down they will help you but then even the Office of the President, yet again like robotic underlings pushing buttons, ignores everything they've been told, refuses to help with a reported security problem, and sends a moronic Catch-22 message like that?

Is eBay's official motto the opposite of Google's, “Be evil”?

Post or link to this eBay customer help video whenever you experience the same from them.


UPDATE 2:

We got another reply from Kristine FakeName and the Office of the President saying “I know that this seems like a loop”. Really? Over 6 months and about 65 emails merely “seems” like a loop and not, say, something actually to help with immediately?

Does it really only “seem” like a loop when eBay refuses to help a customer or even tell him the problem unless he resolves the problem AND proves he is the account owner and gives eBay some account info he can't possibly know because of the security issue he reported to them, even though simultaneously eBay is already blaming him for the account problem - how do you blame someone if you don't even know who they are? - and has already verified who he is with faxed ID?

Kristine FakeName actually said, “have the owner of that account contact us.” Uhh, that would be the person you're replying to and holding responsible for that account. Jeez.

Doesn't “seem” like a little loop at all, Kristine FakeName, but more so an actual vortex of disdainful, never-ending eBay customer service hell. Is the end ever nigh?


UPDATE 3:

Yet another mindless reply from Kristine FakeName at eBay's Office of the President saying “It seems as though we are going in circles with this issue,” and she doesn't want to do anything without new info. (Translation: eBay refuses to stop going in circles and actually help.)

As we replied, the new info Kristine FakeName still has not acted on is the same old info: you know who we are, you are blaming us (without any evidence and ignoring what we reported), so have the honesty and decency to at least tell us what the problem is so it can be fixed.

Is that too much to ask of eBay? Apparently so far it is, even at the top. You'd think someone at the top, even Kristine FakeName, were intelligent enough to run the company with some common decency. EBay, stop being evil!


UPDATE 4, Nov. 7th:

EBay has lied to us again, with Kristine FakeName asking us to email from our company email before she would do anything to even explain the problem, let alone help. So we did.

Guess what? No response from Kristine FakeName to several direct emails asking her to follow up on her promises.

EBay is pure evil. You simply can't trust a word they say. Promises they make are just complete lies, top to bottom, doesn't matter whom you talk to, a lowly service rep, a real person, or Kristine FakeName in the Office of the President.

You just know Kristine FakeName is actually a grotesquely fat guy who needs to be levered in and out of his chair and spends his day deleting customer requests for help so he can have more time to funnel Smarties down his throat from a huge tub he keeps on his desk. Here's actual video of eBay's Office of the President dealing with a problem after a customer somehow made it into their office:


UPDATE 5, Dec. 4th:

Guess what? EBay has lied to us yet again.

We've provided everything eBay has asked for, we submitted proof (which came from eBay!) that we had not caused the problem, we were then asked to reply to an email to confirm an email account and also show there were no claims on the account, etc., so eBay could then settle things. We did that immediately - and then of course Kristine FakeName refused to respond for 2 weeks! Constant emails asking for an update only to be told today she didn't promise anything and would not respond without new information!!!

Aarghhhhhhhh! What in god's name is wrong with these people? Are they even humanoid? They ask you to do something, which you promptly do, then they don't respond as promised and then finally pretend you didn't already do what they asked! EBay is pure evil!!!


UPDATE 6, Mar. 22, now 2010:

EBay continues to amaze.

Right after Kristine Fakename explained what we needed to send in to her, we did it, all nicely laid out exactly as she asked for, and then she of course immediately resolved the issue stopped replying entirely. We've sent about 40 emails or so in the last 3 months to her at csme@ebay.com with no response at all. We repeatedly explained that SHE had specifically asked for the info we sent. No response at all.

Meanwhile we've sent dozens of private and public Twitter messages to @ebayink who initially offered to help 6 months ago, then again and again and again, and we've also c.c.'d dozens of emails for Kristine Fakename to him at ink@ebay.com and ebayink@ebay.com, and he has managed to resolve the issue provide absolutely no help at all. And this is allegedly an eBay PR guy who helps resolve things that make eBay look like evil devil worshippers.

Can anyone imagine any company other than eBay that would act in such an appalling and deceitful manner so consistently? Where even their own Office of the President and PR people on Twitter are not only useless but outright lie endlessly? Good god, the grand total from the beginning must be nearing 200 contacts by us, the vast majority unreplied to after they asked us for info. It's unfathomable that Amazon, for example, would ever act in such a way but we hear over and over from eBay customers that that is standard procedure at eBay.

It's a shame there is no such thing as Hell, otherwise we could at least all know that the people who run eBay on pure evil would go there one day.


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