Personal/Commentary

My Sports Podcasting Debut

by Jamie Sanford on March 12, 2019

My love for Formula 1 has never waned, and I’ve recently made my podcasting debut, talking about the new season of Formula 1 on the Sports Landing podcast. In the episode dated 2/25/19, Phil and I talk about the new cars, driver changes, and the excitement of getting into Formula 1 as a sport.

Click here to listen to Sports Landing on iTunes  |  Click here to listen to Sports Landing on Spotify

 

Thanks to Phil for having me on the show!

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2018 Holiday Beauty Wishlist

by Jamie Sanford on November 17, 2018

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links.

2018 has flown by (and yet also dragged somehow), and the holiday season is upon us. I was recently asked to provide some gift ideas, and of course, it triggered the idea to get on my own holiday wishlist posts for the blog.

First up, beauty items! (All of the links are in the widget at the bottom.)

I’ve got some products in here that are tried and true.

  • The Peter Thomas Roth retinol serum is a favorite, it goes on under moisturizer before bed.
  • Alien by Thierry Mugler is a top 5 fragrance for me, one that I don’t wear nearly enough as my husband is not the biggest fan. (This is a real struggle, because I mostly do beauty things for me and not anyone else, but I also don’t want him to smell me and think “eww.”) It smells delicious though.
  • MAC Haute and Naughty mascara is one that I haven’t used in a while, and actually miss—the two options for applicators is genius!
  • Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium is another top 5 fragrance, and no one in my household objects to it, so it’s a winner all around.
  • Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, a classic choice. It’s effective, the scent is mild and unmistakably Kiehl’s, and I will continue to restock it.
The rest of the products are things I haven’t tried yet but would love to.
  • Lancome Advanced Genifique serum. I actually did try a sample of this and it was wonderful. It’s quite expensive though, which has always stopped me from being able to press the purchase button.
  • Dior Beauty Lip Balm. Just look at that pink color! I can feel my hydrated lips already.
  • Dior Forever foundation. Just another foundation to try with high expectations that will hopefully deliver.
  • Tom Ford Creme Color for Eye. (The color Spice is my favorite.) I’ve seen YouTubers put one of these and nothing else on their eyelids and look amazing, so I expect that paying $46 for a single cream eyeshadow will do the same. Seriously though, I haven’t purchased one of these because I can generally buy a whole eyeshadow palette for around the same price.
  • La Mer Body Cream and Lip Balm. I only found out recently that Sephora won’t give you a La Mer sample. I think they used to, so I’m guessing that they were giving out too many? I really wish that La Mer would invest in creating tiny samples for purchase, because I would love to try their products, but the price of admission is so high that it isn’t likely. If I put the cream on and it changes my life, I might be more willing to splurge in the future.  The Lip Balm is $60, and I am curious as to what is in there that makes it worth $60.
  • Charlotte Tilbury, The Rock Chick Look Set. A tiny bit of savings from buying the items individually, you get all of the pieces for $230. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Charlotte Tilbury products, and there’s no way I am not going to choose the one that will give me black eyeliner and dark shadow for a smoky eye, paired with a nude lip option. I’m into it.

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Why I Am Still a Big Fan of Amazon Prime

by Jamie Sanford on July 10, 2018

Amazon Prime Day is quickly approaching, and since it celebrates the launch of Amazon Prime as a service, it is a good time to review your account and see what it is doing for you.

There are a lot of perks to Amazon Prime, the biggest one being access to 2-day shipping on over 100 million items without incurring any additional costs (over the fee you’ve already paid). You also receive access to thousands of video titles in Amazon Instant Video – including Amazon’s own original content like Transparent or Mozart in the Jungle. (We started Mozart in the Jungle and fell off for some reason, but it was excellent and I need to begin again.) You can also use your prime account to store your personal photos, an interesting tie-in to Amazon Web Services, which a bit of research will show is a massive portion of Amazon’s overall business.

These are all great. We got a prime account for our household at the beginning because we were already shopping on Amazon quite a bit. However, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate Amazon the most for one big reason.

I don’t have to go to Target so much anymore.

Do not mistake this for a dislike of Target, because I love Target. I love Target so much that I am happy to need a reason to go there and buy stuff, and as the old (ish) adage goes, you cannot go into a Target and not come out with a cart full of stuff that cost you at least $100. The struggle is real.

Out of Swiffer dusters? Let’s go to Target. Out of hand wash? Let’s go to Target. You see where I’m going with this.

The realization that I could buy a number of the items I had mentally decided were only available at Target was a game-changer in terms of trips out to buy stuff that I do not need. I am as aware as anyone that we are living our lives online and that it is good to get out into the world, but it’s also good to not end up with a bunch of random nonsense that I probably didn’t need. I know that it is incredibly easy to shop online, but the tactile experience of shopping in a store is still very intoxicating and influential, at least in my own experience.

For that major reason, in addition to the gratification of quick shipping, I will happily be renewing my Amazon prime account this year. Here are a few of my recent additions to my own Amazon wish list.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Last week, I wrote this post about the unfortunate experience I had at a Hyundai dealer’s service center.

At the end of that post, I mentioned that I had received a tweet from Hyundai in response to my sharing the previous post with them.

Since this Tweet, I’ve had a few emails and a phone call with Ally from Hyundai’s social media team. (I am assuming it’s a team.)

Ally has been exceptional in communication with me. Our phone call with friendly and pleasant, and he allowed me to air my grievances and seemed in complete agreement that my experience wasn’t as it should have been. He was also grateful for my extremely detailed blog post in which I logged all of those phone calls, Lyft rides, and the rental car.

Since I deal with Noritake customer service on a regular basis, I understand the experience of responding to an unhappy customer, and when I’m the customer, I try to be as honest and fair as possible when relaying my experience. I was really irritated with the whole scenario, but read and re-read my post to make sure that everything I wrote was factual. There are certainly opinion statements in there, but nothing about the actual interactions is exaggerated.

Simply having a conversation with someone from Hyundai who seemed genuine in his negative assessment of my experience was a huge step in restoring my opinion of the company as a whole. However, in following up, Hyundai were accommodating and helpful. I couldn’t be happier with the response from them.

I still suffer the issue of wanting to never go back to (specifically) Paramus Hyundai again, but that’s for another day.

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Click here for all posts in the Brand Experience Project.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

In the middle of last week, I noticed that my car was riding a bit rough, and was making what could only be called a growling sound when I was moving at higher than 40mph, and I was deeply concerned that the issue was coming from the engine or the transmission. As my car is still under warranty, I made an appointment to have the car checked out at 11:30am on Thursday, March 1, at Paramus Hyundai.

Contact 1: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 11:30am

I drop the car off and meet Stanley, my service center contact. Even though Paramus Hyundai’s website advertises a shuttle service to anywhere within 6 miles of the service center, I’m told that there is no one to drive the shuttle and I am out of luck. No offer to loan me a car, no offer to rent me a car, nothing. I take a Lyft back to my office. ($13.47)

This is the first thing you see when you go to the service center online:

Contact 2: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:39pm

Stanley calls to tell me that they don’t see an obvious issue, and that they will run a diagnostic test. The test costs $150, and if nothing is wrong, I have to pay for the test. I agree to the test.

Contact 3: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:07pm

Stanley calls and asks if I’ve been in an accident. I say no, and he asks if I hit a pothole, which I definitely did (and do every year because we have snow and therefore potholes). He says that I have a broken hub bearing, and that it can be fixed that day, and will cost $771. I agree to the repair.

Contact 4: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 2:52pm

Stanley calls again, and tells me that while they thought it wasn’t damaged, that the knuckle on the wheel with the broken hub bearing broke during the repair(he also made sure to tell me that it was probably already damaged), but that they can’t get the part until tomorrow. He says it is $300 but offers a discount of $100 off of the price, bringing my new proposed total to $971. He says that the part will be overnighted and will be delivered by 10am Friday, so my car will be ready on Friday.

Luckily, an available co-worker who lives near me drives me home from the office.

I take a Lyft to work in the morning as I still don’t have a car. ($26.14)

Contact 5: Friday, March 2, 2018, 1:06pm

I have to call Paramus Hyundai because they haven’t reached out to me. I’m told that Stanley isn’t there today, but after a period of time on hold, I hear that the part hasn’t arrived yet, that the delivery might be delayed because of the weather. I’m told I will get a call when the part arrives.

Contact 6: Friday, March 2, 2018, 3:31pm

I call them again because I haven’t heard anything. I speak to a woman who is a service manager(I don’t get her name), and she reiterates that the weather has prevented the part from being delivered. I find this hard to believe, as my office is a few minutes away, and somehow, our deliveries have all arrived without issue, regardless of some problematic weather.

She says that she’s looking into it and will call me back.

In the meantime, I have plans for the evening and the work day is over, and since I know my car isn’t fixed because the part isn’t there, I take another Lyft to go home. ($21.02)

Contact 7: Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11:14am

I call Paramus Hyundai because the service manager from Friday never called back about the status of the part needed for my car to be fixed.

I speak to another woman that I haven’t talked to before. I am asked who my contact was, and I say Stanley, and I’m told that he isn’t there. She asks my name again, and when she repeats it, the service manager from Friday chimes in to say “Oh we don’t get deliveries on the weekend. It might be here on Monday, but maybe Tuesday.” I ask if they are going to call me to tell me when the part arrives, and I get a yes.

I get a ride to Enterprise Car Rental, and rent a car that I’m supposed to return on Tuesday. ($160.54) (Updated cost to $214.06, see below.)

Contact 8: Monday, March 5, 2018, 12:56pm

I call again, because I still haven’t heard anything. I mentioned that Stanley was my contact, and then am told “he doesn’t work here anymore,” which is slightly distressing. I’m told that my part hasn’t arrived yet.

Contact 9: Monday, March 5, 2018, 3:41pm

I call, again, to see if the part is there. I am finally told that it arrived and that my car will be ready tomorrow. I ask, again, if someone will call me when the car is ready, and they say yes.

It’s Tuesday now and I haven’t heard anything yet. It is 12pm.

I cannot believe the runaround I have been through with the service center from the dealership. I was told by so many people that Hyundai was so great, and that hasn’t been my experience at all. I have been previously irritated with this particular service center, and while I would love to not go back, I had to use a dealer service center when I thought that I might be dealing with an issue that would be warranty-covered. I probably would have taken the car somewhere else to have the wheel repaired, but when Stanley told me it would be fixed that day, I agreed, in the interest of time and the fact that my family only has 1 car, so the less time without it, the better.

At this point, all of this extra time has cost me hundreds of dollars. If anyone from Paramus Hyundai had been kinder to me, or more apologetic for the delay, I would not be as upset about this, but I literally have spent over $200 on Lyft rides and a rental car.

To say I am extremely disappointed would be an understatement. I only hope I get the car back today.

UPDATE

Contact 10: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:14pm

I called the service center as I haven’t heard anything. The woman I spoke to looked something up, put me on hold, and then came back to tell me the car is ready for pickup. Yet again, wondering if anyone would have called me, as they said they would. Did the fact that my original contact guy either quit or got fired really cause all of this delay?

A lovely coworker gave me a ride to Paramus Hyundai, so I didn’t have to take another Lyft.

Contact 11: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 1:45pm

I arrived and told Vivian at the counter that I was there to pick up the car. There was some confusion about it since the paperwork wasn’t done, but it wasn’t long before I was handing my credit card over to pay the $971 for the fix.

I now have 2 cars at my office, and will have to do some juggling to get Will here so that we can return the rental tonight. This has been an experience that I don’t intend to expose myself to again. I genuinely hope that this post will be seen by Hyundai, and that it gives them a case study in how tiny changes in customer interactions would completely change someone’s experience.

This Tucson is the first new car I’ve ever purchased, and I got a Hyundai because I have multiple family members with great Hyundai experiences. I haven’t experienced that as much as I wanted to, which is unfortunate. At this point in time, I can’t imagine that I will buy another Hyundai.

Tell me about your favorite car brands on Twitter.

UPDATE 2

Due to work schedules and juggling cars, we dropped the rental car off at Enterprise after they closed and put the key in the drop slot. As we didn’t get there before closing, we were charged for another day of rental on the final bill. The price for the rental is increased to $214.06.

Contact 12: Wednesday, March 7, 2018, via Twitter

After tweeting out this blog post, Hyundai responds to acknowledge my issue and asks me to follow up via phone or email. I will send an email to share this blog post with them. I am grateful for the opportunity to have my voice heard here.

Click here for part 2, in which I have a wonderful interaction with Hyundai’s social team.

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