Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Avoid ProMax Supply (a.k.a. Crazy Dave's Toolshed)

On December 15, I ordered a birdhouse from Crazy Dave's Toolshed ("CrazyDavesToolShed"), via Amazon merchants. The delivery estimate was Dec 19-24.

They shipped via FedEx ground on Dec 22 with delivery expected December 31. Due to snow, it arrived on Jan 3. The four day weather delay is excusable. The 7-day delay in shipping it is not.

I e-mailed them in late December, asking for reimbursement of shipping costs. I never heard back.

January 5, I left them a 1-star review on Amazon: "Ordered December 15, delivery estimate was Dec 19-24. They shipped ground on Dec 22 with delivery on Jan 3. How can they expect to deliver to the opposite coast within deadline when they wait a week to ship? E-mailed them asking for shipping reimbursement. Never heard back from them. AVOID!"

Today, January 20, I received a phone call from them. They walked me through the process of getting the credit, up to the point where she said "next to your feedback, click the word 'remove'."

Um, no.

"Then we can't give you the credit."

Never mind then.

Their feedback rating for the last 30 days is 86% positive, 9% negative. Looks like many others have had similar problems. Just speculating, but the company name now shows as "ProMax Supply", so maybe they changed their name or ownership to distance themselves.

I'm now going through Amazon directly to ask for the shipping credit. We'll see where that leads.

Followup 1/29/09: Amazon reimbursed me the shipping costs. Yay.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Casino changes, new WSGC newsletter

As I mentioned a few months ago, baccarat has come to state minicasinos. I've not visited one in a few months, but the billboard near the Puyallup River advertises that Chips Lakewood has baccarat available. It's the table game with the lowest house edge, so if any match plays come open, that's the table to use them at.

The latest Washington State Gambling Commission Focus On Gambling newsletter is out. It looks like electronic poker tables are still being discussed by the vendor and the WSGC. "At the November 2008 meeting, the petitioner requested the Commission hold over the petition to allow the Commission’s lab time to test the device and re-analyze the system for changes made after the lab’s initial review in November." They're discussing it again next month.

The Five Hundy By Midnight podcast has mentioned -- and a good friend of mine has confirmed -- that the electronic tables are already in use at the Excalibur poker room in Las Vegas. The more and more I hear about them, the more I'm liking the idea: faster play, no mistakes or rules arguments, no tipping, and, perhaps, lower limits and rakes.

The WSGC has approved the change to allow 9 players (instead of max 7) at table games. I think I've only once ever seen a full seven player table, so I don't think this will affect me, unless this prompts a casino to close down one of its extra blackjack tables and replace it with a poker table. That'd be nice.

There's one significant new proposal in the newsletter. Last year, the state casino industry asked to increase the single-bet limit in poker from $40 to $500. The WSGC asked for an alternative, so that $500 could only be used as a max all-in Hold 'Em bet. The industry countered with a proposal of a $300 max poker bet. The WSGC is discussing it.

Something I may not have mentioned before, and which is some of the most interesting reading in the newsletter, are the list of administrative cases. Usually, that's when a casino does something bad -- like failing to submit a report on time -- or when an employee does something bad. Like this one from page 13:

[T.L.O.] (formerly employed by Chips Casino) Lakewood
  • Admitted turning off the closed circuit television system on several occasions while working as the Director of Security and Surveillance.
  • Allegedly removed money from the house-banked card room’s count room.
The licensee waived his right to a hearing. A Default Order revoking his license was entered.

Most of them aren't nearly as egregious. The most frequent seem to be applicants for dealers' licenses who don't fully disclose their criminal history, dealers who fail to properly collect a bet, dealers allowing a minor to play, or casino employees who find money on the ground and pocket it instead of turning it in. Seems like a tough job, and it's one that can be ended by a single mistake.