UPDATE: A full ten days after the order was placed, my package has finally made it from Arizona to "sorted and ready for delivery" at my local post office. Three of those days were spent crawling around FOUR local post offices because, according to other web sources, UPS Mail Innovations delivers to where it is convenient for itself, not for the receiver.
I've obviously cancelled the credit card dispute. Had Target sent a replacement, I would have paid for it and simply had an extra 2 months supply.
Target's shipping manager should probably not quit his day job; the head of customer service should probably work for Amazon for a while to see how the experts do it.
This company clearly needs improvement.
We made the mistake of buying vitamins mail-order from Target. They were shipped "free" by UPS Mail Innovations, one of those hybrid methods designed to shave a few cents off the shippers cost at the expense of time and a higher probability of loss to the recipient.
Tracking, such as it is, showed that the packaged was lost. A call to Target's customer service resulted in: a profuse apology; a long time on hold to give me information I already had from the web; and being told that I needed to wait 10 days for a refund or replacement.
Interestingly, last year when a hybrid shipper lost an Amazon package, Amazon immediately sent an overnight replacement, no questions asked.
I have filed a credit card dispute against Target and replaced the order with another company.
If Target really wants to get into the mail order business, they need to make a lot of changes.
While Israel may collect some royalties on this gas, the real advantage to them is energy independence! They will no longer be dependent on a fuel supply that has to cross lands ruled by governments and people that are sometimes less than friendly toward them. I'm guessing that this gas is also available to the Palestinians should they wish to build an infrastructure that can benefit from it.
Disclosure: I own GE stock; I do not own RSH stock.
I'm guessing that the story is true; otherwise GE would have denied it by now. However, the article also says that GE is financing inventory which contradicts a press release that states RSH is trying to get rid of obsolete inventory to buy new merchandise Perhaps the line of credit is for new inventory only but based on history, there is no assurance that RSH will be able to actually sell it and, as we know, this stuff will become obsolete very quickly.
When I was much younger, Radio Shack was a weekly stop. My CB radios came from there; so did many cables, batteries and other electronics. It was fun to visit. Now, it is a noisy, expensive, shopworn kind of a place. Too bad.
The numbers suggest that RSH is a company whose time has come and gone. That conclusion is certainly reinforced by a store or website visit. Within a finite period, Amazon and Walmart will offer same day delivery which will be the final nail.
So the the question is WHY? The GE people are smart. They don't throw away money. What do they plan to get here? Are they simply financing Christmas inventory and receivables or credit card financing at a normal but risk-adjusted rate of return? Are thy looking for a preferred position in bankruptcy to grab the real estate assets and leases?
What is going on here?
I was not aware of the four year time frame. A lot can be accomplished during that period. So I guess we are waiting for one of four pieces of news:
-Ackman dumps his stock;
-Ackman sells his stock back to the company (greenmail).
-Ackman proposes new directors for the board
-Some sort of corporate move beneficial to shareholders that does not carry Ackman's name although we know he was indirectly responsible.
You make very good points (I gave you a thumbs up). But there are questions. What does Ackman know that management doesn't that wold improve performance? This is a very specialized industry; clearly they know it better then he does. Perhaps there is something that can be done quickly because I think the problem for him is time frame. I sense that Ackman's strategy (like other corporate "activists" ) is "hit and run". -- Drive the stock price up, get out and move on. Dead money is not an option for this type of investor.
That is why exit strategy is so imporant. I think he planned to buy a lot more than 9% + and I don't think he expected the poison pill. That is why I think he is stuck. Doesn't really own enough for a proxy fight (unless he gets many institutional buyers to back him). Owns too much to dump it on the market and anybody he sells his stock to will have the same issues he has now.
As you say, we will watch and wait.
Ackman has fallen into the "collectibles" trap. He bid up to buy it; but it really isn't worth what he paid to anybody else.
He is now "trapped" as a long term investor; ok for some but not for him. So how does he get out? He can't dump his block of stock on the market. Perhaps sell it back to APD at a discount?
Puts legitimate shareholders in the middle.
It seems to me that the real issue is What does Ackman want the company to do? Assuming they don't agree to greenmail, how does he get out? I don't think anybody buys this company. I don't see a fit. So all he can do is make suggestions as to how they can run it better; make more money; increase the dividend; push up the stock price; and then try to sell in the open market. This is a slow process extending over several years and management could easily ignore him. Meanwhile, he has money tied up.
Where do we go from here?
We are talking about a company capable of selling its customers (the shippers) a garbage product and then finding a way to charge the shippers' customers more money to raise the level of service up to sub-standard. What's not to like?
Thanks for your comment.
Yes, I agree that management has become perhaps complacent. But they have run the company consistantly well if not spectacularly over the years.
I admit to a special issue here. I’ve owned the stock for a very, very long time to the point where the annual dividend is a multiple of my cost basis!
Given my age, it was and is my plan to have the capital gains tax eliminated by revaluaton at death. So I’m not looking forward to any type of transaction that would trigger a sale and tax liability now.
That being said, if Ackman (sorry, missed the name in my prevous post) can push management into raising profits, or earnings per share, or dividends or a tax-free spin off of some sort or even set up a share exchange with another company without adding to business risk through excessive leverage and without creating a taxable event, I’m all for it.
However, in my experience, people like Ackman look for a quick fix and fast profit; they aren't in it for the long haul and that is what concerns me.
For merchants looking for inexpensive shipping who don’t particularly care about customer satisfaction, UPS offers Surepost. Packages crawl across the US about about 300-400 miles per day, only to arrive at the post office distribution point a few hours too late to be sorted and distributed for next day delivery.
Customers who register for a UPS choice preference service get the opportunity to “upgrade” the package en route to UPS Ground, thus eliminating a day of travel time. The cost is $3.50 per package paid directly to UPS by credit card. Neither the merchant nor the post office see any of this fee.
This is an interesting marketing strategy. Offer a really poor service and then allow the customer, for a fee, to upgrade to a just plain poor service.
Well done, UPS.
the right to pick and chose among channels they receive!
I have read that the "sports" channels are expensive. As a person who rarely, if ever watches sports, I could save a whole chunk of money ($5/month? ) by skipping those channels. That probably goes for an additional large group of channels that I'm currently paying for but never watch.
In my opinion 9 1/2% of this company's stock does not have much leverage. I don't see Ackerman mounting, much less witning a proxy fight. Perhaps he gets a seat or two on the board, but so what?
I also don't see a cash (or stock) acquisition of APD at any sort of a premium; it really doesn't fit another company. The only exception might be some sort of foreign takeover which would be fought and probably won by the US Govt.
That leaves GREENMAIL, some sort of a scheme where APD borrows money or uses cash to buy out Ackerman and hangs the rest of the shareholders out to dry.
I think that APD's best stratety is to IGNORE Ackerman. When he comes around saying that he own's 9 1/2%, management's answer should be "that's nice"; "be well". APD is not Yahoo or some other company slowly falling into a hole. They have done OK before Ackerman; they will do OK without him.
Just my opinion. What does everyone think?
Yep. Remove the battery (takes two hands - can't fall out by accident); then put steel wool across the live unit electric contacts and guess what? The steel wool catches fire!
I'm guessing that if you put in a drill bit, put it against your shoet and pull the trigger, it will make a hole in your foot!
When man invents a foolproof machine, nature invents a bigger fool!
My first Tivo was a Series 1. The manufacturing qualtiy control was so bad that it almost put Tivo out of business before it started. My recollection is that the internal modem tended to fry itself. There was a cottage industry for repairing Tivos. Yet then, as now, the die-hard Tivo enthusiasts trashed anybody who dared criticize their beloved Tivo company.
This is the era of PLUG AND PLAY. We should not have to read multple pages from two companies about how to use a product. The Time Warner recorder cable box is an outdated disaster, providing an opportunity for a non TWC product, and Tivo should own this market. It is clear that Time Warner subscribers should get a non recording cable box from TWC and then get a Tivo for recording. The fact that they (we) don't (because they don't know? because it takes multiple steps to install a Tivo? because they don't know which Tivo will work) is a reflection on Tivo's poor marketing skills.
Ask somebody without technical skills to read some of the material that you suggestsd. You might start with this from one of the TWC references found with the Google search:
"If I have a CableCARD, do I still need my digital set-top box to get Digital TV?
You may choose to use a CableCARD-equipped Digital Cable Ready device instead of a digital cable set-top box to access digital cable services. However, the capabilities of your device will depend on whether you have a Unidirectional Digital Cable Product (UDCP) or a tru2way™ device. In order to enjoy the full range of Time Warner Cable services, such as the Interactive Programming Guide, On Demand, and Start Over® you will need a CableCARD-equipped tru2way™ device or a digital cable set-top box. UDCPs are one-way devices, and cannot access two-way services. However certain UDCPs are able to access channels delivered interactively via Switched Digital Video (SDV) technology when equipped with a Tuning Adapter provided by Time Warner Cable. .."..
Unfortuately, we are stuck with Time Warner Cable.
Because they want to rent their own obsolete recorder cable boxes, TWC makes integrating with TIVO extremely difficult. Further, TWC is switching to all digital within the next few months which may require an additional adapter tthat may or not be in addition to a cable card. TWC's web site instructions regarding using a TIVO are unclear at best and that may not be an accident.
TIVO, on its web site, makes no real effort to explain how to add a TIVO to TWC's service. Questions like - which TIVO? Can it record multiple channels at the same time? What about a cable card? And the digital adapter, etc. are unanswered.
It seems to me that if TIVO actually expects to sell units to TWC customers, someone at TIVO needs to figure ot what TWC customers need to do; what they need to buy and how the hook-up would work. They need a single page headed with: If you are a Time Warner Cable Customer . .. and go on from there.
The responsibility lies with TIVO, not TWC or its customers. At this point, I would rate TIVO's marketing effor to TWC customers as pathetic.
It looks like the bottom feeding cyber criminals are back.
Obviously, ignore the scam url.
So when you are rated #496, what does that mean for number of units? And what about revenue since this is a free app?
FedEx seems to ignore the first few reports of a missing smartpost package. They claim that they send an email to some other department that is supposed to research it and it will take two days but nothing happens and you never get another real response. They may automatically send out a badly written legalese email to you explaining how this isn't really FedEx, it is some sort of distant subsidiary and they have no obligation to actually deliver the package (I think that is what it says).
Only if you complain really loudly and threaten to call the executive office do they actually ask for the amazon order number and what is in the package so someone can really look by which time all traces are gone.
Essentially, they are offering mass shippers a cheap alternative with bottom-of-the-barrel customer service. I'm guessing that the shippers compare the price against the loss rate and can live with those numbers.
But it really is bad news for the ultimate customers, us.