this post contains lots of swears

Those of you who read my blog via syndication see occasional ads which are inserted by Feedburner. I don’t make very much money from these ads (a very good month brings in about $300) but each year I accumulate enough to pay for hosting and offset some other blog-related costs. Occasionally there’s enough for a trip to Lucky Baldwin’s for Guinness and veggie curry, but I am not getting rich from these ads by a long shot.

When I was experimenting with ads on my site last year, I adopted an agnostic policy toward what I would and wouldn’t accept, figuring that to deny one thing was to implicitly endorse another. That didn’t work out, and my inability to fully embrace that philosophy, (combined with Federated Media doing fuckall to put the advertising inventory on my site they’d told me was coming Real Soon Now) lead to me eventually scrapping on-site advertising entirely.

Still, the feedburner advertising program is much better, and even though it’s not pulling in the kind of earnings people always claim I can get here, it does what it does quite nicely for me.

I mention this today because I don’t think I’ve ever pointed out that I review every single ad that gets put into my feed’s rotation, and I approve and deny things based on how I feel about the company, product, or service. It’s not an explicit endorsement, but if there’s something in the feed, you can safely assume that I don’t hate it, and think it’s somehow relevant to the majority of WWdN readers.

By way of example: Earlier today, I got an e-mail that there was an ad scheduled for insertion into my feed. I checked it out, and saw that it was for car insurance from the Automobile Club. The CPM was bullshit, but that’s not why I denied it: I denied it because Anne and I had used AAA for our insurance for almost 12 years without an incident, until her car was vandalized in our driveway a couple of years ago. It was going to be very expensive to repair the damage, and when we filed our claim, the AAA agent told Anne that, because she didn’t send in a photograph of her car when the policy was upgraded months earlier — a request that had never been made by AAA — they were denying our claim because they couldn’t confirm that the car wasn’t already damaged when we bought the policy. Never mind that it’s completely illogical to assume that we’d drive around in a car with three broken windows for months, and never mind that we’d never missed a payment or filed a claim before; the insurance company found a way to fuck us, so they did. As a bonus, their agents were rude and outright nasty to us throughout the entire ordeal.

We tried to fight it, but it would have cost so much, we just cancelled our policy and switched insurers.

So when I saw that the AAA wanted to advertise on my blog, not only did I deny the ad, I said, “Hey! Why don’t you go fuck yourself, you fucking assmasters!” when I did it.

I went back to work, proud of my useless act of rebellion. A few minutes later, I got another e-mail from that a new ad was scheduled for insertion into my feed. I looked at it, and — surprise — it was the same AAA banner.

“Hey, didn’t you fuckshits hear me?” I said, as I clicked DENY, “Go to hell!”

Five minutes after that, I got another e-mail.

“These guys are persistent,” I thought as I clicked over . . . and saw a third attempt.

This time I just laughed out loud. Even though it’s just an automated computer doing its thing, I imagined a hapless AAA agent, alone and cold in a dark cubicle that hasn’t seen natural sunlight in a decade, desperately hoping that I’d just give them another chance. (Yes, I know that nothing of the sort happened, but just let me have my stupid little moment, okay? Jeeze.)

I’m usually not petty like that, but I’m an honorable guy, so when a person or a company fucks me, I never forget. I don’t hold a grudge as much as I create a blood feud. The AAA’s insurance division is, as they say, On The List.

So this is all a longwinded and hopefully amusing way of telling all you syndicated readers that you can click those ads with some degree of confidence, if that sort of thing matters to you, because it matters to me.

48 thoughts on “this post contains lots of swears”

  1. Dammit. I’ve got AAA for all my insurance right now. My car was recently broken into, but my deductible was high enough that I didn’t bother going through them.
    Who did you switch to?

  2. My boss has 6 cars and 3 motorcycles insured through AAA. They are complete poopy heads and we are about to change to someone else because these incompetent butt munches keep screwing with the freaking policy. Thank you for denying these stupid crap chewers advertising on your site.
    (Sorry for the silly swearing…..I am trying to stop cussing so that my twin godsons don’t drop the F-Bomb as their first word)

  3. Most big businesses don’t give a shit whether they give you good customer service or not, and do tend to have the highest chance of screwing you over – stupid fuckers don’t realize someone with a large following will most likely blog about the company and what dipshits they are, thereby losing far more customers than just the one they pissed off…
    Glad to hear you screen the ads!

  4. Excellent service with Liberty Mutual in the Atlanta area. We picked them from a Consumer Reports article about 5 years ago. They were about 15% cheaper than all the usual suspects. We’ve had two claims, one house and one car, and in both cases, it was ‘what can we do to make you whole’?

  5. When there was a Brooks Brothers ad on the feed for your Oban post, I assumed it was automatically selected by a bot. You know, fancy schmancy scotch equals expensive men’s clothing. Good to know you have veto power over the ads because, yes – it does make a difference. At least to me.
    “I don’t hold a grudge as much as I create a blood feud.” Awesome.

  6. knowing you veto ads definitely makes a difference. Its one of the many reasons why I love the guys at Penny Arcade. They do the same. I like reading the work of a person with some integrity.

  7. Giving a personal endorsement of the ads on your site makes the ads you choose to allow worth seeing to me. So I’ve disabled my Adblock on your blog. But I still don’t see any ads. I’ve done the same for Penny Arcade because, like yours, I trust their opinions. Anyway, thanks for having a great blog. And good luck sticking it to the man in the future.

  8. Lamquin: There aren’t any ads on my site; they’re occasionally in the RSS feed.
    tammy: Indeed, it puts shiny pennies into my piggy bank. Not a lot, but enough to make it worthwhile.
    Coyote Seven: I do, and I still go to AAA for maps and tourbooks. The insurance department is an entirely different beast, and their douchebaggery shouldn’t reflect poorly on the roadside assistance and other benefits of AAA membership.

  9. For those asking, the ads that Wil is referring to are only displayed if you are viewing his blog through his RSS feed. If you are coming to the webpage directly, you do not see them. This has been a public service announcement.

  10. Damn you, Wil! This is the last time you make a fool out of me! *shakes fist*
    Also, did you ever check out Afterworld? I sent you the link before Christmas, but I assume you were busy as hell with your deadlines.

  11. I use Travelers and pay a small amount extra so that I have zero deductable in the case of theft or vandalism. There is nothing like having your window broken into, calling insurance, and having them send someone to you to get it fixed.
    Wil, the Penny Arcade guys sell their own ads. I imagine there is a large crossover between your audience and theirs. You should ask them if they would be interested in selling ads for your site/feed. You might do better even with the cut they would certainly take.

  12. AMEX fucked over 8 years ago, just before we spent a month in Australia with plans to extensively use their card there.
    The CSR flat out lied to us and whenever we get a AMEX application in the mail, we send the postage paid evenvelope filled with all the the junk mail inserts we can find.

  13. Oh man, classic synchronicity. Just looked at my mail and saw an ad for AAA insurance. (mad, cackling laughter accompanying the sound of ripping paper)

  14. That is rad. I have a few companies on my ‘List’ as well.
    I would also like to take a moment to comment not only Wil on his excellent swearing, but the comment posters as well. There is some excellent creativity here. I would like to particularly call out the following swears as ones that made me giggle: Poopy Heads, Butt Munches, Crap Chewers, Douchebaggery, and Ass Monkeys. I am always fond of taking a swear and combining it with a simple object. For example, the swear ‘Ass’ combines nicely with objects like Box or Hat, Ass-box, or Ass-hat. And you can always switch it up and say that guy is a ‘Big box of Ass’.
    That is all :-)

  15. I think insurance depends on the agent. I like local ones where I can walk in the door & see the agent not just someone who works for them. All companies seem to have agents that either paid off or try not too.
    Good luck picking a new one.

  16. Unfortunately, it seems like there’s no way to see how good your insurance is until something happens. I’ve been pretty happy with State Farm, but I’ve only had to use them one time.

  17. I’m a former insurance agent, but please don’t hold it against me. It was for another company. :P I can’t give you advice as such, but I can give you some information. A lot of people don’t know this, but you can contact your state’s insurance commissioner if you believe your company is wrong to deny you coverage, and in this case, if they added the coverage and never asked for photos or inspections, they probably were fucking you over against the law of the state. You can get info about filing a Request for Assistance online here:
    http://www.insurance.ca.gov/contact-us/0200-file-complaint/index.cfm
    Your problem is #1 (the most common): Improper denial or delay in settlement of a claim. If you still have the declarations page showing the coverage at the time of the vandalism, I would definitely still file this if I were you. If nothing else, it will give them a black mark with the DoI. Don’t let these twatwaffles get away with that shit. Also? Hurrah for sticking it to the man. ^_^

  18. Even though I read your blog via syndication, I am very grateful that you do take the time to review every single ad.
    Mmmmm Lucky Baldwins and their Belgian festival.

  19. We won’t use AAA for anything because they dis bicyclists. Bastards.
    Your attitude has a familiar ring to it. Might you have any Sicilian blood running through your veins?

  20. EmmaSteinfeld: Might you have any Sicilian blood running through your veins?
    I don’t think so. Lots of Irish, though.

  21. Oh too funny Wil. I remember when I was first starting out on my own and I wanted to buy a Sears sewing machine. Yes folks, those were the days when people actually sewed clothing to wear, anyway, I applied for a credit card and was declined. I went to JC Penney’s and was approved, and ended up purchasing a machine there, but it just wasn’t quite like the one that I really wanted. Through the years, I have continually not shopped there, and for anyone that listens when I hear the word Sears, or a bad customer service story, I will share mine. A couple of years ago, my husband obviously from another planet bought all the presents for me from Sears. I returned every single last one of them. When asked why I was returning them, I told the cashier that I refused to use, buy, or wear anything from Sears. The only exception are their tools.
    AAA messed with me one too many times as well, and well, one – shame on me, two – shame on you.
    It is SOOOOOOO worth the feeling of accomplishment!

  22. Thanks for the anti-recommendation! I’m always getting stuff in the mail from AAA insurance. Now I won’t go with them for sure. We’ve had State Farm since I could drive (almost 19 years now) and I’ve had no troubles.

  23. Aww come on Wil! Give old Gil a chance! I gotta get an ad sold or I’ll lose this job and be out on the street. You wouldn’t want old Gil to have to move back into the dumpster behind the Waffle House would ya?

  24. It’s good to know my family isn’t the only one with “The List”. It takes a lot to get on our list, but once you are there, you are there for a very long time. CompUSA earned a ticket to The List perhaps 9 years ago, and my father hasn’t gone back since. And now they are going out of business. Coincidence? I think not.

  25. aaahhhh, the List.
    Yes, I too have one of those; AAA is on that list.
    I cancelled AAA after they left me stranded late one night in a bad part of town with a car that wouldn’t start – all because they didn’t want to answer their phone (for several hours).
    Oh yeah, and I’m putting Gateway out of business, too.

  26. You should read “Unscrewed: The Consumer’s Guide to Getting What You Paid for” by Ron Burley, it explains *why* corporations operate this way, and some things you can do about it.

  27. AAA earned its rightful place on my list of companies not worth spending money on as well. I moved from Colorado to Florida a couple years back; my folks suggested I sign up with AAA’s motor club before heading off for the 2,000 mile drive (towing a trailer, with a 4-cylinder 1994 compact pickup … heh).
    I called AAA’s membership number from my cell phone *on the road* (I had only gone a few miles on the trip, but I was on my way), told the agent that I wanted their “premium” membership (the $100 version that covered trailers and provided better benefits in case I got stranded in the middle of nowhere). I told the agent I was on the trip that moment, and she said it wouldn’t be a problem. She cheerfully took my credit card information, billed me, and gave me a membership number.
    Sure enough, that night in Missouri, mysterious grinding noises started creeping from the undercarriage, and the speedometer suddenly started under-reporting my speed by at least 30 miles per hour (I had a GPS helping out). I called AAA for help.
    They wouldn’t help me. They claimed (and didn’t bother explaining when I signed up) that “premium” benefits don’t start immediately — there’s a 7 day waiting period before you can actually use them, so I was stuck on “basic” membership. That doesn’t cover vehicles towing trailers. The best the phone monkey could do was suggest I just leave the trailer in the random parking lot I’d stopped at, have the truck towed, and hope the trailer was there the next morning.
    She also couldn’t recommend any mechanics, direct me to any *hotels*, or even send a tow truck just to inspect the vehicle. I wasn’t in a remote area — it turned out to be a city of about 30,000 people.
    I ended up lucking out — the truck made it another few miles to get me to a hotel that night and to a repair shop the next morning. $900 later, I was back on the road, no thanks to AAA.
    Once I’d gotten to my new place in Florida, I called AAA to cancel, and I let my folks know what happened. They canceled too, and then to add insult to injury, AAA actually *called me back* to scold me for convincing my parents to cancel their membership.
    Screw ‘em. Their motor club is as crappy as their insurance…

  28. Good for you, Wil. I, too, have a List. Currently, WalMart, Toshiba and Southworst Airlines are on it. From hell’s heart I spit at them… or something like that.
    AAA membership has saved my bacon several times, I have always had good luck with them. Heck, they even sent a locksmith out on my membership to unlock my friend’s car once (she couldn’t afford to call one herself). That was sweet. I will go by what you say about AAA Insurance, though.
    You should file a complaint with your Insurance Commissioner, I agree. It does work…

  29. I have a AAA membership, but not their insurance. While I am lucky to have been able to call them when I was freezing my ass off waiting for a jump, I just don’t trust a company like that to handle an insurance claim. I am very satisfied with my insurance company, and they are always very polite and cooperative. I was in an accident in 2006. I called my insurance company the next morning, and someone was at my house within an hour to look at my car and give me a check for the repairs. How much better service can you ask for?

  30. Oh hey, I forgot to add my story of being fucked-over by a company. When I was 18 or 19, I got a JC Penney card. I bought a couple of non-expensive items, and waited for a bill. I never got one. When I moved into my first apartment, I called customer service to change my address. The person I got could barely speak English and probably screwed up my address, because a few months later I started getting phone calls from them saying that I owed them all of this money for late fees–but I never got a bill telling me how much I owed! So I paid them off and canceled that card.
    I also got screwed by Kaufmann’s. I used my brand new card to buy a $10 shirt. The woman said I could show my application paper if I wanted to use the card right away. I never got my actual card, nor a bill, and all of a sudden I got calls telling me I owed them $60, and they wouldn’t take off those late fees! So I paid them off, and went to cancel, and they wouldn’t let me! I just went to apply for a card again, now that it’s Macy’s, and I learned via snail mail that my old account number was still in their computer! What a bunch of bullshit! I’m glad it’s not Kaufmann’s anymore!

  31. BRAVO!! :-)
    My wife and I were considering a switch to AAA Auto Insurance from 21st Century. I’ve reconsidered it since your very informative post. THANKS!
    Those “fuckshits” can keep their policies, we’re sticking with 21st. :)
    BTW, do you have AAA Road Service?

  32. What is it about the word ‘fuck’ that is so damn funny. Especially when used multiple times in one sentence. Ah. Good stuff. Thanks for the rant and the laugh.
    All insurance companies blow ass. The entire industry is a bunch of amoral carpetbaggers. And the saddest thing is, they are taking over my downtown. All the cool local shops who can’t afford the rent are being replaced with ass blowing insurance companies. Can anyone tell me why an insurance company needs a high profile location in what use to be a happening downtown area? It’s not like we all go out for brew and then think, “Hey, let’s go check out the insurance company’s car rates.” Lame and annoying and sad.

  33. I have to say I had a really good experience with AAA when I was driving my mom’s insured car, which was hit head-on, resulting in the vehicle being totaled me with a fractured sternum. They issued a check for the car pretty quickly, including the deductible when it was clear the accident wasn’t my fault. Maybe they’re nicer when they don’t have out-of-pocket costs.

  34. AAA was very good to me last year. Since I have their car insurance, I have condo ins. as well.
    I had a slab leak, and they covered many thousands of dollars to repair the damage. My plumber told me all the companies that DON’T cover such an event and I shuddered.
    Insurance can be so very tricky.
    Sorry to hear of your vandalism, and it not being covered by the . . . what was it? Assmasters?

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