Even Scary People Prefer Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee Food Stores have a jingle, “Where There’s a Helpful Smile in Every Aisle!”  They don’t have a jingle for their parking lots, which may be a good thing.

They probably wouldn’t want this guy as a spokesman either.


On Thursday, Des Moines Police received a call from a woman stating there was a guy in the East Euclid Hy-Vee parking lot yelling and screaming. He was also carrying a knife and sometimes putting the knife in his mouth.

When the police got to Hy-Vee, an officer approached a vehicle containing the suspect. But the yelling guy wasn’t in a talkative mood anymore, and nearly hit a squad car while making his escape.

Officers chased him north on I-235, then on to I-80, and finally caught up with at his home where he was arrested.

Charlie Stroud, 27, has been charged with reckless driving and eluding.

KCCI has the story on their website.

Should Somebody’s Job Loss Be Used For Marketing Your Service?

For the third time in 9 days, a certain self-storage company based in Columbia, Missouri, has become the topic of a posting here on DSMBLOGGERS. Yesterday, a follower of this blog posted a comment that both caught my interest and got me concerned at the same time. A link was included that pointed to a Facebook posting:


The post shown above included a link (and photo) to a Sports Illustrated story about the firing of New York Knicks Coach Mike Woodson (layoff may be more accurate; new management was brought in). In the caption above the photo, StorageMart asks anyone who knows Mr. Woodson to tell him about StorageMart and their properties in the area.

The DSMBLOGGERS follower who found this Facebook post, posted a comment in another article here on the blog with the link and his opinion that what StorageMart did was “crass”. There is a comment on the Facebook post itself stating “StorageMart should know better” than to be “making fun of a guy when he’s down”.

I’m not sure if StorageMart intended to make fun of Mike Woodson, but whoever made the original Facebook post should have asked themselves if someone having  bad luck was a valid opportunity for some free publicity.

Now I’m going to add a poll so you can tell the world what you think:

LeafGuard Commercials

It’s that time of year again. Winter has finally ended and the home improvement companies have their ads on TV.

One of the better ads I’ve seen is the one for LeafGuard. The commercial is animated and shows two houses: one with LeafGuard installed and keeping the gutters clear of leaves and junk, the other without LeafGuard, with clogged gutters and a waterfall where the front door should be.

Just for fun, I’m going to have a poll about LeafGuard.


StorageMart has their own reviews site … for StorageMart

What better way to have favorable reviews of your business show up in a Google search than to set up a website that reviews your own business? StorageMart has such a website at http://www.storagemartreviews.com .

As of the time I’m writing this, the “review site” has a grand total of 2 reviews, both positive and from 2011. It looks like it’s running on WordPress, but the WordPress header that lets me reblog a WordPress article doesn’t appear. When I try to click on an individual review, I receive a 500 Internal Server error.

So how do I know this is an attempt by StorageMart for good search engine optimization? Well, I can’t be totally sure they’re trying to make a positive impact for SEO, but a WHOIS search (http://who.is/whois/storagemartreviews.com) shows they own the web domain.

The domain name “storagemartreviews.com” is registered to TKG StorageMart, PO Box U, Columbia, MO 65205. Tron Jordheim is listed as the contact for this domain. Tron is the Chief Marketing Officer at StorageMart. (I’m not sure what the TKG part means, but I’ve seen StorageMart use those initals in corporate names for affiliate companies.)

StorageMart’s “review” website makes me wonder if all of the positive reviews for StorageMart on other review sites are real.

A Childrens Show At 1AM?

I was watching a little bit of the soccer game on Channel 13 this afternoon and a “Childrens Programming Note” scrolled across the bottom of the screen. I could have swore it said something like “Today’s episode of Lazytown can be seen on Sunday 5/4 at 1:00AM”.

WHAT? They’re going to show a kids program at 1:00am? Who do they expect to watch it? (Certainly not kids!)

I checked the Childrens Programming page on the WHO-HD website and it states the 4/19 episode of Lazytown will be shown on Sunday, 5/4, at 12:00pm.

Either my eyes are seeing strange things or somebody at Channel 13 hit the Send button before checking the text.

METRO MANHUNT: Inmate Escapes While In Transit


Police are still looking for an escaped prisoner this morning. Kenny Bevard, 37, escaped from Sheriffs’ Deputies yesterday while being transported to the Dallas County Jail. If you see him, call 911.

Originally posted on whotv.com:

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Police swarmed an Urbandale neighborhood Thursday evening searching for a convicted felon who managed to escape police custody.

The escaped inmate, 37-year-old Kenny Bevard has been on the run for several hours.

He managed to escape while being transferred from Polk to Dallas County sheriffs’  custody shortly before 5 p.m. near the Menards store on Hickman Road.

Police say Bevard was handcuffed, shackled and wearing a green and white jail jumpsuit when he slipped away.

Bevard then stole a car from the nearby Love’s truck stop.

That car was then located in the 7500 block of Hickman Road near the Buccaneers’ ice hockey arena.

Police immediately launched a massive search bringing in tracking dogs and using a DOT airplane.

While officers…

View original 165 more words

We Cram Fees Because We Care About You

Suppose you were a car dealer and you really cared about your customers well being. You know that even though state law requires proof of auto liability insurance to be made available to a police officer on demand (aka an insurance card), some of your customers can’t or won’t buy even the minimum required insurance. You suddenly think of a solution! You will sell auto insurance to your customers when they buy a car from you or get their current car serviced in your repair shop. And since you know your customers needs better than they do, you will automatically sell them auto insurance and add the cost to their invoice. If they object, you’ll tell them it’s state law that they have insurance, but if they provide proof they have coverage somewhere else, you’ll refund the cost of the insurance you sold them. But they’ll still be covered under your insurance until they prove they have other insurance and they will be charged for it.

Fortunately, the auto dealer mentioned above is a fictional character. Unfortunately, there is at least one company that will force you to buy their insurance unless you can prove you have insurance elsewhere.

StorageMart of Columbia, Missouri, recently purchased the Budget Storage group of self-storage facilities in Iowa and Kansas. The first thing StorageMart did was require the customers of the former Budget Storage company to complete and sign a new rental agreement. While the new agreement includes a requirement the contents of the storage unit be covered by insurance, this agreement doesn’t state anywhere that at the moment you sign and return the agreement, you are automatically signed up for the “Premium Lease Option”, a pseudo-insurance program for covering property in the unit from loss due to such things as “fire, water damage,  and burglary”. I call it pseudo-insurance because the rental agreement also states StorageMart is not an insurance agency and they don’t insure personal property. All for an extra $9.95 a month.

But what if you already have an insurance policy that covers items in a storage unit? A standard homeowners or renters insurance policy includes coverage for personal property in storage units, so nearly everyone is going to have some kind of contents coverage unless they still live with their parents or in a college dorm.

Well, StorageMart cares about the people who rent from them. And since they know more about what a customer needs than the customer does, they automatically start the “Premium Lease Option” on day one. And they won’t stop coverage (and related charges) until the customer brings in the DEC page from their own policy and proves the contents of the storage unit will be covered.  (A DEC page is the first page from an insurance policy or renewal notice that lists the type of coverage(s), coverage limits, and any deductables. DEC is short for declarations, BTW.)

So while most storage companies will take your word that you have insurance, StorageMart automatically assumes you’re an uninsured deadbeat and they need to protect the customers from themselves by forcing insurance on the customer.

There is a special term for the act of adding an unauthorized charge to someone’s bill without their permission: CRAMMING. And nowhere in the rental agreement does it allow StorageMart to just add a customer to the “Premium Lease Option” by default.

So if you have a storage space at Budget Storage, it’s now known as a StorageMart storage space. And next month, you may have a $9.95 surprise charge for something that you may already be paying your homeowners insurance company for.

CRAMMING … because they care about you.

Postal Workers Union opposes Staples offering USPS services

The U.S. Postal Service is currently testing a program in about 80 Staples stores that has the office supply chain sell postal services and accept packages as an agent of the Post Office.  If the test goes well, the program could be expanded to Staples stores nationwide.

The American Postal Workers Union is opposed to having a “postal desk” at Staples, claiming the Staples workers who would handle the mail are not postal employees and the mail would not be as secure as if the mail was taken to a Post Office and handled by a postal employee.  The union even makes it sound as if the Staples deal is completed, post offices across the country would close and layoffs of postal workers would occur.

Here is a link to a story about a protest in the Chicago area against Staples, courtesy of WBBM/CBS Chicago.

It is interesting that the APWU is worried about their jobs now.  Where were they about 25 years ago when the Dahl’s grocery store chain started acting like the Post Office?

For over 25 years, you can go to Dahl’s with a package, have the employees weigh the package, sell you the postage, and then accept the package to be sent on to its destination via the U.S. Postal Service.  Dahl’s is known as a “contract postal station”, which means they can act as an agent of the postal service.  Dahl’s even has P.O. Boxes that you can rent so you can pick up your mail at the store instead of at home or the office.  (But you have to go to the Post Office to rent the box and get the keys.)

Even Dahl’s competitor, Hy-Vee, has gotten into the act, setting up contract postal stations in some of their stores.  (But sorry, no P.O. Boxes at Hy-Vee.)

So why all of the fuss over Staples having what amounts to contract postal stations inside their stores?  What makes employees of an office supply store less trustworthy than employees of a grocery store?

Is it really because of the “security” of the mail, or is it because the APWU can’t collect union dues from Staples employees?