Posts Tagged ‘customers’

SFMTA’s Polk Street Parking Space Removal Plan has Spawned a Yelp War – A Five-Star Counterattack – Poor Dr. Hiura, Poor Other Dr. Hiura!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

All right, get up to speed here.

And now, the latest salvo – if you’re an earnest Yelper who feels that Drs. Hiura & Hiura have been treated unfairly in the whole SFMTA Polk Street Parking Space Removal Plan, well all you can do is post a five-star review, you know, to help out:

Capturefdfgh copy

Except that this doesn’t help – the last thing that Hiura To The Power Of Two or Yelp need is a political debate carried out on

Speaking of which, here’s something new from the Hiuras themselves:

I’m confused – whom’s this video for? IDK. Is it for patients so they’ll post five-star reviews? Or is it for potential patients? But who’s going to see it? (And who’s that woman in front of the green screen? Are we meant to think she works there? IDK.)

And I’ll tell you, at this point, no YouTubers have seen this video, like literally nobody.

Hey, did you see that storefront in the background of this clip? Look at all that metal security grating! That’s a reminder that this is Polk Gulch – an area that’s still “in transition,” as they say.

Oh, did I write Polk Gulch? What I meant to write was “Polk Village,” as that’s what some millionaire small-biz owners tried to rename the area a few years back. (I’m not sure how that turned out – certainly, I haven’t heard that term in a while.)

In any event, all that grating sure would be helpful if you’re ever battening down the hatches, like in preparation for another San Francisco Giants World Series riot, or if you were expecting ever more unwelcome visits from the StreetsBlogSF crowd, right?

Well guess what, the hatches have been battened – that means that the Hiuras no longer have anti-SFMTA propaganda posted in their window and the iconic red PEOPLE LOVE US ON YELP storefront sticker – well, that’s now gone as well, almost as if the Hiuras don’t want transit activists thinking of this bidness and the Yelp at the same time.

So on it goes. Perhaps this YelpWar will settle down after today’s big vote at City Hall*

*OMG, these people use so many buzz-phrases and “framing” words, I wonder if they’d even be able to translate their NewSpeak into regular English. Let’s have a try here, an “improvement” as any change that SFGov has ever made and/or something that it wants to spend tax or fee-payer money on, whether that change turns out to actually be an improvement or not IRL. And a “complete” street is one that has had tax or fee-payer money spent on it recently, as best I can figure. IRL, Polk Street was “completed” about a century and a half ago, right? And an “investment” is any spending done by SFGov, like the way my cousin used to invest his money at the slot machines inside the big airport in Vegas. Hey, how would a cosmetic surgeon propose to “improve” your body? How could s/he “complete” yourself? IDK, an “investment” in breasts implants? Hey, that’s what you should do, you should give me your money and you’ll be lifted and enhanced. Except sometimes that’s a bad choice, and other times it’s a meh choice, like whatever. And certainly, your life wasn’t “transformed,” as promised by those who literally make money off of selling an idea that may or may not be a good idea. Hey, is the SFMTA all about safety? Oh, Lord no, not really. IRL, it’s an inefficient organization that makes some good choices but also some bad choices in the name of “safety,” that’s what it is. Oh well. 

The Empire Strikes Back: Comments on Yelp from the More Rabid Elements of the StreetsBlog Mob Stricken – Drs. Hiura on Polk

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: Oh, Peter Lawrence Kane asked Yelp about these matters just this morning, so that prolly played a big role in Yelp’s very fast response.]

Oh, it’s all good – all the recent negative reviews for Drs. Hiura & Hiura Optometrists have been shuffled down the memory hole as of lunchtime today.

I’m a little surprised at the speed of the deletions.

From what I learned about Yelp from the famous SoMA Legacy Lunchtime Restaurants vs. New School Food Trucks Battle of a few years ago, it can take a long time for demonstrably false or self-serving Yelp postings to come down, if ever.

And I distinguish between reviewers who have brand-new accounts with just one review vs. reviewers with longer histories, and I thought Yelp sort of did as well, but no, they’re all gone.

Oh, here they are, right here, at the bottom of this page.

So I suppose that the penalty for speaking out against the plans of the SFMTA has just dropped, by a whole bunch.

So, Yelp wins once again…

One Reason Why You Shouldn’t Speak Out Against Any Big Plan the SFMTA Wants To Do: The Risk to Your Yelp Rating

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

[UPDATE: The offending posts have already been TWEP – terminated with extreme prejudice. And, inevitably, fans of the Hiuras are now chipping in with five-star reviews…]

Drs. Hiura & Hiura Optometrists have done very well on the Yelp, but our ineffective and meretricious SFMTA’s recent push for the Polk Street Streetscape parking space removal project is not good their business.

Not good at all!

Check it, from the past few days:

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So, what will end up happening is your hard-earned, hard-to-get 5 star rating will come down a notch or two, or three, if you sign your John Hancocks to a letter like this – the blowback will be a brace of one star reviews from noncustomers.

The Grand Battle of Polk Gulch is well and truly joined.

Brace yourselves for March 3, 2015

Assignment Desk: Just How Fake was the Recent Episode of “Mystery Diners” Taped at Chapeau! on Clement in the Richmond?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

I’m saying very fake, or mostly fake.

Last year, Michael Bauer had the Inside Scoop on the recent Mystery Diners fiasco up at Chapeau! on Clement Street in the Inner Richmond:

“It was halfway into our anniversary dinner when things turned for the worst, as the camera crew from Mystery Diners rushed through the dining room with lights and mikes to catch a naughty bartender/actor in the act of giving away free drinks for a group of fake diners.”

I’ll tell you, I don’t have that cable TV so I can’t actually watch all the fakery, but here’s a quite gullible writer on the topic over at Examiner.Com.

I’m auspicious of this whole deal, I tell you.

Oh, EaterSF has this:

This is scripted. This would never really happen in Philippe’s restaurant. I live down the street and go there.”

So, have at it, MSM. Philippe himself prolly would have contractual reasons to tell you to go to Hell, but there are other ways of getting a scoop…

Oh, and SFWeekly had this to say about this particular TV series a few years back

In short, I call shenanigans.

Phuket Thai Restaurant Opens Up Its Bathrooms to the General Public – They Charge Just $2 Each Time You Go

Monday, October 21st, 2013


Uh Oh, San Franco-Based Uber Cab is in Trouble Again: Now Getting Sued in Massachusetts for Retaining Drivers’ Tips

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Apparently, if you have your UberCab driver pahk the cah at Hahvahd Yahd, the tip you pay for that service doesn’t all go to the Uber taxi driver. Deets below.

Is that kind of a setup illegal? I don’t know but we’ll find out soon enough.

Oh Uber Taxi, will you ever win?

Now when Uber drivers aren’t Ubering, they’re illegally picking up people off the street like the drivers of all these vehicles were trying to do on Sacramento last year:

Click to expand

Uber Cab/

Uber Cab/

It IS your fault

All the deets:

“High-tech car service Uber faces more accusations

Lawsuit alleges labor law violations

BOSTON, Feb. 7, 2013  — A class-action lawsuit filed in US District Court last week alleges car service Uber Technologies Inc. is violating state law prohibiting employers from keeping tips earned by employees.

The suit, filed by a driver for Uber, is another strike against the upstart high-tech car service that has prompted legal and regulatory crackdowns in other cities.

“Uber’s practice of keeping a large portion of the drivers’ tips is both deceptive to the customers, who expect that the drivers get to keep the gratuities that they have given them, and blatantly in violation of Massachusetts law,” said Hillary Schwab of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C., one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.

The suit comes on the heels of similar action taken by drivers in Chicago and regulations for smartphone applications in the car service industry recently proposed by the International Association of Transportation Regulators. Those proposals, released in November, would curtail the use of GPS devices as a substitute for a taxi meter, prohibit drivers without proper licensing from offering rides for pay, and bar car services from charging extra during hours of peak demand. IATR said its intention was to “bring rogue applications into compliance.” The proposals would have to be adopted by local state and city regulators. New York City, meanwhile, has drafted even more stringent regulations.

Boston fleet owners have said that if smart phone applications in the car service industry are to become standard there still must be uniform rules regarding their use.

In the most recent case, a driver for Uber, David Lavitman, of Milton, alleges Uber kept his tips. He said customers are regularly assessed a 20 percent gratuity but that the company retains as much as half that amount. Lavitman’s suit is seeking class action status and says more than 40 drivers in Massachusetts who served customers beginning Dec. 10, 2012 could join the class. Damages could exceed $5 million, according to statements by the company.

Uber is based in San Francisco.

SOURCE  DBMediaStrategies Inc.

DBMediaStrategies Inc.

Web Site:

Sears Seems to Think That It Does Business in San Francisco, But It Doesn’t Have Stores Here Anymore – SearsLocalAd.Com?

Monday, May 7th, 2012

I don’t know, Sears. Your latest press release here seems to indicate that you still do business in the 415 but then when people register at with a local address, they get a big fat “OAKLAND” where SAN FRANCISCO is supposed to be.

I cry foul.

I mean, Sears, you blew out of town a while ago, right?

The giant Sears at Geary and Masonic, back in the day:

Of course now this building is just an empty hulk, waiting for Target to move in (after the requisite amount of shaking down from rich, white, local, homeowners you, know, the NIMBYs.)

I’ll bet that the people behind the new “Sears Hyper-Local Shopping Website” can’t wrap their heads around the fact that Sears no longer has any stores here.

Oh well.

I don’t know, Sears. You have stuff that people like…

Like youthful Mother’s Day MILFs, and hand-tools, and big-ass TVs:

…but you’re just not putting it all together.

So call me up Sears – I’ll set you straight.

“New Sears Hyper-Local Shopping Website Offers San Francisco Shoppers Hundreds Of Local Deals In Real Time – Newly Launched Provides Localized Deals at Neighborhood Sears Store

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., May 7, 2012 — Sears has launched, which provides San Francisco customers with access to hundreds of additional local deals beyond the weekly Sears print circular or The online shopping portal is dedicated to local customers, allowing them to shop smarter by previewing new local deals updated every week, and includes enhancements for Sears’ SHOP YOUR WAY REWARDS(SM) members.

“ gives our San Francisco customers unprecedented access and power,” said Imran Jooma, senior vice president & president, online, marketing, financial services and pricing business units at Sears Holdings. “We know how savvy our customers are when it comes to finding the best deals. Giving our customers new services and conveniences like a real-time window into the selection and savings specific to their nearby store is a great example of how the future of integrated shopping is here today at Sears.”

Localization is pre-selected based on the shopper’s location and can be easily changed to another store within the experience. Shoppers can search their nearest Sears store and browse deals by department, brand or price point, quickly filtering to find offers of interest. helps shoppers ensure products are available before they go to the store. The site features not only hundreds of additional deals, but shows in real time how many items are currently in stock at the chosen location.

San Francisco residents can enjoy new tools such as ratings, reviews and product comparisons to shop with confidence–and for added convenience, customers can create lists that they can print for in-store shopping, send to their mobile devices, and share with family and friends via email, shopyourway, Facebook or Twitter.

Even greater savings advantages are available to members of Sears’ SHOP YOUR WAY REWARDS. Members get additional savings on offers, and bonus members can earn bonus points. Plus, SHOP YOUR WAY REWARDS members can preview upcoming sales before the print circular is released and receive personalized deals from their local store by email based on recent searches and site activity.

For more information on the service and to view the latest deals, visit the new local ad experience today at

About Sears Holdings Corporation

Sears Holdings Corporation is one of the nation’s largest broadline retailers with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings’ website at |Twitter: @searsholdings||Facebook:

There’s Way More Poo in Justin Herman Plaza Now Than During the Height of OccupySF – Why Is That?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Horses, that’s why. Police horses, that is.

JHP poo, tourists, the Embarcadero, and Ferry Building. Welcome to San Francisco!

Click to expand

Perhaps the super-whiny whiners in the the area, such as Boston Properties* and whoever, will start writing sneaky letters to SFGov about how they’re going to sue, sue, sue over horse poo now?


So, now that OccupySF is over, area property owners are happy? Really? Mmmm.

And who was it, was it Hawaiian Airlines or Disney what was demanding the end of OccupySF? Maybe I’ll look into that and see how they feel about Occupy. [Cough, boycott, cough.]

On It Goes…

*Owner of Embarcadero Center or someplace. (Now isn’t that a great name for a San Francisco company?) 

Hurray! Chase Bank Announces it Won’t Charge Customers a Monthly Debit Card Fee – Thanks Chase!

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Say what you will about our corporate overlords at Morgan Chase, you can’t deny that they can tell which way the winds are blowing these days.

Proof of that is this announcement, below.

My favorite Chase Bank is the one on Oak and Divisadero. Isn’t it kewl? 

Click to expand

That’s right, it’s hella cool.

On a somewhat serious note, thanks for Chase Community Giving, Chase. That’s better than spending your money on a Super Bowl commercial or whathaveyou.

(But don’t get on my bad side, Chase, else it will be smashy smashy like what happened to your nearby competitor on Fell a couple Halloweens back.)

Anyway, you all can join the boycott,* I don’t care. As long as the Chase customers can have their bank branch on Oak, that’s fine.

Or take your money to a credit union, I don’t care.

And, oh, goran nasai, Amerika no Ginkoo. Mite, mite:

“Chase Announces it Won’t Charge Customers a Debit Card Fee – Consumers Union Calls On Bank of America to Drop its Plan to Charge a $5 Fee for Debit Card Purchases

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28, 2011 — JP Morgan Chase announced today that it will not charge its customers a $3 monthly debit card fee after testing the charge in Wisconsin and Georgia.  The bank announced that it would drop the idea following negative reaction from its customers.

Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, today commended Chase for its decision and reiterated its call on Bank of America to end its plan to charge a $5 debit card fee beginning in 2012.

“Consumers Union has heard from thousands of consumers across the country who are outraged that Bank of America is instituting the $5 monthly debit card fee,” said Norma Garcia, manager of Consumers Union’s financial services program.  “It’s time for Bank of America to listen to its customers who are saying loud and clear: drop the fee or we’ll drop you.  All banks that are considering debit card fees should ditch those plans.”

SunTrust has also started rolling out a similar debit card fee and Wells Fargo has been testing one in select markets.  Earlier this month, Consumers Union called on Chase, Bank of America and these other banks to abandon plans to charge customers a fee for debit card purchases.

“It’s unfair for banks to stick consumers with a monthly fee just to use their own money,” said Garcia.  “The banks that charge debit card fees risk losing customers who are fed up with financial institutions that got bailed out that are now turning around and hiking fees.”

Consumers Union has published a set of tips for consumers who want to switch banks.

Saturday, November 5, has been dubbed Bank Transfer Day by grassroots activists upset with rising bank fees, including the new $5 debit card fee that Bank of America will start charging its customers in 2012. Consumers are being encouraged by Bank Transfer Day organizers to switch their accounts to credit unions or community banks on that day.

SOURCE  Consumers Union”

Oh, there’s an updated version of this release. See it after the jump.

*Facebook, really? Heh. Home of the ephemeral…


It Will Cost You Five Dollars a Month to Use Your Debit Card Starting Next Year, But Here’s a Call to Stop That

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Consumers Union is on the case.

They’re trying the old moral suasion – perhaps some enterprising pols will join in?

All the deets:

“Consumers Union Calls on Bank of America & Other Major Banks to Drop Unfair Debit Card Fees

CU: It’s Unfair to Charge Customers When Banks Collect Enough From Retailers to Cover Debit Card Costs

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 18, 2011 — Consumers Union called on Bank of America and other banks to drop plans to charge consumers monthly debit card fees. Bank of America recently announced it would charge its customers $5 each month starting in 2012 to make debit card purchases. SunTrust has started rolling out its own $5 fee and Wells Fargo and Chase are testing debit card fees in select markets.

“Americans are tired of being hit with new banking fees, especially since they’ve already paid to rescue firms like Bank of America, whose behavior helped spark the economic meltdown,” said Norma Garcia, director of Consumers Union’s financial services program. “This debit card fee just adds insult to injury. It’s unfair for the banks to stick consumers with a monthly fee just to use their own money. Bank of America and other banks can still collect enough money from retailers to cover debit card costs.”

Garcia added, “If Bank of America and the other banks refuse to drop the debit card fee, consumers should consider dropping them. There are plenty of banks and credit unions that don’t charge debit card fees that will be more than happy to accept new customers.”

Consumers Union has published a set of tips for consumers who want to switch banks.

Below is Consumers Union’s letter to Bank of America urging it to drop its debit card fee. Similar letters were sent to Chase, SunTrust, and Wells Fargo.”

See the letter after the jump.