July 31, 2009

The Acuvue Rebate I'll Never Get (Updated 8/25/09)

I decided to start wearing contacts. I've been wearing glasses since I was about 15. I'm 36 now... it's about time. Plus, I has surgery on my neck a in November 2008 (want to see a picture?) and since that surgery the stem of my glasses has been bothering me. Seems when the doctor removed the golf-ball sized cyst from my neck, he hit and damaged a few nerves. I think the right side of my head will tingle for the rest of my life whenever pressure is put on it because of this. Yea me.

So, It was either contacts or LASIK. Since insurance doesn't pony up any of the $$ for LASIK yet, I opted to poke my eyes every morning.

Anyhow... I've been waiting to get contact lenses until a sale came along. My sale came along in June 2009 when Acuvue announced their 2009 National All Brands Rebate Offer. You had to jump through a few hoops to get the rebate.
1. Be a "new wearer" of contacts (I am).
2. Have an eye exam within the last 90 days. (I did)
3. Buy 8 boxes of contacts by June 30. I did.

If I can do all of those things... and send them all the required information by the end of July, I should receive $100 back.

(My rebate was for $100 because of a slight astigmitism in one eye that the doc said wasn't serious enough for specialty lenses, but I needed to use Acuvue Oasys, which was a $100 rebate instead of the regular lenses that had a $30 rebate. I thought it was a double score.)

So... I bit.
Problem was... it was already the 25th of June and I didn't know where I was going to buy the lenses. So, I went online and shopped around. Nobody would be able to get me the lenses in time for me to get the $100.. until I called Sam's Club. They had them in stock and ready to go. So on June 29 I made the purchase. Got all my information together and sent it in. Sam's wasn't the best price I shopped.. but it was the only place I could get the purchase made in time to take advantage of the rebate.

The next week I shipped it all off in the mail and waited for my $100 to roll in.
I was pretty proud of myself.

So, I got the mail yesterday, and was very excited to see my letter from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., the makers of Acuvue.

The letter reads:
Thank you for participating iun the 2009 National All Brands Rebate Offer. We are unable to proces your request because:
• Sams Club no longer accept manufacturer's rebates; instead they have removed rebates and offer savings in-store or on-line at time of purchase

So.. not only do they renig on my rebate, they throw Sam's Club under the bus.

I guess they needed to be paid back... so their not really risking anything by offering this, they're going to punish the vendor for selling the product by charging him to make the sale.


Now I've got a year's supply of contacts that cost me about $50 more than I could have gotten them somewhere else and a really bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Acuvue Lenses.

So.. I wrote them a little letter.

I followed everything I needed to do including rushing out and buying a years supply of a new contact lens product that I've never worn in order to get a $100 rebate.

Now, you send me a letter saying I am not getting a rebate because of where I bought the lenses? Where EXACTLY in the rules does it say I can't shop at Sam's Club (which was the only place I could find the lenses before the deadline).

I did my research. I had quotes from several places. I shopped at Sam's only because of the need to purchase by the end of June.

This is highly unfair and if you are trying to attract new customers to your product,you are failing. I expect to be contacted and I expect to receive my rebate in the mail, as PROMISED.

Thank you for your time.
- Sean Claes

I did a little google search and I'm not alone.. Others have had the same problem. Here

I don't expect anything to come of it. But if you're reading this and it stops you from purchasing from them. That is reward enough.

Anyone know a good alternative contact lens provider? I need a supply next year.


UPDATE 8/25/09: Apparently the letter worked. They sent me the rebate. Thanks Acuvue for responding with a check. I thought about taking this down... but I'm betting there's a bunch of other people who didn't get that check... and they should know that writing a letter like the one I did above actually worked (at least once). Take a chance, it may be worth $100.

July 21, 2009

New Texas music festival surfs in to South Padre Island

Press Release

New Texas music festival surfs in to South Padre Island

July 21, 2009-The inaugural South Padre Island Seafood and Music Festivalsigns the hottest names in Texas music. The two day, music, food, and arts event, hailing from beautiful South Padre Island, is located on the sprawling landscape of the bay-front SPI Convention Center.

When: September 18th 5pm-12:30am
September 19th 11am-12:30am

Where: South Padre Island Convention Center Outdoor Stages
7355 Padre Blvd.
South Padre Island, TX 78597

Cost: $20 each day, $40 two day pass, $300 VIP Badge
Kids 8 & under are FREE
Purchase Tickets here: Front Gate Tickets

Tickets, full lineup, and more festival info available at www.sopadrefest.com

What can you find at South Padre Island Seafood and Music Festival?
Two outdoor stages of continuous live music from Texas’ hottest acts including: Kevin Fowler, Ryan Bingham, Cory Morrow, Jason Boland, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Schneider, Michael Salgado, Ruben Ramos & the Mexican Revolution, Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights, Honeybrowne, Micky and the Motorcars, Vallejo, Rodney Hayden, Doug Moreland, Subrosa Union, The Brew, Sam Sliva and the Good, Zach Huckabee, and many more TBA.

A large variety of delectable seafood and sides from the coastal region’s most esteemed seafood restaurants and vendors.

Classic festival food fare including hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage on a stick, funnel cakes, turkey legs, fajitas, etc.

An eclectic variety of coastal and Texas art presented by Texas artisans from near and far.

A kids village, complete with a live music stage, games, and lots of activities designed specifically for the younger music aficionados. Games, rides, face painters, clowns, balloon art, etc.

Celebrity chef exhibitions.

Family fishing tournament with cash prize brought to you by the Texas Saltwater Series and televised on Fox Sports.

Contests and games.

Side stage catered VIP areas.
VIP fishing trips with artists.
Air conditioned VIP lounges with air conditioned bathrooms.

Beaches, swimming, and surf within walking distance.

Kids 8 & under are FREE.

Intimate after-hours shows at Louie’s Back Yard.

Tiered travel and hotel packages offered by SouthPadreTrips.com designed to
fit even the tightest budget.

Discounted festival airfare available through American Airlines.

a.. Preferred festival lodging provided by Sheraton Beach Hotel & Condominiums,
Isla Grand Resort, & Travelodge.

a.. Benefiting Sea Turtle Inc. whose work helps protect, rehabilitate, and
conserve endangered sea turtles.

When: September 18th 5pm-12:30am
September 19th 11am-12:30am

Where: South Padre Island Convention Center Outdoor Stages
7355 Padre Blvd.
South Padre Island, TX 78597

Cost: $20 each day, $40 two day pass, $300 VIP Badge
Kids 8 & under are FREE

tickets, lineup, and festival info available at www.sopadrefest.com

July 8, 2009

Russell Freeland - Absolute Zero Music

Russ Freeland
The Absolute Zero Artist - absolutezeroproject.com
Playing a live show at The Cactus Cafe
TONIGHT at 8:00p.m.

Check the listing out on DO512.

You may, or may not, know Russ from his journey - the Absolute Zero Project (AZP). His paintings (and story of how he ended up in Austin)are pretty awesome. Click the link above to find out more about that.

Well, what you may not know is, Russ is also a musician. In fact, one of his missions he gave himself as part of the AZP was to book a live show. Mission accomplished. Won't you come out and see him tonight at The Cactus Cafe? He's opening for Bettysoo.

Read about Russ in the July issue of INsite (click image below to download the PDF for July), to see where he's been since landing in Austin in October 2008... and why this show is pretty darned important.


Here's one of his videos he's put up since he arrived in Austin.

Read INsite's original feature on Russ from INsite's November 2008 issue:
(Click on it for the full-size, readable version)

The Cactus Cafe is on Guadalupe Street across from the University Co-op and is located in the southwest corner of the Texas Union building. The Texas Union, at the corner of 24th and Guadalupe, is on the University of Texas campus. (Via here)

July 7, 2009

The Story of Paul - Granger Smith

Paul Tocco is a six year old boy in Denver, Colarado who has retinal blastoma (cancer of the eye).

His family used to live in my neighborhood, Plum Creek, in Kyle, Texas. They moved a couple of years ago when Paul's dad was transferred. I never had a chance to meet the family, but another of my former neighbors, Dax Middlebrooks, let me know about Paul and his family.

Anyhow.. Paul was going through his 30th surgery last week... and his mom asked Austin-based country musician Granger Smith if he'd send something autographed, since the family are huge fans.

Granger's new album, Don't Listen To The Radio drops July 14. But, instead of dealing with that... Granger did something much more. Watch the YouTube video.

I totally want to interview Granger Smith now. He is obviously good people... and he's got some really good music too.