Did you hear? Self-driving cars are here! Or at least that’s what the headlines suggested last week, as Tesla released an update for their pricey cars to enable a new “autopilot” system. As it turns out, the new system isn’t new – but the deployment is. And, unfortunately, that’s what makes it so dangerous. Tesla is setting expectations for their “autopilot” system much higher than what the car can actually do – and someone is probably going to get killed.
Few major chain corporations out there actually listen to the customer. A year ago, I emailed some companies about their lack of bike racks. Rather than receive relevant replies about racks, I was told I was not being considered for a job. Seriously.
Earlier this year, I again sent along an email to CVS’s corporate HQ, but this time about a more serious matter: an apparent ADA violation. Unlike bike racks, an ADA violation can result in a swift lawsuit.
CVS listened; they replied by email, contacted me by phone, replied to my follow-up, and actually did some work on the ground to fix the problem.
The good news is, my bike was not stolen. The bad news is, a couple emerged from Target to find one of their bikes was stolen, a bike apparently valued at $1,300. Naturally, Target management couldn’t do anything, as they’re not liable for what happens in the parking lot. The problem is, their bike parking facilities made it all too easy for the thief to cut the locks and get away, and the lack of security cameras means the police will have nothing to work with (the couple was going to file a report).
A month ago I decided that instead of rolling my eyes at the lack of bike racks at some businesses in the Fresno area, I would be a little bit more pro-active and send out customer-complaint feedback.
I decided to only do this with corporations, because of two reasons.
1) They have more flexibility in making “changes” to their property than some mom-and-pop store leasing space in a strip mall
2) They supposedly have established departments and standards on how to respond to customer issues.
The other day, I was running some errands on my bike. On the way home, I realized my fridge was quite lacking in food, and as I had just passed a Taco Bell, I decided to turn back and have a snack, a drink, and a use of their facilities.
I biked into their parking lot, and then all the way around their store, but not a single bike rack was in sight. This doesn’t make sense. Like all Taco Bell’s, the store isn’t that old (really, is there such thing as an old Taco Bell? They all look brand new). The store is in a residential area, not isolated off a highway offramp somewhere. So I think it’s reasonable to expect that there is a good amount of people living close enough that biking is an option.