The great thing about the Web is that it can make your life easier. There is so much more to do than just reading the news or staying up-to-date on the latest happenings with friends and family.
You just need to know where to look. Here are 3 websites I couldn’t live without:
One of my all time favorite websites, bugmenot.com, eliminates the annoyance and privacy concerns of creating website logins for sites I don’t maintain a regular relationship with.
Many websites require a login to access parts of their site. If I were to create a user account, I would have to answer lots of annoying and personal questions in the process. Like when I have trouble with a particular piece of software, I visit their website. Only to find, all too often, that getting to the information I need requires a login. I already bought your software—why are you bothering me with this? Bugmenot.com to the rescue!
I’ve been using bugmenot.com for over 5 years. It’s very easy to use. Open a new browser tab or window and just type in the website address that you want to use and several logins and passwords will be generated.
Start with the first login/password. If for some reason it doesn’t work, go back to bugmenot and answer “no” to the question “Did this login work out for you?” Then use the next login and password in the list. Usually the first login works but occasionally it doesn’t. Once you have a login that works be sure to go back and tell bugmenot that you were successful. It helps them track which logins work and which don’t.
Cataglogchoice.org is another great website. I tell Catalog Choice which catalogs I no longer want to receive by postal mail, then they keep the various merchants informed of my stop-mailing-me request. Being able to manage all the catalogs I receive at one website just rocks.
So far I have been very successful in decreasing my junk mail and decreasing the catalog volume in my recycling bin.
There are a few merchants that don’t participate; the most surprising one to me is Patagonia. They present themselves as an environmentally conscious company, yet they don’t make it as easy as possible to stop getting their catalog. Hey Patagonia, stop sending me your catalog.
Sure I can phone and request that my name be removed from the mailing list, but in the age of the Internet why should I have to? Why can I request a catalog on your website but can’t request that you stop sending me catalogs from the same place? It’s even more perplexing since I started receiving catalogs after I ordered from the website. Note to Patagonia and others, if I order from your website don’t put me on your catalog mailing list. I used the Web before and will do it again if I want your stuff.
The last website I want to mention is the gethuman.com database. It was started by Paul English to help consumers get through to a live person at a company rather than languishing in phone tree hell. I stumbled across it several years ago and have had it in my bookmarks ever since. It’s just a long list of companies and instructions on how to get through each one’s phone maze and reach a live person.
Use your browser’s find tool (usually found under the edit menu) to search within the page and locate the company you’re looking for. Until more companies get the message–trapped in a phone tree loop doesn’t equal good customer service–it will continue to be a must-have bookmark.