27 February, 2009

Letter from one of our readers:

I have worked in customer service for over 12 years of my life.
I new I had seen it all but its different working in customer service than being a customer that requires service.

My experience at the NIKE store on line gave me a new meaning of customer service.
At my former employers we were always told to go above and beyond to help the customer and as well make sure we rectify a situation especially if we can see that it is our fault.
Obviously NIKE does not operate on the same code of ethics.
Its bad enough that this is the same company that was underpaying overseas employees that were children
but to also give bad customer service after rebuilding your name is really not the smartest thing to do.
My experience with NIKE has been the worst experience involving customer service in my life.
I went to NIKE’s website NIKE.COM and ordered a pair of shoes as a gift for a close friend of mine but I put in the wrong size.
Read Whole story here:


10 November, 2008

A spokesman for Cetursa, the company which manages the Sierra Nevada ski resort, has said the slopes could be open to the public as early as November 15th or the 22nd this year if the current low temperatures continue. The resort usually opens in December, snowfall permitting.


10 November, 2008

The current economic crisis is making itself felt in all areas of life in Spain – including bullfighting. One of the country’s most famous breeders, Juan Pedro Domecq, told reporters last week that the number of bullfights per year will probably have to be reduced, because people will think twice before buying tickets. It’s good news for the anti-bullfighting campaigners but Sr Domecq said he and his fellow bull breeders were determined to keep the breed alive for the better times that he is sure lie ahead.


10 November, 2008

Some 10,000 motorcyclists blocked the streets in the centre of Madrid last Saturday when they staged their 3rd National Motorbike Demonstration to back their demands for the removal of safety barriers which they claim are fatal for motorcyclists. As if to highlight their claim, a motorcyclist died after he crashed into a safety barrier just outside Madrid only hours before the demonstration started. Before setting out from the Santiago Bernabeu football stadium, the participants observed a minute’s silence for that death and the 500 motorcyclists who died on Spain’s roads in the past 12 months. Their other demands included the use of non-slip paint on the roads, a general resurfacing and the suppression of the new €1,500 motorbike purchase tax. A spokesman for Unidad Motera (Motorcyclist Union) said the latest measures adopted by the Traffic Authority, such as raising the minimum age for driving a motorbike to 16 or a tougher driving test, only made owning a bike more expensive without teaching the driver the necessary skills. Smaller demonstrations were held in other cities across the country.


3 November, 2008

Malaga City Hall has confirmed that Rafa Nadal will compete in the Malaga Masters International Tennis Championship, after weeks of talks with the tennis ace’s representatives. The event will take place in the Martin Carpena sports hall the first weekend in December. And will be televised on Andalucia’s La 2 TV channel in Spain. However, Nadal’s recent injury may upset the plan but just in case – start getting out those autograph books.


3 November, 2008

An 18-year-old Moroccan schoolboy was jailed last week for insulting King Mohamed IV, after replacing the monarch’s name with that of his favourite football club. He altered the phrase “God, The Nation, The King” on the school blackboard to read “God, The Nation, Barcelona”. FC Barcelona says it has appointed a lawyer to look into whether they can help the boy, within the framework of Moroccan law. The family of the boy, Yassine Belassal, is appealing against the ruling, and his father intends to write a letter to the King asking for a royal pardon. An internet campaign is also under way to have Mr Belassel freed. Earlier this year one man received a three-year sentence for creating a mock Facebook profile of the King’s brother, before receiving a royal pardon. Last month, another man was jailed after suggesting that some royal practices did not help the development of the country. He was cleared on appeal following a media outcry.


27 October, 2008

Golf legend Seve Ballesteros underwent a successful third operation last Friday to reduce swelling and remove remnants of a tumour in his brain. The operation, led by chief brain surgeon Javier Heredero at La Paz Hospital in Madrid, lasted more than six hours. In a statement, doctors said the 51-year-old five-time major winner was in a stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Ballesteros was admitted to hospital after briefly losing consciousness at Madrid Airport on October 6th. He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery, but he needed another operation to relieve pressure on the brain last Tuesday. In an open letter to fans, he acknowledged the seriousness of the illness – saying he faced what he called the “most difficult match” of his life. Ballesteros won 87 titles during his career, including the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and the Masters in 1980 and 1983. He was an instrumental figure in Europe’s Ryder Cup resurgence after making his debut in 1979 when the competition was expanded from Great Britain and Ireland to include players from continental Europe. After controversially being left out in 1981, Ballesteros returned in 1983 and helped Europe beat the United States for the first time in 28 years in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance. He went on to win eight caps, winning 22 and a half points from 37 matches. He also teamed up with countryman Jose Maria Olazabal to form the most successful partnership in Ryder Cup history, with 11 wins, two losses and two halves. After his last appearance as a player in 1995, Ballesteros captained Europe to victory on home soil at Valderrama in 1997. He retired last year following arthritic back and knee problems late in his career, while doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat when he was admitted to hospital in 2007.


27 October, 2008

The capital of Asturias, Oviedo, pulled out all the stops last Friday to celebrate another Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony. Last week’s rain had abated and the sun shone brilliantly on the thousands of people who turned out to watch Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia and the winners arrive at the Campoamor Theatre, with tennis’s Number One, Rafael Nadal, a clear favourite with the crowd. The second most popular was Ingrid Betancourt, who was running for president in Colombia when she was kidnapped by the Farc guerrilla group more than six years ago. She was rescued by soldiers posing as guerrillas earlier this year and now lives in Paris for security reasons. During her acceptance speech, she told how she had listened to radio commentaries about an up-and-coming tennis player called Rafael Nadal and never dreamed that she would one day sit next to him at the Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony. Nadal was visibly moved and said afterwards that it gave him goose pimples to think of a lonely, brave woman following his career in a jungle hideaway where she was being kept ahainst her will in deplorable conditions. The other award winners were Margaret Atwood, who collected the Literature Award for defending the dignity of women and denouncing social injustice in her work. Co-founder of Google, Larry Page, was there to collect the Communication and Humanities Award and representatives of health centres in Tanzania, Ghana, Mali and Angola received the International Cooperation Award for their work in the fight against malaria. Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu collected the Arts Award on behalf of Venezuela’s Foundation for Juvenile and Infantile Orchestras which has been rescuing poor children from the country’s slums and giving them careers in music since Sr Abreu founded the first youth orchestra there 20 years ago. Japanese scientists Sumio Iijama and Shuji Nakamura, and the Americans Robert Langer, George M Whitesides and Tobin Marks shared the Scientific and Technical Award, and French-Bulgarian philosopher Tzvetan Todorov collected the Social Sciences Award for his work on freedom and equality, the development of democracy and the impact of violence on the collective memory.


20 October, 2008

Golf legend Seve Ballesteros suffered a complication following surgery on a brain tumour last Tuesday but is said to be in a stable condition, after doctors removed a piece of his skull last Thursday to relieve pressure that was building up on the brain. Ballesteros, 51, collapsed in Madrid’s Barajas Airport on October 6th. He underwent a number of tests, which uncovered the tumour. A biopsy on the tumour had been scheduled for last Tuesday but doctors decided to operate to remove as much of the tumour as possible before treatment. Ballesteros won 87 titles during his career, including the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and the Masters in 1980 and 1983 and captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory at Valderrama in 1997. He retired last year following arthritic back and knee problems late in his career and doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat when he was admitted to hospital in 2007.


6 October, 2008

A Madrid court has closed the Operation Puerto investigation into a cycling doping ring after it concluded no criminal offences had been committed. The probe, which had been closed in March 2007, was reopened to look into possible offences against public health by doctors involved in the case. Operation Puerto was launched in 2006 after raids in Spain uncovered doping products and equipment. Over 200 code-named blood bags linked to leading cyclists were also found. Spanish police listed more than 50 riders implicated in the affair, including former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich, Tour of Spain winner Roberto Heras and Giro d’Italia winner Ivan Basso.


25 August, 2008

The United States’ men’s basketball team regained the Olympic title, but they were made to work for a 118-107 victory by a valiant Spain side. Spain provided a genuine challenge with Rudy Fernandez – who scored 22 points – in inspirational form. Spain got to within two points late on but the US had an extra gear and made the most of free-throw opportunities. At the award ceremony, the Chinese spectators showed their preference. They politely clapped the US side but gave the Spanish side thunderous applause.


18 August, 2008

Queen Sofia, the Infanta Cristina and her husband, the Duke of Palma, were in Beijing to cheer on the Spanish athletes. In the photo, the Queen and her daughter applaud when the Spanish women’s doubles pair, Anabel Medina and Virginia Ruano, beat the Chinese pair, Yan and Zheng. They were later beaten in the final by the Williams sisters, to win a Silver medal for their country.


18 August, 2008

Rafael Nadal took Gold in the Olympics men’s tennis final in a straight set victory over Chilean Fernando Gonzalez: 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. The second set was fiercely contested but Nadal’s iron nerve triumphed in the tie-break. At 5-2 in the third, the Chilean saved three gold medal points but Nadal powered his way through the final game to secure his eighth title of the year.


18 August, 2008

Spain’s Olympic basketball team was recently involved in a scandal which hardly received any coverage in the national press. A photo of the team pulling back their eyes into slits appeared in the sports newspaper Marca, to promote the country’s participation in the Games, was picked up first by the Guardian newspaper, which described it as another example of the racial insensitivity on and off the field that “tarnishes Spain’s sporting image”. It then appeared in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Spain’s basketball authorities said no offence was intended but the Guardian suggested that somebody should point out to the Spanish sporting authorities that there were probably better ways to show empathy with their Chinese hosts. To make matters worse, a second photograph turned up on the official website of the Spanish Tennis Federation, showing players and support staff pulling their eyes back alongside the caption “Estamos preparados para China (We are prepared for China)”. It’s not the first such incident. Luis Aragonés, the former manager of the national football team, was heard in 2004 calling the France striker Thierry Henry a “black s**t”, shortly before home supporters racially abused Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips during a friendly between Spain and England in Madrid. British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton also suffered similar taunts during a practice race in Barcelona earlier this year.


11 August, 2008

As if the Chinese authorities didn’t have enough headaches with their home-grown troublemakers, the start of the Olympics has also proved irresistible to cyber criminals, according to security firms. A Symantec spokesman said the volume of junk e-mail messages with an Olympic theme spiked prior to the opening ceremony. Some malicious messages try to trick people into visiting fake sites or opening booby-trapped e-mail attachments, while others falsely claim users have won an Olympic lottery and encourage them to respond to claim their prize. The Symantec spokesman said the messages Symantec had seen in the spam related to the games ran the gamut of modern security threats. He said: “Members of the public have to remember that they should not open e-mails or click on links from unknown sources, no matter how many gold medals they are offering.” Security firm Marshal said many of the malicious and junk messages emerging from the Rustock botnet were about the games. A botnet is made up of a collection of home computers that have been hijacked by a gang of hi-tech criminals who then put it to a variety of ends. Some gangs simply vacuum up the personal data they find on compromised machines, others use the botnets to pump out spam or to attack other sites. The spokesman said the latest batch of e-mails sent out via Rustock appear to be about headline stories on CNN and many concern the Olympics. Those clicking on the headlines get taken to a fake CNN video report and is asked to install a codec to watch the film. Those installing the codec become part of the Rustock botnet. Security company MessageLabs said it was not just members of the public that were at risk. The company said it had seen a campaign that used e-mails crafted to look like they had been written by the International Olympic Committee. A spokesman said the vast majority of the computer security threats taking advantage of the Olympics are aimed at users of Windows PCs. In China itself, Islamist separatists in Xinjian province set off a series of bombs last Sunday, targeting a police station and commercial buildings. The explosions were followed by gunfire in the area, which is 1,860 miles from Beijing. Two policemen were injured and five attackers killed in the pre-dawn violence. Earlier last week, 16 policemen were killed in an attack by Islamist separatists in Xinjiang. Last Saturday, a US tourist was stabbed to death by a Chinese man and a second tourist was badly hurt in the attack at the Drum Tower monument in central Beijing. The pair are relatives of a US Olympic volleyball team coach. The assailant then committed suicide by jumping from the 13th Century landmark. The motive is not known. It was all the more shocking because murders, especially targeting foreigners, are very rare in China.


4 August, 2008

A weary Rafael Nadal had his 32-match unbeaten run brought to an end in the semi-final of the Cincinnati Master’s, losing 6-1 7-5 to Novak Djokovic. But the setback has not hit his chances of succeeding Roger Federer as World No 1. By reaching the semi’s, Nadal picked up enough points to overtake Federer, and he will take over the top mantle in the August 18th rankings. Nadal went into the semi’s suffering from blisters, and lost the first set in just 30 minutes. He made a fight for it in the second but Djokovic closed down the game with some brilliant baseline rallies. Brit Andy Murray faced the Serb in Sunday’s final.


4 August, 2008

The Barcelona football team refused to travel on Air Berlin last week – because the airline has refused to use the Catalan language on routes that begin or end in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands. The footballers were ordered not to board an Air Berlin flight from Pisa to the United States last week, where they had been invited to play some friendly matches. As result the US Soccer League lost €150,000 in cancelled tickets as well as the same amount for tickets on another airline. The president of the Barcelona football club, Joan Laporta, is a strong supporter of independence for Catalonia and has made Catalan the team’s official language.


21 July, 2008

Cyclist Moises Duenas Nevado tested positive for EPO last week, according to the head of the French anti-doping agency (AFLD), Pierre Bordry. The Barloworld team cyclist was found to have used the banned blood booster during the Tour de France on July 8th. Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti said in a statement: “It has emerged that some banned medicines that were absolutely not supplied or prescribed by the team doctor were found in Moises Duenas’s room. The one thing I can certainly state is that the team is not involved in this at all, and will not sanction anything that damages our credibility and image.” The statement also said Duenas had been immediately suspended by the team and withdrawn from the 11th stage of the Tour. He is the second Spanish cyclist to test positive for the drug this year after veteran Liquigas cyclist Manuel Beltran was sent home the previous week following a positive test after the first stage. Pat McQuaid, the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), has accused Spain of dragging its heels in the fight against doping. The UCI barred Spaniard Alejandro Valverde from entering the World Championships in 2009.


9 June, 2008

Madrid is on the short-list of candidates to host the 2016 Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee announced last Wednesday. The other candidates are Tokyo, Chicago and Rio de Janeiro. Madrid came within a whisker of winning the 2012 Games, narrowly losing out to London. Each candidate will now prepare detailed plans and the final decision will be taken in October 2009.


26 May, 2008

One of Spain’s most prominent mountaineers, Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, died 7,400 metres up the Annapurna mountain, also known as the Cursed Mountain, last Friday, after spending five nights there suffering from a brain injury. He was 41. He was accompanied by the Swiss mountaineer, Ueli Steck, who tried to attend to his injuries following advice radioed from doctors in Ochoa’s native Pamplona. Iñaki was attempting to join the select group of mountaineers who have climbed the 14 peaks on the planet which are more than 8,000 metres. He needed only two to complete the circuit, one of them being Annapurna. His family said they were grateful that he had not died alone and announced they would leave his body where it was so as not to endanger the lives of rescuers. They also said it was fitting burial place for a man who had loved mountains so much.