This is against the TEXAS Medical Board:
My mother is a brave fighter, but is slowly dying of Ovarian Cancer... She has been battling for over five years, undergone multiple surgeries and endured conventional chemotherapy 3 times with devestating side effects, and yet again her cancer is back... :(
We want her to be treated at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston TX, using unconventional therapies like antineoplastons and targeted gene therapy, yet the Texas Medical Board is doing everything it can to stop these potential cures from being administered -- Even to people like my mom, for whom conventional medicine has totally failed!
Watch the movie then if your blood boils at the great injustice here, please click to lend your support to this Gri.pe!!
We can't let big pharma and the cancer business interests buy our government agencies and use them to prevent legitimate treatment from reaching dying patients!
Please sign a petition to the whitehouse for accelerated FDA approval of antineoplaston cancer drugs here:
We want the Texas Medical Board to stop succumbing to industry pressure and drop the frivolous lawsuits agaist Dr. Burzynski, so he can continue with his FDA approved trials, continue to administer his therapies to patients like my mom, and hopefully demonstrate beyond any doubt success in curing cancer!
Sign the petition here:
Wonderful people, let my nieces into the pool to play with their cousins, even though we weren't registered! Yay!
Misty And Meg
Going beyond to make sure everyone is happy!
This was the most wonderful tour company. They put together flawless plans for a perfect adventure trip to Costa Rica... Our guides Marco and Viviana were two of the loveliest people we have ever met!
I can't recommend them enough!
Pure love and joy... They will make you see the beauty and appreciate the nature of Costa Rica.
Flawless trip. Wonderful knowledgeable lovely guides!
Evelyn was so cool! She helped me get two upgrades and my car earlier than priceline had said I could get it!
Virgin Atlantic screws Gold Flying Club Member faced with Death in the family!
OK, slightly bombastic title, but here's the story:
On January 20th 2011, my father's best friend who was like an uncle to me, Mr. Dariyush Homayoun, 82 years old, fell, went into a coma and was rushed to hospital in Geneva, Switzerland. The situation was dire, but by January 26th the doctors told us that Mr. Homayoun was showing signs that he would soon regain consciousness, albeit still in critical condition.
My father, was obviously quite distressed about this situation and wanted to go and visit his best friend of 75 years, for maybe the last time. I was worried that my dad who himself is 85 years old should not be going on this trip alone as he is quite fragile himself and it was dangerous for him to go such a long distance.
Luckily, Mr. Homayoun's much younger sister, Ms. Jinous Homayoun, who lives in Los Angeles, offered to go with my father, if I could provide her a ticket.
I checked and two First Class tickets to London on Virgin would be 200K miles. My dad was insisting that he fly coach, but there is no way I could do that given his age.
Anyway, I had more than the 200,000 miles needed in my Amex account, so I agreed and we hastily booked two what I thought were full-fare First Class milage tickets to London on Virgin Atlantic departing on January 29th, from where they would connect to Swiss Air and fly to Geneva...
I should say that I booked these through American Express Travel and didn't really check all the small print on these last minute bookings thinking that all would be well...
Unfortunately, just a few hours after booking this fare, we got word that Mr. Homayoun's status had suddenly taken a turn for the worst and it would just be a matter of hours before he would pass away. :(
Further, Mr. Homayoun's wife informed us that his final wish was to be cremated without funeral or ceremony and that his ashes were to be sent to his beloved home country of Iran, where he was once a prominent politician.
This was terribly saddening for my father and Mr. Homayoun's sister, who now would never get to see him alive again. And, of course, they now obviously had no reason watsoever to fly all the way out to Geneva.
I immediately called American Express and informed them of this terrible development, saying that under these circumstances my dad and Ms. Homayoun would no longer be flying to Geneva.
I thought it would be trivial to get the tickets (issued literally hours prior) cancelled and to at least have the miles refunded into my Virgin Atlantic account for later use (if not back to Amex).
They said it would not be that simple and that my tickets, while for full fare miles, were in fact non-refundable and that Virgin may "give us trouble" meaning that I could end up losing some or all the miles.
I said that these are First Class tickets... bought with 100K miles each... those usually have no restrictions on them and that is what I thought in this case... besides, this is not an ordinary situation... there is a death involved and isn't there something known a bereavement?
They said all they could do was to open a ticket and get back to me in a few weeks!
Few weeks? Why?
Sorry that's just the way it is.
OK, so they opened a dispute for me (#L833443) and told me to wait for the snail mail update.
Snail mail? Why?
Sorry that's just the way it is.
Yesterday (Feb 15th), the snail mail from Amex got here informing me that Virgin needs a death certificate to proceed with the case. I called Amex to discuss and they said that even with a death certificate it wouldn't be a sure thing to get a refund of the miles.
I told Amex that it is a difficult predicament that they are putting me in, asking me to reach out to a grieving family and ask for a death certificate, not even knowing if that will be enough to get any response.
Then something hit me... and I suggested this alternative:
Recalling that Mr. Homayoun was a once prominent Iranian politician, I told the Amex Customer Service rep to hold while I went on the web and Googled his name: "Dariyush Homayoun."
Lo and behold, 3 links on the first page to magazine articles and a wikipedia entry documenting his untimely death on January 28th, in Geneva. Thanks Google.
I sent these to Amex and asked that they take this back to Virgin as confirmation...
After all, with these links, Virgin should be able to independently confirm that the family names on the itin (Homayoun), location (Geneva) and time of death (January 28th) all match.
The Amex lady said fine and that she'd get back to me.
Today Amex came back and said that it Virgin has determined that this is not enough evidence. And that honestly, even with a death certificate now, she doesn't think that Virgin Atlantic would offer to reimburse my miles.
She then said that if I feel that as a Gold Flying Club member I have a good relationship with Virgin Atlantic, I should feel free to get a death certificate and try myself.
What? Like I have a better relationship with Virgin than American Express does?
WTF? I could not believe it!!
I mean, these were fully milage priced First Class tickets! This was a truly unfortunate once in a lifetime terrible situation! All I want is the miles reimburesed! And, for God's sake, I am a Gold Flying Club member being hung out to dry here!
Where is the justice in this??
Then I thought, wait a minute...
"I'm a cofounder of Gri.pe!! Why the heck am I even wasting my time on the phone with Amex Customer Service??"
So, here I am, filing my public complaint and asking our community to spread the word until Virgin comes to their senses and fixes this situation!
Thanks in advance everyone! :)
Virgin Customer Service via Amex Customer Service
I just want the 200K miles reimbursed for the 2 full-fare First Class tickets I purchased that were never used due to a death.
Natlalie seated us on new years eve for lunch without a reservation -- they were expecting a full house, but we told them we'd be outta there in <1hr.
By being lovely!
We had our wedding there last year on Dec 19th, and on this the one year anniversary I wanted to send out a cheer to Monica and the whole staff out there that made our wedding so special!
Every details was so perfectly taken care of:
Location was excellent
Food was excellent
Staff were out of this world
Accommodations were perfect
Anyway, even though it's been a whole year, this last weekend we received so many emails and calls from people who remembered our wedding and we felt truly blessed to have been able spend 4 days at the Regent Palms with our friends and family, being taken care of by such a wonderful staff.
Thanks, Thanks, Thanks!
Love and Light,
Farhad & Nushin.
Monica Neumann, General Manager
Every last detail was taken care of and superb... our guests can't stop talking about the event, one year later!! Highly recommend them for weddings or special events / occasions!
My internet service has been down for hours!!!
Then I find out that all of southern ca has been down for hours!
But there is no obvious place to find this out (network status!!) or to get an update as to what the hell is going on and when it will get fixed!
What kind of Internet service provider is this?
Thought I'd start a Gri.pe so all who are suffering can at least retweet and vent a bit!! :)
What hell else can we do?
Thanks to time warner we can't work!!
An apology + a plan to proactively keep customers updated would be nice.
He gave Farhang Foundation (http://farhang.org) a proclamation... And so cheers to him!
Proclamation = Cheers! :)
Drink spilled on my friends leg and Derek came and took us to the Vodbox for a tour and free round of shots!!!
Cool cat... Definitely worth the spill... :)
Free round of drinks!
Support others and they'll support you. That's how your word-of-mouth power works and grows!