Friendly’s New Ultimate Grilled Cheese Burgermelt only 1500 Calories???

friendlys grilled cheese burgermeltFriendly’s is making news for the new addition to their menu – The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Burger Melt which is “A Big Beef burger between two hot grilled cheese sandwiches, with lettuce, tomato and mayo”. I read one article on CBS News that stated it was 1,160 calories which I knew had to be incorrect. I decided to check their site to see how many calories it really has. Friendly’s nutrition chart states that their Ultimate Grilled Cheese Burger Melt is filled with 1500 calories. This number seems way off since their grilled cheese sandwich is 800 calories alone. I just wrote them to find out if this is a mistake or how they got to the 1500 calories number. Below is my letter to them. I’ll follow up when I get a response.

Email to Friendly’s:
I noticed your ultimate grilled cheese burgermelt is supposed to have 1500 calories however your grilled cheese alone has 800 calories. Simple math tells me the “bun” (ie 2 grilled cheese sandwiches) alone would be 1600 calories which would put this sandwich closer to say 2,000 calories when you throw in the burger and condiments. Is this an oversight on your part or is there something I am missing?

Friendly’s Grilled Cheese Calories

Friendly’s Ultimate Grilled Cheese Burgermelt Calories:

Rental Car Company / Car Seat Update

I recently wrote about my experience with renting a car / car seat from Thrifty.  After sending them an email telling them of the many problems I had, here is what they wrote:

Dear Mr. Kahn,

Thank you for notifying us of your recent experience with Thrifty Car Rental.  On behalf of Thrifty Car Rental, please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience you experienced.

Please accept my personal apology for the condition of the child seat rented with your vehicle.  We always want to provide a clean, well-serviced vehicle that is ready and waiting for our customer, including any child seats rented.  It is very obvious we failed you on this rental.  The condition you described is no more acceptable to us than it was to you.  Your contact will ensure the location General Manager will be contacted for corrective actions and procedures.

In an effort to regain your confidence in Thrifty Car Rental, I have requested a credit in the amount of $70 to be issued to your credit card.  Please allow sufficient time for this amount to appear on your billing statement.

We appreciate your business and hope you will allow us another opportunity to fulfill your car rental needs in the efficient, professional manner you expect and deserve.

Thank you once again, Mr. Kahn, for taking the time to notify us of this situation.  We look forward to serving you again soon at Thrifty Car Rental.

Sincerely,
Customer Service Representative

This makes my wallet feel better but does not completely solve the problem.  There is no excuse for car rental companies stocking outdated car seats with missing parts.  If they are charging a $7 – $10 per day premium for a rental fee those seats should be at least as new as the rental cars.

Rental Car Companies Charge Premium for Old & Busted Car Seats

photo41I just sent the following email to Thrifty Car rental company.  I’ll let you know when I hear back from them what their response is:

When I picked up my rental car I was given a toddler seat that had “Do not use after December 2008” stamped on the back.  Upon showing that to the employee they got me another seat.  That seat did not have all the parts that are supposed to come with a car seat (ie the latch restraint belts) nor did the next 2 that I was given.  The Thrifty agent ended up having to go to another car company to borrow a car seat.  I find it very upsetting that Thrifty would not have brand new infant / toddler seats if you are charging $10 per day to use the car seats. I rented for 7 days and was charged $70 for an old car seat that Thrifty did not even supply to me.  All of Thrifty’s car seats at the Norfolk Airport location were subpar and some were even outdated.  Given this information I would like to request a credit for the car seat rental fee.

In all honesty I feel that this is a problem with all car rental companies, not just Thrifty.  We have rented from a few car rental companies over the past 2 years and have found the majority of the car seats to be old and outdated.  If car rental companies are going to charge such an exorbitant fee for something that is required by law for your child, the least they can do is have brand new or relatively new safe car seats. We rented the car for 7 days which means we paid $70 for a car seat. For that same price I could have purchased a new one at Amazon or Babies R Us.

I’ll post an update when I receive a response from Thrifty.

Carova Beach, N.C. Requires 4WD Cars – Good luck getting one

Picture-7I recently went on vacation with my wife’s family to Carova Beach in North Carolina.  Carova Beach is at the northern most point of the outerbanks up 168.  It required 4 wheel drive as the only way to access the houses are by driving on the beach.

We decided to fly to Norfolk and rent a car to drive there.  I wanted to make sure I had the best deal so I did what I always do and booked a car with a few different rental companies.  For those that don’t know, most rental car companies do not reaquire you to give your credit card information so there is no harm booking at more than one place.  I do this as its easier for me to see the final price after they figure in all the extra fees and then I can compare the rates.

To make a long story short, I booked a “CRV” and then called 2 of the 3 locations that I had booked with (Thrifty and Budget).  I wanted to make sure the vehicle that I had booked was going to be 4WD as I know that not all CRV/SUVs are 4wd.  After calling both companies I was told by one company that they could not guarantee a 4wd vehicle although the CSR said most of their SUVs were 4wd. The other CSR told me that the class of car I had booked would be just fine and that it was a 4wd vehicle that I had booked.

When I arrived in the Norfolk airport I went down to the car rental area and went to the first rental car company that I had booked with that was the least expensive and with the shortest line.  I walked up and showed them my reservation and asked to confirm if the car was 4wd.  They checked and said “we have no 4wd vehicles”.  I wasn’t too worried until I had gone through all 3 car companies along with every other company in the airport…all of which said “we have no 4wd vehicles and you cannot off-road rental cars”.  After regrouping and speaking with one of the final rental car companies I had decided I would just take an AWD vehicle so I went back to my first car rental company. Luckily I was waited on by a different employee who looked again and said they did in fact have a 4wd vehicle.

If we ever go to that part of North Carolina again, I’m pretty sure we will just drive from DE and rent a car in this area as I doubt we will have trouble finding one this far away.  Most of the employees said that you cannot request a 4wd vehicle in the Norfolk Airport or possibly at any car rental company as they are first come first serve.

This was one of the worst parts of the vacation as it added an extra hour of my time trying to scramble to get a 4wd car….what happened next ate up more time and really got on my nerves.  I’ll blog about rental car companies and what a joke their car seat fee is later this week.

Obama to hold Online Townhall meeting Thursday at 11:30 AM

picture-31I’m sure it’s probably been all over the news and on the internet but I just noticed a link on Google that said “President Obama is taking your questions on the economy.”  When I clicked on it, I was directed to http://whitehouse.gov/openforquestions where you can submit questions now through Thursday morning for President Obama to answer at his online townhall meeting.

Breaking news – Obama bumps his head?

picture-81I woke up this morning and thought I would check to see if there was anything major going on in the news.  I went over to my usual sites: digg, cnn and the AP app on my iPhone. When I went to CNN I found it pretty funny that the main article on their site was about President Obama “slightly” bumping his head while getting on Airforce One.

As I went about my day I chuckled thinking how silly it is that the most important news story of the morning was President Obama bumping his head until the unthinkable happened.  I was in the process of getting my daughter into the car when I accidentally bumped her head on the car. I remained calm even though she did not and I have to admit she was not nearly as composed as President Obama. I apologized many times for the accident and then explained to her that the exact same thing happened to President Obama so I needed to take a picture and alert the media!

In all seriousness, I don’t understand how something so silly can make the main page of most news organizations websites.  I can think of at least half a dozen better things for a news organization to write about.

That’s my random rant for the day 🙂

Home Refinance Drama…

At the risk of boring you with my personal issues, I thought I’d ramble on a bit about what’s going on with refinancing our mortgage. I had planned on writing about something eco friendly however I’ve been dealing with the refinance for over a month. I locked in to a 4.75% rate with 0 points on December 17th 2008. I was approved and went through the appraisal process at which point I found out our house was valued $30k less than when we purchased it 2 years ago. I decided to go ahead with the refinance anyway since we plan to stay here for many years and I feel that 10 – 15 years from now it won’t really matter what our house was appraised for during this refinance. With all the paperwork in to the mortgage company, all I was waiting for was a date for the refinance. As the lock date was looming, I got a few extra last minute requests from the mortgage company which I gladly complied with (ie my full tax return and a copy of my homeowners insurance).

A few days before the lock was set to expire I found out that the mortgage company, Provident Funding, was contesting the appraisal that had been submitted 3 weeks earlier. They said the appraisal only had 3 comps (comparable houses) in the report and they wanted 4.  After the mortgage broker got a hold of the appraiser, she went ahead and offered a fourth. After another day or 2 with no word, I found out Provident Funding was now saying the fourth appraisal was invalid since the fourth house had a basement and our house did not.

To make a long story somewhat short, I am now in a 12 day lock waiting to hear back the latest about whether Provident Funding will make good on their initial offer or if they will cancel my refinance for some bogus reason.

I’m wondering now if I should have just gone with a local bank that was also offering the 4.75% rate the day I locked in my mortgage. I feel if i had I might not be sitting in this situation but on the same hand I don’t believe this is the mortgage brokers fault as he also would like to get this refinance finished.

As with all other blog posts, I feel the need to offer up some deal advice even though my refinane is not going as planned. I’ve been updating the mortgage rates at a few local Delaware / national mortgage companies. This is by no means a complete list, but feel free to check DealCatcher daily (around 11:30pm) for the most up to date rates from the banks below

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