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Please can I post an entry in the slightly grumpy category? Oh, please? It has been ages since that last one.
OK, here goes. Customer service or the lack of. An example at random: BT Broadband. As you may remember a month or so back I asked everyone about broadband for Maddie_C’s house and got lots of helpful responses. Well, we decided to go with BT. Things you should know when signing up with BT broadband:
- BT inform you of the day that the broadband will be turned on and ask that you make jolly sure that someone is there for the day to make sure that the equipment can be delivered. What they do not tell you is that it may or may not arrive that day, so you may take the day off work and wait in for nothing, twiddling your quite literal thumbs. It is not their policy to warn you if this is going to happen. (This is common apparently – see the account that Liz wrote.)
- If you then telephone to ask what has happened and ask when the equipment might be delivered they may promise to phone you back. You may get a call back, or you may not. That’s part of the fun of it.
- If there is a delay in the setting up of the broadband BT will not temporarily reinstate any form of dialup internet even if it is vital to the wellbeing of the world that you have internet access. There is nothing that can be done about this.
- If BT discover that the whole fiasco is their fault, and admit that it is their fault it is still their policy not to give any compensation for the fact that you have had to wait in for a second day and have had a period without internet access and that as a result your life has gone horribly wrong and you haven’t been able to read your spam.
To cut a long story short the delivery did eventually arrive 2 days late. Wireless internet broadband was installed and worked gloriously for approximately 4 hours, at which point it died quite severely. It may or may not ever work again so we may have to scrap the whole thing, put the subscription fee down to experience and go back to dialup, or perhaps the old system where people used to write e-mails down on bits of paper and pay a man on a bicycle to deliver them.
It is a fiasco I tell you.
Posted by Dave at 7:07 pm on May 17, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, Slightly grumpy, Technical.
Posted by Dave at 10:38 am on April 25, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, Slightly grumpy.
As an aside, it is interesting to see what people regard as the banes of their lives. See bane of my life – Google Image Search. There is technology there of course. But also a living room, a driveway and a dog.
Posted by Dave at 1:29 pm on March 16, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, In-depth analysis, Slightly grumpy.
All over the world people are reading this headline in their feedreaders and thinking ‘Oooh great – some things that are making Dave angry. I wonder what they are.’ So, in no particular order:
My bank have charged me £171 in one week in charges. All because I am incompetent. To be fair I have phoned up and they have halved this, but I still feel obliged to tell the world so that those of you who, like me, are administrationally challenged will remember that your bank is your enemy, not your friend. They prey on the stupid and those who suffer from chronic ineptitude, of whom I am a prime example.
2) The Firefox web browser
I spent the best part of a good long while this morning composing what was probably the best blog post ever to be uploaded to the internet. Then suddenly I get the dreaded ‘Firefox has experienced a problem and we are not going to save anything you have written’ window and it is all lost. Yes, I have all the updates and latest versions and patches and upgrades and service packs and ‘anti this and thats’ known to humankind. And yes, I am going to keep using Firefox because I like it, but I feel that the world should know that life with Firefox is not plain sailing. It is like sailing on a day with not much wind when there are a lot of midges and you have forgotten the sandwiches.
Posted by Dave at 11:41 am on March 13, 2006 and filed under Cartoons, Essex Life, Slightly grumpy.
I’ve been trying to do things all day which haven’t quite worked.
First of all in an attempt to rid myself of my Firefox woes I downloaded the new 1.5 version of the Firefox browser which seems to be ok, although I haven’t noticed too many differences between it and the old one yet. But then in my wisdom I noticed this Firefox plugin which I saw had the potential to revolutionise my life by making links in webpages a one click affair rather than a five clicks and some typing one. Unfortunately it didn’t work, but did use up several hours and left me annoyed because my efforts were for nothing and there were better ways for me to have wasted the time.
Then I went to town to pay in some cheques. I went by bus as my van doesn’t go any more because I have not rung up the man and also because I have been ill and didn’t want to do too much walking. I went to town ok (eventually, after a long cold wait) but after doing the cheques and paying my library fines I couldn’t find the bus stop to come home again. I went into the library a second time to ask and was told to go and sit in a little room, but their timetables were ones that did not include Rayleigh town centre where I was but only the places either side. Eventually I did find the bus stop by using my common sense but that didn’t occur to me initially. Actually I can’t really blame the bus episode on technology but I am sure it was involved somewhere.
Then I was watching TV and the volume control decided to permanently set itself on very very loud. It is too loud to be in the same room so the only way to watch it is to stay upstairs, but then I do not get the benefit of the picture. To add insult to injury it is black and white as a money-saving measure.
Here is a button for Firefox (which you may not be able to see if you have internet explorer).
Posted by Dave at 10:35 pm on December 1, 2005 and filed under Slightly grumpy, Technical.
[Click on the image for the full sized version]
This one was inspired by this report in the Times. See Is the Bible “true”? on Connexions and Blogs4God‘s Did Catholics boot Biblical Truth – or is the Times Online just trolling for cheap hits? for an explanation of why I don’t agree with it. I’ve done my bit drawing the picture, I can’t do writing as well.
Update: Welcome to all visitors who’ve popped in having been e-mailed this link or via a search engine. If you’ve enjoyed this cartoon you’ll hopefully enjoy the rest of my stuff too – the main blog page is a good place to start, or just click some of the sidebar links and see what happens. If you’d like to subscribe to the blog using Bloglines, Google, My Yahoo or any other feed reader you can do so via the orange icon at the top on the right.
Posted by Dave at 7:10 pm on October 7, 2005 and filed under Anglican goings-on, Cartoons, Church, Slightly grumpy.
Oh dear oh dear. I’ve been having major computer problems in that the ‘on’ button on my nice new(ish) computer has quite simply stopped working. The problem may turn out to be just a problem, or it could turn out to be a major major problem settng me back many months. We shall see. So:
a) Apologies for the lack of posts on Friday and Saturday. This is of course an unacceptable state of affairs and I’m really very sorry.
b) Apologies too to anyone who has ordered greetings cards in the last two weeks. Being on holiday happening along with my latest malfunctions have combined to make the delivery times way longer than I would have like them to be. I’ll be sending off postal orders received in the last two weeks tomorrow.
c) At the time of writing I can’t access any e-mail sent to me in the last two weeks – hopefully that will change shortly, but if not I’ll keep you posted and ask people to resend things. To add complication to injury I did manage to read some of it before the computer caved in, but in most cases not reply or make any note of the contents. At the time of writing I can now get brand new dave(at)wibsite.com e-mail, but not any dave(at)cartoonchurch.com messages.
Sorry about all this. Updates to the blog over the next few days may be sporadic, or they may not. My fate is in the of the hands of the PC World ‘grumpy customers’ desk and perhaps an engineer in a Packard Bell laboratory somewhere. It doesn’t give you a lot of hope does it?
Posted by Dave at 10:54 pm on August 7, 2005 and filed under CartoonChurch progress, Slightly grumpy, Technical.
My post and the entire conversation that’s been going on about Christian blogs obviously went entirely unheeded. The new Truth Laid Bear site is there with the ‘Blogdom of God’ on it (Click ‘Blogdom of God’ under ‘Jump to community’).
But, oh dear oh dear. The list of blogs not only includes ALL of our Wiblogs, whether they would identify themselves as Christian or not, it also inludes links to galleries of our Wibsite images (????), repeated blogs, lots of individual blog posts and links to things that really aren’t blogs at all.
These links have clearly been gathered by some automated process, not unlike e-mail address harvesters used by spammers it seems to me. It really is nonsensical, and as I said yesterday just a power thing.
Adrian, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but you really have gone about it the wrong way. Aside from actually making sure the links are blogs, you’ve got to ask permission before adding people to these lists. Simple as that. I don’t actually mind this blog and some of the Wiblogs being on there. But we need to be asked.
Update: Adrian might be away, in which case he gets a mild amount of the benefit of the doubt.
Posted by Dave at 2:30 pm on June 16, 2005 and filed under Blogging, Slightly grumpy.
Christian Blogs. Todays subject for my pontification.
I read a lot of blogs by Christians and I know a lot of Christians who blog. As you may or not know some friends and I run the Wibsite, essentially a community of over a hundred bloggers, most from the UK and most would describe themselves as Christian, but not all. We’ll be celebrating our third anniversary of Wiblog blogging this summer, though we’ve been blogging on the Wibsite for a bit longer than that via our ‘this just in’ column. The Wibsite has also made an attempt to encourage Christian bloggers to intermingle via our Greenbelt Bloggers gathering which I hope we can repeat this year.
Often I /we have thought to ourselves “wouldn’t it be great to have a website to bring all the great and marvellous Christian bloggers together”. Well, yes, it would. And so, ages and ages ago we made an ‘aggregator’ site, which brings lots of ‘latest posts’ by bloggers together, not just our Wibloggers but other Christian bloggers as well. For one reason or another this has never been launched publicly, not least because there is a considerable grey area in terms of whether it is right to post other people’s blog headlines / excerpts without their permission.
A small kerfuffle along these lines is breaking out in the Christian blog community as we speak. A list called the Blogdom of God is about to relaunch or somesuch. A blogger called Bene Diction who I’ve read for a few years now isn’t too happy about it, and to be honest I agree. Here’s why:
1. The Blogdom of God is all about getting improved rankings at a list site called ‘The Truth Laid Bear’. The Truth Laid Bear’ is a list which ranks blogs in terms of how many other blogs link to them. It is dominated by male right wing American political bloggers (or those who fall into 3 out of those 4 categories) who all link to each other, and as such is a complete irrelevance to most bloggers I know, especially Christian blogs here in the UK.
1a. It’s about power. Getting higher up the list. Gaining more influence. Unfortunately, it’s when the the church / Christians try to get power and influence that things tend to go horribly wrong. I’m sure we can all think of many examples over the course of history and indeed today. [Aside: this is a totally different thing altogether.]
2. Putting other people’s content on a list without their permission is morally dubious. Adding someone to a list is ok I think as long as that is all it is, a list of links.
3. While I’m on a roll, I really really dislike the term ‘God blog’. It makes us sound wierd, which a lot of Christian bloggers are, but that’s not the point.
4. The whole thing is run by one person, a chap named Adrian who I’m sure is a very nice fellow. But at the end of the day I don’t think that a one man show is the way to go on a ‘Christian bloggers together’ project.
A list or website to link up Christian blogs out there, especially (from my point of view) the ones from the UK is a good idea. But I just don’t think this is the way to do it. It should be collaborative, opt in and unrelated to climbing lists or gaining rankings.
Posted by Dave at 11:12 am on June 15, 2005 and filed under Links: bloggers, Slightly grumpy.
I have a list of companies I am unhappy with as long as your arm. Assuming you have an arm of reasonable length. I really am fairly good about not blogging my grievances, but on the odd occasion you can’t blame me for just mentioning it casually. Especially at the weekend when no-one is reading anyway.
I quite like the Staples chain of stationery superstores. I’ve bought things there quite often and found it to be good value. The large photocopying order they did for me a few weeks ago came out excellently, and on a weekend too.
But their online next-day service is a complete disaster. Here’s a catalogue of the many things which went wrong in the process of my first (and last) order:
- The website couldn’t make up its mind how long the order would take. A next day service was promised until late in the ordering process, when the website suddenly decided it would take four days. At the very last point in the ordering process it decided it would take six days. This was unfortunate as it was an urgent order, but by this point I had no choice but to take my chance.
- The order did arrive within a number of days, about three I think. The man brought the box to the door, placed it on the ground, but couldn’t actually give me the box until I had signed the small signature device he had. Unfortunately the signature device crashed and I had to stand around for ten minutes in the cold waiting. (I had no socks on, though I take full responsibility for that detail). Eventually I was allowed to scribble a signature on a scrap of paper.
- Upon opening the box the order was found to be incomplete – only three out of the four items ordered were there. There was no explanation.
- The paperwork inside was for an order placed by a lady in Yorkshire. The delivery man was still sitting in his vehicle. I went out and told him, but it wasn’t his problem.
- Eighteen days later the final part of the ‘next day delivery’ order arrived.
- The box wasn’t left with a neighbour. It was placed… in my wheely bin. Yes, the envelopes which I have to send out to customers were placed in the smelly wheely bin, which yes, also had rubbish in it.
It really is remarkable that service could be so bad. But I have, unfortunately, found this to be not unusual so I’m past expecting any better.
There. I’ve got it off my chest. I hope you don’t mind if I have a little rant about absurdly poor customer service every now and then. Oh, please let me. I’ll try to limit it to about once a month or thereabouts.
I have placed this post in a new ‘slightly grumpy’ category.
Posted by Dave at 7:07 pm on June 4, 2005 and filed under Slightly grumpy.