Thursday, 13 December 2012
Monday, 29 October 2012
The conversation with the repair center didn't really run smooth (even though the end result was fine). First I was informed that my quotation was still being finalised despite the fact that Asus had reported to me on the Monday that it was showing on their system as awaiting my response. How I was ever meant to respond to a quotation that was still being put together I don't know. When I inquired why it had taken so long to produce a quotation, I was told that it was actually quick for an Asus repair, as they normally take up to a month (a timescale that Asus have denied). I asked to check the contact details they had on file for me and was given my phone number and address, but no e-mail address. I then asked how I would receive the quotation and was told I would receive it through the post. As this saga has dragged on I requested to be sent it electronically, and was told that would be fine. Come Saturday morning I got the quotation, through the post. Not perfect, but at least they used a first class stamp!
Now I just need to wait for the housing association and contractors to agree to the repair.
Thursday, 25 October 2012
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
I like community, whether it be the local community where I live, or my work community at the pub, or as is often most described as community these days, the people who you spend time interacting with on-line. I get on well with most of the neighborhood where I live, to the extent that we lend each other tools etc the way you used to see in those dodgy sitcoms from the 70's. I also mix pretty well with the majority of punters and staff in the pub, even if the job itself is getting me down right now.
On-line communities can be a little bit different from the other kinds. You don't judge people on how they look, or what they wear, and they also tend to be a little more frank in their views than perhaps they would be in real life. I like to think (foolishly maybe) that on the whole, that people are more honest with their feelings and views in a semi autonomous situation. When I first switched to using Ubuntu over Windows, it was the on-line community at Ubuntu forums that really blew me away, until that point I had never been one to indulge in chat with people I didn't know from Adam. This situation repeated itself when i got my Hero, the Android community, and the guys at VillainROM specifically were the a perfect example of what a community should be, and how everyone tried to help each other out. Since then I have joined twitter, and Google + and my circle of on-line friends has grown. I also think friends is the right word to use, I may not have met many in person, but the amount of time we spend in each others company far out weighs the time I spend chatting to the guys I grew up with.
The circle of friends I have on-line tend to have one thing in common, a lovely for technology. Unlike some technology and gadgets is not my living (although I wish it was), but is instead my greatest hobby (or vice if you ask Angela). That means for me its about enjoyment, which is why the last few weeks has been so annoying. Since the week or two before the Apple announcement my timelines have been full of Apple this, and Apple that, S3 this and S3 that. Its been pretty mundane and boring to say the least. What's worse is the amount of people falling out and holding grudges. I even read a piece from a tech writer who won't be attending the big Android BBQ due to threatening comments as she bought an iPhone to go with all the Android handsets she owns. I have to this point never blocked anyone on-line, or even considered it. But I think I may be getting close.
Technology, and mobile phones have reached a point where there is very little they can't do. It seems to me its more about what suits the way you use them, and your pocket. I have an S2, first released about 18 months ago. Sure you can get quicker, bigger, better camera etc, but does any of that actually lessen what my handset can do? Of course not, the pics I take are more than fine, I can store all the content I want, and play anything I need to. I have a healthy developer base to keep the geek in me happy. With all that in mind is it really worth falling out over, is there anything I have missed that justifies sitting with veins popping out your neck because the panorama pic I can take but will never use is ever so slightly different than the one you can take and after showing it off never will either? Nope, didn't think so.
Everyone really needs to chill out, have a beer, visit your family and see what in your life is really worth all that energy. And remember this - its only a phone.
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Thursday, 9 February 2012
So what happens when it all goes Pete Tong? Well for one you expect that the carrier will do their best to resolve your problem quickly, and with as little fuss as possible, and to be fair I think it works that way most of the time. The problem is, when it goes wrong it is at best an inconvenience and at worst a major headache that leaves you pulling your hair out.
This is a little story about a recent upgrade I had with Three UK. I have been with Three for years, more than I can actually remember, I have had at least 5 handsets with them, all for the duration of the contract. I also now have 5 other contracts with them and 2 PAYG data SIM's for mobile broadband. The upgrade phone call itself was a fairly painless, but drawn out affair, with the advisor trying to change little bits of the new contract here and there but eventually putting through the upgrade that I wanted. It is also worth noting that the handset I ordered, was of a far lower value than I was entitled to (a Wildfire S as opposed to a Desire S). So the deal was good for them, and what I wanted, happy faces all round you would think, and for the first four days it was. Then the phone arrived!
That's right, don't adjust your screen, two security seals on the box, both opened. Obviously it has been a terrible mistake, an unfortunate mix up in the depot, where I have been sent a return/refurb due to the young Lithuanian immigrant who was on picking duties that day reading the order form wrong. After a bit of too'ing and fro'ing with three customer service, I eventually manage to convince them that I am not making the whole thing up and arrange a doorstep exchange (sounds exotic) for another new handset. So two days later the doorbell goes and 'the courier' arrives for our exchange. I am immediately crestfallen when I notice the 'new' handset is in an un-sealed bag, which he then uses to put the refurb/return in, and hand me bits of paper and the box. I sign anyway hoping that this is the end of it, and take the box into the living room. Then things go from bad to worse. This is the condition of the box as it arrived.
Not only is there 2 security seals this time, but they could not even be bothered to close the box!! I mean come on, put a little effort into conning me will you. I was actually beginning to doubt myself, and checked on twitter if I was being unreasonable, or a little bit paranoid about the whole thing. So after some clarification that it wasn't me who was at fault, I tried to sort the whole sorry mess out with Three customer services, and again it took time to convince them that I did indeed receive the handset the way it arrived. Eventually after admitting that a new handset should not come in that condition I was offered another doorstep exchange, but this time I said no, I had already wasted an extra day awaiting the delivery, and as the weekend is approaching it would not arrive till Monday at the earliest. I suggested that I could drive to one their stores and exchange it there, only to be told that the stores hold different stock than the on-line sales department. I explained that as they had messed up twice it would be a nice gesture to allow it this once, but alas they didn't budge. They did however come up with this cracker after I had said I was not happy wasting another day waiting on a courier. The rep told me to cancel my on-line upgrade and upgrade at the store instead, the fact this meant I would have to waste a day for the courier to pick the old-new phone up seemed to completely pass him by. At that point I kindly thanked him for his lack of any help and said goodbye. I am now between a rock and a hard place, I want to cancel the upgrade, the new contract handset that also arrived today, and my contract which expires ina months time and move on. My daughter, who the phone is for doesn't want to lose the contract, as she really wants the One Plan, and my wife wants everyone to be on the same network as well. I have filled in a complaints form, but hold out little hope of it achieving much. The is a section on it that ask how I would like the situation resolved, and to be honest I am unsure how they can fix it now. A fancier handset wont work, we turned one of them down when we took the contract out, and its not about the money, the one plan costs the same even if you don't take a handset, so I am at a loss as to how they can restore my confidence in them. The only question is, have I just been really, really unfortunate, or is this kinda common really ?