Mobile Phone Companies…

2 03 2008

What is it about mobile phone service providers that they seem to shine with incompetence.  I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with two such companies.  When I lived in the UK I was a subscriber to Vodafone.  Here in Canada I signed up with Rogers Wireless.

Now I had my issues with Vodafone during my time overseas.  I initially signed up for a 1 year contract and renewed it each year for continued service.  Interestingly the rates generally went down as did my per/minute airtime.  The issue I had was every year I would phone them to renew my contract, select my options and every year (without fail, this is 4 or 5 years in a row) they managed to screw it up and get it wrong.  Every time.  Without exception.  This was always resolved with a few phone-calls and a slightly better deal than before but I was always amazed at how something so simple could be screwed up every time.

Now Rogers is an even more special case.  It’s to do with paying my bill.  You would think that a company that does a service for you and then sends you a bill would make it easy for you to pay it.  It would certainly be in their best interest (one would think). 

I like to pay my bill on their website with a credit card because then

  1. I get my Air Miles
  2. I control when I pay it rather than giving them the keys to my account to withdraw when they want (look at the small print for letting companies help themselves to payments; to cancel such a deal you need THEIR PERMISSION… hello it’s my bank account, I would like to think I’d have the final call on that, but I digress).

Now over the last 12 months or so I seem to have an issue regularly with paying my bill online.  The problems have included:

  1. Log-in doesn’t work
  2. Log-in works but my session is timed out after 10 seconds for no apparent reason (yes, I flushed my cache, temp Internet files, etc).
  3. Log-in works but systems are down for maintenance.
  4. Web site is so incredibly slow it is impossible to get anything done.
  5. Some other part of their on-line “services” is non-functioning for no apparent reason.

Combinations of the above seem to be what I encounter regularly.  Trying to pay my bill last night was especially annoying.  I was able to log in but as soon as I tried to get to the billing section my “session” was timed out and I was no longer logged in.  I went to the feedback session and filled out my usual note to them asking them why they continue to thwart my attempts to send them Canadian currency and await their response.  I just want to pay my bill!  Geez, you’d think I was asking for allot.  ROGERS I AM TRYING TO PAY MY BILL, WHY IS IT SO GO**AMN DIFFICULT!?!?

Another observation about the UK/Canada with respect to the mobile phone industry is how much more of a ripoff it is over here compared to Europe (bear in mind its’ been a few  years so perhaps this has changed).  For some reason in North America with our mobile phone conversations we get billed per minute.  It may only be a 10 second conversation to say you are on your way but if you are paying 30 cents a minute your on the hook for the whole 30 cents instead of the expected 5.  Over a month of phone calls that adds up to a substantial amount.  In Europe I was billed per second…  If Europe is the big rip off many people make it out to be (and it is in many ways; ‘rip off britain’ was one of the many mantras one hears living there and it has to be said there is some truth in it… check out for one point of view) then why is it with our technology today we can’t have billing per second and you pay for what you actually use rather than the mobile phone companies filling their pockets by charging you for services you aren’t using.  

Is that really fair and OK with you?  To me it’s a bit like going to fill your car before a long trip, only putting in half a tank and being told they only sell full tanks and being charged for a full tank.  Very dodgy dealings there.

Anyway, my 2 cents.


The art of blogging…

19 12 2007

Two of the hardest things I find about blogging are:

  1. Finding something interesting to say.
  2. Finding the time to put it into some sort of coherent fashion to post.

Like most people I have opinions on a variety of things.  Some things are best left unshared and others can be interesting catalysts for discussion.  Most of my posts so far have just been amusing or useful things I have found on the net that I thought were worth mentioning.  I don’t really discuss much about what I think or feel or what goes on in my world.  Reading about how people blog and what makes a successful one usually involves having a personal element involved which keeps your readers interested and gives your blog a more personal touch.  I’m not expecting to become the next big hot blog that gets a mention on the radio or on a news website.  This is more a personal thing for me and a bit of a hobby I am trying to explore and I’ve generally been somewhat an introvert most of my life so perhaps this will give me a successful way of expressing myself that I have not previously tried. 

I’ve found a good blogging time for actually putting my thoughts into writing and getting it posted.  So that’s one of the two issues potentially dealt with if I can keep it up.  We have three sugar gliders that require playtime in the evenings and I’ve taken to bringing my laptop into our “glider proof” (if there is such a thing) room and using this as my blogging and misc net surfing time in the evenings when it’s my turn to feed and play with them.  Using the wireless network to tune in to our iTunes jukebox machine in the living room which supplies the atmosphere 🙂  We’ve recently got two baby sugar gliders and they are cute as hell and very curious.  They seem to like running over my keyboard but are not really heavy enough to type yet (unless they jump on it off my head!).  Maybe if things get slow I’ll have them post for me.

Finding interesting things to talk about may be more difficult.  As I’ve mentioned in previous postings I generally listen to a lot of BBC podcasts which always give me food for thought (for example the forbidden lego book in a previous posting came from a mention of it on such a podcast).  The political and documentary ones in particular make me think and can cause a range of emotions in me (the story they did on Burma awhile back was especially sad).  I am a total internet news junkie!  Maybe I’ll try to put what I make of it all into words.  The web has loads of interesting things and developments that are worthy topics of discussion.  All the Web 2.0 sites out there (user defined/driven content) such as Facebook have caused quite a stir and, yes, I am on facebook I’m afraid to say.  It’s not quite as addictive as it was when I first started but I do check it daily!

For now I should go pay attention to our older grumpy glider Taz!  She’s sulking in her cage and probably needs some coaxing to get her out.  I don’t think she is all that well at the moment; she’s gained weight and is sometimes a bit lethargic.  Vet has looked at her and reckons her liver may be a bit dodgy and she’s somewhat constipated so I’m giving her the equivalent of Glider-Ex-Lax.  I hope she gets a bit perkier soon; I miss her bratty self.

(as an aside, speaking of technology, with my little word processor I use I’ve just had to add “Facebook” and “podcast” as allowable words, lol).

Question, observation of the day…

13 10 2007

Why is it when you go into a restaurant or building with the big glass double doors one of them (usually the left) is always locked?  Why is that exactly?  Anybody know?

A new beginning…

27 09 2007

OK, I’ve decided I am going to have another crack at this blog thing.  It looks like alot of fun but I wonder if I can really update this site on a regular basis with things that people will find entertaining enough to read…

I will pledge however to avoid a really gaudy page design and not to bombard you with music you’d really rather not be listening to as soon as the page loads in your browser.

 Stay tuned…