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Nokia and Backorder Hell

Posted on April 17, 2009 by under Blog, Life, Reviews, Wishlist.    

If you have not been following my Tweets then let me fill you in.

On April 3rd I ordered a new phone through Nokia. I had some difficulties through their web site previously but through the assistance of the Nokia customer service center I was able to resolve the issue and get the phone ordered properly. However, Nokia failed to mention that I would be in backorder hell and would possibly never receive my phone. Below is a letter that I just send to there web site.

Let me start by saying that I have been a faithful user of Nokia for over 10 years. I have had just about every Nokia phone ever released. I know this probably does not amount to much since there are several people in this world that are just like me, but I thought I would say it anyway.

I recently attempted to purchase a Nokia E71. Due to some confusion on your web site my order was messed up and rejected. Despite this Nokia held almost $800 on my credit card for a week before releasing the held funds. The rep that I called (Rob) helped sort out the situation and assisted me in placing another order for the phone I wanted. He also offered me a free headset due to my phone being on back order (it was originally in stock when this whole mess started). Overall, I was pleased with the resolution and was advised that the phone would be in within 2 weeks and should ship shortly after that. This was the end of the good customer service. Things all down hill from here.

I had been following the web site waiting for the backorder flag to fall. Sure enough it fell off about 2 weeks later just as I was advised. However, I did not receive a shipping confirmation. In an attempt to find out why my phone did not ship I called customer service and spoke to another rep. This rep did not speak English very well and I had difficulty understanding everything that he was saying. I did not even get his name. I asked what was holding up my order and he advised that the phone was in but they could not ship my order because the headset was now on backorder. I was frustrated by this and asked what could be done. The only thing that he could do was apologize, nothing was offered to make amends for the error. Nothing was done to appease me for the inconvenience. Nothing was done at all. To make matters worse, the rep tried to tell me that I was offered a special deal by the previous rep. I had to immediately stop him and advise that the phone price is the same that is offered to every person that orders through the web site. I went on to advise that the headset offer was the one that is currently being promoted on the web site as well and that the free shipping is something that is offered through your company if you order anything over $200.00. I stated that nothing that I received was any more special and it was something that any other customer would have received if they had placed the same order. He then apologized, he did not say what for, I can only assume it was for trying to mislead me and getting caught.

I called again the following day and requested a supervisor. I received Jessica, a floor supervisor. I have worked in Call Centers before, I know that a floor supervisor is not a TRUE supervisor; their authority is limited (which I found throughout the conversation with her to be true). However, I gave her a chance. The only thing that she could offer was to remove the headset and then the phone would ship. I don’t see how this benefits me as a customer. I have to sacrifice something in order to get something. So now I am stuck in backorder hell. I am supposed to receive a phone with a headset but I cannot receive the phone because the headset is back ordered, then there is no guarantee that I will even receive the phone when the headset comes in because the phone may be on backorder again. The only option I seem to have is that I will have to sacrifice a portion of my order in order to get my phone, thus making my devise only partially useful in my opinion.

I have purchased many devices over the years from numerous companies and I have never had this much difficulty getting a device as I have through your company. I advised the supervisor that I would give it another week. I am sorry to say that if I do not see any progress from your company in this week I am going to cancel my order. I am also going to make sure that everyone that I speak to (Twitter, Facebook, blog, forums, text or e-mail including everyone I know in Wichita), is made aware of the trouble that I have had with your company and advise against ordering any Nokia products in the future. As it stands, my wife now refuses to purchase the 5800 Express. I had her convinced that this would be a viable replacement for her T-Mobile Wing and she was going to purchase it as soon as I had received my phone (she wanted to look at mine first before deciding) she now does not wish to purchase anything and suggested a week ago that I should cancel my order. I am trying to give your company the opportunity to correct its mistakes, but at the moment I do not see that you care to fix your error or even care about the customer at all. You seem to feel that a simple apology will suffice regardless of the situation or circumstances.

With the upcoming expiration of the contract between Apple and AT&T, the iPhone will soon be the most sought after phone on the market (more than it is currently) leaving companies like yours clamoring for business in the handset market. Exceptional Customer Service and customer loyalty are going to be the only things that will save a company in near future. At the moment my loyalty is fading by the day and if things do not improve I have no choice but to seek a new cell phone manufacturer.

I hope that this does not fall on deaf ears and I hope that someone takes and interest in the actions that took place.

After sending the letter I was shown the following message.

Your e-mail has been submitted. A Nokia Customer Care representative will respond promptly. Your questions and comments are important to us.

Since I am not satisfied with the service to begin with, I found it comical that the letter would go to the very people that I am complaining about. I guess my last little statement at the bottom is true after all. Some little CSR at Nokia will look at this and decide that its not a good thing for the rest of the CS group and can it. Which means I will most certainly cancel my order by Friday if nothing happens.

Lack of customer service and a decline in customer loyalty must be why Nokia’s earnings have declined by 90% in the last year according to Gizmodo. Looks like I will become one of the many iPhone Sheeple soon.

All hail the iPhone.

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Y2K Remix

Posted on April 5, 2009 by under Blog, Family, Life, News.    

My dad sent me a link to Wikipedia about a new computer scare. No, its not the Conficker Virus. It’s the Y2K scare all over again. This time it’s Y2k38 and it effects more than just the PC world. According to the article in Wikipedia, The problem affects all software and systems that store system time as a signed 32-bit integer, and interpret this number as the number of seconds since 00:00:00 January 1, 1970.

What does this mean to us. Probably nothing, I have a feeling that all the programmers that worked on the Y2K issue will resolve this issue as well. We have way to many smart people on this planet to allow something like this to happen. Below is a count down for those of you that want to bite your nails for the next 29 years.

Countdown

For the rest of us in the real world, I think there are more immediate thing that we need to be concerned with. Things like the deteriorating climate due to the excessive use of fossil fuels, the failing economy, the link to child related illness due to pollution levels across the planet or for those really far reaching worriers, how about the proposed end of life as we know it by the year 2012 based on the Incan/Mayan Calendar.

Me, I am simply going to live each day and worry about the things that I can change. I try not to let things that are out of my control interfere with my every day activities. If I did, I probably would never leave the house.

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Companies on Twitter

Posted on December 19, 2008 by under Blog, Web.    

It’s funny. The other day when I was tweeting a lot about Carrabba’s I had told Brian jokingly, “Just watch. Carrabba’s is going to start following me any day now.” Jason’s Deli and a few other companies had found me the same way. One day I was tweeting about them (in the case of Jason’s Deli, I had posted a couple of food pictures), the next day they’re following my updates. Sure enough, I received an email notifying me that Carrabba’s is now following me. In return I started following them, too.

There are a lot of companies already utilizing Twitter to creep out their customers. Comcast being one. I remember I had posted a link to an article about this exact same thing, and I received an @reply back from them saying something to the effect of it’s not being creepy per se but more good customer service than anything else. Anyway, since I’ve been posting a lot about my dissatisfaction with FedEx and not delivering my package as scheduled, I wonder if they’ve noticed. Does anyone know if FedEx is on Twitter? We’ll find out soon enough I guess.

Click here for an extensive list of companies who are on Twitter. Here are some relevant articles:

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Real-Time Blog Traffic Feeds

Posted on December 11, 2008 by under Blog, Web.    

I’m usually against cluttering the blog with useless crap. I’m deviating from my usual MO this time, though. FEEDJIT doesn’t seem competely useless. 🙂

The live traffic feed on the bottom right corner of the page tells me where the last ten visitors are from. Pretty interesting info. Plus, isn’t this map thing kind of neat? Okay, so it will be neater once the visitors start registering on there. =P

I also added the WassUp WordPress plugin, but you can’t see it because I didn’t enable the widget. I’m just gathering data right now. I’ll process all that info later. Mostly it’s just for my own use. So I don’t think I’ll be adding the widget at all. The charts and stuff are cool. I like the mini one that appears in my dashboard. All that info is just strictly for me, though. No need to share it with the rest of the world. 😉

[ Jenni: Let me know if you want me to load the plugin in your WP also. The database can get huge for sites with lots of traffic so, if you decide you want it, please be sure to set the database to automatically empty the tables on a fairly regular basis immediately after activation. Come to think of it, let me know if you want any of my plugins and I will load them in your plugins folder also. ]

Speaking of traffic and stats, I think I broke something on my web site because my Awstats haven’t worked since the end of May. Not that it matters any. I can count the number of people who visit this site in one hand. I just want to be prepared with data gathering tools for when traffic starts piling in. =P

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Low/No Cost Gift Ideas

Posted on December 9, 2008 by under Blog, Life.    

Brian told me about one of his coworker’s recent experience while searching for “cassette tapes” at a store. His coworker (who will remain anonymous so as not to embarrass him anymore than he already is) told him that the store employees laughed at him. Of course, the teenage employees probably have no idea what a “cassette tape” is or what it looks like. LOL.

When we were cleaning out the garage over the summer, we had trashed a bunch of my old tapes (I had brought most of them with me when I moved to the US from the Philippines in the early 90s back when CDs first emerged but I wasn’t cool enough or wealthy enough to afford them). Of course, the tapes were thrown in the garbage only after I was ridiculed by Brian not just for owning such primitive audio storage devices but also for my apparent lack of musical taste.

“What did his coworker need cassette tapes for?” I wondered. Brian thought he must be attempting to make a mix tape for someone. I’m like, “Hasn’t he ever heard mix CDs?” The quality is so much better than their analog predecessors.

Anyway, that got me thinking of low/no cost gift ideas. Remember a few years ago (five to be exact), I wrote about the gift of blog and how I had gifted it to Matt and Logan that Christmas? It cost me nothing. Matt actually tried to blog for a year or so before getting bored and giving it up. I wish he would have met his wife Jennifer then, I think she might have put the gift to better use. She is an avid blogger like myself. Then again, I can’t really complain because the gift didn’t cost me a dime.

The ideas that I’m about to share are along those same lines. They shouldn’t cost anything at all. Even if they do, the cost to the gift giver is minimal.

Let’s start with a mix CD since we were just talking about it. This could consist of music that you think the other person would enjoy or maybe music that you enjoy that you would like to share with the recipient. If you are a musician or musically talented in some way, this mix tape could consist of your music. [spoiler alert] Kind of like what Edward made for Bella, which I thought was really romantic. [end spoiler]

Bake cookies and other treats and wrap it in colorful, festive cellophane. If you are not musically talented, but are talented in the kitchen, this would be right up your alley. Actually, you don’t even have to be an expert chef so long as you can work in the kitchen without setting it on fire. Hey, food that tastes good is a bonus. If it’s not quite perfect just remind yourself that it’s the thought that counts. You could always cheat like my coworker/friend Lance does. He enlists the aid of his wife. Her goodies are always delicious.

Brew some beer and share it. Okay, so this one takes some investment. However, you could have all the men on your gift list covered in one shot. Unless, of course, they are allergic to alcohol (like Brian). Check out @chadsmith’s web site BEER Dad for more info. From what I gather, he is an expert at this sort of thing.

Create art. This is ideal for those like me who are no good in the kitchen. Not that I’m artistic or anything, but at least if I give you something that is not edible there is less risk of food poisoning. You could write a poem (or copy your favorite one) on fancy stationery or cardstock. You could draw or paint something and frame it (the dollar store has many inexpensive picture frames that will be suitable for this). Take some photos and create a photobook. The list is endless.

Compile your favorite recipes and create a recipe book. This is perfect because then the recipient can learn how to make your favorite dishes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, and one that you will certainly benefit from for years to come. LOL.

Pass along a book. Speaking of books, this one is a good idea. I’ve always been reluctant to buy books because I never know what to do with them after I’m done reading. We have boxes upon boxes of old books collecting dust. Nowadays I just opt for either borrowing books from the library or reading ebooks. If you are an avid book collector, though, this will give your old books a new purpose. Give your favorite book to a friend so they might also experience the magic for themselves.

Offer your services like babysitting, massage, shoeshine, housecleaning, dog-walking… You get the picture. Create little coupons or certificates for the giftee to redeem at a time of their choosing.

These are just some ideas. There are so many ways to demonstrate thoughtfulness and show that you care without going broke. I will add to this as I think of other ideas. Please feel free to post your own suggestions in the comments section also.

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