Results tagged “edgedujour”

Is this an April Fool's day thing?

Talk about what makes a great customer experience... My O2 iPhone has been down for four days now and no amount of calls to the 'support' line and emails to the help-desk seem to make any difference. If I can find the energy I'll log each step in the exchange as right from buying the phone it's been one UX downer after another...

As a last ditch effort, I've just sent the following to support (mark of a quality customer experience: somebody steps up to the plate and takes responsibility. So far O2 0/10 on that front):

Dear O2 'support'

This is the fourth day I have not had an active working number on my iPhone.

I purchased this iPhone from you 2 years ago. This iPhone is:

IMEI = 01 161400 578383 7
With ICCID = 8944 1100 6422 5894 959
Number = +44 7515 661 655

This phone has not been working since the 29th of March 2010.

I note that because you are not supplying the services I pay you for, your service may be deemed "substantially not as described" under British law and therefore, this voids the contract between us.

If my phone is not working by GMT18:00 today I shall consider our contracts (I have 2 contracts with O2) void and cease payments to you.

All the best,

Oh, and by the way, Ofcom are on Twitter I wonder if that account is really run by an Ofcom representative?

The enraged mutton is back in business

BulkRegister was the last major U.S.-based pure-play registrar in the market. Its acquisition by eNom marks the end of an era in the history of domain names and the Internet as a whole. (more info here)

Wow, I knew Bulkregister was good, but I had no idea the industry was evolving in that direction. It's a shame, I've had great service from Bulkregister over the years, but recently the new owners Enom have really been making a pig's ear of the domain registry service.

I felt the greasy end of their incompetence over the weekend and even after a lengthy bout of support ticket ping-pong they refuse to do the right thing. So it looks like I'm in the market for somewhere sensible to maintain my domain registrations.

I guess prices have cooled off a bit in Europe so I might try a UK shop this time. Has anyone got any recommendations?

Current edge iconOK, I think O2 wins this donkey's current "Edge du Jour" tag.

Take a look at this wizard-style information display from the O2 self-care website. I landed here as I had just invested a chunk of my free time trying to review my invoice online having received my monthly your invoice is ready html email. Of course I failed, and I then failed to refresh my password, and sent a few paragraphs of vitriol to the support email only to be told that O2 can only be contacted using their customer contact wizard (perversly named "email us").

This wizard display suggests a reluctance to engage in dialogue

So before you even get started, what does this display suggest?

  1. O2 only gives customer service to customers who know their details. This could be a problem for new customers who may not yet have received all the cryptic bits of misorganised pseudo-information that O2 sends out in a bid to help new customers settle in. This might also be a problem for existing customers who are on holiday or away from their base (imagine being in an internet café in Belize City trying to get help with your phone).
  2. Assuming a customer has their details to hand, O2 will only engage in dialogue with users who can pass security. Now, this is a support email for crissake, what the hell kind of security do you mean? I just want to email you to complain or ask for help and you will only hear me out if I can give you secret password (which I've either forgotten or never had to begin with). This is just ridiculous
  3. O2 will only listen to queries for internet users who get through steps one and two above

This is bad on a number of levels but the most obvious one is that the experience design takes no account of context-of-use.

If you are designing a support interface you can be pretty sure that most of the users who engage with it will have negative context-of-use issues. A big part of the interface's success will be taking into account why the user might feel upset or confused. Think of issues like:

  • my phone is broken
  • there's a problem with my bill
  • I don't understand something and need help
  • I'm in unfamiliar surroundings
  • I don't have access to my own computer (with its cookies and bookmarks)

I think it's obvious from the entire interface that the O2 team took no account of these issues.

This is bad on further level. Dialog and transparency are now key elements of most sensible corporations' comms strategies. There is no point having your CSR team and your marketing folk writing about how open you are to dialog when your website clearly isn't.

Finally, the contact form has an input box which I think demonstrates the marketing team's deep understanding of the customer:

are you sure you have an iPhone?

Now I'm pretty sure most iPhone customers can't tell the difference between an N95, an iPhone and a K800i. I know i certainly struggle with that one every day;-)

Hello BT engineer

Hey, we've just had a long and very informative post from Matt, a Luton-based Openreach engineer. I hope this really is an engineer speaking and not some perverse item from a 'guerilla marketing' agency subverting from within. He describes some real horror stories, if you're interested in the BT thing it's well worth a read:

I was on a fault last week and the customer drop-wire from the pole to the house was rubbing through trees so I replaced it only to get a phone call the next day from my manager asking why I hadn't charged the customer as the trees were on his property--this is the level that they are stooping to.

Do they care? This thing has been simmering for a while now, I wonder at what point a BT pr person is going to chime in?

Is BT still shit? (A Donkey on the Edge)

Skype wants to be nice to me

You know, I was gonna comment on the Skype blog Heartbeat (no, not on the bit where if they had decided to use computers equipped with a proper operating system their crash and subsequent total meltdown wouldn't have happened in the first place) (and no, not on the bit where for the same reason they can't manage a reliable single-customer view grrrr) no, I was going to comment on the email I received earlier today:

As a goodwill gesture to all you faithful Skype Pro, Skype Unlimited, SkypeIn or Skype Voicemail customers, we're adding an additional seven days to your current subscription, free of charge. And even if you didn't miss out on using Skype last week - you can still have a week free on Skype, on the house!

So my first reaction is that

  1. customers that aren't those listed above can just fuck off
  2. a customer worth building a relationship with is one that commits to a financial transaction with your brand. Gosh, how 80/20 nineteen-eighty-seven of you...

But then I thought to myself, you just nicked the nine quid I had in my account three weeks ago. True, you did explain that you had to, and you did make it theoretically easy for me to protect my dosh while giving me ample and repeated fair warning.

But you know what, if you clean out the balance in your customer's accounts that's all they're gonna see.

Come on, this is sooooo not a modern approach to marketing. Your empty gesture has left me with exactly the same balance I had just before your meltdown--zero.

Niklas Zennström, you're a smart guy, my guess is you can do a lot better (and you can start by giving me my money back)

Well, I'm glad I'm not the only consultant out there to get into trouble with The more I look, the more I find people sharing similar experiences

So here's a public service anouncement.

If you're pissed off at receiving the damn emails, why not threaten, or at least hurl abuse at, the VCs behind Here are some bits to get you started:

Phone:(650) 854-5560
Address:Mayfield Fund
2800 Sand Hill Road, Suite 250
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Fax:(650) 854-5712

enjoy :-) are spamming swine

If you get an email with a subject something like "[New Challenges] Soandso has Tagged you! :)" delete it quickly. I can't say for sure whether the company ( is the next generation of sploggers or spammers gone social or if what happened to me this morning was just a cock-up on my part.

So I got the email this morning. As I follow Web2.0 stuff as part of my job I tend to register for everything to see what's what...

  1. I follow the link in the email
  2. I register on the site
  3. Noticing they're using the gmail api to pull addresses I think "cool" and give it a try
  4. On the address listing I mark one of my demo emails as a friend and click on "invite" which point everyone in my gmail address book receives a "you've been tagged" email. This is great, I of course relish the chance to be incredibly rude to friends and strangers alike while looking completely stupid at the same time.

As Tim said in his angry response "Dug, this is a terrible service". Tim, I couldn't agree more.

And finally, dear gmail address book folk, sorry about my invading your inbox this morning:-(

Yahoo Flickr exploits

You know, I wasn't going to get all huffy about it, but I just don't believe the explanations coming out of Yahoo.

I ignored the many emails explaining how this was going to be a seamless transition and that us early adopters who sent Katerina our cash from day one would be happily assimilated into the collective and that really this was for the best for all concerned. So I finally got this today:


Aside from just not liking their style or their products, one of the main reasons I never got a yahoo id is because the options suck. Well, not in any inherent way, but because they've been carrying a registration database around since 1996 so have more than two users.

Call me a wanker (and many do) but I've grown used to having nice logins, I'm "dug" on delicious and most other places. If not, I'm Bozo (generally for thing's I'd be a little embarrassed to discuss with my mom) or even donkeyontheedge if I'm trying to extend or integrate with the blog.

So of course I tried (and and hey, of course they're gone, as are dieyahoodie, dieyahoodiediedie, yahooarescum, filthyyahooscum (which I thought sounded a bit like self-criticism but which Nicki suggested) and any permutation of yahoo and sucks...


Nope, I'm not kidding;-)

So yeah, has this harmed my experience of Flickr, has it impacted our network of one? Well, yes it has. Am I going to stop using Flickr? No. Am I going to stop fantasising about Katerina? Well, probably not but I'm gonna try, dammit. In any case, while I was regressing to the state of a vindictive six-year-old, I finally managed to find a yahoo id that wasn't taken:


This rant inspired by Digital Mavericks: Opal Fruits, Marathon, Jif, now Flickr - Grrrrr! via Technorati.

Evil little trolls

Well, Russell's just been hit by his first evil little troll.

I suggested he post the links to the swine so we'll see what happens.

I was reminded on my own Troll, a nasty man (who, well, yes, nonetheless made some very good points but just not in a full-size-human kind of way...) called Andrew MacLaren who left a comment which had me floored for a week or two.

I posted the full text at the time but I'm not sure if that helped. Here's a taster: some unfortunate deep linking i somehow landed at your 'website', having spent a few miserable minutes reading your mostly uninspiring and often self-rightous (pap) posts, it would appear to me that in many ways you come across as a borderline wanker, and although that may seem harsh i've just had another look and to put at nicely its a bag of shite! and from what i can gather this is what you actually do!??

Anyway, not going anywhere in particular with this, just felt like pinging some support to Russell.

Still waiting to hear back from Fnac (a great place to buy French stuff - iTunes licensing doesn't allow French 'variété' tracks on the UK store grr) re my earlier note to them.

Simply put, I was just about to order a disc when I noticed the digital rights protection label. I wrote in to say that while I'd love to purchase the album (Camille's Le Fil) I won't until they stock a non-drm version.

Sitting here fuming, found this fun piece on how to host a swapping party which I'll forward to the manager when he writes back explaining that home taping is killing music

So I guess I need to do another banner.

  • Basic? "no drm"
  • Chatty? "Actually, I won't buy that"
  • Political? "Sharing is legal and DRM infringes your rights under copyright law" (wow, catchy, that one)

Anyways, having a think...

Dispositif anticopie numérique

Cher Fnac,

Je me fais un devoir de vous informer que (bien qu'ayant été sur le point de le commander) je ne vais pas acheter le cd "Le Fil" de Camille car la présence d'un "Dispositif anticopie numérique" est d'après moi illegal.

En bref: il est entièrement légal de copier un enregistrement audio pour ultilisation personel, bien sur.

Si Eddy Barclay crois que je vais me payer un cd pour la voiture, un autre pour chez moi est un troisieme pour le bureau il se trompe.

D. Falby

Is BT still shit?

Tom Hough recently commented on an older post about BT.

As with a lot of the “enraged mutton” posts, it was a bit of a venting session, but I’ll reprint the BT phone number here. I can’t garantee it’s still live, but here goes nothing;-)

…a very nice lady called Alita calls you and gives you a phone number (an 0800 number no less) that gets you straight through to customer care—no queue, no delay, no option-3, just straight through to the nice lady.

So got a problem with BT? Need to vent? Here’s the number:

0800 800 871

That ends this public service announcement…

Leaving Verisign

Ok, this is my last post about Verisign, I promise I will leave it be after this.

I'm leaving verisign and you can too. Find an accredited registrar in your area and make the move today.If you've got here by following a "Leaving Verisign" banner, read on, at the bottom of the post are links to help with your move...

Many readers not be big domain name purchasers and of those that have bought a domain name, many will have bought it through a UK dealer. The offshoot of this is that many readers may well never have heard of Verisign, so I'm just going to spell out a twenty word history. Those that don't know/don't care can skip down to the next post, or move on to a properly interesting blog;-)

Once upon a time there was a large, monolithic company called Network Solutions, or netsol as it became lovingly known. Well, for many years netsol had the .com .net and .org domains sewn up. If you wanted a dot com, you bought it from netsol (ok, this isn't exactly true but close enough for the purposes of this story).

While many people complained that this was a monopoly, that they fixed prices etc, we all benefited from the way the ownership of domains was handled. Netsol details were changed by a cryptic ascii format form that had to be emailed back and forth a few times?none of your sissy html form nonsense;-) The process was just complicated enough that users had to think clearly before making any decisions.

As well as an hermetic interface, netsol also protected our collective interests by having the right attitude about what our domains meant to us. Domains where not a commodity, not a utility that could be simply turned on again after a disconnection. No a name was unique and often intimately tied to our most important signifiers.

As a result, even after a domain had expired, it was very difficult to move it to a new person. The best analogy I can think of is the adoption of a child. Something you check and re-check making sure to get it right and something you introduce many failsafes and get-out clauses to (ok, exaggerating a bit again).

The offshoot of all this was that we all trusted Netsol to not give our names away without warning.

Then one day, Verisign, a company who's strapline reads "the value of trust", a company whose main business was the provision of secure certificates decided to buy netsol. Ok, I haven't done my homework here so I'm not actually sure what the exact deal was or what its mechanic was, but I do know what the consequences of the merger were for the customer.

The bright sparks at Verisign set about to merge the services of netsol and verisign, bringing netsol's archaic system of ascii text forms into the twentieth century and set about designing a fabulous new web interface to domain management.

This is where things started to go wrong.

I am still getting written notices about domains I don't own, and more importantly, Verisign is sending my expiry notices out to other people (I'm guessing, as I only get them infrequently). The offshoot of this is that instead of being something safe as houses that operates in the background, domain ownership with verisign has become a frighting game of Russian roulette.

So this gets us back to the "Leaving" graphic that linked you to this page.

If you want to post a copy, cut and paste the following onto your site (lookout for line-breaks in the code, the whole thing should fit on one line):

<a href=""><img src="" width="105" height="28" border="0" alt="I'm leaving verisign and you can too. Find an accredited registrar in your area and make the move today." /></a>

If it gets around, I hope it point out the alternatives. The Internic maintains a list of accredited alternatives. Here it is sorted by country please take minute to read the Internic pages before you buy or renew a domain from verisign.

Here are a few links about Verisign's business practices:

If you are an expert in the details of the above and feel I have incorrectly presented the events, please email me, and I will add your comments to this note.

Let's put NetSol to death

This from

Let's put NetSol to death. We're the Alpha Geeks of our social circles. When people ask us about registering domains, let's be sure to tell them to register anywhere except NetSol, because they will sell your domain to someone else and do nothing about it. When we attend conferences where NetSol or Verisign execs are speaking, let's hijack the Q&A and hound them about why we should trust them when they so cavalierly robbed's owner of her property. If NetSol resolves this issue (ha!), then ask pointed questions about why it took such a massive putsch to get them to do the right goddamned thing. If you're at an ICANN meeting, raise and your own horror stories and demand that NetSol be stripped of its charter. Tell your company to certify with companies other than Verisign.

Netsol's whois search returns the following:

Expiry Date: 6/10/2003
Yi-Chi Wang
Wang Yi-Chi
3F, No. 1-2, Alley 23, Lane 10, Bau-Jian Rd.
Junghe, TW

Talk about a fucking meltdown — this is like santa coming 'round on boxing day to take your presents away :-(