Category Archives: Rants and Raves

Poor Customer Service

Once again I’m experiencing some very poor customer service … and, at least in one case, it really surprises me that I’m experiencing it.

So there are two major issues I’m experiencing …

  • A major internet provider email service. My newly spun up Amazon LIghtsail instance is unable to deliver mail to their customers.
  • A relatively small fitness device manufacturer isn’t providing timely support for their product.

The first issue is with the major internet provider (who shall remain nameless, but the company name is often abbreviated to three letters.

I’m in the process of moving my mailing list server to an Amazon LIghtsail instance … but when I send mail to this ISP’s servers, it gets rejected with an error that indicates an email to contact.

About a month ago I encountered the error while testing and send a message to the address indicated. A week after my contact they responded saying that the block had been removed.

Unfortunately, in some final testing before my planned migration (this coming weekend), I encountered the error again.

I thought it has been resolved, but apparently I was wrong.

The big issue is that it takes them a week to respond. So there’s very little chance of the issue getting resolved before this weekend. As a result, I have to postpone the migration. I would not be surprised if it takes more than a month to resolve the issue.

To be honest, I’m quite used to this kind of response from a major internet provider … they probably get slammed with this kind of request. Plus, I suspect, they really don’t care about small business that want to send mail to their customers.

The other issue is with a relatively small engineering company that makes a device that gates ANT+ signals to Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE).

I purchased the device to make it easier to use Zwift with my Apple TV.

From the moment I got the device I’ve had problems. Their web site has no ‘support’ contact information. I tried filling out their ‘contact us’ page but got no reply. Finally I sent a message to the email address listed on their domain’s whois information and got a reply indicating they forwarded my message to someone else.

My first attempt to contact them was December 8th.

A few days later I got a response indicating they were aware of the problem and were working on a fix to their configuration app. They also asked if I would be interested in a replacement device to see if that fixed the problem. I responded that I would like to try a replacement and provided a shipping address. This response was sent on December 13th.

I finally got a response today indicating that they would like to get the device back for analysis and asking where I purchased it and the order number. I provided the requested information and they informed me that I would have to go back to the purchase place to get an exchange.

Sigh … more delays.

In the case of the internet provider, I’ve come to expect that level of customer service. In the cast of the engineering company, I’m quite surprised. They should be much more responsive to customer issues. Especially since they are catering to a niche market.

OK, today’s rant is over.


Why am I annoyed about the Atrix / ICS issue?

Let’s get something cleared up here … I’m not annoyed at Motorola for not providing Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) for the Atrix 4G.

Not at all.

Companies need to make decisions about what hardware they are going to support and what hardware they aren’t going to support.

I participate in those kinds of decisions quite frequently at work.

What annoys me about what Motorola did is the fact that they lead consumers on for quite a long time … indicating that ICS was going to be provided on the Atrix 4G.

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Spontaneous Security

Over the holiday weekend, I experienced the ultimate computer security mechanism:

“Spontaneous Security”

I was using my new Dell Latitude E6420 to do some network reconfiguration when the machine started acting weird with regard to the network.

Since this machine runs Windows 7, I decided to just reboot it to clear the network configuration.

After I restarted the machine I was asked for a password by the BIOS.

The odd thing was … I never set a BIOS password.

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Snow Days

Garage ViewAs you might have noticed (or heard), the Chicago area has had a bit of snow recently.

Lots of people are off work because the the streets are impassible.

Ginny’s home, there’s just no way she could have gotten to her office.

Due to this contraption they call “The Internet”, and an invention called “VPN“, I have no excuse to not work.

In fact, I’m pretty sure there isn’t anyone in our office right now.

To Blog, or not to Blog, that is the question

This post started out as something very different … many months ago.   In fact, the original post still sits in my ‘draft’ list … but will never be posted.

Most of those who know me well understand that I have a lot of opinions (who doesn’t) … and I’m sometimes not afraid to express them.

The original blog post started out as a discussion of religion, politics, and how my views differed drastically from those of my co-workers, friends, and colleagues in the IBM i industry.

But, as I started to write the post (which, I might add, had an incredibly clever title that Ginny helped me come up with), I realized that the content of the post would probably offend a lot of people that I have to work with on a day to day basis, and others that I interact with quite frequently.

What is said on the internet, stays on the internet … forever

– Unknown (but I doubt I came up with it)

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S.M.A.R.T. (or not so smart)

Computer Hard DriveI really get frustrated when it comes to hard drive diagnostics.   Specifically: S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology).

The theory behind S.M.A.R.T. technology is that the hard drive is supposed to provide predictive failure information for hard drives.

The problem is, I’ve never had a S.M.A.R.T. technology accurately report a failure.

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