Browse Category: annoyances

Call Our Customer Service… It’s A Rewards Center!

Yet another example of customer service gone wrong implementation that I had stumbled on this morning. My wife ordered some of her stuff online from HSN.com, order arrived in two pieces, one of them wrong. It happens. This morning I fetched a customer service phone number from order’s e-mail and wrote it for her so she could call and request an exchange. As I was leaving I heard her dialing the number and… guess what? An overly-cheery loud and annoying female voice happily announced that she has reached a rewards center, “probably by mistake”. Right… hung up the phone, double-check the number and dialed it again. Oops. Same voice, same message. I stopped, went into HSN’s web site to check the number. Yes, we’ve got the number right, but it still says “rewards center”.

After trying out a few other numbers, we figured the right one. Customer service rep helped my wife out, doing whatver it is they’re supposed to do in order to fix such an issue. However, the problem remains the same – why would someone post a rewards center phone number as a customer support? My guess is it was some marketing genius that decided it was an easy way to upsell existing customers.

From my stand point – it is not.

Google AdWords Doesn’t Like My Money

Last week I was running a test campaign for one of my clients and a full week after I wrapped it up a notice from Google came in stating that some of my ads are out of trademark compliance. The site in question is http://www.americatoystore.com/, the owner is a registered affiliate of McFarlane Toys and Neca (which gives him rights to promote their merchandise using whatever he can find on their web sites). The words in question were NFL and NHL.

Next thing – I open the browser, search for “NHL action figures” or “NFL action figures” and the paid ads are full of “sacred” terms. So my question is – if myself and my client get slap on the wrist and others don’t this means Google’s adherence to its own guidelines and policies is very spotty. I realize that big guys’ money are better then mine, but why don’t Google come out straight about that?

Posted the question on their forums, but I don’t hold my breath.

Buying A Domain On A Smartphone

CatBegemot.com - Buying Domain From Smartphone Yesterday I noticed that the very first domain I ever tried to own, but never did – CatBegemot.com (it’s coming from here, if you must know. Not that I am infatuated with Woland figure, it’s just that specific character – Cat Begemot – is very appealing to me.) is actually free (as in Deleted and available again), so I decided to waste no time and grab it. Unfortunately, the place I am working from right now blocks the access to all three domain registrars I am using – GoDaddy, Moniker and NameCheap.

No problem, I said, I have a smart phone (it’s AT&T Tilt at the moment, equipped with Windows Mobile 6), so I’ll just go get it from there! Yeah, right.

Namecheap loaded fine, but refused to acknoledge my credentials. No matter how many times I reloaded web site and tried to sign on – no luck. I was thrown back to the same page requiring login and password. Sorry, Namecheap, no business for you today.

Moniker loaded fine too, even allowed me to sign into my account. Next step – check if domain is available. I never realized it until that day that every time you check for domain name Moniker checks for all the available extentions. Guess it’s an upselling technique. What threw me off was those AJAXy boxes that roll for a moment and then present you with a checkbox – empty if domain is available or filled if it is taken. Obviously, boxes never got their AJAX stuff to work, so no way to register domain there too. Moving on.

GoDaddy was the scariest place to go on my smartphone, mainly because you can hardly see any useful features behind heavy advertising. Just imagining all that mess on a tiny (comparing to 1920×1200 24″ screen I have at home) smart phone screen was giving me creeps. Nevertheless, I jumped on the task. Quite a few minutes later, when all the junk loaded over my 3G connection, I was able to log in and submit a domain search. As you might have guessed, another button was teh culprit. The Go To Checkout button happened to be powered by some AJAX or JavaScript or whatnot and simply doesn’t work on mobile version of Internet Explorer. Sorry, you loose!

It wouldn’t be me if I left the problem unresolved. A little search around turned up two unblocked providers – Joker and Name.com. While I’ve stumbled on more than one occasion of negative feedback about Joker on WHT, the Name.com sounded like a reasonable choice, so that’s where I went. The whole transaction took no more than ten minutes and ta-da! Finally, after almost 10 years of exile, the catbegemot.com is in my posession.