internet (2)

Browse Tag: internet

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.

Pandora, Windows Mobile and AT&T

Last week wrapped up with Pandora announcing the release of Windows Mobile client. Everybody cheered – but for less than a day. As it turned out, there’s always a fly in the ointment. The cost of fun is $8.99 per month in addition to any data plan you already have. Even if it’s an unlimited one, like mine.

Outraged just like anyone else, I immediately shot off an e-mail to Pandora’s support.

Hello,
I am a very dedicated Pandora listener. Aside from enjoying Pandora from my desktop I had encouraged a number of people to try Pandora for iPhone – every time with huge success.

Now, I myself is not an iPhone user – for number of reasons I cannot use iPhone for everyday tasks. It doesn’t mean I have extra money in my pocket, it just means that I use devices that benefit me the most.

When I have heard about the discriminatory policy that Windows mobile users must she’ll out extra money for same service everyone else enjoys for free I felt somewhat betrayed. Definitely upset. Outraged.

However, before jumping to any decisions, I’d like to hear from you the reasons behind such discrimination and, if there are any plans to rectify the situation.

Surprisingly, just a few hours later (that is – 3AM Friday night) I got a response.

Thanks for writing us, and thanks for recommending Pandora on the iPhone to your friends! We were very happy Apple allowed us to offer Pandora for free.

Getting a mobile device to support Pandora is, to a very large degree, up to our potential cellular and platform partners.

Currently there are four WinMo devices which, just like the iPhone, support Pandora for free (advertising-supported). Two on Sprint, and two on Verizon.

We’re very happy we were able to work with these partners to reach this agreement.

It’s up to other carriers how to set the pricing and availability of our service on their network and associated devices.

Best wishes,
–Ian
Pandora Listener Support

If all the above is true it means that AT&T effectively taxing everyone who’s not an iPhone user for using data plan they already paying for. Why this is happening – because AT&T thinks they’ve got it all and can get away with anything they want or because of some other reason – I don’t know. There’s a thread on AT&T’s forums, but no official response has been issued yet.

Pandora’s blog has it this way (in response to comments of disappointed users):

…we share your desire to see Pandora be made available for free on our AT&T implementations. In the mobile world, the carrier has all of the pricing power. If you try to go around their wishes they can, and will, block traffic to your application. Our strong preference is for Pandora to be available ad-supported free everywhere and we’ll continue to work with AT&T in the hopes that they’ll come around to the same view for the Windows Mobile phones on their network.

On the other hand, the Pandora application is available from PPCGeeks forum. I swapped SIM card from AT&T Tilt into Samsung Blackjack and testing the app right now. So far the quality is decent (close to FM radio) (as I am sitting home within stable 3G zone) and delay between songs (while the buffering occurs) is acceptable.

In any case, there remains less and less competition in mobile markets and providers are pulling all sorts of unfair deals knowing that customers will either eat it or not, but there’s really no serious alternative between AT&T and Verizon (Sprint and T-Mobile are really not in the same field).

Broken Images In Firefox – Fixed!

Broken Images In Firefox

Last few months I was hunted by some weird problem on my laptop‘s Firefox – random broken images. What was even more strange is that on the same page after each reload a new image (or group of images) could be broken. The issue was solidly recurring, but affecting random images and random web sites.

Uninstalled both Firefox 2 and Firefox 3 from my laptop, wiped caches and other leftovers and installed Firefox afresh. Same issue. Again!

On the verge of dumping Firefox in favor of something else (Chrome/Opera/IE?) I realized that there’s a number of Firefox plug-ins that might have a say in this issue. Once I remembered a list of plugins I have been restoring from the backup every time – I got the rogue plug-in almost instantly.

LiveHTTPheaders, when POST is set to “Fast” dumps some of the slow-loading images. It doesn’t mean that only large images affected – I had spacers lost and design all messed up with hours spent hunting down bugs in old web site designs.

Live HTTP headers config screen - That's where the problem is!
Live HTTP headers config screen – That’s where the problem is!

So, if you have a similar problem of Firefox not displaying all the images on a web page and you are using LiveHTTPheaders plug in – set the LiveHTTPheaders POST setting to “Full” (or uninstall the extension if you don’t really need it) – and your Firefox automagically will be healed!