I started this blog in Google’s Blogger which worked very well. After a while I decided to move it to WordPress, which I did. And WordPress worked great for a while. Now I am trying to bring my two blogs together with my business website all under one umbrella – in the realm of SquareSpace. If you haven’t seen SquareSpace you should check it out. It’s an interactive online system for creating/publishing websites and blogs.
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This is an excerpt of Eric Korneau’s talk tonight on Compliance at the CiNPA meeting tonight. I did this mostly as an experiment to try out a service from QIK.COM. This web site gives you an application for your mobile phone and space on their web site where you can 1) Stream live video and 2) Post the recorded video.
I had an uneventful trip home yesterday after a great weekend in Montclair NJ at SMB Nation East 2009. Is was great meeting new folks and seeing old friends. It looks like Response Point interest is strong judging by the full house Ed Carnes, Dave Bainum and I had for our keynote speech on Making Money with Response Point.
Since one of our daughters has been studying abroad this semester in Florence (aka Firenze) Italy – I set her and myself up with Skype. This is a great service for low cost (and FREE) international long distance calling – depending on whether you are calling computer to computer or to/from a real phone. Susan had been using the microphone and speakers built in to her laptop as her telephone. Last month I hand delivered a USB headset to her. Now, the sound quality of what I hear from her is superb.
One of the features of the Skype service is called Skype To Go. The best way that I can think of to describe this is kind of like a calling card. You get a special telephone number in your local area. When your authenticated phone calls the special number – you are connected into the Skpe system and your account. You can speed dial from a dialing diretory of your contacts.
The Skype To Go service has been working well and was a great resource. Basically, I could call my Skype to Go number from my mobile phone dialing directory and then call Susan just by pressing the number 1 for my dialing directory. I don’t need to enter an account code, nor a password, nor her telephone number. Kind of convenient. That is up until last week. Now it seems like the Skype to Go feature is broken. It seems like this has been down for quite a while for a system that is to be considered ligitimate. I finally got someone from technical support to acknowledge that there is a problem – however they can give no idea of when it will be working again.
By the way, I just got set up for Google Voice. Google Voice has many features including low cost long distance telephone calling. It is not quite as simple to use from a mobile phone but at the moment – it does work – which is something that we can’t say about Skype to Go.
About a year ago I was reviewing credit card statements and found that Microsoft had been charging me $39.90 per month for 7 or 8 months. After wending my way through the phone system maze that is MS I found that the free Beta service I had signed up for called Office Live Small Business had ended its free Beta period and converted itself and me to a paid account. I informed the guy I was speaking to that he may have converted himself but no one had converted me and MS needed to 1) stop these charges and 2) find a way to refund me for the previous ones. I explained that all I had signed up for was a free service. They did both stop the charges and issue me a refund, by the way.
Now, a year later and guess what? I’m reviewing credit card statements again and I’ve got another 9 months charges at $39.90 per month that started about 3 months after last year’s charges ended.
After asking twice to speak to a supervisor* I spoke to a guy that at least sounded like he understood what I was talking about.
GET THIS – He reviews their notes and tells me this is my fault (he didn’t use the word ‘fault’)! That a year ago they (and this is his word which I questioned him about and he reused) COMMANDED me to call them back at a later time because at that time their computer system wasn’t capable of completing the task. I quizzed him on this and he stood fast insisting that if his notes said I was COMMANDED this then I must have been COMMANDED to call them back.
So, this company, that makes operating system software and application software INCLUDING Database software had to COMMAND me to call them back to remind them to turn off these c**ppy charges that I never wanted. They didn’t have the computing resources to do their job so they were outsourcing to me!
And another point – if they had in fact COMMANDED me to do something – I can promise you that I would not have done it but I would have remembered that they COMMANDED me.
When I asked this supervisor if there would be any need for me to call them again next year he assured me that there would not be.
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*supervisor – some people think that I am a little bigotted. they think that I think that people of certain distant nationalities that staff help desks are ignorant because of their national origin. this is far from the truth. i know that these peoples countrymen (and women) are very bright because they are all here, in our country, getting higher education and becoming doctors and engineers. its the ones that are left behind that are hired at 20 cents on the dollar by the hundreds of head counts to fill ‘technical support’ desks with no experience about the subject matter that they are supporting – they are just taught how to read a script from a notebook. so, i am not biased against people by their nationality – but by their capability (or lack thereof) to represent the company they work for.