Who Am I

Now I’m not the first and certainly will not be the last to make this observation unless the world is too suddenly terminate the second I have published this post.

While the title suggests a deep meaningful insight to who I think I am or what I am, then I’m sorry but it couldn’t be further from the truth. No it’s all about call centres and having to check who you are. I have always found this strange and they say it’s all to protect your identity and to prevent fraud. In theory I understand and what a great idea but in practice it’s bloody stupid. Here are three examples where I feel it has proven to be comical.

Blood Donation

Yeap the old blood bank asks you. The other day I went in to have my pint of blood drained from my arm to be asked my name, date of birth and address. This was all done after I had just filled in the health questionnaire which has these details printed on it. Also this form was now positioned on the table in front of the nurse and myself. So lets say that some one was stupid enough that they wanted to steal my identity to give blood they could either remember the information on the form or do what I did yesterday and read the information. I can understand why they need to do it, but why not ask for photo I.D the system of asking you address, and Date of birth seem silly. Also my best mate could go along as all the information they ask is common knowledge amongst my friends. The real laughable event is after the health screen, I then go over to the bed to donate. After the needle is inserted and the blood is flowing the same nurse asks the same questions. As if I would have changed person within those ten minutes and if I turned out to be an impostor what would they do, stop the donation? or carry on draining all the blood out as punishment?

Tax Office

This one is short, why would someone steal someones identity and then phone the tax office to talk about their tax needs and pay their tax bill. The real annoying thing is when you get passed from department to department and each new operative asks you the security details again. Why? My phone company does it, can I ask them questions to make sure I’m talking to the right company?

Banks/Phone/Tax/Insurance

It’s not a summary of what I’ve just said, it’s a biggest pain out of all of them. There is a little bit of me that understands the security check when I phone. After all I want my money to be safe, the issue is when they phone you. I feel like saying, ‘It’s me! you phoned me? Surly me answering and confirming it was me should be enough that I am the person you wanted to speak too?’

So there we have it, todays life complaint.

Which Upgrade?

Well this has come about as one of my friends got an Iphone 4 which I told him he would regret. Within months he had sold it and replaced with a Blackberry Torch and he was very happy with his new toy until today when he informed me he had swapped it for a Blackberry Bold. This started a string of messages on Blackberry Messenger about what phone to get on my upgrade.

Now I’m happy with my current Bold 9000 and I go on about how rubbish the Iphones are, but secretly wish to have one. However I have a Ipod Touch and to be honest I hate it. The Iphone just does not work as it is intended, it is unsure why it exists. It’s certainly not for emailing or acting as PDA as it’s clumsily at this. As a smartphone it fails and is eventually catching up as it copies the competition. How many generations did it take Apple to see that multi tasking would be useful, and that people would still like the option of having MSM rather than emailing there pictures or contacts. Sure the Iphone has got around the obstacles by creating apps for the gadgets it doesn’t have and have spent millions convincing people that they no longer need that particular aspect of the phone. But the truth of the matter is Iphone is not everyone’s phone and therefore Bluetooth that can connect and send to other devices that aren’t apple is not useful, having email that works even if you’re not connected to .ME is fantastic. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Apple and am currently banging on a keyboard attached to my Mac but it annoys me that Apple think they can close themselves in. Other phones almost work on an open source idea Apple refuse to come out of their bedroom and will do anything to disassociated with the pack.

With the Iphone 4 they launch the Micro Sim, which other phone will use those? with the Iphone 5 they wish to get rid of the Sim all together, So which ever unfortunate soul signs up, will have to pay or order a new sim when they realise that the competition does everything better and more. However even with all of this I do wish to have one. The main reason is Apple making syncing anything that is not Apple extremely difficult, however I’m freelance and use my phone more than just playing games or wanting to see what burger joint is within 400 yards of me. therefore below is a list of issue that the Iphone has that would need to be fixed before I buy one. Until that day I feel I would keep with my trusty Blackberry that works.

1. Being able to attach a picture or Contact during or after you have written the email, rather than having to select a picture and then click send as E-mail

2. With some email accounts it would be great to select the unread emails, and click READ rather than having to open each one.

3, ICAL to sync with your colours and your actually calendars and look like ICAL on you MAC

4. Battery life

5. Folders (no wait they sorted that one but still only 12 items)

6. A flashing LED to show you have a message

7. Notification Icons

8. A home screen that shows your appointments you know like other smart phones or PDA’s

Basically I want Apple to use it technology to create an actually smart phone and not some toy with trending app’s that only really exist because the phone can’t carry out simple functions, or it’s web browser is to sophisticated that it loads up the real website rather than a mobile version. The fact that the new software has stolen all the best features from Android, Blackberry and Windows, and it took the 2nd generation to have 3G maybe by the 10th installment of Iphone  will be where the Bold and Desire are today.

So to sum up. Which phone to upgrade to. I will for all my moaning look at the Iphone but the Qwerty keyboard of the Blackberry sells it to me every time and I know that they work first as a phone and as my portable office which allows me to send and receive email and if needed surf the web to find information.

Vodafone – The On Going Battle

Well, it’s a ongong battle, and so much so that I have decided to make new category just for Vodafone and the issues I have. Might even make a new blog just dedicated to the Company that answers the phone with the UK’s number one Network. (I am slowly building up a one man case on why I feel that is not the truth)

Last week, I put pen to paper to write about the ongoing issue of the online account being deactivated, and my Vodafone at Home account following suit. After a phone call to the Online at Home team who assured me the fault was because the account had been dormant for a month I injected with “it hasn’t I downloaded my Online bill two weeks ago” They quickly and helpfully said that Keith from Tech Support would phone on Monday.

Keith didn’t phone till Friday, and below is the transcript of what happened. As much as I remember it. To protect the identity of people Keith will be played by me and is called Burt. Oh wait! Hang on, I’ve already told you his name is Keith! Dam! Well there must be lots of Keith’s in Tech Support, It’s a tech support name. Plain and boring. He probably goes home to his wife Cassandra to eat Shepherds pie and watch the News before retiring to the shed or garage to paint his tiny army figures, and read up on battle of the Somme and listening to his Ham Radio.

Any way, I digress. Keith phoned at 9:30 making me late for work as he would not shut up, defiantly not trained in the art of Customer service he was going it alone without the aid of a script, and any research of what a nightmare of a customer I could be to agents.

Me – Hello

Keith – Hello is that Mr Scott

Me – Speaking

Keith – Hello it’s Keith here from Vodafone at Home, I had a memo to ring you about logging on to the website.

Me – Oh yes!

Keith – I’m afraid it has always been this way. You can only log on with your main email address, the one you first set up. Any other emails address’ you have registered can only be accessed through 3rd party clients through PoP3, as there is no way to check these emails online……

Me – I’m sorry Keith can I interrupt you. As interesting as this is, I only have one email address, and this is not the problem. My account is being deactivated. So when I log on, I can’t as it is asking me for an activation code.

Keith – Oh do you require a activation code?

Me – No I got one last week, the reason why they said you would phone, is to investigate why this keeps happening!

Keith – Well it’s because the account becomes inactivate after 2 months of no use, so you need an activation code.

Me – This has been explained to me, as I explained to your colleague this is not the case with me, as I went on-line 2 weeks ago to download my bill, and I still get my emails pushed to me from the server to my 3rd party email client. However last week I went on-line to find I needed to activate my account.

Keith – well, yes that does seem to be an issue.

(No shit Sherlock that is why I’m phoning and why you were phoning me)

Keith – Obviously you think there is a problem there that needs looking into. If it keeps happening I would suggest you phone back.

(But you don’t seem to think there is an issue Keith. Don’t make me out to be a complaining fool. I want to log on, download my bill, quickly. Not log on, phone you up, get a code. Wait for an hour for the system to reset. Input the code, and download my bill. I’m sure On-line billing is suppose to save you the Company Money. But it seems that you are spending the money saved on call centre staff dishing out activation codes.)

Me – It is keep happening which is why they passed the issue to ‘Tech Support” and for you to look into.

Keith – Well all I can suggest is you phone back if it keeps happening, and we will take it from there, as it is an issue that is upsetting you and is causing you some problems.

(Some, It’s wasting half my day is what it’s doing. Can’t we go back to the time when I woke up, have my cereal and opening the post, which contains a Bill from Vodafone that I can file away, rather than wake up, check my emails – see that my bill is ready, log on to the account, click on the link to At home – Phone up to get an activation code, input it, click on bills, download, open it and save as PDF to FIles – Bills- Vodafone – 2010-2011)

The rest of the conversation was me looking at my watch, thinking I have no time to battle with a 49 year still living with his mother and playing with toy soldiers and enjoying a boiled egg and sweet tea for diner. Him and his team don’t know what the matter is, and turning it off and back on is not working, or the fact of trying to blame the web browser as I told them I have used several apart from explorer. The last failed attempt to try to fix it was telling me to delete the cookies and cache as that could be somehow informing the servers at Vodafone towers to deactivate my account. If there are any computer geeks out there I would love to see how this affects the my online account.

Tomorrow I am getting a phone call from the normal Vodafone Customer Agent to inform me that my online account for my phone is fixed. It’s not. Everyday this week I have logged on and had to register. So we will see what happens there.