Monthly Archives: April 2004

I’m officially an old man; we just hired a neighbor kid to mow our lawn.

Google IPO

Google is going to announce their IPO “within days”. An advertising agency worth $25 billion? Dot-com bubble #2.

Netflix + TiVo

More info on Netflix’s download service that I like to talk about. It looks like TiVo will play a part in it after all.

NYT article on Steve Jobs and the iPod.

87,000 recipes!

Yipes that's bad Customer Service

There’s good customer service and there’s terrible customer service. One’s rare, the other’s the norm. I always give credit to those with good customer service and criticize those who are bad. Yipes Communications has both.

A few weeks ago, I was looking around for bandwidth providers, I called a sales person at Yipes. We’ll call her Sandra, because that’s her name. She gave me the details/pricing/etc. Two days later, when we decided to go with Yipes, I called the salesperson back and got voice mail. I left a pager number. Hours later, no return call. So I called again and left a voice mail message instead of a pager number. 3 days later, I hadn’t heard a thing. So I went back to the beginning and called the main sales number and was routed to a different salesperson. She took care of all the details, got the account rolling and we’re good.

Two days after that, I got a call from the first salesperson chastising me for “going around her”. Apparently, she wanted the commission (although she did none of the work) so she demanded that I say she was the first person I talked to. She made me say it twice for some reason (maybe someone was on speakerphone who needed confirmation?). Whatever, I couldn’t care less who got the commission. She told me that I was to contact her from now on about my account. Ok.

Today, I called her asking about the status because I hadn’t heard anything. She scolded me (again) for talking to the other salesperson. I explained that I did that because she hadn’t returned my voice mail or email. She claimed she did. I am stupid, but I am pretty good at telephones and email and I didn’t get anything from her. But why is she berating me again? Why is she berating me at all?! I’m just a customer calling to find out the status of my account. I tried to avoid that issue and go on to my real question but she kept coming back and even complained that I have a spam filter on my mail! She said it as if I’m blocking mail from her explicitly. I said “I’m sorry I have a spam filter on my mail, but…” and she interrupts me and says “Maybe that’s why you’re not getting my emails?!”. Maybe. But not really because I got her original one, just not anything after that. And that doesn’t explain the lack of phone calls either. Again I tried to just get my question answered and she retorted “No, if you want to talk to Amy, go talk to Amy about it”. So I did.

I told Amy about what happened and that, although I was told Sandra was my contact, I would prefer to deal with her instead. She was great. She answered my questions, got everything going immediately, got all the right tech people to answer my questions, etc. And then a few hours later I got a call from the “Regional Sales Manager for the West Coast” apologizing for the mess. They recovered with good Customer Service.

At 10am today I was ready to give up and find a different bandwidth provider. But just doing their job right and a small Customer Service gesture (an apology) was enough to fix even the worst of problems.

Got a few new CDs yesterday, so I’ll start reviewing them as I listen…

Franz Ferdinand: Sounds like 80s pop/alternative. Very catchy.

We saw Seabiscuit last night. Good movie and the history and story is interesting, but they could have been a little less forceful when they beat me over the head with the moral.

First Howard Dean advertises on Recipezaar, now we just realized that John Kerry is advertising. Bush has bajillions for his campaign, why isn’t he spending some of it on Recipezaar?! Or Nader? I’d like to complete the set.

The Articulate Case for Universal Health Care

hillary55.jpgI think Hillary Clinton would make a wonderful president or vice-president, and I simply do not understand why smart intelligent women (like my mother), who agree with Hillary’s position on every issue, despise her. As is usually the case with smart powerful women, the public would rather believe the hype that she is some lunatic bitch than actually listen to her. Anyways, the Senator from New York has written a terrific piece on the problems with our current health care system. She articulates the real business and economic reasons for changing the system, as well as looks at our changing health care needs. Consider: Automakers in the United States and Canada pay taxes to help finance public health care. But in the United States, automakers also pay about $1,300 per midsize car produced for private employee health insurance. Automakers in Canada come out ahead, according to recent news reports, even after paying higher taxes. At the same time, American companies are outsourcing jobs to countries where the price of labor does not include health coverage, which costs Americans jobs and puts pressure on employers who continue to cover their employees at home.

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