When customer service goes badly wrong

Ben Betts, “core” member of the HT2 E-learning company, has done what many of us either do or think about doing. On his company blog he had a rant about his water cooler company, Powwow water.

His experience with their “customer service” is appalling but Powwow have been, erm, reluctant to talk to him about it.

After a large number of comments to his post, he did hear from them. Or rather the companies lawyer. Nice.

Anyway, his response has been a master-class to us all – in particular bloggers such as myself – on how to defend yourself in this situation.

It’s not over and I’m sure there will be follow-ups. I just hope it goes well for Ben.


Curing cancer with your hands

Ahh, Watchdog. It’s good to have Anne back in a good, long show. Not sure about the results though – Rogue Traders forced messily into its schedule. And I won’t even begin on how condescending Anne was towards those PS3 owners… but I digest.

The highlight last night was the Rogue Traders spot. It targeted Adrian Pengelly, man who alleges that he can heal terminal cancer with his hands.

And, having read Ben Goldacre’s excellent book, Bad Science, I knew Matt Allwright was pointing out all the right things – the lack of clinical evidence and, in particular, that those saying they had been “healed” by Pengelly were also taking “traditional” treatments. It’s amazing how wrapped up his “patients” get in his mysticism, as they were seen defending him, saying that, yes, they had also had Chemotherapy, but it was his hands that had actually cured them. Amazing.

It was pointed out during the show that he was breaking the law by advertising his cancer healing abilities on his website, but I was disappointed that they didn’t pursue this further. I was going to check if this was still the case but his website appears to have disappeared.

Anyway, the Watchdog blog on the BBC site is a site to behold, as lots of angry Reiki Healers get very, very wound up. I won’t go through them all, but this is my personal favourite…

I think, your portrayl is utterly apauling, and as a Reiki Healer, I understand, that Spiritual Healing is not understood by people, who are shallow minded, and simply have no understanding, faith, or beleif.

So, nice one. If people don’t understand your particular brand of “alternative medicine” then they must be shallow minded. Good argument.

I hope, however, for the sake of their profession that most have a better grasp of English and, in particular, spelling, because otherwise it doesn’t say much for those Reiki Healers telling the rest of us how simple we are but struggle with a word such as “belief”.


Free WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

Hmmm. For those who remember my previous post about Digiarty Software contacting me for various software reviews, I’ve been contacted again.

Now, let me just state for the record that I welcome requests for reviews. The problem here is my bar for an acceptable quality level for those contacting me, stating to be a professional organisation. Having said that, they are now adding their contact details, including address, at the bottom of their emails which is a start.

Anyway, their new email. It gets off badly..

Thank you very much for reviewing on our Software.

I don’t think I have.

We are pleased to inform you that a good news.

Whatever made me think originally that they might be a foreign company?

The mysterious Sophia (mysterious because I don’t believe that is her name) goes on to tell me that one of their commercial products is available for free for the rest of the month. They then go on to provide me with a URL to use and tell me I can promote this on my site. Great. But then they finish with…

Please kindly let me know if you are interested in this offer. We would be more than happy to discuss with you further about this.

Oh. Ok. I have to tell them first? Or not. What do I need to discuss?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I can promote this. I’ve not reviewed the product, but there’s lot of “awards” for it on the page – just make sure you check them out first i.

So, here’s the details…

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is a professional DVD ripping software tool which could backup your DVD video to your personal PC or put into your portable devices. It offers fast ripping speed, stable ripping process and best video/audio quality.

Use this link to get it for free – no registration is required. The offer lasts until September 30th.

  1. I’m not singling out this company, you should obviously do this for any product[]

I'm turning to the dark side!

I’m no lover of Apple and I think I’ve made that clear before. None-the-less, I can’t escape the dominance that the iPod, in particular, has. Yes, you can buy other MP3 players, but just try buying an accessory. And it’s not a bad bit of kit – it’s really just Apple and the way that they cripple their products in the name of style or the kind of anti-competitive practise that regularly gets Microsoft into trouble (none-replaceable batteries, making it so that only iTunes will work with an iPod, etc).

Other than that non-replaceable battery, the rubbish headphones (easily resolved, that one!) and having to use iTunes, the iPod really isn’t at all bad. Damn it, even my TomTom will only work with an iPod.

Besides, my older daughter is approaching teenage and there’s bound to come a time when she wants one. Hell, my MP3 player recently broke and even I’ve considered it.

So, I’ve taken my first tentative steps towards it. I’ve installed and began to use iTunes <gulp>.

And, I have to say, it’s not as bad as I thought (I think I might have previously called it “terrible”!). When I installed it on my Netbook and it immediately picked up and started indexing from my wireless NAS drive, I was impressed i. I wish the iTunes store was available online, if only to peruse, rather than buy, so you don’t have to install iTunes – they might get a few more users that way, who go to peruse and then download when they see something they like.

I was aware that Frankie Boyle had a Podcast on iTunes containing unbroadcastable material he’d recorded during warm-ups for Mock the Week. I was even more surprised to find it was free!The iPod Nano Range That was a really nice find. In fact I was surprised to find free stuff on there at all – quite a revelation. I’ve even bought some iTunes top-up cards (they were on special offer at a particular retailer recently) – not that I’ve used them yet.

You never know, sometime in the future I might be offering a review of an iPod on here. God help us all!

Meantime, if you do want one, the recently announced new range of iPods is available at Dixons. Dixons also has a price matching policy with the usual big internet suppliers (Amazon, Play, eBuyer, etc) so it’s definitely worth checking out.

  1. although if anybody knows how to limit where it looks, I’d be interested, as my NAS drive is also used for backups and it’s been indexing multiple copies of music from that as well[]

A bargain Sony digital photo frame!

An HP digital photo frame that I bought last year from Dabs has recently broken. It’s backlight started flashing on and off – and what luck, it was doing this ONE DAY before the years warranty ran out!

Anyway, I contacted Dabs and they collected it and refunded my money. All credit to Dabs for excellent customer service.

So, the hunt was one for a replacement. I could, of course, go for the same one, but the backlight issue was a big disconcerting, so I thought I’d look out for something else. I’m not always a brand snob but when it comes to a product such as this I am. Digital photo frames are the kind of odd product that are rarely reviewed, so you often have to rely instead on blind buying and hoping.

I looked at the usual suspects –, ebuyer, etc – but they mainly rely on unbranded makes. Dabs, however, continued to impress with a good range that were of interest. And one really stuck out – a Sony wireless photo frame.

It was launched late last year with a flurry of good reviews (yes, there are some for this!). It has the usual array of memory slots, an excellent quality screen (although only 7″, but that’s the size of the HP one that I had before), wireless capability (including the ability to download photos from Picasa Web Albums – something I use for my online photos!), even a browser and the ability to scroll news feeds across the top of the photos. The only down point of this whole product was its buggy browser (which is odd, as it’s the Opera browser), but then this wasn’t a capability that I was particularly interested in. sell this photo frame for £230. Dabs have it for £84. Oh yes, that’s right. Just 84 of your finest English pounds. Both of those prices include VAT and P&P.

The reason is simple – it’s a discontinued line. Other retailers appear to be selling it cheap, it just appears that Play hasn’t caught up. None-the-less, considering this was the kind of price it was selling for when released less than a year ago, this is a truly excellent bargain.

It’s due sometime next week – once I have my mits on it, expect a thorough review.