Archives for : July2012

Communications Catastrophe

Technology can be a wonderful thing.  It makes our lives easier, washing machines, dishwashers, mobile phones, internet banking.  They’re fantastic things to have in our lives but only when they work.

This afternoon I tried to log in to internet banking.  After typing in a sixteen digit card number, an eight and another five digit passwords I was greeted with this message:




I tried the above a few times in case it was an internet glitch.  I tried it on the home broadband and on my mobile phone.  Neither worked.

Tonight I’ve tried to register for text/email alerts with my bank.  I’ve seen other banks use the service for some time and the feedback from the customers I’ve spoken to has been very positive.  I updated my details with my bank when I last moved house, something that appears only to have been successful with their marketing department as only their junk mail was reaching me.

I’ve now learned that the phone number I supplied them with 1½ years ago hasn’t been updated and after the fiasco with their insurance department (which is still unresolved) I’ve done it myself and updated it online.

So, now they have my new details but when it comes to signing up to the service it appears they’re unwilling to implement them properly.  My new email address is showing but despite going through the update process twice tonight, and a screen showing confirmation, they still show an old phone number on the alerts sign-up screen.  

Perhaps their computer’s reluctance to update details is why their communication is so appalling and why customers end up paying hundreds of pounds unnecessarily?

No doubt they’ll offer an excuse along the lines of a digital service which gives instant confirmation (on some screens) requiring 24 hours to update.  After over 14 years with Santander/Abbey National I’ve heard most of their excuses.  This time could be different, I’m not sure they can blame someone else this time.

Rotten Apple

Every now and then I get thinking about something.  Recently I was asked my advice on an iPhone, something which I’ve tried very hard to avoid.  I don’t like Apple, I’ve heard too many people complain about their upgrades, I think they’re vastly overpriced and the way fanatic people become so angry the moment you dare to criticise the provider of their shiny new gadget abhors me.  There’s a comment online about how “Apple fans blindly following anything white and therefore should be considered sheep” that struck a chord with me.

Tablets, for example, weren’t invented by Apple yet the sheep community refuse to acknowledge it.  I get the impression they stay awake at night chanting “Apple is god, Apple is good”.

Steve Jobs openly admitted that they steal ideas.  Fair enough, he was man enough to admit it.  What gets me is that when somebody else does the same, Apple throw a patent on an idea that isn’t theirs and take them to court.  I wonder how Apple would feel if others did the same?  How would Apple feel if Microsoft, Palm etc. took them to court for stealing their original ideas?  What is it going to take for companies like Apple to play fair?

What would happen if Google decided to pay Apple’s patents, but charged each user for the use of Google products?  How many iPod, iPhone, iPad, iMac (iWanttobesick) users regularly use Google search, Google Mail, Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google+, Google Drive, or YouTube?  What if each user was charged a penny for each search, email, map, calendar entry, share on G+, file uploaded or video viewed?  What if Apple was charged the same?  How long before Apple stop getting patents for stolen ideas and fining third parties for usage?

I think Apple should give the patents to the people who thought up the ideas and play fair before other companies start reciprocating.