Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Open letter to Plaxo

The great things with blogs is to be able to post anything. Like rants about customer service or else.

In this case, here's an open letter to Plaxo, a service I thought was very useful.

Guys, about the fact your Outlook connector will now be a pay service....

I believe this is a strategic mistake, just wanted to post my thoughts.

I started to use Plaxo years ago as a way to back-up and synch my contacts and calendars. Worked pretty well so far, allowed me to move job without loosing my electronic brain -despite some (severe) technical glitches (with the Yahoo! and Gmail contacts synch).

You then introduced "social" features and many of my contacts now refuse to update their details because of privacy concerns and also as they don't see the point signing onto another service. The Plaxo Pulse has thus reduced the value of your mainstay service. That's bad.

Now, with making the Outlook synch a paying service, I can see that the user base will shrink massively as people won't synch their address books anymore and see even less point in updating their own details. That's worse.

While I understand nothing can remain free forever, I believe that you're making a strategic mistake.



Friday, July 17, 2009

My do Barclays offer Oyster on a Barclaycard if they can't manage both seamlessly?


I've got a Barclaycard. It used to be Gold (no idea what it add to the standard, but it's a bit cooler).
Used to be, because I had the idea to try the new Barclaycard with an Oyster card on it -probably so that both the government Big Brother and the Barclays Little Brother (or is it the other way around) has the possibility to always know where I am on the underground network.

The least I can say is that the customer experience isn't very seamless.

First, you have to give up your gold card and reapply for a new Barclaycard -which they don't make in any other metal than standard plastic. Since I never really saw the benefits of the Barclaycard Gold, it did not bother me but it's daft from a marketing standpoint (why create product tiers if you can't carry them across your portfolio?).

More annoyingly, you have to reapply for a direct debit, send the form, etc... They can't do it for you, nor have they the intelligence to pre-fill the form you send them. #fail, as I tweeted today.

Then, if you loose your card and get a replacement, they're not smart enough to relink the Oyster and the Barclaycard. They probably call it a daftcard?

So, when that lady (or whatever gender is that made up name meant to confer) sent me an email with the following question, here was my reponse:

Aderemi Ademola
Aderemi Ademola
Oyster Customer Services Manager

"We hope you are satisfied with the level of service you have received."

Quite frankly? No.

I've got my Oyster on my Barclaycard -it's the same card! Why do I have to deal with all that then?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A commuter's week...

This week, I'm wondering why we have to make do with third world infrastructures? Of course, we should have adequate sewage systems. Of course, we should not have level crossings in densely populated areas.

Monday: storm causes sewer discharge in Thames -900 thousand tonnes it seems.

Tuesday: the BCC pushes a reoport saying Heathrow must be expanded to add £30b to the economy. For me, I'm very sceptical of those hair raising figures pushed by the aviation lobby: "John Stewart, chairman of campaign group Hacan, argued that the report contradicted previous findings, saying the Government’s own figures suggested the benefits to the economy would be £5bn over 70 years."

Nothing about the indirect costs of course, no mention of alternatives such as shutting down 2, 3 or 4 airports around London to move them in the Estuary or developping high speed trains.

See my other posts on LHR Expansion.

The scene at the level crossing last weekWednesday: train delayed because of incident at the White Hart Lane level crossing. Just like the one reported here:
Sheen Lane crossing most misused in Britain (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)

While I'm on about the level crossing, we may eventually get a level crossing in North Sheen -I've been campaigning for years and lobbying MP Susan Kramer. Not before 2010 it seems though....

In the meantime, schoolchildren will probably continue to jump it.

Still on about level crossings, our MP's met with Network rail, but with little results it seems.

See my previous posts on the level crossings.

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