Wednesday, October 26, 2011

bad connection from Sky

I had reason to contact Sky about my broadband connection. When I eventually found a contact phone number on their website, the page gave me pop-up message:

 ... but when I typed into my browser I was redirected to this page:

... and on it I could find no trace of call pricing. I've got a feeling that the provision of call rates to 08 numbers is a legal requirement?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

fishing for a phishing link

I got an email in my inbox which - to me - was an obvious phishing attempt which purported to be from my Cahoot credit card account. So being the civic-minded kind of chap I am, I logged on to my Cahoot account to tell them about it. Now, many sites [eg eBay, PayPal] have an obvious 'report suspicious emails' link where you can forward such emails so that the company is aware of them and so take action to prevent them. Sure enough, when logging on to Cahoot [it is a Santander brand] the following was next to the log-on box:
However, when you get into the site there is no 'report phishing' link or email address. Indeed, the only email address on the site is complaints@santander [anyone else see the irony there?] - so I forwarded my phishing email to that address, asking that it be passed on to the right folk. I then got an immediate automated reply, which is standard practice, but take a look at part of that message:

Thanks for your e-mail.
 This is a receipt to let you know we've received your message, and we'll reply as soon as we can. 

Santander will never send you an e-mail asking you to click on a link, or to enter, reconfirm or change your security or card details. We will never ask you to tell us your passwords by e-mail or over the phone.
You can also help Santander by forwarding any Phishing email you receive to:

We can’t respond directly to any questions via this e-mail address, but all e-mails are processed, and urgent action is taken against Phishing sites identified.   

Is it stating the obvious to ask why that email address isn't on the main website? And how many people would have set out to forward the phishing email - but given up when such a contact email wasn't on the site? The cynic in me asks if Santander really want you to send them your phishing emails - or is it just poor website content management?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

would you like some snake oil with that sir?

My regular postman [person?] knows that my monthly box of contact lenses goes through my letter box, but when it arrived on his day off the temp guy took it back to the Post Office - leaving a card saying what he had done. So I went online and selected another day for it to be delivered [very efficient use of the web]. Sadly, it didn't turn up, so I completed the relevant 'missing parcel' form online. To cut this already boring story short, the box arrived eventually - but the following is the final email from the 'Escalated Customer Resolution Team' [escalated ... do they all arrive in the office on a moving staircase?]

 Dear Mr Charlesworth

Thank you for your further contact with Royal Mail.

May I offer my sincere apologies for the concern and inconvenience that this matter has caused.  I fully appreciate how important it is for our customers to have confidence in our ability to redeliver mail when requested and it is always disappointing when a customer expresses dissatisfaction with any aspect of our service.

On receipt of your email I contacted the Manager of your local Delivery Office asking for a report into this matter. 

I have been advised that the item had been located at callers' office in Mary Street for redelivery.  This I was advised was taking place on Saturday 1 October and I’m please to learn from your further email that the item has now been received. 

In closing, I would like to give you my assurance that we at Royal Mail are not complacent about such failures in our service, and we are constantly striving to ensure that you receive the level of service you have every right to expect. I hope your future dealings with us are of a more positive nature.

I trust you will be satisfied with my response.  However if you remain unhappy you can have your case reviewed by the Postal Review Panel.  The Panel will take a new look at your complaint and will provide you with a final response on behalf of Royal Mail.  They can be contacted by emailing:

or by writing to: FREEPOST Postal Review Panel.


**** *******
Escalated Customer Resolution Team

In my book [page 103], I say that website content should never be 'self-serving' - well this moves into being sycophantic. OK, I know this is in an email, but the same applies. As I suggest in the title of this entry,  this has the ring of a snake oil salesman about it.  A simply; 'sorry, we got it wrong but it out sorted it out in the end' would have meant much more to me. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple: stylish in memorial

Can't say I'm a fan of Apple - but I can appreciate that its products have changed things a lot [with a lot of help from some world-class marketing]. One thing Apple has is style - and that is reflected in the home page on the day Steve Jobs died.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

no saving this subscription

Here's an online store I have spent a lot of money with over the years - but it is an example of getting your email promotion frequency wrong. I buy a pair of gloves once, maybe twice, a year - so do I need emails every week? No I don't. Which brings us to the subject of this entry to my blog: I decided to unsubscribe, but the 'unsubscribe' link is embedded in the image, and doesn't work [note in the image below, the arrow should have become a pointing finger to denote a link]. I'm pretty sure that in the UK at least, that is illegal.