While there is an attempt in the world to standardize practices and procedures, making them seamless among different cultures, companies and countries, the opposing forces of marketing calls upon changing things, including procedures and practices, and making them seem different all the time.
Where this will get us, I do not know.
Being positive is much more than uttering positive, pre-fabricated mantras over and over. It requires action.
Gratuitous aggressiveness (or passive aggressiveness) is not a positive thing, and people that practice it wantomly are anything but positive, regardless of their arsenal of do-gooder slogans and positions.
Now, every single day the Internet password and user names are malfunctioning. I have to go through the whole nine yards, and change it, as if I had nothing else to do with my time.
So much for big business.
As a service provider to my clients, I have to be perfect and fast. Yet, they are very creative when interpreting my payment terms, and become very relaxed when pulling the checkbook to pay me.
On the other hand, the companies that provide services to me are slow, unresponsive and largely incompetent, in spite of the fact most are multinational companies with thousands of employees worldwide. The only time competence sets in in enforcing strict due date rules. Suddenly, they become pantheons of competence.
Something is wrong with this equation.
Back in the non-information age, reputable companies and institutions used to reply to correspondence, any type of correspondence, even if the answer was no. Funny that, in the age where information, mission statements, corporate citizenship and what not is so important, most companies do not bother to reply to posted letters. I guess the only thing that catches their attention is subpoenas.
There is one thing that bugs me about Facebook.
It seems easier to add people you never heard of, than people you actually know.
FB is based on the premise that you know email addresses of all current and old friends, it seems. If you find an old college friend or coworker from way back, if you don`t have the person`s email, FB tells you you are engaging in behavior that can be construed as harassing, and might result in cancellation of your account.
To say the least, I find that amusing. Isn't the whole point finding old friends and reestablishing connections?
Maybe there is a silly ISO standard that calls for this type of policy...
Register.com is a domain registration company that takes pride on its "number 1 customer service". It makes sure you know this in phone recordings and all over its site's front page, claiming high J.D. Power ratings, among other things.
Trouble is, Register.com is way off in the way it prices domain registration and how it provides services. The basic rate they charge is $35.00 a year, a bargain in 1997, but an outrageously high price nowadays. If you are paying more than $10 for an annual domain registration these days, you must have your head checked, unless there is a very good reason for it. For there is very little customer service you get in return for the excessive price in this case, you see.
I had such a reason, so don't write me off as a cuckoo yet. Unfortunately I had this old domain for a webstore I actively operated until about a year and a half ago. I still have the store on the net, but it is mostly empty. While I was operating the store I could not risk something going wrong with the domain, which had fairly high google rankings, so I did not transfer to a more sensibly priced company. How smart I was.
I did not give up on the domain, but thought this year was the time to get it out of register.com and start paying market prices. I don't know now, but when I signed up for the domain, at 35 bucks, you still got a large register.com advertising banner at the bottom. To get rid of the banner, AND SHOW my clients I had a secure website, I had to pay an additional 40 odd bucks - A YEAR. Yes, that is customer service for you!!
Since the store was making money, I just saw it as another nagging business expense. Now that it is dormant, I decided to shift to another company and wait on the future.
I followed the transfer procedure to the tee, as stated on the register.com site, according to the new registrar's information and according to the phone representative, wherefrom I got a transfer code. Yes, they do make it a tad difficult for you to remove your domain from there. But I persevered.
Much to my disgust, I just discovered that rather than pointing to my website, my domain, which is now registered in another registrar but still under my name (and the change shows in whois for anybody that cares), is pointing to a nice and dandy register.com page, laden with tons of advertising on the hottest item I sold on my webstore, Havaianas flipflops.
I sent an email, and there was no response. So I called.
Guess whose fault it was? Yes, mine. The representative, who turned rather nasty once I began probing with some very embarrassing questions, told me the reason why that "coming soon" page showed was because I did not change DNS information on the new registrar. I replied that no one at register.com, on the page, or verbally, told me I needed to do that, and that for a company that prides itself on customer service that is the least I would expect.
Then he had the nerve to tell me the new page it was pointing to, the "coming soon" page, had nothing to do with register.com!!! Yes siree, I am supposed to believe that the powers that be on the Internet must have created a page advertising register.com, and while at it, figure out what is it that I sold so somebody could make some money from my traffic... He simply would not answer why register.com's logo and name appeared on the upper right hand corner, and the name of the company appeared again, with disclosure notices, bottom center.
He also failed to explain to me who was getting revenue from the Havaianas ads that appeared in profusion on the "Coming soon page". After saying at first, matter-of-factly it was not register.com that profited from the digital pamphleteering, then he conceded he did not know.
I never got even an I am sorry, even when he was nice on the phone.
I was going to illustrate this page with a pdf of the register.com page that appeared with my domain. But guess what? the page cannot be pdf'ed, and it cannot be converted to jpeg, tiff, doc or text. IT CANNOT EVEN BE PRINTED, believe it or not.
But since I like to document my woes, here are at two pictures I took of the page at 1:51 P.M. of June 17, 2010, for all the world to see. One shows the whole page (the white spot is to obliterate the name of a sponsor), and the upper right hand corner shows my domain, brastudo.com, plus register.com's logo and phone number.
This is what should show http://www.brazilyellowpages.com/store
Shame on you, register.com
In the last few months, Chase lowered the credit limit on all credit cards my family had. Mind you, none of the were late. When it first happened, I was travelling to Europe, counting on the Chase credit card to pay for expenses. The credit line was reduced by 41%.
They did the same to my wife.
When I called, they said I should not feel bad or take it personally, they were doing this to EVERYBODY.
And I found out from lots of friends that was the case.
Then, about two months ago, my mailbox has been flooded with credit card offers from...Chase!
I simply do not get it.
They should adopt the slogan "We chase our customers away".
This Windows Mail is one piece of work.
It allows tons of crummy SPAM of all types in, yet, flags good messages, and sometimes does the disservice of putting them in trash. So rather than making my life easy, now I have to like in the Trash folder, to find my good messages.
If 1 million was deducted from BG's fortune for every Microsoft bug found he would be in the poor house by now...
The other day, I decided that one of my sites looked very dated (it was done on 1998 Front Page, I hate admit) so I decided to upgrade its look. I looked for the least expensive, yet legal alternative.
I found that through Fantastico, my provider offered a free web builder software, called Soholaunch. I looked into it, and found the sites nice looking enough, and tried the interface on one of my sites.
Then I changed three of my sites to the "free software".
Then, a few weeks later, I noticed a google ad bar showing up at the bottom of the sites. I was very upset to find it picked up on my competitors - in other words, I was spending tons of money getting people to enter my site, only for them to be diverted to competitor sites.
I contacted soholaunch and they told me this was a condition to use the free software. They claimed there was full disclaimer, which there wasn't, at least not on Fantastico's downloading facility. Much to my disgust, I found I had to pay the license to get rid of the ad bar.
I ended up signing up for a lifetime license for five websites. Four one them hosted by the hosting company that offered Fantastico, one of them by a company that didn't, ehost.
Then my travails started. First of all, getting soholaunch installed was a one week nightmare. I had to buy an additional database, at 2 bucks a month. And since I installed it, the site prepared with soholaunch never worked properly. It took anywhere from 20 to 21 seconds to load the home page, an unacceptable length of time in 2010 internet. Again, I was in trouble - paying top dollar to get people to see my site, only for them to give up on the long wait. People want immediate service, these days. 24-7.
I literally chatted with six or seven "specialists" from the hosting company. None of them solved my issue, and most of them either lied or "improvised", saying my site loaded within three seconds from their end. I asked a computer wizzard friend to do it from his end, it took 25 seconds...
The solution was redoing the site on the free web builder offered by the hosting company (free for 6 pages, btw).
In other words. If you load free soholaunch from Fantastico, get ready to have your competitors eventually showing up on your site, unless you dish out some dough.
And if you buy a multiple soholaunch license, be aware that it might work very well in hosting companies that offer Fantastico, not so otherwise.
Of course, the reasons for this are not discussed by any of the parties. There must be a reason, though.
Need say more?
It is unfortunate, but it so happens that one of my main direct competitors on the internet is a major google spammer, operating, at last count, something like 100 different sites that violate several google design parameters.
These violations supposedly would have been picked up by the alroghtm, a long time ago, and would result in delisting.
However, the myriad sites persevere unscathed. Adding insult to injury, google ranks them high for very speficic keywords.
If people were so selfish about their opinions as they are about their physical possessions, the world might be a better place. Most opinion sharing is unnecessary and egotistical, and have little to do with "sharing", more about showing "who is the man".
Microsoft's software is so full of bugs they should be called insectarium
Life, at times, can be like a rip tide. If you try to swim to get out of it, you lose your strength and may drown. The thing to do is let the tide take you back to shore.
Since I moved to Florida, I was quite aware that Liberty City is the most dangerous area in Miami, a place to be avoided at all costs.
Today, I had the curiosity of finding out where it is.
It just so happens that whenever I take I95, I take the NW 79th Street exit to come to Miami Beach, which is the Northern border of the so-called nice borough!!!
In other words, all it would take is one wrong turn there, and I would be in hell.
So much for ignorance.
It seems clear to me that Mercedes decided to hedge its bets on Michael Schumacher, creating a new challenger more suitable to the German's style, less prone to understeering. The result, at least initially, has been clear - Nico Rosberg struggled all race in Spain, and while Schumacher finished a lucky fourth, due to Lewis Hamilton's contretemps, he was never as competitive as Nico has been in races past.
So MB started the race with a driver in second place in the championship, and now it has drivers in 5th and 9th place.
If at the end of the day you completed at least one task you set out to do, the day has not been a waste. In spite of any and all other failures.
The problem with pathological liars is that they really believe they are more intelligent than anybody else, especially when they got a good run. Then, they get cocky. That is when they let their guard down, and get caught very easily
Sometimes I feel a little self conscious that I do not respond to a good number of queries sent to my website, which are unrelated to actual business transactions. In other words, people asking questions as if I were Ask.com.
Then again, I don't think I am doing that bad, considering the multibillion dollar, hugely staffed corporations barely ever respond to email or website queries... Even when it means business for them.
I just got information about a cell phone that is specialized for the legal profession. It is called ILEGAL! -- I suppose, iLegal, as in iPhone, etc...
Herbalife had a vitamin for men, years ago, called MALE FACTOR - malefactor, get it?
What are people thinking? Better yet, are they thinking?
Rock and roll is all about stage posturing - to a certain extent, so is current politics, and believe it or not, the internet...
First AT&T tells me one line I had disconnected, which still appeared on my phone bill, had been disconnected. Point blank.
Now I shift to the Uverse ATT service, and suddenly, the line arises from the ashes like a phoenix.
And AT&T "discovers" I owe 300 odd bucks on a line I have not had since 2006.
So much for my free 6 months worth of service.
Det boss man knows how to extract money from us regular folks.
If you have ATT as a phone company, and they try to sell you Uverse, offering all types of freebies --- bad idea.
They will keep on billing the old stuff, plus the new one, and the savings you are supposed to have, multiplied by four. Only they are not savings anymore, but additional bills...
I suppose if you did not have ATT to start with this might no be a problem...so much for being loyal to a company.
So, be warned. The barrage of bills and long lasting phone calls that go nowhere will be very unpleasing, to say the least. More on that story later.
Nowadays it is fashionable to talk about metrics in U.S. business. It is metrics this, metrics that. People don't even know what they are talking about, when they say metrics "we have to check the metrics", "the metrics is not favorable". And the country still has not gone metric...
When I put my number on the NO CALL list I thought I would never again get a telemarketing call. Well, they continue, alive and well. It does not help that I have remote call forwarding from old NY numbers, so whenever I dial 2, the removal option, I don`t know if I am removing the old or new number. Plus, I am likely paying a good buck for the unwanted call.
So I decided to have fun. if you cannot beat them, join them.
Now, when I get one of them computer dialed calls, and a live voice comes in, like "may I speak to the person that handles your phone bill", I say a pleasant, broadcasting quality Hello, emphasizing the "o". Then I go "if this is a telemarketing call, press 1", pause, then "if this is a telemarketing call, press 2". Pause. Then I continue, until the person hangs up, utterly frustrated.
I never heard any of them pressing 1 or 2.
I guess they don't trust the press 1 or 2, either.
I have no idea as to who reads this blog. I have another one, that has many followers, and gets tons of google search hits. This one, for some reason, gets visits, but google does not consider it too relevant. Who exactly are the visitors, I know not.
In a sense, it is a liberating experience. I can write as I please, without playing to an audience. I do not offend anybody, after all, it is not my nature, but I do not need to censure or gag order myself.
Free writing, if you will.
Not having a readership - or knowing what it is - has its advantages!
More people that I really know drop me from Facebook, than people I don't know.
I guess I am more interesting as a potential friend, an unknown quantity, than a real person.
Mind you, I am not a creepy guy, by a stretch.
On the other hand, a lot of the people that drop me are very young, which leads me to believe they are having kind of a double life. They might be afraid I will tell their parents about their multiple shenanigans...
I collect HO scale models these days. I am building a diorama on that scale, which includes a bus station.
Well, I kinda fell in love with a bus model made by Schuco, of a Mercedes Bus, model O302. Somehow, I don't think it is meant to be.
First I ordered from a site in England, modellenium.co.uk, that gave me the runaround. Months after I placed the order, I decided to cancel it. There was no plausible explanation from the site why I was not told they did not have the product when I ordered.
Then, I ordered from a place called Silvergate Distributors, in California, that called themselves THE Schuco distributor for the USA. After a couple of email exchanges, I gave up on this company. First they were very nice, saying I would be happy with the Schuco product, etc., then they told me they would be getting the models by a certain day, then the story changed, and the flip flopping continued. When I realized they were not reliable, I canceled the order.
Then I ordered from another site, in New Jersey. I will not give the name, for all intents and purposes I decided to keep the order, and don't want to expose them. But they did not act right either. I placed the order on March 20, wrote several emails, called, and never got a response. Today I actually managed to speak to the company owner (I suppose) who told me Silvergate was out of business (but their site, full of Schuco merchandise, is still pretty much on the air), and that there was no distributor in the USA for the time being. He failed to explain why his company did not answer the emails or phone call, or why in the world he placed dozens of Schuco items on this site, when he had no stock on any of them! In fact, the Schuco items are all there, today!
At any rate, the only site I got reliable Schuco HO supplies from is http://www.germanaircooled.com. Unfortunately, they do not have my beloved bus.
...against the international banking system
Create international air traffic havoc.
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Artigos de autoria de Carlos de Paula, tradutor, escritor e historiador de automobilismo baseado em Miami. Articles written by Carlos de Paula, translator, writer and auto racing historian based in Miami.
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