Four frustrations and a good read

This has been a frustrating week in some ways. A number of things have gone wrong, none of them particularly serious, but all needing time, energy and patience to deal with.

When my new phone arrived on Tuesday, that should have been the start of a few happy days while I got the phone set up and enjoyed the novelty. However, it didn’t quite work out that way. First, as I explained in an earlier post, I wasted a lot of time trying and failing to set up the email until I got onto Orange Customer Services about the problem and they referred me to the special Blackberry-Orange joint set-up page. Why had nobody mentioned this to me or why had no literature explaining this been included with the phone?

The next problem concerned the £50 top-up I paid for when I ordered the phone online. I was encouraged to do this because in exchange, I got £20 off the price of the phone. Having registered the phone and set up my account, I looked for the credit but it wasn’t there. I knew the money had been taken because my credit card company had told me so. So where was it?

Several phone calls to Customer Services later (each costing 25p), the situation turned out as follows. I had been told I could register the phone with my pre-existing SIM instead of the SIM that came in the box with the phone but that was bad advice. It caused all manner of confusions. In the end, a CS operative slightly more on the ball than the rest discovered that my £50 was on the unused SIM and would have to be transferred. He drafted a note to Billing & Accounts asking that this be done. He told me it would happen (presumably electronically) within 5 days and if it didn’t, they would effect the transfer manually.

I waited patiently for 5 days and no credit appeared. I rang again today and had to explain everything all over again, quoting purchase transaction numbers, telephone numbers, etc. Eventually, it was discovered that the £50 was still on the unused SIM and no one had done anything about it. I had patiently waited for 5 days while they did nothing.

Finally, today, after a week of phone calls and frustrations, the credit was transferred “manually” and now appears in my account.

The next problem concerns my online bank account. I have had this for many years and never had the slightest problem logging in. I am very careful about recording usernames and passwords and about typing them in correctly. On Saturday night, I went to log in, and the login failed. Each time I tried, I saw a message telling me that my username or password was incorrect. I knew they were correct. After numerous tries I gave up and looked for the function to get a new password.

I found the instructions but after wasting some time trying to do what they said, I realized they were incorrect or perhaps out of date. I had to apply for an online banking account all over again from scratch and must now wait up to 5 working days to be issued with a new username and password and the little machine that generates a pass-key when you want to transfer money. In the meantime, I cannot access my account, of course. Because of the postal strikes, the wait is likely to be rather longer than 5 days too.

For the fourth problem, we are back to the phone. I had bought and installed the software called DocumentsToGo which provides documents, spreadsheets and presentations compatible with Microsoft’s well known trio of office applications. They work very well. Last night, however, as I tried to access the software, an unexpected message came up (it turned out to be a notice of a free update) and I must somehow have hit the wrong keys because I found myself locked out of the programs and my files.

The only possible way forward was to contact Data Viz support. I finally managed to find a way through the protective fences they put up to prevent the public actually getting in touch with them and left a support request.

To give them credit, an exchange of messages has taken place today, with them giving me a series of instructions on what to do next. Unfortunately, none of these have so far produced the desired result. The software, which had become invisible, is now visible again but every time I try to start it I get an error message instead of the application.

I suppose we will get it working again eventually, but this all takes time and patience – as well as depriving me of the use of a facility I have paid for – and generates a lot of frustration.

None of these problems is really serious. In fact, you could say they are inconveniences rather than real problems but the fact that you have to spend time on them keeps them in the forefront of your mind, so you can’t just forget them until they sort themselves out.

Now let’s turn to pleasanter thoughts. In another post, I mentioned Martin Lukes, the invention of Financial Times correspondent Lucy Kellaway, whose column on the said marketing director used to entertain us greatly. So good is her creation, that Martin Lukes is now famous in the business world and often talked about and reported on as though he is a real person – a rare accolade for a work of fiction.

The author collected the Martin Lukes columns into a book and edited it to read smoothly as a complete story. It is entitled Who Moved my Blackberry and has received critical acclaim. I bought a copy the other day – yes, I who always say I never read fiction – and am reading it with pleasure despite being familiar with the hero and his antics. It is all told through the medium of emails (and the occasional text message) but despite this, quite subtle nuances of character emerge and Lucy Kellaway knows exactly which events to describe in full and which to allude to indirectly in order to create maximum comic impact.

The book is already a classic and I think most people would enjoy reading it, especially if they have any experience of big companies, in which case the world of a-b glôbäl (sic) must seem horribly familiar.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Four frustrations and a good read

  1. Brian says:

    When the Lukes book was first published here in Australia I went to a large book shop nearby to purchase a copy but couldn’t find it on the shelf which rather surprised me. When I sought the assistance of the sales assistant she was also surprised as her computer told her there were multiple copies in stock. Being brighter than me (or knowing her colleagues well) she moved further along the shelf to find the copies placed under Lukes rather the Kellaway.

    For some weeks after that I popped into book shops just to see how the book was shelved. It was surprising how often I found it shelved under the protagonist rather than the author. In hindsight it occurs to me that I should also have looked under non-fiction, perhaps memoirs or business history.

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