Category Archives: Organizations

Customer Service as an Oxymoron

Six years ago, I blogged about the UK’s National Savings and Investment organisation: The UK’s National Savings and Investments organisation – those lovely people who run the Premium Bonds – have finally woken up to the fact that it is … Continue reading

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Will Microsoft Ever Learn?

This is an old cartoon showing the organisation chart of Microsoft and its warring fiefdoms. It was certainly true back in the day when I had business contacts with Microsoft on behalf of my employer. And it would seem that … Continue reading

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Stumbling at the Finishing Line

Time for yet another instalment in the long-running saga of trying to get broadband internet available in our area. Our story began five years ago when I described the connection to the internet as being like a piece of wet … Continue reading

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NS Newspeak

The NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) is the Dutch national passenger rail company. I have an annual subscription that entitles me to 40% discount on train fares, and up to six days free travel (keuzedagen) on the entire Dutch rail network. These … Continue reading

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Nothing Can Go Wrong… Go Wrong… Go Wrong…

Part of my working life was spent in the UK, before I moved to the Netherlands. This means that a portion of my State Pension is sourced by the UK government. Today I received a letter from the UK’s Pension … Continue reading

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The Internet Apologizes…

… that’s the title of a sobering article on what has gone wrong with the internet. Well worth reading. The apology is necessary, but it’s too damn late – the damage is done. I’m not sure how it will ever … Continue reading

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You Are the Product

That’s the title of an article about Facebook by John Lanchester. Published back in August 2017, it is eerily prescient about the shit that has now hit Facebook’s fan. It’s a long article, but definitely worth a read. As Lanchester … Continue reading

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And Microsoft Does It Yet Again…

Oh dear, regular as clockwork, Microsoft opens its mouth to change feet, and creates another PR fiasco for itself. A year ago, Microsoft announced that it would deliver unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 subscribers: Today, storage limits just became … Continue reading

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How Not to Delight a Customer

According to an article in Forbes, delighting the customer is not just profitable, but hugely profitable. It’s a win-win situation, both for the companies who pursue ways to delight the customer, and for the customers themselves. I’ve just been on … Continue reading

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“Technology standardization is commercial diplomacy”

Paul Ford has a very good article in the New Yorker on the cut and thrust involved in the making of standards, in particular, the making of Web Standards.  My post’s title is a direct quote from Stephen Walli, who … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, IT Architecture, Organizations | 2 Comments

British Bureaucracy Strikes Again

A few days after I wrote about my brush with British Bureaucracy, it’s happened again. This time it’s with the UK’s Passport Office. My UK passport is due for renewal. The last time I did this, I just trotted along … Continue reading

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British Bureaucracy At Its Finest

The UK’s National Savings and Investments organisation – those lovely people who run the Premium Bonds – have finally woken up to the fact that it is now the 21st Century. For years, they would only do electronic transfers of … Continue reading

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My Head Hurts

The saga of trying to get Microsoft’s Customer Support to fix an issue with Martin’s Microsoft Account rolls on. It’s been over three weeks now, and it still hasn’t got sorted. It’s not helped by the fact that the “Advocacy … Continue reading

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The Bankers Do It Again

There’s a small village, Bredevoort, that lies about 7 kilometres distant from us. It’s a pretty little village of about 1,500 inhabitants, and it also has a disproportionate number of antiquarian bookshops in it. That’s because, since 1993, it has … Continue reading

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Queen Abdicates

Stop Press: the Queen is abdicating in favour of her middle-aged son. Nope, this is not Betty handing over the reins of the monarchy to Charlie (god forbid); it’s Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands handing the reins over to Prince … Continue reading

Posted in News and politics, Organizations, Society | 4 Comments

A Sudden Departure

Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming… Steven Sinofsky, the head of the Windows division, has left Microsoft, and the question that everyone is asking is: “did he fall, or was he pushed?” There’s clearly an inside story here, and … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Organizations | 4 Comments

False Positive?

I received an SMS message from my bank this morning telling me that my bank pass had been blocked because it had been skimmed. This I find very strange, because I have only used it twice in the last ten … Continue reading

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Dissecting Windows

As we rush towards the release of Windows 8 later this week, the number of articles in the tech (and mainstream) press on Windows 8 is increasing. Most of them are instantly forgettable, but in amongst the pap and dross … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Organizations | 2 Comments

Forget Burglars, Shoot a Banker…

That’s Craig Murray’s modest proposal. Truth to tell, looking at the behaviour of the banking industry over the past few years, it has a certain ring to it…

Posted in Organizations, Society | 2 Comments

At Long Last – A Result!

You may recall that I’ve been trying for some time to get Microsoft to correct some false data that they’ve been holding on me. My Microsoft account for their online stores (the Zune/Xbox Live/Windows Phone service account) states that I live … Continue reading

Posted in Computers and Internet, Organizations | 42 Comments