really? honestly?

Big Chill fame at last…

I see one of my tweets has, allegedly, made it into a review of 2009 festivals. I think this is highly amusing. Context was the Thursday before the Big Chill – most people had dressed up as zombies for the filming of, erm, a zombie film. But not grumpy old me, oh no…



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89 tweets
following 2 people (including partner)

Celebrity who’s not got it yet


4309 tweets
following 48993 people

Celebrity who has, and whose Twitter persona is starting to take over


499 tweets
following 69083 people

I have absolutely no idea how this happens, but it’s always allegedly something about online marketing. Serious patience I guess.


7098 tweets
following 50 people

Tends to arrogance. Keeps circle of interactivity nice and exclusive. Probably a journalist.


1 follower
3 tweets
following 6 people

Normal person


34980 tweets
following 1214 people



118 tweets
following 1715 people

Britney Bot


48402 tweets
following 300 people
no avatar

Hi Robert

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Dead as #Adodo

This is the full, unedited, untweaked, unadjusted email I just received from Dell in what seems like the last act of the #Adamo saga. It’s so good I thought you’d enjoy it too. This is a blog, not a whinge site, but I’ve always featured customer service issues that strike me as noteworthy. I just happen to have had a couple of my own in recent days.

For a short time at least I was getting personalised, helpful, and well-crafted communications from Dell. Then, four days after the (unmarked) expiry of the expected date of delivery I’d been given, came this:


Dear Customer,

Your Dell order [24443227] has been cancelled

Because of a problem with the combination of components we cannot complete the order.

Please contact your sales person to place a new order or to arrange a refund.




Short and sweet. Awesome, no? “The combination of components” – an interesting translation of “a completely standard laptop”.

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When customer service is nearly, almost, adequate…

Lost iPhone. But good old O2 were very quick off their blocks to send me this email:

Good Evening Paul [Nice touch – quirkily homespun and personal]

I’m sorry that your iPhone is lost. I can understand this must be upsetting for you. [ I’m buying it so far]

Paul, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve place [hmm. typo. but don’t arf make it look human] a restriction on your mobile phone and SIM card to prevent it from being misused.

I’ve also ordered a new free of charge SIM card for you and this’ll be sent through first class post. You’ll receive it within 1 to 5 days. Please note that your mobile number too will remain the same.

I see that you’ve insurance on your phone. I’ve validated your details [ooh – I LIKE THAT!] and passed them to O2 Insure who will process your insurance claim. O2 Insure will phone you in the next 24 hours and if they’re unable to speak to you they’ll either leave a voicemail message or send a letter asking you to call them to discuss your claim.

You should be ready with the following details: [and here follow 9 simple fields of inforamtion, all but one pre-populated from information they already hold. This is going to be eeeeasy!]

Please allow 24 hours before you contact either O2 Insure or Customer Service, as your details may not be registered on their systems [hey? – so what was that ‘validation’ all about then?]. Our Insurance team will be able to tell you when you’ll receive your replacement iPhone 3G S.

You can also call our Insurance team on 08706 003 009.

Wow. It sounds alright this, doesn’t it? An out of hours call late on a Saturday, responded to on a Sunday by what appears to be a hooman using email. I’m impressed. Expectations initially low, but being seriously exceeded here. Being not quite sure how they intend to call me given my circumstances, I call them.

Oh. Dear. This is where all the #fails start. But I’m putting it up here to illustrate just how much worse a customer experience can be when expectations rise and fall suddenly, and where there is absolutely no coherence to channel strategy whatsoever.

Number rings for ages… And is the general O2 enquiry number. No options mention insurance, or even loss. Next level down, the iPhone stuff, same story. Taking every “or press x for any other reason” gets me eventually to a Person. The Person is helpful, but not the right Person. More People follow, each preceded by a few minutes of jingle-jangle. Let’s just roll forwards to the 23rd minute: this Person finally admits that no claim exists anywhere. It’s all got to be created. By me. Using a form. A form which will arrive by email within 24 hours. I mentioned the email, which already had all the information. No sir, sorry, that’s not how it works.

So the email’s arrived. With a Word attachment. To be completed and posted back. Or faxed. Seriously. I reply to the email, observing that all our interests are served (and probably our security improved a little bit) by doing this stuff online, or by email or whatever.

No reply. Game over.

What an utter lash-up of a customer service process. Aren’t you embarrassed by this O2? Don’t you see how it might just look like you have total contempt for your customers?

Are you doing anything to improve this? Hire me – I’ll sort it for you.


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