14 posts • joined Thursday 27th November 2008 18:46 GMT
Unfortunately the front line support with TalkTalk is poor quality. If your broadband stops working at 10pm you have to wait until the following day to lodge the complaint. Then go through someone who wants to RTFM before escalating to someone else. 7 days later and after a 4th level of escalation you get to deal with someone that understands how to fix things and it's back up and running in a jiffy.
The really despicable side to TalkTalk is the veiled threats about it being your fault and the £125 charge if it is. However if your broadband is working fine and then at the stroke of midnight it goes awol then it's a fair bet it's their network doing something wrong.
I now deal with my (frequent) broadband outages by using a Mifi unit on PAYG. £2 a day is not a big deal if you want to keep working. Use it at least once every six months to keep the sim active. TalkTalk's service level encourage mes to use it more often than I'd like.
MYOB Data File Activation - The UK/AU connection
Meanwhile, back in the UK, the MYOB customers which were granted a perpetual licence to use their MYOB software are facing being locked out of their account data files in the new year.
The original documentation for UK MYOB software states that it is the Australian MYOB company that grants the licence to use the software and have data files activated, through it's UK agents.
Mamut purchased the customer list but not the software. They have been touting 'upgrades' for £29 with an annual contract of £108, as a way of continuing to use the MYOB software. They cite the Australian MYOB company as withdrawing the activation service for data files. The Australian MYOB company won't talk to UK customers because they 'sold' the customer territory to Mamut. This puts owners in limbo.
UK MYOB software owners face an annual bill for over £100 just to carry on using the same software they have already paid for.... if you have paid for software that didn't contain any time limitation on it's usage you would expect to be able to continue to use it, or at the very least be able to patch it to remove the activation requirement if the vendor wants to stop that service.
There is no technical obstacle to continuing the activation service, as they have done so for several years already, since selling the UK arm to Mamut.
If you are a UK MYOB software owner have a look at your documentation with your manual. It clearly states the Australian MYOB company, still trading at the same address, is the company granting you the licence.
MYOB and Mamut
Let's hope that Sage can reverse Mamut's intentions to force the UK customer base into taking out unwanted support contracts with them.
MYOB users have a licence granted to them by the Australian MYOB company to have their data files validated by one of their local agents. This enables them to continue to use the software they have paid for... if the validation isn't carried out the data file (i.e. the company accounts) goes into read-only mode.
MYOB UK offered upgrades as recent as March 2008. The company was then sold to Mamut. Without consultation or notification Mamut recently announced the unilateral decision to end the file verification that the software is dependent upon, even though this is a system they took over and continued to operate. There's not technical reason why verification cannot continue.
The decision to stop this service without any recourse to alternatives, such as software patch, a small service fee to cover costs, or handing over to another provider is purely based on their desire to convert the UK customer base into hard cash. The annual fee is around £100. There are estimated to be 20,000 MYOB users in the UK. They stand to gain £2m.
However the software licence for the UK product clearly states that the Australian MYOB company is the one that is granting the licence to use the product together with the required activation of data files. This means that despite the confusion caused by Mamut in the UK market the Australian MYOB company is still involved in the debacle.
Can I downgrade my my TV licence to a cheaper package now please.
Spot the Difference
"This snafu is brought to you by the letter A and the number 533"
"Mail to the affected addresses was bounced with a 553"
Typeface and Kerning
11pt Univers Ultra-Condensed with heavy-handed negative kerning and reduced inter-word spacing should do the trick. Maybe a sub-editor could go through it to remove superfluous words, use alternative shorter words and make liberal use of abbreviations.
I'm Feeling Not So Lucky
When I use the auto-suggest answers I usually type a few letters, scroll down the list and then use right-arrow to select the item off the menu, then click search. However this process now takes me directly to the first search result, meaning I don't see the results and I'm less likely to view any related ads. Apart from adversely affecting ad impressions I think this places greater emphasis on initial keyword advertising and organic 1st position ranking.
Pause for web stats
Part of the slow page loading seems to be attributable to a lack of response from http://statse.webtrendslive.com/
Would it kill them to disable the web stats lookups when technical issues arise?
At least the BBC have a slimmed down version of their page for BBC News when traffic levels spike... Barclays ought to consider a slimmed down version for basic functionality in times like these.
Hmmm, MetaCrawler... where the top search results are scraped adverts from Google and the 'submit your site' link (on tools and tips page) takes you to an advertising agency site with an invalid security certificate. Looks like they prefer to monetise their traffic than serve up something useful.
Clusty (http://clusty.com/) aggregates search engine results too but at least it differentiates their adverts. Unlike MetaCrawler it also allows you to refine your query by looking at clusters, so for example you can search for Concorde and it groups up the results into "hotel", "aircraft", "placename" and "car".
CrashPlan (www.crashplan.com) offers automatic online backup. It's free for personal use, and you can backup to a drive on another computer (Mac or PC) and that could either be on your local network or attached to a friend's computer over the Net. If you need to do a restore you can even take your friend's drive and plug it in to your computer to speed things up (saves waiting for Internet speed download of your entire drive). They also offer an inexpensive central storage subscription (cheaper than BT, with greater capacities). If you are paranoid you can back up to multiple destinations. The installation is a doddle and you can easily check/uncheck folders to backup, and control bandwidth/server usage.
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