Upgrading your Sprint phone? Try Amazon first.

TahoIt was time to upgrade my phone.  I did a lot of research, went to the Spring store and looked at the unit.  They wanted $148 (of which I would receive in 4-6 weeks a $50 gift card).  I then go to wireless.amazon.com and the identifical phone is $30.   Why?  Even after the Sprint store rebate, the phone was $20 cheaper and Amazon does not charge $36 for activation and $12 for overnight shipping.

And finally, Amazon didn't stick me with an $8 / month "insurance" policy like the Sprint store does (without your permission).


Are 800 numbers necessary?

We've had a personal 800 number since the mid 90's.  It made sense when everyone had to pay by the minute for long distance.  Now, no one pays extra for long distance. 

As a business, I prefer calling a real area code rather than an 800 number.  The only time it makes sense is if it is really easy to remember the last 7 digits.

Lendio: Take Your Money and Run

Raising money is one of the joys of being a CEO.  Several months ago I decided to apply for an SBA loan.  Rather than go to each bank separately, Lendio could handle it all for you.  

So I put in a request.  For the next two weeks I got bombarded with calls and emails from Lendio to get a subscription.  So I did.

Filed two requests.  Lendio took my money, dinged checked my credit score and then.


I could not followup because they didn't give me the banks contact information.  Support calls and emails unanswered.  I finally got one of the sales people and they said they'ld take care of it.  So they cancelled my subscription and deleted all my information.  (Yes I even wrote Brock Blake the CEO but he wouldn't respond)

Maybe they're doing better now.  I sure hope so.

Target.com dumps Amazon, loses customer orders thanks to SapientNitro

I unfortunately bought something from Target.com earlier this week.  They switched over from Amazon to their own website.   I had a problem with the order, even have the packing slip (which I showed them), and no one at the store or in customer service can find the order number or my order.

Now that's customer service.  SapientNitro did a bang up job on this project.

Press Release Here.

Goodbye IPower, hello TMDHosting

I've been with iPower for a very long time for hosting my website and email servers.  But I keep having problems with the web site and email servers.  When I contact customer support asking if there is a problem, they ask me for gobs of information I don't have and then close out my support ticket.  Over and over.

Never have this problem with TMDHosting.  They actual read my support ticket, think about it and give me a thoughtful answer.  So I'm starting the slow process of moving all my web sites and server off of iPower. <sigh>.

Customer retention is a big deal.  I wish people would care more about my business.

Comcast / XFinity is Down Again: The Value of Redundancy

I have two or three of everything.  Just in case something goes wrong.  Like today.

As of 9:00 this morning Comcast disappeared.  So did my Internet and my VoiP phone.  Not a problem.  My business number is a Google Voice number that also rings my cell phone.  Phone service?  Check.  I also have a MiFi card.  Internet? Check.  (I also have a land line phone which lost long distance only once when a fiber cable was cut 10 years ago).

Just in case I have a backup netbook computer, gmail pulls all my company mail because sometimes the email hosting goes off line and 2 SMTP outgoing mail connections.

It doesn't cost much (if any) money and on a day like today, I'm glad I did.

Oh, I called Comcast and they know they have a problem, but no idea when it will be fixed.  Typical Comcast (or should I say XFinity?)



JP Morgan Chase Waits 4 days to report data breach

Epsilon does email spam marketing for many of the largest companies out there.  And they lost a lot of email addresses of those companies last week.  (they had a release about it last week but I can't find it now).  First thing Friday morning I got an email from Kroger:

Kroger wants you to know that the data base with our customers' names and email addresses has been breached by someone outside of the company. This data base contains the names and email addresses of customers who voluntarily provided their names and email addresses to Kroger....

Is Chase that responsive because they are a financial institution?  No, they wait over the weekend and sent this Monday morning:

Chase is letting our customers know that we have been informed by Epsilon, a vendor we use to send e-mails, that an unauthorized person outside Epsilon accessed files that included e-mail addresses of some Chase customers. We have a team at Epsilon investigating and we are confident that the information that was retrieved included some Chase customer e-mail addresses....

Did you notice that Kroger took full responsibility for the problem while Chase blamed it on someone else?


Thinking about ditching Comcast

I like analogue on coax.  With splitters you can hook up several sets all over the place.  But Comcast has now decided to ditch analogue for digital (except for stations under 25).  So they want to charge me money for receivers for every set.   

I'm researching the idea of doing what the hotels do and getting a satellite system, disconnecting the external Comcast feed and using the existing wiring.

If anyone has some insight on this, it would be appreciated.

Day 5, iTunes still broken

Last Wednesday I received an iTunes gift of a game.  Just click on the link and away you go.  

Not this time.   iTunes tossed out a 5002 error and I got no further.   So I spent an hour reading through the support documentation and trying everything they recommended.  Finally threw in the towel and called support.

Here's the good news.  A real person talks to you.   After spending 45 minutes on the phone got escalated.  After 20 minutes on the phone with Don, got escalated again.  Still waiting for resolution.

I'm still scratching my head as to why they just didn't give me a new code for the game.

Stay tuned.

Update:  Day 10.  Apple still doesn't know how to fix the bug in iTunes.  Asked for a new code for the game and found out that wouldn't work until the bug is fixed.  If I was the game maker, I would not be amused that people pay for their game and cannot use it.