Radio Shack are Spammers
I was in need of a power accessory for my car. Sure I could have gone anywhere, but to save me driving all over town, I decided to hit up my local Radio Shack store. They had the parts that I needed, a power adapter splitter and a USB power adapter, which I took up to the counter after ‘the manager’ helped me find them. He rang me up and asked for my phone number, which has been common practice at Radio Shack stores for a few years now.
Number given, somehow my customer information had mysteriously vanished from their system. Odd since I’ve been in that system for as long as I can remember. He asks for my name, again, my phone number, again, and my home address. I give him all of this, but then he asks for my email address. To which I say no.
Instantly he goes on the defensive.
I say no.
He continues his offensive.
I continue to say no.
He continues his offensive even more.
I interrupt him, rudely, and tell him in my dad voice No.
Which makes him almost cry. So, against my better judgement, I let him continue with his bullshit reason for needing my email address. He swore to me, crossed his heart and hoped to die to me, that he left the ‘checkbox’ unchecked that should keep me off the ‘please send me Radio Shack Spam’ list.
He lied. Not even 24 hours after I made my purchase did I get my first ‘welcome to the club’ email from Radio Shack. I was not happy, as you can imagine. Do I decided to let them know about it via the very well hidden email form. And this blog post. And the above Twitter post.
Remember gang, no means no.
Do what you can to avoid Radio Shack at all costs. They are rude. They are unprofessional. They aren’t terribly knowledgeable about anything on their shelves beyond what’s written on the packaging and I’m pretty sure that when their employees aren’t on the phone with their friends while on duty, that they are in the back doing unspeakable things to kittens and old people.
Well, maybe not that last part. But don’t shop with them. Really. But if you do, give them an enemy’s email address. Trust me on that, you’ll be glad you did.
The Problem with GoDaddy
Oh boy is the internet pissed at Godaddy this week! Turns out they supported SOPA (which they later changed their mind about). That was reason enough for quite a few folks to start pulling their domains and move them to different registrars. I know I did, but not because they supported SOPA. More like, that’s the straw that broke the camels back.
I’m transferring domains away from GoDaddy as fast as my checkbook will allow. I only have 8 or so left with them, and I hope to have them transferred to Hover by the end of January. This is a process I started earlier this year after Bob Parsons came home from Africa after spending some quality time shooting elephants. But that’s only part of why I’m moving my domains.
Another part is their famously awful user interface. Or the fact that they are the worst WordPress host. Or the fact that when trying to check out when purchasing anything you have to click through 10 different pages offering upgrades, magazine subscriptions and ginsu knives. But, like the other reasons, this is just a part of why I’m transferring away.
If we take a second to look at the graphic at the top of this post. That is a screen shot from my Gmail account. Please note the date stamps on each line. If you want to know why I’m transferring away from GoDaddy, it’s because they are practicing email spammers and there is no way to make it stop that I can find.
Buy a domain? 2 emails. plus the weekly “buy more domains” email. Have a domain? 9 months before it expires they start sending reminder emails to renew. As the date draws closer, the frequency of the emails increases until you are getting 2 per day (per domain). Once the expiration date has passed, they continue to send emails at the rate of not less than 1 per day per domain. And there is no way to make them stop.
Worse part is when you don’t want a domain name any more. I let about 10 go this year that I will never do anything with (or my customers won’t be using). And the damn emails never stop. It’s truly rediculous.
So, if the emails won’t stop, if the UI won’t change and if the check-out process won’t stop pushing ultra high security email and faxing from my rotary phone, then I’m out.
And now you know The rest of the story.
It’s Time We Nerds Help
Just through the course of a day I end up on some photographers website. Invaribly it’s something hosted by photobiz.com or wix, all done in flash with copy-righted background music playing and a crappy looking WordPress blog hanging off the side like dirty dish rag hanging out of the kitchen window. I keep asking why, but never get answers that I find acceptable.
Until I asked Stella the same question. Being the photographer of the house, I thought she would have good insight into the reasoning behind photographers having such horrible websites. Our conversation went a little something like this.
- dbwilldo: why do photographers have such yucky websites?
- Stella:because they are not nerds
Could it really be that easy? A person that has the ability to charge thousands of dollars for their services that they perform with (possibly) tens of thousands of dollars worth of very complicated electronic components just aren’t nerdy enough?
That must be it. I think the problem that we as nerds run into is in our thought patterns. Photographers aren’t nerds. Photographers are creatives, that just so happen to do their creating with digital equipement. A fact, I think, fools the rest of us into thinking that photographers know the same things that we do.
Which they don’t.
They just want a website that displays their portfolio and other information in a pleasing manner, just like everyone else. Sites like photobiz and wix have capitalized on this, targeted photography professionals with words like ‘easy to use’, ‘background music’, ‘elegant’ and ‘comic sans’ to lure them in. So they get stuck.
Makes me wonder. Do they not try to open their websites on their iPhone/Android/Blackberry? Have they not tried to open their site using an iPad or Android tablet? If they have, do they just shrug their shoulders and say “Oh well. I’m not a nerd enough to make something better”?
Or do they see Flash as their security blanket? Thinking that if their photos are wrapped up in flash, they can’t be stolen and used in nefarious ways. Nerds know otherwise, don’t we?
Instead, I prefer to think that we, as nerds, have failed the professional photographers. Failed in that we haven’t shown them the way to nicely display their photos on any device, on any platform and with any browser. We have failed to guide them in best web practices. Failed to help them save money by avoiding services such as these.
As nerds, we owe it to our photography brethren to show them the right way. The way to display their photos in a pleasing way that is easy to use and keep their photos as safe. The way to share their work with iPhone/iPad/Android/Blackberry users. The way to save money by not having to pay the rediculous rates that the other guys charge. We owe them.
On Customer Service (again)
process battle that was started almost 3 weeks still isn’t completed. And that would be a security camera installation at work. Security cameras installed by ADT, since they also handle our alarm system and we were told the 2 work together quite nicely.
It all started with our sales rep and a walk-thru. A walk-thru that included a trip through our 50,000 sq/ft warehouse where we pointed out all 6 doors that we wanted to keep an eye on, hopefully with cameras mounted on the 20′ high ceiling. “Great!” he says. “No Problem!” he says. Check written, order placed, he says about a week to 10 days before the installation. Cool.
Installation day comes. I’m not notified about the date until the installers arrive. Turns out it didn’t matter since the sales rep neglicted to tell the installation department that we had a 50,000 sq/ft warehouse with 20′ ceilings. They would need a lift and cables that were longer than 60′. So, off they went to procure said items, hopefully to return the next day.
Another week passes before they returned. This time with a lift and 200′ cables. This time ready and rarin’ to go!
Except the wrong cameras were ordered. Yes, we would need the interior cameras to work in low light. Not to worry, they ordered replacements and would have them shipped “next day”. Meanwhile, they installed the cameras that were correct and ran all of the wiring.
Turns out, “next day” in the ADT world actually means 3-4 business days, if you are lucky. Also, wiring was not within the realm of expertise of my ADT installers. I have some experience with this and I can tell you that the job my guy did was pretty poor.
More from the easily-fixed-or-avoided-if-you-pay-attention-or-listen files. Typos not withstanding, lets get started.
It’s really not that difficult. And, conversely, I’m actually pretty easy. Easy to please, easy to impress, easy to get along with (for the most part). Also, I’m not one to declare the sky falling often, if at all. I am one that double checks the problems before reporting them a number of ways to make sure that the problem is actually what I’m reporting, not user error.
That means that if I were to report to you that something isn’t working correctly, I would greatly appreciate it if you could listen. I would appreciate it even more if you were to act. That way, a week later when I actually need to use what I reported broken, it wouldn’t be broken and I would be able to do the things that I need to do.
This goes for your users too. After a while you learn to distinguish the ‘sky fallers’ from those that are actually telling you about actual problems. But, and this is a pretty big but, you still can’t ignore the sky fallers. Prioritize them different maybe, but never ignore. It’s the one time that you ignore their problem when there actually is a problem.
Anymore it seems there are way too many issues being ignored for anyone to actually expect to be successful. You can also replace the word ignored with not handled correctly for the same effect.
If you are going to be in business, make sure you take care of your customers. Address their concerns when they happen and report back as soon as possible. Not doing this is yet another reason why your customers are leaving and going to your competition.