2007-08-31

Monday is the Jamaican Election Man

Jamaica: Sista P vs. Bruce Golding.
If you need a political diversion from the dog days of summer this labour day weekend, then I highly recommend the Jamaican election, Monday, September 3rd. Listen about it on the excellent (and quite populist) Power 106 FM or read about it in the  Jamaica Gleaner.
 
The Jamaica Observer has an interesting spin: "The polls point to a closely fought general election and it is desirous that this does not lead to an explosion of violence." Duh!
 
The BBC has a nice, if detached, article. "Jamaica Set For Wide Open Poll".
 
The People's National Party has possibly the best election jingle ever on it's web site. I warn you, you'll be humming "PNP Wina gain" for days. "Full Speed Ahead" is also a cool slogan. So is having a leader known as "Sista P".
 
The Jamaica Labour Party offers websurfers the oportunity to download ringtones (they are really just MP3 files that you can also play on your computer). "We are the party to make it better". Canada's NDP could learn a thing or two from this partie's campaign.
 
Despite the Jamaican Observer's alarmist tone, consider the Jamaican election light entertainment, perfect for a long weekend full of Mooseheads and the occasional Red Stripe  (the Hooray Beer) .
 

2007-08-28

Rogers Cable TV Service Sucks

"Add any digital channel online and get two months free" (rogers.com). Well that's a no brainer. Unless it is with Rogers that is.

From me to Rogers.

Please add all the digital channels to my account as per
the 2 month free promotion. I realise I''ll have to call back in a month
(to tell you which ones I don''t want) or be stuck paying $41 per month
for the lot. Also, please add timeshifting for $1.99. Thank you.

PS.

I called the e-care people. They transfered me to wireless promotions in French. Before transfering me he also provided me with the wrong
number 866-836-5041.

I've been trying to add services via the web site for over a week
now. I always get the following:
" We are currently experiencing system problems. Please try again
later, or call one of our Rogers e-Care representatives at 1-877-343-5745"

From Rogers to Me:

Dear Sir,

 Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use
of online customer service.
 In your recent email, you have informed us that you would like us to
add all the digital channels to your account and to also add the Timeshifting Package.
For us to add the digital channels, you must first specify which
digital channels you would like us to add to your account for us to do so.Please kindly reply to this email at your earliest convenience, to advise us of the information required so that we can process the request.
 Although we were able to add the Timehsifting Package to your account with no problems.


--------
I thought I'd been pretty clear, perhaps not.

From Me to Rogers

"Pick all Specialty channels, $41.99/month." I want to take advantage of
the
free two month promotion.
Thank you,

Me.

From Rogers to Me:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us, we appreciate your use of
online customer service.


In your recent email, you have informed us that would like us to add the
Pick All Specialty Channels to your account along with 2 months free.

Unfortunately the 2 months free promotion you were speaking of was not
available to us, although we were able to apply 1 month free.  The
monthly cost for the Pick All Specialty Channels is $41.99 once the
promotion has expired on your account.

We do apologize for any inconvenience that this matter may have caused
for you.


 

2007-08-26

"Thank You India": Bell

Don't blame India, blame the process. Yes, according to Kevin Crull, president of residential services at Bell Canada, the process is to blame: "I blame the process challenges we have for complaints about offshore staffing."
 
A Toronto Star article (posted below) quotes him as saying : "Call centre staff, when dealing with a repeat issue, are allowed to stop the clock and not let the customer go until it's resolved. They can give out their phone numbers so customers can call back ." Hmm, how much does Bell charge to call a direct line in India?
 
Meanwhile, my employer encouraged us to work overtime while the call centre in Jamaica was out of service due to the hurricane... If India and Pakistan ever duke it out in a war, they'll be making us work 16 hour days ! But at least we'll be able to keep customers on the line until we resolved their issues. (What, no more hanging up on customers? Sarcasm).
 
Thankfully for Bell, service sucks just as much at Rogers, Primus et al. The consumer has been clear, they will put up with lousy (aka unbelievably horrible) service to save a few bucks.
 
How long do I have to study to become an Ontario teacher?
 
Related links:
Bell Canada deal angers bond holders

24 Aug 2007 by Operator  
The proposed leveraged buyout of Bell Canada by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, along with two US-based private equity firms, is generating more controversy.

i hate calling bell canada

22 Aug 2007
Forum: Main Forum Posted By: Wiggles Post Time: 08-22-2007 at 04:42 PM.
Medium Pimpin Webmaster Board - http://bbs.mediumpimpin.com

How NOT to Provide Customer Service at Bell Canada  

Can Bell's customer service be fixed?

August 25 2007 by Ellen Roseman

You don't have to read all 200+ comments at Bell Bliues to know that the telecom giant has serious problems.

Bell Blues

March 29 2007 by Ellen Roseman

Since I get many complaints about Bell Canada's ineptness in dealing with customers, I did a recent column (March 24) asking readers whether Bell's service was improving

Will Bell Canada's Buyout Break the Bank?

-Thank You lyrics, Alanis Morisette

 

 
Bell home-phone chief 'fesses up and vows better
 
Toronto Star Aug 25, 2007 04:30 AM

 

Last week, I highlighted complaints involving Rogers home-phone service. This week, Bell's on the line.

Here are some stories of bungled service, along with candid comments from a Bell executive who thinks customers have been getting shortchanged.

Vito Curalli: "Our home-phone line was cut dead without warning. For no apparent reason, Bell had changed the contact information from D. Curalli (my wife) to V. Curalli and had sent bills to a different address for 18 months. We had to pay $750 to catch up and weren't allowed to pay it off over three months, as requested."

Mark Miedzwiedzki: "I have three Bell services and signed up for ExpressVu to get the bundle discounts that are advertised. My first bill had no discount. I found out I need high-definition TV, which I don't want, to get the savings. Now I have to pay $250 to cancel the satellite service."

Brian Wilson: "Bell promised to cut my Sympatico bills by 25 per cent if I stayed for two years. The June bill had no discount. The July bill had no discount. I was told I'd have to pay $200 to leave. Later, Bell restored the discount and waived the $200 penalty, but I had already switched to Rogers for Internet service (cheaper and faster)."

Leigh Anne Sauer: "When we moved last December, we had one satellite dish and one receiver. Bell charged us for moving four receivers, at an extra cost of $215 deducted from my credit card. After logging four calls, I still hadn't received my reimbursement by July 31."

Kevin Crull, president of residential services at Bell Canada, responds to emails within hours, even on weekends. He took charge of readers' complaints after I did a few columns earlier this year and started an On Your Side blog at the Toronto Star website (and www.ellenroseman.com).

Crull is frustrated with how slowly things move at this large telecom company.

"Some days, I'm happy with the progress and some days, I throw up my hands. There are still far too many challenges," he said.

"Two years ago, I saw the company make a decision to cut costs that I knew would cause customer pain. Now we're having to reinvest."

Crull has extended the call centre hours (which used to end at 7 p.m. on weekdays). He found the average handling time for customer calls was squeezed too tight, so he added time back.

Call centre staff, when dealing with a repeat issue, are allowed to stop the clock and not let the customer go until it's resolved. They can give out their phone numbers so customers can call back.

"I'm tearing apart the business processes," he told me. "I used to think the foundation was solid. That was a misguided assumption.

"Once we deliver flawless customer service – I believe that can happen, I see the potential to make that happen – I won't hear about India any more.

"I blame the process challenges we have for complaints about offshore staffing."

The Bell Blues blog posting (March 29) has attracted 200+ comments from customers and employees about Bell's slipping service and how to improve it.

"Your blog has been a catalyst for a lot of good things, things we should have done before," Crull said.

2007-08-23

Winnipeg Must Suck

My post about moving to New Brunswick generated an all time low response (My post " Gerard Kennedy is a Kitten Eating Alien from Outer Space  " generated more traffic, for crying out loud). However, the quality of the traffic was outstanding. (LMAO).
 
Domain Name   gc.ca  ? (Canada)
IP Address   192.70.172.# (Institute for Biodiagnostics)
ISP   Institute for Biodiagnostics
Location  
Continent  :  North America
Country  :  Canada   (Facts)
State/Region  :  Manitoba
City  :  Winnipeg
Lat/Long  :  49.8833, -97.1667 (Map)
Referring URL http://www.google.ca...=Google Search&meta=
Search Engine google.ca
Search Words moving to new brunswixk
Visit Entry Page   http://altavistagoog...u-will-die-move.html
Visit Exit Page   http://altavistagoog...u-will-die-move.html
Out Click   NEW BRUNSWICK HAS NO CRIME
http://www.woodtheft.ca/e/brochure_e.htm
 
 

Ouragan, Internet et Jamaique

Voici deux couriels que j'ai envoyé à mon père. J'ai réalisé qu'ils sont tellement impersonnels (c'tu un mot ça?), qu'ils seraient parfaient pour mon blogue. Je suis donc désolé si cette chronique est  plus plate qu'à l'habitude.
 
À Papa (mercredi)
C'est vrai que les encarts du Futurshop et al nous donne une bonne idée des produits disponibles. Par contre, je n'étais pas au courant du graveur DVD avec disque dure avant de l'avoir vu.
 
Selon les encarts, mon MP3 a repris de la valeur depuis lundi. Au Futureshop, il est revenu à 99$. Chez Jean-Coutu, on le vend 149$ !
C'est encore plus excitant que la bourse.
 
Je me suis acheté 512MB de RAM en-ligne (grâce à Interact par courirel(mc)). Donc, malheureusement, je ne peux pas justifier l'achat d'un ordinateur  pour quelques mois. Je suis d'accord avec toi qu'un ordinateur par étatge est essentiel (clein d'oeuil), mais dans mon cas, même un ordinateur par pièce serait pousser la justification un peu loin (à moins d'en avoir un à l'épreuve de l'eau pour la salle de bain, hmm).
 
Ceci dit, je trouve ma TV de plus en plus désuet. Utilise-tu/as-tu encore ton écran de diapo? Malheureusement, mes murs sont jaunes...
 
On demandait à mes collègues sur le contrat de XM Satellite Radio de travailler des heures supplémentaires cette semaine à cause de l'ouragan Dean. Pas parce que les nuages de Dean causeraient des désagrément aux abonnés, mais bien parce que le centre d'appel principal est situé... en Jamaique!
 
Dimanche, j'ai passé la journée à écouté la radio Jamaicaine (j'avais fait la même chose pour l'ouragan Ivan). C'était très intéressant d'entendre le monde appeler au call-in show, on entendait le vent et tout. Mais le plus étonnant, c'était les courriels d'encouragement et les appels qui venaient du monde entier. J'écoutais pourtant une radio locale Jamaicaine!. Le plus drôle des appels était le gars à Atlanta qui écoutait la station via Internet et qui la faisait jouer à sa mère situé à NewYork... via téléphone.
 
Dans un autre ordre d'idée, j'ai découvert cette semaine qu'on ne peut pas comparer la vitesse des ordinateurs à partir de la vitesse de l'horloge. Même pour Intel, 2.5Ghz (mon ordinateur), ne veut pas nécessairement dire plus rapide qu'un 2Ghz d'une autre série. En fait, je n'ai aucune idée comment comparer les microprosseseurs et, pourtant, je vend des ordinateurs! Imagine le consommateur moyen. 
 
À Papa (Dimanche)

Grâce à un nouveau service d'autobus aux 15 minutes (plutôt incroyable pour Moncton), je me suis rendu au FuturShop (et tant qu'à y être, Costco, Staples, LaSource et Walmart).
 
J'ai résisté à la tentation de vider mon compte de banque (par ailleurs, mon MP3 a perdu 40% de sa valeur en 4 semaines!), mais j'ai vu un produit intéressant. Il y a plusieurs graveurs DVD pour la télévision. Il y en a même un, avec un disque dure de 80GO, pour la modique somme de 280$. Je te le mentionne puisque t'avais exprimé l'intérêt il y a quelques mois.
 
A noter que ce n'est pas du tout une recommandation. D'ailleurs, les magazins regorgent de produits à utilitée douteuse. Les pires, à mon avis, ce sont les télévision HD avec tuner HD. Payer 200$ de plus pour tuner des ondes qui n'existent pas (encore), faut le faire.   
 
Je me demande si les courriels qu' Aurélie écris à son Papa sont plus intéressant.
 
Sûrement! 

2007-08-18

Stay in Toronto and You Will Die. Move to New Brunswick

New Brunswick needs people. Seriously, it's lonely out here. And the news! At first I thought it was a cultural thing and journalists just didn't want to report it. But the fact is, NEW BRUNSWICK HAS NO CRIME. None! Check the stats if you don't believe me.

So all you Torontonians fearing for your life, move to New Brunswick (well, not the criminals, criminals can stay in Toronto)! Probably not a good idea to move to New Brunswick if you are an illegal immigrant either. If you like to jaywalk, forgetaboutit; there are crosswalks every 100 meters and cars HAVE TO STOP!!!!! New Brunswick also has a helmet law for adults on bicycles. That kind of sucks, but I guess it is a good idea considering the large moose population (can you come up with a better explanation?).

But please, PLEASE, if you enjoy traffic jams, avoid New Brunswick at all costs. Rush hour in Moncton (New Brunswick's biggest and most important city) lasts maybe five minutes, and only IF there is construction. Moncton officials have been actively trying to crate traffic by removing lanes. But it hasn't worked.

The worst traffic I saw in New Brunswick was in Edmundston after US officials started asking for ID. The first day, wait times where as high as, gasp, 30 minutes! Now the locals bring there drivers license when they go to the USA for cheap gas, so even Edmundston is traffic jam free.

Canada Should Join Japan

Canada should join/merge with Japan. That would prove to French speaking Quebeckers that we English speaking Canadians can live in a country as part of a religious, cultural and linguistic minority.
 
In addition, if Quebeckers still wanted to leave the new and improved Japanada (final name of the country to be determined by a referendum), then we could accuse them of being racist.
 
Here are my arguments for joining Japan.
 
1. The Japanese love Ann of Green Gables.
2. Canadians love the Nintento Wii
3. Canada had oil, Japan needs it.
4. Canadians wouldn't have to pay duty on the already expensive Play Station 3.
 
That's all I got.
 
If for some reason you don't like Japan, we could join Brazil (perpetual Summer!), or Russia (they have oil, just like we do!) or France (mmm, I wonder what non-pasteurized Cheese Whiz tastes like).
 
My argument here is that Canada was on a role expansion wise, why stop at Newfoundland?  And why worry so much about Quebec? If bigger is better, then there are plenty of countries that Canada could join or absorb...
 
 
 

2007-08-06

Sitel Moncton: le bon choix pour les unilingues francophones

Si vous ne parlez pas l'anglais, alors Sitel Moncton peut être un bon choix si vous avez besoin d'un emploi et ça ne vous dérange pas de parler à des Québécois enragés pour $12 de l'heure. Mais si vous parlez anglais, je vous conseille plutôt ICT, Rogers, AOL ou RBC.

Assistance technique: $12/heure. Aucune expérience requise (AUCUNE!!!)

monctonjobs@clientlogic.com

320C Edinburgh Drive, Moncton, NB E1E 2L1

-Carte
-En autobus, prenez le numéro 13 ou, à 15 minutes de marche, le numéro 9.

-Sitel Moncton Does Not Pay Enough Unless You Do No...

Sitel Moncton Does Not Pay Enough Unless You Do Not Speak English

Sitel Moncton pays its French speaking Bell Sympatico tech support workers $12/hour. English speaking employees get $11.30/hour.

Sitel Moncton is so desperate for employees that the company advertises on the radio. Not necessarily a bad idea, since what they are paying attracts high school drop outs...

What irks me in the radio ad is the catch phrase "Why work anywhere else?" How about because all the other call centres in town pay more, eh!

ICT, $14/hour.


3035633
Call centre agent - technical support

-Call centre agent - technical support (Bilingual High Speed Tech Support)

-Experience: 0 - 6 months
-Communicate electronically and in person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document problems experienced.

-Weekly pay! No Sales! Tech Support for High Speed ISP. $12.00/hour base. Plus $2.00/hour attendance bonus paid out weekly.
720 Coverdale Road
Riverview, New Brunswick
E1B 3T7 MAP

Rogers

3013706

Call centre agent - technical support $12.5/ Hourly for 40 hours, Other Benefits. (30 vacancies )

Experience: Will train

Communicate electronically and in person with computer users experiencing difficulties to determine and document problems experienced.

AOL 3045085

Call centre agent - technical support Salary: $12.00 Hourly for 37.5 hours per week, Other Benefits. Location: Moncton, New Brunswick (24 vacancies )

Work Setting: Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Experience: Will train

Languages: Speak English, Read English, Write English

Other Information: $1.00/hour shift premium after 8:00 PM,Complimentary FREE High-Speed Broadband DSL Internet

RBC

If you are attracted by the location of Sitel Moncton, in the Moncton Industrial Park, then might I suggest nearby RBC.

3033231Customer service agent

$28000/ Yearly for 37.5 hours, Other Benefits

********However, and this is a big however, if you don't speak English, than Sitel is a good choice as all the above postings require English speaking skills whereas Sitel doesn't*************


-Sitel
-Moncton is the Help Desk Capital Of the World

Killing Smokers Would Save Lives

**49,400 American non-smokers were murdered last year by smokers. That is 135 people per day! **

There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure. Even brief exposure can be dangerous. (United States Government).

A while back I argued that smoking should be illegal. I also argued that smoking in the presence of children is child abuse. An unrelated post by L-Girl, How Much Time Should He Do, got me thinking about what would be suitable punishment for this hypothetical crime: smoking.

I just finished watching "Thank You for Not Smoking" on The Movie Network, a very good movie. One of my favourite lines: "if you want a good job, you go work for the Red Cross". Indeed.

Just like the retired "Malboro Man" in "Thank You for Not Smoking", I to helped market cigarettes and lived to regret it. In my case it was for $10 per hour, knocking on doors as part of an anonymous survey. Interestingly enough, we were instructed to check for ID to make sure we weren't interviewing minors (people under 19 years old).

Anyway, I thought it was innocent enough. I was only interviewing heavy smokers, people stupid enough to smoke at least half a pack a day (I had to back out of a survey once when the girl took out her cigarette pack from the freezer).

But no doubt the survey I was conducting was not only to help gain market share, it was also to make smokers smoke MORE.

And to those of you would doubt the power of suggestion and marketing, please note that every one of the people I interviewed took out a cigarette while conducting the interview. No exception. Many would offer me one, and I'd make a point of making a face and laughing, "no I don't smoke". The smokers would usually then ask if I minded if they smoked while we did the survey. I would of course answer that I didn't, but sometimes the cigarette would be lit by the time the answer came out.

What struck me during the survey was the ill will that the companies generated. Many of the smokers hated smoking and hated the people who made and marketed the product. But the most striking of all was the visible and audible signs of sickness that many of the smokers had. Way more than in other surveys I conducted. One guy spoke out of a microphone through a hole in his throat. It wasn't like I was interviewing thousands of people. I did maybe 40 interviews. I would say that EVERY person I spoke to over 30 was suffering in one way or an other from the ill affects of smoking.

"You got to die somehow" say smokers when trying to justify their cancer generating habit. "But you don't have to live in sickness" is what I'd like to answer. You shouldn't be coughing and wheezing by the time you are 32 !

The big problem with smoking isn't that it kills people, it is that is takes to long to kill people. There are no condoms for cigarettes. You smoke, you are "infecting" innocent bystanders; ususally, people that you love, often children.

And smoking is ADDICTIVE. People smoke because they HAVE TO, not necessarily because they want to. So making smoking illegal might not work. Unless of course, the punishment is death.

Many of the USA's states have the death penalty, including the otherwise civilised State of New York. If murderers are being murdered by the state, is it that much of a leap in logic to argue that people who smoke around children should also get the chair?

-Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet - American Lung Association site

Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 46,000
heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each
year.
4

-Secondhand Smoke OSH CDC-
-MedlinePlus: Secondhand Smoke
-Indoor Air - Secondhand Smoke
-Secondhand Smoke: Questions and Answers - National Cancer Institute
-Second-hand Smoke - Main Page
-Children and Secondhand Smoke
-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_smoking
-Protect your lungs - Smoking & tobacco - Second–hand smoke ...-
-Passive Smoking: Fact Sheet no. 8 - ASH-
-The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
-Second-hand smoke is dangerous
-How dangerous is second-hand cigarette smoke?-
-Secondhand Smoke: What It Is, How to Avoid It, Who's at Risk
-New Dangers of Secondhand Smoke - TIME
-Discovery Channel :: News - Health :: Surgeon General: Beware
-Cigarette Smoke: It's Toxic
-Philip Morris USA - Smoking & Health Issues - Secondhand Smoke
"We also believe that the conclusions of public health officials concerning environmental tobacco smoke are sufficient to warrant measures that regulate smoking in public places. We also believe that where smoking is permitted, the government should require the posting of warning notices that communicate public health officials' conclusions that secondhand smoke causes disease in non-smokers. "
-Kids and Second Hand Smoke- [ Traduire cette page ]
Understanding the effects of second hand smoke on our kids may help you give up smoking.


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