Don’t make the day more gloomy

A winter rainy windy day, but it’s Saturday.  After I saw the postman passed my house, I knew that the parcel will not come today. Again.

I have waited it for 4 weeks and feel this Yodel delivery service is hopeless. I have contacted both Yodel and the company where I bought the products. The company confirmed that they didn’t know where the parcel is. They agreed that when the parcel is returned, they will use another courier service to redeliver it. They are also happy to refund if I don’t want to wait. Well, luckily it’s not a Xmas or birthday present.

I searched Yodel on Google and found the first link is its company website and then links of complaints. For example, the information about the service on BBC Watchdog and the promise to improve their service on the moneysavingexpert website


Personal data in a web system

I used the BlueMountain e-card trial service a couple of months ago. I had to fill in my payment information before to use their service. So I did.

However, just realised yesterday that they charged monthly though I didn’t use the service over the last two months. So I cancelled my subscription through their site and contacted them to delete my payment information from their system as I cannot edit it. Why cannot I remove my payment information if I do not use their service?

“Unfortunately, we are unable to remove your payment information from our site”. They responded.

I then asked them if it’s possible to just delete my account as I don’t want to keep my payment information in their system.

“Please call our Customer Sales number at 1-888-254-1450”. They responded.

To remove my personal payment information I need to cancel my account completely and to cancel my account, I need to make an international call.  What is this type of service for? Is it secure to keep your personal data on a web system? Anyway, I’m not happy about it at all.

Useful lessons for organisations

I came across “What I Learned From Steve Jobs” written by Guy Kawasaki on his blog. I like the lessons/experience. I’m sure people may find it’s true in their own organisations. Actually, I couldn’t agree more by my own experience, especially on the following aspects:

– Experts are clueless.
I got advice from a bank advisor and he didn’t really help me save money. I should say, he didn’t really think it from the customer’s circumstance. Eventually, I had to learn tricks and tips for saving money by myself.

– Customers cannot tell you what they need.
I see the users of our systems as customers. They wanted some functionalities or they wondered about something, they told you “we want it better”, “we want it being improved”, “we want more support”. However, they didn’t tell us what exactly it is. Thus, we have to dig out and ask further. We need to help them to ask the right question and tell us the information we need to know so that we are able to improve the systems/services.

– Design counts.
To make users feel good when they use the systems do make users like the system more.

– A players hire A+ players.
I hope people know this is very important. However, in most teams I worked in, it’s A, B, C, D and never A, A+, B and B+. When we have A, we feel it’s enough and we wish A will become A+ and we hire B to do work that A is not good at.  

Real CEOs demo.
Yes, I like to see real CEOs to demonstrate a system/product/concept. However, it’s normally from secrotaries.

Half day Open forum

A second time to attend the Open Forum. It’s a excellent way to see what other teams doing. Particularly like the statistics that displays the value of the services. Open Access is a good way of making people recongise your research. Mobile apps will be central of all sorts of learning experience for university students. If we provide a service, people do find them and use them. If we don’t provide it, 10% users may give up.

In the Open Forum, “an important email sending by mistake” was mentioned. The IT service may be able to stop it before it’s really “sending out”. Although we didn’t talk about it further, I remember one of my friend once told me something similar.

She sent an email to a buyer but CC it to another buyer by misktake. The two buyers are competitors.

I feel the email system is too clever nowadays because it gives you a list of name when you type in and if you type too fast, it’s easy to send an email out by mistake.

Technologies help us largely, but we still need to do our job carefully and seriously.