Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dear Vodafone, are you lying thieving cheats, or just incompetent?

My eldest son has a mobile phone, which he uses only for contacting us in emergencies. Happily, he hasn’t needed to use it for for more than six months. Then yesterday he was delayed getting home from school and tried to call us. His phone didn’t work.

At the same time, we were trying to call him. The call didn’t go through, and we were told that the number was invalid.

(He got home safely not long after this, so that’s all right. That’s not the point of the story.)

My wife called Vodafone, the service provider, to ask what had happened. The rep explained that when a Vodafone mobile phone is unused for six months they shut down the account, effectively bricking it, and reassign the number to someone else. (That last bit is evidently untrue, since the number is now invalid rather than going to a different phone.) Shortly before the six months expired, they apparently warned us that this was going to happen: by a text sent to the very phone that wasn’t being used, rather then for example an email or a call to our land line or a letter or frankly any method of communication that didn’t involve the very phone whose lack of use was the reason for the message.

This was a pay-as-you-go phone. I am sure no-one will be too surprised when I tell you that when they closed down the phone they kept the balance in the account.

So what can we do from here? Apparently if our son wants to start using the phone again, he has to get a new SIM card, which of course means that he loses his address book (and anyone who had his number will no longer be able to use it).

So my feeling is that Vodafone should have (A) not bricked the phone at all; or failing that, (B) informed us by some sane method that they were going to do that; or both (C1) not stolen our money, and (C2) not junked the old SIM. In short, is it really too much to ask that they not behave like turds?

You know, the market for service companies that simply aren’t horrible is wide open. It’s not going to hard to win customers’ loyalty when this sort of craptacular behaviour is routine among their competitors.


Dear Network Solutions, are you lying thieving cheats, or just incompetent?

Let’s go through this slowly and carefully, shall we?

After a long, tedious process in which you did not allow me to cancel my domains online, I finally received your email requesting me to confirm what I had told you by phone:

And here is the reply that I sent, 22 minutes later, confirming that yes, I do wish to delete both of the named domains:

This you then confirmed to me, three hours later:

Let me just quote that back to you, in case you didn’t actually read what you said: The domain names PROPERTYTRIANGLE.CO.UK and PROPERTYTRIANGLE.COM have been deleted.

Imagine my surprise, then at finding this notification in my inbox this morning, six weeks later:

So you have stolen $35.98 from me to renew a domain that I cancelled, and whose cancellation you acknowledged six weeks ago.

So I have three questions for you:

  1. Is this the grotesque dishonesty that it appears to be, or is it merely grotesque incompetence?
  2. Will you credit the stolen amount back to my card immediately?
  3. Will you please now actually delete the deleted domains?

Needless to say, I will not be “continuing to give you the opportunity to help me meet my online needs.


Classic rock for Fundamentalists: the whole story

Here they are, all together in a single post for ease of linking.








The freedom to post pictures of burning poppies

Kent Police force has posted this press release:

Man due to be interviewed in connection with Facebook posting

A man is due to be interviewed by police this morning following reports that a picture of a burning poppy had been posted on a social media website.

Officers were contacted at around 4pm yesterday, Sunday, 11 November 2012 and alerted to the picture, which was reportedly accompanied by an offensive comment.

Following an investigation by Kent Police a 19-year-old, Canterbury man was arrested on suspicion of an offence under the malicious communications act. He is currently in custody.

Posted on: 11 November 2012

More than a million British soliders gave their lives in World Wars I and II to preserve a free nation.

I do not believe the free nation they had in mind was one in which you can be arrested for posting a picture of a burning poppy.

Classic rock for Fundamentalists, 7: Joni Mitchell


Classic rock for Fundamentalists, 6: Phil Collins


Classic rock for Fundamentalists, 5: Judas Priest