Why is it that companies want their customers to be duped into making a decision? Why can't they just tell it like it is?
As you know, I have been researching VoIP providers. I have been trying to compare service quality as well as price. I want to make sure that I get the best service for the price.
It is not easy.
Receiving information from Packet8 that conveniently obscures that: "The service plan includes 200 minutes incoming and outgoing calls within U.S. and Canada. Additional minutes will be billed at 3.5 cents per minute, with outgoing international minutes billed at the current Packet8 international rates." continue reading...
Get ready, this is a long one, but I think it will be worth the read.
I also have mentioned that I was giving them a second chance. I thought I would share the experience of the second chance.
During my initial conversation, I was told that to get the price to the $25 that I wanted, they couldn't help me given the structure of their system. However, a few hours after my post, I received a quote that indicated the pricing could be had.
Here is the quote as I received it. (You may need to save rather than open... it is a .xls file)
My first thought, "Okay, I thought we could come to an agreement!" continue reading...
Well, who'd thought getting a simple softphone for my computer would be such an adventure? I sure didn't. I was sure that it would be an easy process.
After my experience with Packet8.net (they still want a second chance... I'll let you know how that goes) and my experience with VoIP.com, I was getting a little frustrated. It was time to try Vonage. I figured that they must be good... after all, they sure tell me that on the TV all the time, and a message like that has got to be true? Right?
Learning about the service.
I sent a few emails back and forth through the day that had the normal questions... Can you do this, can you do that? How do I know it will work? Yada yada yada.
At first, I couldn't find anything, anywhere on their site about the softphone service, but I was sent to this link.Through all the emails, I received enough confidence that I should try them out on their trial program. continue reading...
I have a lot of conversations with clients and prospective clients about pictures. They want great looking pictures on their website and in their marketing materials.
I can understand that.
What I find that can be a little annoying is the over use of stock photography. Stock photos are great. You can get some pretty amazing photos that can capture your intent quite well... it is often that the same photography that you choose is also the photography that someone else will put on their website or in their marketing materials.
I am a firm believer in transparency. I believe in letting everyone know the real you. I believe that from a process perspective to a problem perspective and what you are doing to fix those problems.
One thing that really fosters trust from your clients is when you can show them the real you. Or even better, the real client / customer referral.
I have recommended to many clients that in order for the customer reference to be as effective as possible, we really need to see actual pictures of that reference. we need to be able to see who the person is... not a fake face double.
The most common response I get is, "Well, our customers (or sales people or staff) are great people and we love them, but they really aren't the most photogenic people around." continue reading...
So, I mentioned last week that I am not happy with Packet8.net. They have asked for a second chance. I'll let you know how that works out.
But, I know that I shouldn't put all my eggs in one basket so I decided to look around for other services.
Voip.com has a softphone service that I signed up for. Here is my experience:
What Impressed Me.
Unlimited calling for $14.95 per month. With no set up cost.
I was also very pleased that the first month was free. Not a, "Pay for your first month, and if you don't like it, we'll give you a refund." It was a no payment up-front option.
Where it started to go downhill.
After I started the account, I clicked on the download button in my account and it was a broken link. I had to go out of my account page to find the download. Finally I got the softphone installed, received my phone number and got everything to work... or so I thought. continue reading...
I flew into Honolulu last night on a much needed vacation... but the mind of a blogger never rests. My wife and I were waiting at carousel D6 for our bags.
After we had been waiting for about 15 minutes... marveling that so many bags go unclaimed while so many people stand and wait for their bags to appear, we heard an interesting announcement.
"For your convenience, passengers on flight 1865 can pick up their bags on either carousel D6 or D7."
Did I get that right? Now, I am responsible to check two different carousels? How do I know which to check? How is that convenient for me?
So, I walked over to D6 and my wife stayed at D7. continue reading...
When I shop, I really don't like to talk to anyone from sales until I understand what it is I want. Then, I only want to talk with them to fulfill the order. That is why when I go to the store, I get frustrated when the commissioned sales person asks if there is anything they can help me find. (But, admittedly, I am a hypocrite, because I also get a little upset when they don't flock to me the instant I need them).
So, because of this attitude of mine... this complicated dichotomy of how I view people should interact with me, I prefer to do much of my research and shopping online. I get to be all by myself until I need someone and then I get to engage the sales staff when I am ready.
The real problem I have with so much online shopping places is the lack of proper communication options for me. I personally don't want to talk with a sales person on the phone. I don't want to call. I don't want to get a call back. I am on the internet because I want privacy. I want to be a part of my own little world until which point I am willing to purchase and give you my personal information. continue reading...
I was looking at Weather.com for some forecasts and I noticed this link next to the temperature.
It was forecasted to be rainy just three days previous. Why would they think you would be interested in tips for driving in the rain on a day that is scheduled to be sunny?
Maybe they know that forecasts aren't ever right. continue reading...