Friday, 14 December 2007

Win your own 3 Skypephone!

I have been using a 3 Skypephone for over a week now and I really like it. I will post a full review in a few weeks, but in the meantime just be creative and win yourself a 3 Skypephone.

However, you will have to be Fast, Furious and Creative this weekend because the competition ends midday on Monday 17th December.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

A&R2.0 ... Did A&R get much easier, or harder?

Please check my latest post on Greg's Web2.0 Marketing Tips.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

It's no iPhone, but still ...

The UK launch of the 3 Skypephone didn’t generate much buzz, which is probably due to the Perfect Media Storm that came with the UK launch of the iPhone. However, this mobile phone should be a great buy for only £49.99 (or free with a £12/month subscription package). Even though it doesn’t really excel in anything else but Skype, it still seems to do pretty well in all other aspects. It’s small, light, 3G, comes with preset “optimised for viewing” web access via Launcher (Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc), has a 2MP camera and does everything you would expect from a mobile phone.

The Fair Use policy allows plenty Skyp’ing and seemingly you would get an additional 1GB of non-Skype data traffic according to this excellent online review.

Hmmm … should I put this on my Christmas wish list now?

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Barbados 2007 Pictures

My Barbados 2007 pictures are now online ...

Woohoo fo Wufoo ...

Please have a look at my new post Woohoo for Wufoo on Web2.0 Marketing Tips.

AddThis?! Yes you should!

Please have a look at my latest post AddThis?! Yes you should! on Web2.0 Marketing Tips.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Technorati Tags, much ado about nothing?

Please have a look at my new post Technorati Tags, much ado about nothing? on Web2.0 Marketing Tips Blog.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Greg in the News about "How 3G got into the security business"

This article describes how 3G mobile phone technology is being used in mobile surveillance solutions.
The same article can also be found on 4eyes and on Com World Series.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Software driven instead of Customer driven???

I experienced another mind baffling customer experience while trying Blockbuster's online rental service. Since the rental service on was lagging behind a little and there were some delays for the DVDs I wanted to rent, I decided to go with Blockbuster's Free Trial. It sounded pretty good with a 14 day free trial of their rental service.
It was very easy to register and to start building a list. I received a batch of 3 DVDs a few days later.
2 weeks later I received an e-mail saying I was now registered for the £14.99/month subscription and that my credit card had been billed for this amount. I wasn't particularly pleased about the way this happened with Blockbuster NOT sending me a reminder e-mail stating my 14 days trial period was about to end. So, I wasn't impressed but decided to give the service a fair try.
I sent my initial DVDs back, added more DVDs to my list and waited for the next batch to arrive.

Even though I had sent 3 DVDs back, the Blockbuster web site only mentioned 2. This meant I had to go through an online procedure to confirm I had indeed sent 3 DVDs back.
One week later, still no new batch of DVDs.
Two weeks later, still no new batch of DVDs.

So, I finally sent an e-mail to Blockbuster's customer service on 22nd August 2007. On Saturday 25th August I finally get a reply from the customer service department ... that is 3 days later!

This email explains "the top title along with the Prison Break series have been ticked as first to last, the top title should not be selected as first to last as it is the last of the series you have already seen and placed on your list, if you could please remove the top title as first to last, leave the prison break as they are and try to add more to your list because presently the system can not differentiate between the 4400 title and prison break and it is not checking the rest of your list correctly".

So basically after I had indicated I wanted to receive The 4400 DVDs "First to Last" by ticking the appropriate boxes, and after having received 3 out of 4 DVDs I should have un-ticked the 4th 4400 DVD that was now topping my list, before adding another series of Prison Break DVDs in "First to Last" order. Phew...

Not being very happy with this reply I sent an e-mail back saying I modified my list, but would like to be compensated for the 2 weeks of rentals I lost.
Fortunately it only took Blockbuster's customer service only 1 day to reply this time, but again the feedback is not really satisfactory: "The first to last on your top title is not something that we compensate for as it is not the fault of the system. The first to last feature is sensitive to series titles and needs to be used correctly or it will affect the way our system can check and pick titles from your list. I can understand your disappointment and will place credit on your account for 7 days as a goodwill gesture however, I am unable to provide you with more compensation credits."
Let me now just emphasize in the above "as it is not the fault of the system". Isn't it? Really? I thought it was!
Blockbuster develops an online application that does not perform intuitively at all, but it is not the fault of the system ... Well no I guess they are right. Someone somewhere at Blockbuster must have thought this was good enough. Well guess what? It is NOT!
In an online market place where Amazon is just a click away, good enough isn't really good enough.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Orange vs Phones4U: 0-1

I recently went shopping at Trafford Centre ( and while I was shopping I decided to get a top-up for my Orange "Pay As You Go" mobile phone. Having 3 mobile phones and a Blackberry, I don't need monthly subscriptions for all my mobiles.
So, I first went to the Orange shop for what should have been a quick transaction. I give them £10 and they give me a "code" ... sounds pretty simple. The Orange shop looked pretty slick but strangely the focus didn't seem to be on doing business. There was close to no staff. When I entered the shop I initially saw 3 members of staff, but a few minutes later 2 of them disappeared in the back of the shop, resulting in one member of staff needing to handle all customer requests, sales, etc. I started queuing but after a few minutes I gave up.
I intended on getting my top-up on my next Tesco visit, but then I walked across a Phones4U shop. Intrigued by the place I decided to step inside. This place was completely different from the Orange shop I had just been to. The shop look pretty ugly, but the focus was definitely on doing business. Instead of slick in-store displays most of the shop consisted out of tables at which "sales staff" help you straight away. It took me less than one minute to get my top-up. The sales guy tried to up-sell me a subscription package but wasn't pushy in any way.
Very different strategies at work and different business models, but still if you are paying for staff why don't you try to optimise the return and make sure that selling is facilitated?