This last week has been (and continues to be) pretty non-stop, even by my standards. It’s been a weird mix of work, social, and work-related social.
I’m still trying to calm things down – and weirdly, at the moment my weekends seem to be freer than my weekdays, so I suppose that’s some kind of progress? But as usual, something has to give – and this time it’s been writing on D4D™.
I’m aiming to find a better balance of things, but right now it’s all on some kind of weird mutant seesaw/roundabout combination, and figuring out the physics of that is pretty tiring in and of itself.
I’ll get there, though.
Yesterday, I got a text message from O2, telling me that they were going to be closing their TuGo app (an app that allows phone calls to be made/received through my wifi connection, when the mobile phone signal is bobbins) at the end of November. It gave some options for enabling better alternatives, including their ‘4G & WiFi Calling’ through a range of phones, so it will no longer need a separate app.
That’s all well and good – and TuGo has always been a bag of shite anyway. So I started to go through the process, as ‘detailed’ by O2 of how to get it all set up on my phone.
Except that once I’d enabled it on my phone (or tried to) it told me I needed to do it via the O2 website, to activate it on my account. Bit of a pain in the arse, but OK, let’s get it done.
The page detailed in the message doesn’t actually contain the information necessary. I can see a link explaining how great the 4G and Wifi Calling is, but nothing to activate it.
So, I start up a LiveChat with one of their Tech Gurus, who tell me that it’s still showing I’ve got Tu connected to my account, and that needs to be removed before I can do anything. No worries though, they’ll sort it out. Give it about half an hour, reboot the phone, it’ll be done.
Except it wasn’t.
So I got back in touch with O2, this time by phone instead of LiveChat. Oh dear, oh dear.
I (eventually) got through to another of their Tech Gurus, who again says that Tu is still connected to my account, and that I have to uninstall the TuGo app on my phone in order to get rid of the connection. No idea why the previous tech person said they could do it, that’s not possible, it can only be done from your phone, sir.
So I uninstall the app, in the usual way. Oh no, sir, you haven’t uninstalled it. You’ll need to go back to the app store, reinstall the app so you can uninstall it. (Eh? What?) Yes, you’ll need to reinstall the app – you didn’t uninstall it, “you just deleted the little picture on your phone”. That’s a direct quote. From a Tech “Guru”. Who doesn’t appear to even know the word “icon”.
So. Let’s see how this goes. Phone call goes to speakerphone, so I can go through the process while the “Guru” is still on the call, and telling me what I need to do. I reinstall the app – and in order to get in to it, I have to rebuild the connection and association with my number – because uninstalling the app has got rid of all that information . Which is exactly as it should be.
I rebuild the connection, then go into the app’s Settings and Delete the Account. The Guru says “Oh there we go, I can see you’ve now uninstalled the app”. No, I haven’t, I’ve deleted the account. The app is still installed, I can see it. “No, it’s uninstalled”
All the way through the call, that “Guru” couldn’t tell the difference between “Delete the Account/Connection” and “Uninstall the App”.
It’s resulted in two further interactions with layers of O2 management, telling them the problems, fixing the issues, and generally getting it more sorted.
And all the way through this, all it would have taken was for that “My Device” webpage saying “You’ve still got an active connection to TuGo – you need to remove that before we can progress. Here’s how.” That would’ve fixed everything, and I wouldn’t have needed to speak to O2 at all, let alone a total of four times.
Sometimes I just despair of people, and companies.
Today, the news is full of the ‘shocking’ news of Monarch Airlines ceasing to trade. I’m more surprised that anyone’s surprised, to be honest.
Now OK, Monarch are (semi) local to me, I know people who work(ed) there – but no-one who was in key positions, finance etc. However, it’s no shock to me at all that they’ve gone under – in many ways I’ve been more surprised that they’ve gone on as long as they have.
The Wikipedia page contains a summary of it – but it’s stuff I was aware of anyway, having watched the news and so on.
Three years ago, they were nearly bankrupt. They got a last-minute bailout/buyout by Greybull Capital, which was all that allowed them to keep trading. Three years ago.
This time last year, rumours came up about their potential bankruptcy. They got a last-minute extension to their ATOL licence (similar to the activities of last weekend) after another £160-odd million fund injection from Greybull and other investors.
Between those warnings, the drop in customers in markets that were key to them (tourism to Tunisia and Egypt, primarily) and other competition, and the general atmosphere post-Brexit, it was no surprise at all. I fully expect a couple of others to collapse as well.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a shitty situation – for the people who work there, and for the passengers and customers who are currently wondering what’s going to happen. But it still shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Personally, I know that I wouldn’t have booked anything with them, regardless.
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining – I suspect RyanAir are ecstatic about all those extra Monarch pilots and crew suddenly becoming available (and without even needing expensive relocation packages) that can fill the gaps in their current schedule. Indeed, I wouldn’t be surprised if RyanAir didn’t aim to buy up a lot of the Monarch stuff – planes, staff, routes etc., and make money off the misfortune of Monarch.
So far, this year has involved a number of customer service clusterfucks, some of which I’ve mentioned on here, and it looks like a number of those issues are now on the way to being sorted, thankfully.
That list includes
- The Cat boots – successfully returned to manufacturer, and a replacement pair are (apparently) on the way
- The Credit Card company – seems to be sorted, with outstanding issues rectified.
- My Accountants – this has been something that’s been ongoing for a year or more, where they’re just ridiculously slack and uncommunicative. If it weren’t for the fact that they’ve been free (for the last 18 months!) then I’d have moved on well before now.
The free stuff is a story of its own, but basically when I complained to director level at the end of 2015, they told me I wouldn’t be charged until they’d fixed the issues. Eighteen months later, the issues are still there, although having had some productive conversations with the Operations Director, I think they’re turning the corner at last!
- BT – Hopefully, that’ll be sorted today. The engineer is due between 8am and 1pm, and fingers crossed things will be sorted.
There’s a couple of other things coming up that so far seem positive, but I’m waiting for them to come through properly before I write about them.
All told though, yeah, it’s all feeling a bit more fixed and positive.
Yet again, my home broadband connection has gone to pot over the weekend.
It’s an ongoing problem – basically, there’s a leak in the outdoors part of my connection, so when it rains heavily, water gets in, and corrodes the connections in the master socket. I start to know it’s going to be bad when any phone call I make (not that I make many on the landline, but still) starts to get crackly. After a while, it then gets bad enough that the next ingress of water breaks things properly, and leaves my modem/router dropping the connection and reconnecting on an all-too-frequent basis.
In the five-and-a-bit years I’ve been in this house, I’ve had four master sockets. Now soon to be a fifth.
BT refuse to believe that this is the problem – this has been going on for ages, and they’ve done line checks etc., but won’t replace the outside part of the connection, for some reason.
So we go through the farce of doing fault-tracking, “We can’t find anything” and then booking an engineer to come out. Every time, I get told “If it’s a problem past the master socket (i.e. with my own wiring) then it’ll cost £129.99 on your next bill”. It won’t be with my wiring, because I’ve got precisely one socket, and one connector/splitter (also supplied by BT) on it.
Everything else will be fine, it’ll just be corroded connections in the master socket. Again.
This time, I’m going to aim to get the engineer to reinstall the master socket, but do so higher up the wall (so water doesn’t get in, as it can’t climb cables) or on a longer cable inside the house, so I can put it on a shelf or whatever, and again, let gravity deal with the problem.
The engineer’s coming out on Wednesday morning, so we’ll see what happens from there. It’d be nice (and really quite novel!) to have it sorted properly this time. But only time will tell whether that’ll happen or not.