Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Slap me on the head and call me 'Nancy'

In the past couple of weeks I have moaned and then crowed about Apple and Fitbit respectively.

Moaned about the big fruit because my Apple Watch, ordered the 11th of April was due to arrive with me between the 22nd and 29th of June. And praised Fitbit because of their exemplary service.

This morning I received an e-mail from 'Widget UK' saying my Widget UK order was due to arrive tomorrow. I assumed that this was my replacement Fitbit which I had confirmed as being processed a week or so ago. No mention of which product is being delivered though in the mail.

Yesterday morning my Apple Watch order changed from the above dates to dispatch between 17th and 24th of June - so a bit better but still disappointingly a way off.

This afternoon, just for the sake of doing it I checked my Apple Watch order again and bugger me if it isn't being dispatched for delivery between the 29th of May and the 1st of June. One assumes (there's that word again) that the above 'Widget' mail is the Apple Watch but it is really unusual not to receive a note from Apple themselves and have the delivery agent beat them to the punch. I suspect that my Fitbit will actually arrive tomorrow and then the Watch the day after.

Bit confused - too much new tech.....

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Props to old fashioned marketing/advertising

Walking up to my local town centre this afternoon I spied a new computer shop that has opened in place of a hair salon. This is good because we have bloody loads of hairdressers and barbers in Yeadon - about 15 at last count but no computer repair dudes.

Shop looks good, lots of cool gadgets in the window, seems quite friendly looking and had a the need for computery repairs then I would almost certainly try them out. Interestingly they had a little plastic leaflet dispenser attached the outside of the shop with some low cost photo-copied/printed handouts out their business. Thought this was a really clever idea, very cheap for them to do and made them stand out to me - in this day and age of a glorious social media it's nice to see a small local business interested in walk-in trade.

Thought it was worth giving them a shout on my blog as a result, here's their details :

Yeadon Computers, 6 Town Street, Yeadon LS19 7EQ - 0113 2508952.

If you need your pc repaired or upgraded or whatever in North Leeds give them a call.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Excellence in Customer Service from Fitbit

It really doesn't take much.

I know that companies make mistakes and I have always said that the strength of a business is not whether we make errors - humans make loads, computers more and most companies have loads of both.

No, I've always thought that the strength of a business is not in the number or severity of mistakes it makes (although severe repeated mistakes are obviously of concern !) but rather in the speed and facility by which they repair the errors.

So unusually for my blog I have a quick story of a success - a business who have frankly astounded me with their responsiveness. Take a look at the pic below :

Fitbit Charge - purchase Jan 2015
This is my Fitbit charge bought four months ago. I noticed on Sunday afternoon that the strap casing is coming away next to the LCD unit (centre right of the picture) and contacted their customer service automated e-mail address with details.

24 hours later I have a response with clear info they need to assess the damage and come up with a solution. Within three hours of my reply to that message this morning I have a reply back from their warranty team confirming that a new Fitbit is on it's way to me within 7 to 10 days.

Sorted, minimum of hassle and I also get to keep the old damaged one which as they suggest, I will recycle.

Really nice to deal with a company who understand the need to sort out customers - cannot speak highly enough of the process + love the Fitbit product anyway and their back up software which I also use dozens of times a day.

Quick update to the above post :

Fitbit just e-mailed me back - here's what they said :

Hello Phil,

In behalf of the whole Fitbit team, you're very welcome!

Here at Fitbit our main goal and concern is to provide our customers with a quick and simple solution, striving to always provide the best customer service.

Thank you for being a part of the Fitbit family.

Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns, we'll be happy to assist.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Apple Watch Pre-Order Omni-Shambles

I ordered my Apple Watch on the 11th of April - one day after pre-orders went live on the Apple Store.

Since then my order has sat saying dispatch in June.

Today the status changed to order dispatched in 5 to 6 weeks. So this means the middle to end of June as a delivery date. This is kind of what I expected but still disappointing.

Made even more disappointing by the fact that the store is now showing delivery on all 42mm sport versions as delivery in five to seven weeks. Broadly this means that anyone who wants to order now is probably going to receive their order at the same time as me - that is simply unfair - either there is a point to pre-ordering and you get priority on stock or just don't bother with pre-orders Apple.

What makes it worse is that I know of several people who ordered the same version of the watch as me well into April (one on the 24th) who've had their watches through already - so in essence Apple are sending out orders to everyone except the enthusiasts/early adopters who always drive their new products - will think long and hard before buying another Apple product so early in it's life cycle and am seriously considering cancelling my order.

Discourteous driving

Driving through the outskirts of North Leeds this morning - Yeadon to Horsforth to West Park.

Drove past West End Primary School at 8.15am and was met by the usual parents dropping off their kids. In the space of less than 100 yards though one parent pulled away from the kerb causing me to have to break, another on-coming vehicle (who had dropped off their child lower down the road) swerved towards the centre of the road trying to bully me into stopping for her as she approached a vehicle parked on her left, my right (where of course I had right of way) and lastly whilst going past the same parked car on my right another on-coming car (who had been parked behind the previous vehicle) essentially forced me to drive into the off side kerb to avoid her wing mirror smashing mine - even so it was flipping close.

I know that mornings can be stressful and people have to get off to work after they've dropped off their kids - but nearly forcing me off road three times in 20 seconds seems a bit extreme.

Of course I'm guessing that these three ladies would be the kind of person who would, on foot, stand and take down my registration number if I had done any of the same things.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Review of MPOW Bluetooth 4.0 wireless headphones

Have just uploaded a You Tube review of the above headphones.

You can watch the review on my You Tube Channel here. Basically they're a solid pair of wireless sports headphone. Pretty easy to set up. Solid in the ear but with some slightly odd sound reduction properties if you try and use them to take phone calls.

All in all a strong 3.5 out of five especially when you consider they were only £ 15.19 from

Awful response from my GP practice

On the 8th of May I published a post discussing how my GP surgery made a mistake and I ended up being charged for 4 prescriptions instead of 2.

Not a major issue of course but I wanted to try and recoup the overpayment and as outlined I attempted to contact the GP Practice Manager not once but twice in person and then (now) a total of eight times via e-mail.

So far I have had no response whatsoever.

I've also now posted on my blog, left a negative review on FourSquare, Facebook and their own NHS rating website - response thus far - nothing apart from one of the GP's at the practice (not the doctor in question) asking to become a contact on Linkedin.

So I'm going to turn up the heat al little and start tweeting and using social media more proactively to try and get a response from them. It's not really the £ 16 (although I would like that back) it's more the fact that GP's must make mistakes like this daily and most people have no way to fight back and ensure they're treated fairly.

Additional Notes - 19/5/15

So finally had a response from the surgery on this matter on the 18th of May from one of the senior doctors at the practice. In essence they've agreed to refund the 2 prescription charges that were made 'in error' and to raise the issues around the mistakes at their clinical review meetings. The reason for the slow response was put down to my using the wrong e-mail address to contact the practice manager (which incidentally was given to me by the practice !).

What hasn't been explained was the slow response time and the fact that I complained twice at the practice in person and was given no support - except the wrong e-mail address !

Will be donating the £16 refund to charity incidentally.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Issues with my GP and 'double' charging for a prescription

Had some issues with our GP in the last couple of weeks - in essence following a simple mistake on the part of one of the GP's we ended up having to pay for 4 lots of prescription charges rather than two - over £ 16.

The issue here isn't really the money (although it is !) the practice made a mistake, not us but we ended up footing the bill. What if this happened to a person who couldn't afford to pay for the prescription twice ? The analogy I use is a simple one. I walk into a shop, any shop anywhere. I discuss my requirements with a sales person or cashier and am given an item we agreed on. However on leaving the shop I discover they have accidentally given me the wrong item. In every case in every situation the shop would (quite rightly) correct their error.

For some reason not only would the reception staff at the surgery (despite being asked twice) nor the Practice Manager even discuss the issue with me. In fact I have now e-mailed the practice manager on no less than seven occasions since the 28th of April. Each e-mail is polite and concise - I have not even had an acknowledgement.

As I have had no response I have decided to take the subject to social media to see if that garners any response from them.

Here's a transcript of my initial e-mail on the 28th which outlines the exact situation (names and so on removed for confidentiality. The practice in question is : Yeadon Tarn Medical Practice on Silver Lane in Yeadon, Leeds West Yorkshire  

"My {FAMILY MEMBER} saw Dr X'XXXXXXXX this morning for severe ear ache. She had spoken to '111' overnight as the pain had been so intense and was advised to visit the GP urgently in the morning. The appointment was at 8.50 a.m.

During the consultation (which I also attended) we made it clear that my {FAMILY MEMBER} cannot swallow tablets - so the doctor even commented we would need soluble drugs when she prepared the prescription for pain killers and antibiotics. On collecting the prescription we realised that we had been given standard tablets not soluble versions and returned to the pharmacy to correct. Lloyds Pharmacy wouldn't change the prescription without a note from the doctor and I returned to the surgery. Eventually at 11.00am I was given another 'script and had this made up.

However, the pharmacy would not dispense the drugs without a second payment for two items, I returned to the surgery again and asked to speak to you (the Practice Manager - Averil Jardine) to clear this 'double charging' up but was told you were unavailable. So I wanted to make you aware that I have now paid an extra £ 16.40 for two unnecessary individual items following a basic error at your end. 

I really do resent paying a second set of unnecessary prescription charges. I would be grateful if you would be able organise a quick refund for £ 16.40 from Lloyds. 
Happy not to raise a 'formal complaint' so we can sort this out informally.

Very happy to arrange to bob in to the surgery to speak and for Lloyds to credit my card." 

As you can see the e-mail was to the point but extremely pleasant and that has been the tone of all my communication.

I wonder if publishing this on social media will have any impact on the response I receive from the surgery ?