I discovered the downside of having my (credit, debit) cards stolen: having to deal with the process of getting a replacement. The hero of this epic adventure turned out to be HSBC, the world’s local bank, or whatever it is they currently take pride in being.
It began when I discovered my wallet had been stolen. Later the same day, by a fantastic coincidence, a courier turned up from HSBC, with a replacement card for my debit card, which I thought was quite timely. Still, the lost card was floating around in someone’s hot little hands, and blocking it seemed a priority.
Silly me. (more…)
I have a view on the purpose and effectiveness of branding: I believe it can add value.
However, it can only do that if the corporate environment is conducive, and quite often, it just ain’t so.
Something that caused a stir in India recently was the subject of Open Document publishing, the use of globally accepted standards for published documents. One software major has been keen to establish its imprimatur in this area, but was rebuffed by voting countries, who are said to prefer a competing standard in Open Source.
The whole controversy made me think that perhaps there is something to be said about ‘market’ forces, when they do not fall into convenient slots. The very visibility of global majors should make their customers and other stakeholders benefit from the exercise of supporting their proprietary file formats and related tech information, yet this is not axiomatic. Here’s an example.
This item is about the travails of connected travel, ie, the real world difficulties of getting broadband on mobile phones. It is specific to Airtel in India, but to a large extent, similar problems are reported from other GSM users, and regrettably (because it leaves no other choice open) CDMA users as well. The difficulties reported appear superficially to be technical, but it doesn’t need much of a hard look to see they are as much organisational.
The emails below speak for themselves, but to save busy people the trouble of reading them, here’s a brief introduction.
The sender is a friend, an Airtel customer like myself, who has opted for the GPRS service so that he can browse freely while traveling. The service has always been unreliable, but for the last two months completely absent. He has complained frequently, he tells me, and has been assured that he had issues with his laptop (Toshiba) or with his smartphone (Nokia). Lately, he began to suspect that someone was being a little economical with the truth.
I had also toyed with the idea of accessing the Airtel GPRS service from my MacBook, when someone gave me an old Sony Ericsson smartphone, which had Bluetooth, which therefore makes for quite a handy combination.