Tag Archives: Mac

Why Apple Users Sing & Dance

Why Apple is king.

I lost a chunk (around 600) iTunes tracks (through my error), they helped me out. (I had order numbers and records).

You are hard pushed to find companies that will help you out if the problem is THEIR fault, let alone if the error was all down to the customer!

They did everything they could to replace the tracks I had lost – even though it isn’t really what they are meant to do.

They did say that I should make sure I back up fully, as replacing this many tracks is really a one time thing – and then they gave me advice on back up solutions. A class act!

Some tracks were over 60 days old, and their system wouldn’t allow them to be resent to me (they shouldn’t send things out again anyway – it’s not contractually what they do!), so they gave me a work around and said if I re-purchase, then they’ll refund!

The guy I was dealing with (based in the USA & all done quickly by email) was very positive, very friendly and 110% customer focused… and once it was all sorted he ended the final email conversation with:

“Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you”

Buying Apple doesn’t just end with the product on your table – They really care about their customers.

What does this “above and beyond” treatment of their customers get them in return? – Simple…. It gets them very happy customers who go on and tell people about their positive experience with Apple!

Go buy a PC and get service like that!

(I didn’t even get a reply from Amazon for the tracks I purchased there!)

I’ve dealt with Apple a few times, and each time it is so refreshing & hassle free!

Now you know why Apple users are some of the most loyal customers around!


Tidying up the final purchases/refunds today & Apple did it again!

I thought I couldn’t be more impressed by their service until an email I recieved today. Let’s just say it could be compared to buying a car, having a crash, and then the insurers giving you the full value of that car at todays price… not the depreciated value & not the old price. Yup… one happy customer!

The only way they could top this would be an iPhone 4, iPad WiFi/3g & Macbook Pro gift basket & fruit!

Damn they’re good!

MSN PLUS – How to escape

Several years ago I bought MSN Premium services for me and Chris…. like 7 years ago….

I tried to cancel 3 years ago because Google offer the whole lot for free. Heck, Googlemail and all the other Google services run rings around Microsoft.

The trouble with cancelling from MSN is that it would be easier to find the one ring that controls them all… to pass wind through the eye of a needle…to actually watch all the Adam Sandler movies back to back without killing yourself… than it is to cancel an MSN subscription.

I searched the net for like minded people… there are many. MSN apparently lie our money and make giving it to them easy… but trying to get it back or stop payment is a different matter.

Oddly enough though I thought that an expired credit card would soon have them contact me – seeing as they failed to return my emails – and the customer support links in the MSN Premium web pages were always “under maintenance”.

Nope… I still got emails saying that maney was being taken from the expired card.

Others that had tried to end subscriptions had posted information and links on the net – trouble is it appears that MSN keep changing the location of any pages that allow you to unsubscribe, so all of the links were no good.

I had to search and search until I finally managed to get an online chat with an MSN representitive. The answers he gave were odd and disturbing to say the least….

Here is the transcript:

LRB: Initial Question/Comment: MSN Premium:general question

Anthony has joined this session!

Connected with Anthony. Your reference number for this chat session is 1xxxxxxx7.

LRB (Me): Hello

Anthony: Thank you for contacting MSN Support. I’m Anthony, I’ll be your Support Assistant. Please give me a moment while I access your account and verify this information.

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting, Lucas. How are you doing? 🙂

LRB (Me): I’m a bit confused to be honest

Anthony: Don’t worry, I will do my best to help you.

Anthony: I understand that you want to cancel your MSN Premium subscription and I’m sorry to learn that you’ve decided to discontinue this service. For documentation purposes, may we know the reason for cancellation?

LRB (Me): I haven’t used the service for a few years. I tried to cancel last year but nothing happened.

LRB (Me): The service is good – but just not what I need now (Got to be nice – It’s much easier if you’re nice to them)

Anthony: I understand. Please give me a minute while I access my tools and cancel this subscription for you. Please stay online for your confirmation number.

LRB (Me): What has confused me is that my billing card expired in 2005 – yet each year you seem to renew. I no longer have that card…it expired!

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have processed your request to cancel your MSN Premium subscription, and your confirmation number is 1xxxxxxxxx8. Effective immediately, your subscription is canceled. Would there be anything else I can assist you with?

Anthony: We apologize for the inconvenience.

LRB (Me): I also pay for my wifes service and need to cancel that one too.

Anthony: Let me inform you that Microsoft/MSN will try to charge the credit card on file regardless of the status until the subscription has been canceled. So you did the right thing in contacting us to cancel the MSN subscription to avoid future charges.

Anthony: I can also assist you in canceling your wife’s MSN subscription. Can you give me her primary e-mail address?

LRB (Me): xxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com – All the addresses and billing info are the same as mine

Anthony: Okay. Please give me a minute while I access my tools and cancel this subscription for you. Please stay online for your other confirmation number.

LRB (Me): If my card has expired, has MSOFT been able to even take my money – or has this just been overlooked for the past 4 years?

Anthony: Your credit card has been charged but nothing has been taken out of it. (Okay…. so the past few years MSN have charged a dead credit card, but not taken any money out – Remember this……)

LRB (Me): Ah right. I could have carried on with free subscriptions then! Doesn’t matter as I haven’t been using it, but still!

LRB (Me): How’s it going with that second number?

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have processed your request to cancel your wife’s MSN Premium subscription and issued a refund for 34.95 GBP. Effective immediately, your wife’s subscription is canceled. Microsoft will process your refund within 72 hours. It may take longer than 72 hours to appear on your bank or credit card statement. Your confirmation number is 1xxxxxxx2. Would there be anything else I can assist you with?

LRB (Me): How can money that wasn’t taken be repaid into a card that doesn’t exist? I’m a bit confused now.

Anthony: The refund is for the subscription of your wife which still has 4 more months.

LRB (Me): Yes, but it would have been on the same card – which expired in 2005…. So the money couldn’t have been taken from it (as you said). I just want to know how it can now be refunded if it wasn’t taken? You see my problem?

Anthony: There is a tie up between selected banks and Microsoft that will let Microsoft charge even the expired credit cards so the subscription can be reactivated. (That’s a bit scary then. An expired card won’t stop payment – You have to jump through all the hoops and get the cancellation numbers – There is no other way, just the near impossible way that MSN have set up…)

LRB (Me): Does that mean money can still be taken by MSoft even if the card has expired?

LRB (Me): or that it can just charge?

Anthony: Yes. That’s why you really need to cancel the service to avoid these kinds of trouble in the future.

LRB (Me): Sorry – was that yes to Msoft can still take the money?

Anthony: Yes, that’s correct.  (OKAY….. so what he said a minute ago about “not taking money out” was bulls**t)

LRB (Me): Okay. Finally then, why is it so difficult to cancel any Msoft subscriptions? Everything is complicated and hidden away, yet to pay for things it’s all very easy. I tried to cancel last year and yet the renewal still came through this year -all very contrary.

Anthony: We apologize for the inconvenience. We are trying our best to present an easy and quick process in canceling MSN subscriptions. I’m glad I was able to process the cancellation to both your accounts. Can I assist you with anything else, Lucas?

LRB (Me): That’s all, thank you very much Tony. (It was a small thing using Tony and not Anthony… but I felt a bit of warmth for that…. )

Anthony: You’re welcome. Thank you for contacting MSN Support. Bye.

So… I would really like to give you the links and info on how you too can cancel any MSN subscriptions, but I can’t. They change the link addresses so any link I post will no doubt be dead as soon as I post it. Feel free to drop me a line and I’ll try to help you out though.

Where does this leave me then? Well, now I am adamant that that I will not touch Microsoft products ever again.

I bought an Apple iPhone a while back…. It impressed me so much that I took the big leap and bought a Mac laptop. I am so impressed by the Mac laptop that I am perfectly happily enough to never buy a PC again. Windows is history, MSoft is history… and I don’t care how good an XBox could be, I’m sticking with PS3 and whatever new none Msoft systems hit the market.

True, the Mac appears to be pricier than a Windows computer if you compare hardware specifications, but IGNORE that… The Mac uses all it’s parts in such an efficient way that although it has a lower spec, it far out performs far higher specification PC’s…. Infact I will go as far to say that you would need to spend more money on a PC to meet the performance of a lesser specified Mac.

I don’t use MS Office or any other hugely expensive MSoft software, because SUN make free software that is MSoft compatable OPEN OFFICE.

It doesn’t end there. Why pay for Windows operating systems when there are free operating systems out there? You could even use the standard Mac O/S which costs next to nothing compared to MSofts software.

MSoft just want your money and rely on people buying there stuff because they don’t know of the other options.

I am not an Apple Fanboy or PS3 fanboy, I’m just someone who doesn’t like the second rate service and products of Microsoft – and I don’t like them telling me what I should and shouldn’t have when there are better options out there.

The All New Blog Entry

Phew…. so much to catch up on….

Lots of new things have taken place since my last Blog entry (TWITTER GUIDE). To fill you all in, I shall quickly list what I will discuss today!!!

  • TWITTER GUIDE: Over 12,000 hits on my web blog in a day….
  • Resignation from My old job.
  • My New Job with Percival Aviation.
  • The death of PC’s grip on me…. the change to Apple Macs…

Twitter Guide

I use Twitter as you will probably know by now. When I first started tweeting I felt lost in this new world of micro-bloggery – but there were no real guides around. I wanted a simple “Bullet point” guide – nothing too complicated.

I figured a lot of stuff out on my own, and some with help from others. I began to share the knowledge with other users as they joined. People would ask me questions and I would answer.

There were two problems though – I was answering the same questions over and over – and it was hard to do with only 140 characters in a tweet entry. Obviously I needed to write something up for new users so I could point them at it.

I love to help folks, so I went about writing the guide. After writing it I got a lot of feedback (positive) on the guide – people saying it was what they really needed, people sharing the guide with other people, lots started calling me a Guru!! Well, I’m no Guru – I just wrote up the jumble of notes and shared it – not much guruing required – but hey!

With the positive feedback coming in from people who follow me on Twitter I decided that it must be a pretty good guide – and as such it needed a wider audience. After all – if people thought it was that useful, then surely I should try to get it out to as many people as possible.

Many people were sharing the guide – but I needed it to be shared by Twitter users who have HUGE followings…. so I asked Stephen Fry, Phillip Schofield, Robert Llewellyn and Jonathan Ross to spread the word.

Before asking these great friendly folk for help, this blog had a top day of 407 hits! WOW!!! I’m usually happy with 20 hits a day – after all, my blog isn’t really a focus group thing – it’s just the rantings of an everyday guy.

After asking for the guide word to be spread my site went mad…. the numbers went up in their hundreds every few minutes! Within no time I had peaked 500….1000….4000….8000….and by the end of the day I had over 12,000 people hit my site!

With no help from me the next day I had another 6000 hits. Since the initial flood I am now getting 300 to 500 hits a day every day….. I feel the pressure is on for me to really turn out the goods now!

Out of all of those many thousand people I only saw one slightly negative comment (ONLY ONE!!!). Someone simply said “I have passed this guide on to my friends, but I didn’t really understand it myself” – I thought that was great! Although they weren’t sure, they still thought it was worth sharing – so thanks!

If you want to see the reviews and retweets, then check HERE.

I’m so glad that the guide is helping people. I don’t earn anything from my Blog, so it is all done purely to help – The thanks I have been recieving has been payment enough! Thanks every one!

Onto my resignation….

I damaged my back and it took three months to get back to a stage where I was able to work fully again. I damaged it doing a job for my company whilst using a vehicle bought to do that very job. The sick time meant I had very low pay (£160 Per MONTH)… which lead us to a dark place.

The money hole meant I needed a better job with more pay to recover our finances. I also needed a job with better security – because I was feeling like I had been hung out to dry (whether I was is a different matter, but it felt that way). A new job came my way and I handed in my resignation – I feel it was a blessing really, as the company I worked for were making some redundancies.

My job was not one of the ones on the line – but hey, I’d rather work for a company that is hiring (and paying 22% more) in these climates, than one that isn’t. Like I said – the bad back was a blessing in disguise.

Sadly the project I had been working on was put on hold when I left. It was for a calibration laboratory. I had built it up from nothing and was only a few weeks away from getting it approved by UKAS. The project was put on hold when I left because I was to be head of the Lab. With no one directly to take my position, there was no way UKAS could certify the lab.

I felt a bit gutted, as it was a major project. The whole project feels hollow to me now. I did so much and left without that final completion. Even if it had been completed, it wouldn’t have been able to operate until my replacement was found. I would compare it to learning a language for a holiday you never take – You achieve something and nothing.

Had the back injury not happened, or had the money not been an issue, I would have happily stayed there, as the majority of the folks there were great to work with, and I learnt a lot from my immediate Boss.

Annoyingly for me on the financial front I had to work 4 weeks notice. I wanted out straight away – or at most 2 weeks. The bosses said I needed to train up one of the other guys with what I knew – so I had to do the full 4 weeks. I was lucky that the guy (already working with the company) had smarts and some experience – that made it easier.

On the last day I drove into work in our own car. The idea was that Chris would drive the company car in later to drop it at the factory, and we’d go back home in our own car. This would mean I could load up our car with my gear during the day, and simply swap cars at the end of the day…

Bit of a cock up though – The guy taking my car had to leave at half day…. with the car… which I wasn’t properly told about… so the day was cut short and felt rushed and I wanted to take my time and ensure everything was handed over smoothly.

A while after I left I hadn’t received my P45, so I called the wages department…. who weren’t aware that I had resigned…

Never mind, these things are sent to try us. None of us are perfict after all 🙂

Regardless of how I felt, I still point people towards that company for their metrology needs, as the team there do know what they are talking about.

I have no bad feelings for them now, although at the time I had some strong mixed emotions.

I am in a much better place now though, and although I would rather have arrived here without  all of that pain and worry, I wouldn’t have got to this point at all if things had just carried on ticking over. Infact with several hundred hits a day on this site I could advertise them here – but I’m not sure how they’d feel about that.

My New Job…

I now work for Percival Aviation as a Sales Executive. It’s not your typical sales type job, as that is only a very small part of the role. I have to put quotes out based on customer requirements for aircraft interior work. I also put all the job cards together with bills of materials (BOM’s).

Simply put – A customer wants a seat. I have to break that seat down (on paper) into its individual parts – the nuts, bolts, screws, glue, materials, etc… and then cost them all up. I have to work in whether we will build the sub components or whether sub-contractors will be used. I work out all the component costings and man hour costings by sending out for quotes from suppliers etc. I work out the build process and then with all of this information I can quote the customer. Once we get the order I can then write out the processes for the works card – which the shop floor team use to build the seat.

This is a very simplistic view of the job… It is very involved and to a very tight time schedule. I love it – the pressure is on, each job is different and already I have had praise and appreciation – both of which are very important in a job – but often overlooked.

There is a downside – I have to travel 52 miles to work, and 52 miles back again…. so I’m on the look out for an economical car… mind you, the increase in pay more than covers the fuel bill!

Bye Bye Company Car and Laptop

The Fiat Multipla went back to the company, as did my works laptop… which has left us with Chris’s old XP laptop and just the Citroén Berlingo. I have the car during the week for work – and Chris takes it for the weekend for her job. That leaves us at the mercy of the buses….which Alex loves – so it’s not a bad thing!

As for the computer front… we need to replace Chris’s laptop pretty soon as it is slow and very outdated. We’ve done all we can to try and have it keep up, but its time has come.

I bought an Apple MacBook after I was so impressed by the Apple iPhone. This is the computer that I am currently using. In a few months I shall give it to Chris (once I know how to use it fully!). I shall then get myself another MacBook.

I will not be buying a PC again, that’s for sure. The Mac is just so amazing!

I have had a few problems getting used to it. The biggest problem is due to the way I have used PC’s for so long.

The Mac is very intuitive – and so fast! If you look at the numbers that make up the Mac specs you would think it would be slow compared to a PC – but in reality the cheapest Mac (which isn’t that cheap) is far superior to even higher spec PC’s!

When buying a Mac, don’t compare Mac specs to PC specs in a like for like way – Mac uses its component parts far more efficiently than a PC, and as such a lower spec Mac will dance all over a PC. I’ve not used a PC as fast as this little MacBook – and this MacBook is the entry level one!!!

Once you realise that the price of a PC that can perform as fast as a Mac is going to be higher, you then see that the Mac isn’t so expensive after all…. especially as the software is cheaper (in my experience) and you don’t need to buy additional anti-virus.

This leaves one bug-bear then. That of the conversion from PC to Mac.

The PC is easy to use simply because we’ve all pretty much been brought up with them. The Mac on the other hand would be the easier one to use if you have never used a computer before. Everything is in the right place – it works as you would expect it to work. There is no fussing around. The trouble is getting used to doing things in this easy way once you have spent so many years doing things the hard way on a PC!!! Just stick with it and enjoy the benefit though!

Two stand out examples that got me were the search function on a Mac compared to that of a PC.

The Joy of Mac Search (Spotlight)

The Joy of Mac Search (Spotlight)

In a PC you can search files and folders for a keyword or name. You set it up to search, then go off and do other stuff as it looks through all of your systems files and folders. This can take some time.

On the Mac though, you type in the search requirement and instantly you have all of the files listed that contain the thing you were looking for. This includes any emails where the search phrase might have occurred – and it even gives a definition of the word – and when I say it is instant, I really mean INSTANT.

The other example is when uninstalling programs. On a PC you need to go into the settings and run an uninstall application or program. This then goes through the PC and resets and removes all (most) of the programs files.

On a Mac you just delete the icon (or drag it to the waste bin). That’s it – job done!

Simple, fast, intuitive and also just very pleasant to use.

I won’t go into the simplicity that is linked emails, calendars, browsing… oh the emails!!! Mac Mail has some awesome features…. ah Heck! It’s all awesome… go buy one!

I won’t be going back to a PC – I have only had the Mac for a week and I am already frustrated to Hell and back with the works PC I use…. Apple really know what they are doing.

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