Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Powweb finally gets back to me

It’s taken three days and in the end I had to send an e-mail to their sales department saying that I wanted to cancel the hosting account to get any action. Now they’re saying that they are expediting the work on it.

It’s still not working though and, supposedly, they’ve now been working on it for around half a day.

I’m persisting with the cancellation as I’m wondering how long it will take them to get around to getting the account fully operational (I’m assuming that I’ll find more things that they’ve not set up properly).

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Transferring domains out of

1and1 have something of a reputation of making it difficult to transfer domains away from them and rightly so as no matter how much you look around their website, you’ll not find how to do it.

It’s actually fairly easy once you find the site that you need to do it from.

  1. login to your 1and1 account and unlock the domains that you want to transfer (you’ll find the unlock option on clicking the info tab on your domain management screen);
  2. it’s a good idea to change the name servers at this point to point to those of your new hosting service and, of course, to upload your site to it’s new location if you’ve not done that already;
  3. if you’re using whois privacy you’ll need to disable that before proceeding; 
  4. register the domain with your new registrar and acknowlodge the request when you receive the e-mail (this is sent to the e-mail address recorded for your domain so check that it’s correct by looking up the domain on whois);
  5. go to the 1and1 contracts site and cancel the parts of the contract referring to the domains that you want to transfer (set the cancellation options to “as soon as possible” and “on “change provider”;
  6. acknowledge the e-mail that 1and1 will now send you.

OK, so it’s a bit convuluted but once you know the address of the 1and1 contracts site at least you can do it.

How long does it take? It’ll take you about 15 minutes to work through all that plus a few minutes per additional domain. The transfer itself can take anything from a few hours to several days.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Customer service and France car insurance don’t go together, especially if the company is GAN

In that insurance companies operate across national boundaries, you’d expect that the standards they adhere to would be international ones. After all, it would be too complicated to run with one set of rules in one country and a totally different one in another, wouldn’t it?

You might think that, but it ain’t so in France.

In France, once you’ve signed up for car insurance with one company it’s not possible to shop around each year as you’d do elsewhere in Europe because to change your insurance company, you must cancel your existing insurance by recorded delivery letter at least two months before your renewal date. However, as you might expect that’s before they’ve told you what it’s going to cost ie you’ve nothing to compare it against the price another company might quote.

We on the other hand are in the “fortunate” position that our previous car was wrecked and therefore could go into another insurance company for the quote. We’re also in the unusual position of knowing what the renewal premium would have been for the little car pictured and that our new and somewhat larger car was around EUR 200 cheaper to insure!

Not that you can totally walk away from the old company of course. You obviously need something to say what the discount you’re entitled to is and that’s what we’re trying to get now with, so far, no success.

What about the payout from GAN for the old car? We were wondering about that too. The car accident happened on May 23rd yet we still have had nothing from them which is why we’re now with a different company.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Sainsbury’s anti-family and anti-customer policies

Sainsburys anti-family signSainsbury likes to portray itself as a customer oriented family-friendly store but one policy that they’ve recently introduced in the Forestside store in Belfast is distinctly anti-family and the implementation of it is very anti-customer.

I spent around an hour shopping in the store with both my two and five year old in the trolley, passing untold numbers of Sainsbury staff and indeed security personnel. Indeed the kids were in the trolley right beside the security guard who threw us out at least 30 minutes before he got around to doing that.

On arriving at the checkout, I was told by the checkout operator that the two couldn’t stand in the trolley. Fair enough, though difficult to enforce on two small kids. I had them sit down.

She immediately got up and went off to her supervisor. It wasn’t good enough: it was a health and safety issue and there was a sign at the front door saying that children couldn’t be in trolleys at all. They had to get out of the trolley. Well, since I had to cross a busy supermarket and then a very busy car park I figured that it wasn’t safe to do that so left after they refused to serve me.

I happened to glance at the sign on the way out. As you can see it doesn’t say that children can’t be in the trolley. In addition to that I was less than pleased at the attitude of the checkout operator.

So, I went into the store again and asked to speak to Customer Service. Pointing out that the sign didn’t say what the Customer Service staff said it did had them call security and throw me out of the store.

Even standing right in front of the sign, the security guy apparently couldn’t read as he said it says that children can’t be in trolleys which, of course, it doesn’t. OK, he went on to say that the children couldn’t have their feet in the trolley as it was a food store. Sound reasonable? Well, this is a store which sells dog food, garden pesticides, rat poison and unwrapped food. They don’t ban people having rat poison in the food trolleys which sounds like a much greater risk to health than two kids sitting in a trolley.

His suggestion? Bring your pram. Now I don’t know about you ladies out there but I for one would find it impossible to push both a trolley and pram round a supermarket. And, no, unlike Tesco they don’t provide trolleys for those with two kids. Oh, that’s not their responsibility: the centre provide the trolleys (nicely labelled “property of Sainsbury”).

If I’d the time to spare, I’d be quite tempted to spend an hour or two walking round the store with both the kids eagerly lifting the products off the shelves. I’m sure it wouldn’t take too long before they managed to drop some and tip over a few displays.

So if you’ve kids, avoid Sainsbury. In fact, if you like customer service avoid them too: shoplifters are treated better than those with the temerity to bring two kids with them.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Peculiariaties of French medicine

Doctor Bobo
You might think that medical treatment in France would be pretty much the same as it is elsewhere in the world once you get to the point of visiting the doctor, but it isn’t.

Certainly there are the obvious differences in how the various healthcare schemes are run. So, in the UK everything is free but there are waiting lists. In France, everything costs but there aren’t any waiting lists.

Expectations of the patients are quite different too. For example, because the French like to come away from the doctor with something after their visit, the number of medicines prescribed is massive. James had bronchitus last year and in the UK he’d have had a single bottle of medicine yet in France he ended up with that bottle plus tablets plus an inhaler plus appointments at the physiotherapist. Did he get better faster though? Well, no, so there wasn’t really any point in all the additional treatments.

The doctors have no consideration of any modesty that you might have either so almost always it’s “strip off, yes, everything” which is something to bear in mind. Such differences have resulted in there being training sessions for doctors in areas with a high brit expat population.

I wonder though if Doctor Bobo realises that his potential brit clientele is a good deal smaller than it might be if he didn’t advertise himself as a clown?

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.