30 November, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

During the summer there was a promotion where you could get Setanta Sports free for two months. Sounded like my type of deal, so I took advantage of it and signed up. The deal was you got the entire package of channels for August and September. It coincided with the start of the new season of the Premier League, and the rugby world cup so there was plenty to watch. They took my details, enabled the channels and said someone will give me a call near the end of the two months to see if I want to sign up for longer.

Two months later, while watching the Ireland v France rugby game, I get a call from them! In the middle of the game. I quickly told them it was a bad time i.e. I'M WATCHING THE GAME! What type of sales person would call to sell their sports package at the same time as you're watching one of the key games they were showing?!

A few days later, someone called again at a less sensitive time. They asked me what I thought of the service and would I like to sign up. I was honest with him and said I hadn't watched it much over the two months. I'd seen a few rugby matches but maybe only two soccer games. I just didn't have the time since many of the games they show are at 3pm on Saturday. So I said I wasn't going to pay €18 a month for channels that I wouldn't be watching.

The guy said that since I was already with them, he could give them to me for €9 a month for 3 months. I thought about it and hummed and hawed, all the time he was being a bit pushy, almost Mrs. Doyle type, saying "You know you want it" "It's only €9" go on go on go on. I caved in and signed up. Sure it's only €9, and I'll have the games around Christmas.

He told me if I wanted to cancel at any time, just call. You also had to give a months notice.

Two of the three months has gone by, and I noticed in my diary that I had a note to call and cancel. So I called yesterday.

I got through to customer service. The guy asks some questions to confirm who I was, and then updated my details before asking me how could he help me.

"I want to cancel my subscription"
"Why do you want to do that"
"'Cos I don't watch it enough, and I'm not going to pay €18 a month for something that I'm not going to watch"
"Ok. I'll have to put you through to an accounts manager to have you disconnected. You'll have to give him this reference number"

So he gave me a number and then asked did I have the phone number, if I wanted to call them again. I was wondering why I'd want to call again but anyway...

"Yes. It's 0818 20 30 40"
"No" says he. "It's..." and proceeds to give me the UK number. I interrupted him and told him I was in Ireland.

"Of course you are. Sorry. The number is 0818 20 30 40!
"That's the number you just gave me. Sorry"

Then he transferred me.

The new guy asked for my number. I said that I wanted to disconnect and I was giving my months notice and that I had a reference number. I read out the number.

"Sorry what was the number? I couldn't hear it. You're breaking up."
I repeated it.
"No. Sorry. Can't hear it"
I repeated it.
"No. Sorry. It's very bad"
I read out the first couple of letters
I read the next couple
"No. Sorry. You're breaking up"

My end of the line was fine. I could hear the guys around him perfectly well as they talk with enthusiasm about who would get the Scottish managers job. I was starting to see why I might want to call back...

"Can you hear me now?"
"Yes that's much better"

I was a wonder how well it improved considering I didn't do anything (since I was calling from my desk phone)
I repeated the number and he managed to hear it all! Wonder of wonders.
He proceeded to ask me some questions to confirm who I was. This was followed by
"Why do you want to disconnect?"
"I don't watch it enough and I can't justify paying €18 a month for something I don't watch"
"Do you know what you get for €18 a month?!" he said with great bravado.
"Yes. The same channels that I'm not watching for €9 a month"
"Why don't you watch them?"
"I don't have the time"
"Why don't you have time?"
"Because I have a life"
I think that the line must have mysteriously gone bad again because he replied
"Is it work?"
I wonder if he use to work with the Samaritans or some other counselling service.
"Yeah" I told him. Anything at this stage to get him to disconnect me.

Then finally he agree to disconnect me in 30 days time.


As a friend of mine said after
"People who think nothing is impossible have never tried to cancel a Readers Digest subscription".

Wii Fit

The Wii Fit has been released in Japan. It'll be some months until it's available in this neck of the woods, unless you want to buy it the Japanese version (and have a Japanese Wii to play it on). If you do then it's currently available from Play-Asia. About €130.

20 November, 2007

More Soaps in Your Eyes

So you don't want to remodel the entire bathroom just so that you can watch TV while having a shower, and you're more of a bath person anyway. Or you can afford to stay in hotels which have television sets in the bathroom. Or there's nothing you like more than watching your soaps while white water rafting....

Never fear - those fine people at Sanyo have just the thing for you. A waterproof LCD portable LCD television.

The battery goes for 7 hours on a charge - you should be good and wrinkly by then!

It's available, in Japan from November 21st - just in time for Christmas. More information from I4U.

12 November, 2007

Red Means Hot

What do you get for your bathroom that has everything - coloured water of course.

Here's a little gadget for lighting up the water coming from the tap (faucet). It will normally light it up in blue, but once the temperature hits 32C (89F) it goes red.

Perfect for those late night trips to the bathroom. Even better for teaching kids that the water is too hot for them. $20 to possibly prevent a nasty scalding - how could you not buy it?

Now if only they made them for taps outside of the US.

10 November, 2007

The Coolest Cooler

The perfect device for Santa to get around to check on who's being naughty or nice.

It only does 14mph/24kph, and he may need the optional back rest.

Look closely and you'll see that it also has a cup holder. 24 cans on the inside and one in the holder.

If you want one you can buy them from here

08 November, 2007

It's Official - He's Normal!

In case you haven't heard, Michael Jackson, formally known as Wacko-Jacko, has given his first real interview for ten years. Ebony magazine has the scoop. (For those who don't know the magazine, their goal is to provide a unique and engaging forum to explore the impact of the world on African Americans and the impact of African Americans on the world.)

The executive summary consists of mostly two points.

1) He is, apparently, normal. Hard to believe, but there it is.

2) His peaches and cream complexion is the whitest to ever grace the cover of the magazine.

Find out more from the Ebony web site

02 November, 2007

What could you make with....

What could you make with some second-hand aluminium (from a crashed 747), an engine from an old Honda Civic, and some seats from an old Toyota?

Have a look here for one guys entry.