Archive for the ‘General’ Category

BT Complaint to CEO

Sunday, July 10th, 2011
Dear Sir,

I am honestly at the end of my tether, emailing you is my last option is that I hope that I might finally get a response.

I am a NEW CUSTOMER. I have no been without a telephone and internet connection for five days, that an engineer may come in 5 days time, and that there is no known time for how long before you connect me.

Obviously; please do NOT email me back – I cannot access my email. Please call me on [number redacted].

Trying to call your team puts me through to a call center, who ignore everything I say – and tell me that there is no problem on my line; and put me through to faults.
I know this is not the case, your UK management team told me so. Of course, I have no way to contact them directly.

I’ll explain the course of events so far;

Wednesday 29th June – I call to arrange a my telephone being connected and to also connect my broadband at the same time. I’m given a date of the 11th July.
I then call my broadband supplier (Eclipse) and am told I need a DFQ number before broadband can go live.
I phone BT back and ask for this number. I am told I didn’t ask specifically enough for a ‘Simultaneous Transfer’ and have to cancel the order and start again.
This also cancels my appointment, but I given the 18th by Stuart.

I do not know the exact terms that your team use! I complain and Ranjit (Stuart’s Supervisor), manages to get a date of the 6th July. I rejoice.

Wednesday 6th July - I move in (very early so I am on time for Openreach) and wait for an engineer to arrive. Engineer does not arrive.
I receive a text message saying that an Engineer did not need to come to my property (so I woke up at 5am for nothing).
I call your normal 0800 number, am told there is no problem, and must be with me. I explain that no engineer came here.
A fault is reported and I am told an Engineer would be sent out Thursday morning instead.

I’m also told that if it is found that the problem is with my line; I will be charged £130.
I argue this, since I am already paying £130 for connection; and no engineer even turned up.

Thursday 7th July - I wait for an engineer to arrive at 8am again, one day after moving house. Engineer does not arrive.
I call up again, many many times and no-one seems to even know of the fault at all.
Many phone calls later and I am told that no Engineer was even sent.

I am told that Mr. Tusumo would call me back later that day.
No-one calls back.

I call back, and no-one has even heard of Mr. Tusumo, and no-one is aware of any problems on my line.
After many more calls I am put through to a ‘supervisor’ – Pratiksha – who said she would call me back the next day.

Friday 8th July -
Pratiksha does not call back

I call again and surprisingly am put through to Ranjit again! Finally he looks into the problem, and then goes home.
I’m given a call by Atmed that I do need an engineer, no-one from Openreach has connected me, and the earliest he can do so is next Saturday.

I’m very unhappy since this is now 10 days from when Ranjit said my line would be installed.

Saturday 9th July - I call again on the number Pratiksha gives me to check this is all okay and to ask for some compensation or access to BT Fon/Openzone.
It turns out to be the same number, apart from this time it costs me 45p/min to call.

I ask to speak to someone about the on-going problem with my phone line.
I am told that “there are no problems on my line, I will put you through to report a new fault”.

I explain that he obviously does not have access to all the notes on my accounts, and could he put me through to their UK team.
I’m told that there is no UK team, but someone would call me back.

Sunday 10th July
No-one calls back! No-one responds to my emails or phone calls. I begin misplacing marbles.

So…

  • It seems your call center team is NOT aware of any problems on my line.
    • I’m simply put through to report a new fault every time, despite other teams knowing about the problem
  • I’ve been told all of the following from different people;
    • the order went through, but is not activated
    • the line is active, but not provisioned
    • openreachs’ website says the order is not finished
    • my phone line is active, and there are no problems and do I want to report a fault
  • Your management team is aware of a problem, but I cannot contact them in any way, and they refuse to give out a direct number
  • I have been told it is Openreach who has not connected me at the exchange – and that an engineer will be coming next Saturday.
    • Given that three engineers have not turned up already, I’m not convinced that anyone will arrive
    • This will be 17 days after I placed my order before anyone even looks at it
    • No-one can tell me when my phone line may work

That leaves me:

  • unable to make any phone calls without hanging out of my upstairs window
  • my only method of internet is hanging a 3G dongle on a mop handle out of the window, and constantly refreshing pages
  • I am completely unable to contact you and find out the status of my problem
  • I am spending lots of money on needless phone calls because your staff refuse to call back
  • my problem will not even be looked at until next week
  • no-one even seems to know what the problem is, and instead are just throwing engineers at the problem, who don’t turn up

I realise I have no choice but to wait for your company; since you have such a monopoly on the phone lines.

However, I’ve paid a lot of money to be connected and this is not happening. I am now without a phone line for more than 10 days, and will soon have to go back home to my parents (over 100 miles away) just to be able to live.

Please can you get someone to call me urgently and;

  • explain what the problem is – is it your sales staff, openreach, or a problem here?
  • give me a number I can call, to a team who is aware of the problem (and doesn’t tell me there is no issue)
  • fix my phone line as an urgent matter

I would appreciate some sort of compensation for paying £130 for an engineer not to turn up three times.

I would also appreciate some compensation for the work that I cannot do.
I’m losing £125 a day from my customers, for the minimum of ten days you say this may take, I am out of pocket by £1250, plus the cost of telephone calls to BT using my mobile phone. One month line rental does not even come close to how much you’ve cost me.

I would also appreciate access to BT Openzone or BT Fon, so at least I can check my emails for urgent problems.

I have been VERY patient with BT but I am honestly now at the end of my tether.

My last option with BT is that I hope that I might finally get a response by contacting you directly.

Yours,

Monkeyboi

Nationwide Building Society Complaint

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Dear Graham, the Chief Executive of the Nationwide Buildings Society.

I complained to your staff on the 13th. I was told I’d receive a call back that morning.

I’ve phoned, emailed, and sent messages on your online banking.

Take a wild guess if I received anything back whatsoever?

Need a hint? It’s the same response I’d give if you’d asked if I’ll be banking with you in a month.

Since your staff are so inept that they can’t manage to call me back – and you’re too cheap to let your management have phone lines (I’m presuming they don’t have opposable thumbs and cannot answer telephones), I’m forwarding my complaint onto you.

If you are too busy playing golf, or perhaps your overpaid secretary/mistress is busy spending your £1780/day salary (don’t worry, I won’t tell Marie… your wife? remember?), I’ll look forward to discussing this with the FSA.

Yours,

Monkeyboi

iPhone Joke Day Compilation

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

A few people have asked me to post some of the jokes from the iPhone Joke day I did on the 18/19th May 2010. I’ve posted them all here. Enjoy.

Officially announces that today shall be declared iPhone Joke Day. Hope owners can take it in jest; well they did buy one. #ipjd

Why did the chicken cross the road? He was trying to get a signal on his iPhone 4. #ipjd

BBC News: Police find 3 of Raoul Moat’s mobile phones. Two have been charged, but they’re holding his iPhone until they get a signal. #ipjd

Orange and Apple will make a great pear for the iPhone. #ipjd

I just heard about the new iPhone rickroll virus, they should be ashamed. Honestly, you know the rules, and so do I. #ipjd

40 attempted suicides at the iPhone factory – have they got an app for it now? #ipjd

Apples new app which lets you order a pizza, anywhere, from your iPhone. Strange, my phone already does this. #ipjd

Apple is about to give away two yoghurt pots and some string to all iPhone 4 users #ipjd

A local apple store was burgled for over 10k of merchandise. Police remain hopeful they can find and return both computers. #ipjd

iPhone share prices decreasing? Mmmmm… I do love to see an Apple Crumble. #ipjd

First the iPhone was left in a bar and now the bars have left the iPhone. #ipjd

Free iPad for all iPhone users. Just hold it closer to your face, simulating not being able to make calls by holding it. #ipjd

Apple: “”We tested the handsets with Jeremy Beadle, Stephen Hawking and Abu Hamza and no problems with signal were reported”" #ipjd

The iPhone killer: A Nokia strapped to a large hammer. #ipjd

I can’t believe Steve Jobs’s liver is replaceable but the battery in the iPhone is not. #ipjd

Apple issue fix for iPhone 4: Hold your penis with your other hand. #ipjd

The England team are expected to get a great reception upon their return… none of them have an iPhone. #ipjd

Only 0.55% of customers have called about the iPhone signal problem… Maybe the rest can’t get through? #ipjd

BBC NEWS: Apple advises on holding iPhone. I think theres an appendage for that. #ipjd

The iPhone. The only mobile with a name as self-obsessed as its users. #ipjd

I’ve still got plenty more, so iPhone Joke Day will continue tomorrow. Some good ones coming, I promise. #ipjd

So Steve Jobs said there is NO problem with the iPhone 4 antenna, which is why he is giving everyone a free case… #ipjd

iPhone Joke days continues! So far there’s only 1 person not realising that it’s a joke (by which I refer to the day, and to Apple) #ipjd

Two iPhone’s got married. It was a lovely ceremony, but the reception was awful… Apparently they held it in the wrong place. #ipjd

iPhone owners: Use the Built-in Compass and GPS to find the nearest public phone box. #ipjd

The founder of Apple just walked into the house and took all our Mr Sheen! Bloody Jobs, coming over here and stealing our polish. #ipjd

iPhone 4: Put your calls on hold simply by holding the phone. #ipjd

The iPhone 4 has a built in feature that stops smudge marks on the chrome finish. If you touch it it shorts out and loses signal. #ipjd

0.55% with dropped calls? That’s only 16,500 people that complained! About the same chance of having it nicked from your car. #ipjd

Life was much more simpler when apple and blackberry were just Mr. Kiplings pie fillings. #ipjd

Bill Gates has recently hired polish people to kidnap the CEO of Apple. He’s heard they are really good at taking Jobs. #ipjd

Around 1 person in 10 is homosexual. About 1 person in 10 uses an Apple. It’s a coincidence. Honestly. #ipjd

Apple are making a black AND a white version of the iPhone? That’s very PC. #ipjd

0.55% of all iPhone 4 users complained about antenna or reception. I don’t think it mentioned the other 99.45% that can’t call in. #ipjd

Already been screwed by Apple? That’s okay, they’re giving you a condom to fix it now. #ipjd

Just bought an iPod Touch. It’s just like an iPhone, but you can’t make calls… No, wait, it’s exactly like an iPhone. #ipjd

Apple announce that if you purchase a new iPhone 4 they will throw in a free blackberry so you can make a call #ipjd

Technically shoplifting an iPhone from their official shop only counts as scrumping. #ipjd

Problems with your iPhone? Don’t touch it in the sensitive area. Perverts. #ipjd

New iPhone advert – deaf couples can (finally) use Video Chat! Those who can’t afford £1/min can just send texts. #ipjd

WORST #ipjd joke: Is your iPhone broken? No bubbles when washing your cornea? Oh, wait, no, sorry. You’ve purchased a bad eye foam. #ipjd

Done with iPhone jokes! You want one compliment? At lreast tghe toiuchsxcreenb keytpadf isd reaslklyt accuyraterf abnd eadsy toi usre. #ipjd

O2 Fair Use Policy – The REAL Story

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Over the last few months I’ve been looking at various ISPs to sign up to, since I use a lot of bandwidth since I am self-employed.

I called O2 (since they provide my mobile phone contract), and they advised me that they have a Fair Use Policy. I gave them full details of how much bandwidth I use – around 60GB during the day over a month, and around 100-200GB overnight.

I finally got a response from them by telephone telling me this limit was around 1 terabyte. I asked them to confirm this by email:

From: Safwaan Ismail <Ismail.Safwaan@O2.COM>
Date: 20/02/2010 21:33
This email will give them know what’s happening. It will also explain our how we’re applying our Fair Use policy. There’s still no “cap” on the network – but when we have customers downloading over 1,000Gb we need to take action. This activity really is having a detrimental impact to the majority of our customers

and confirmed this later on that it was indeed 1,000 gigabytes and not 1,000 gigabits:

From: Safwaan Ismail <Ismail.Safwaan@O2.COM>
Date: 20/02/2010 21:20
Just to confirm it’s 1,000 Gigabytes!

(I can provide the full text of the emails if required)

Fine I thought; and signed up on their Pro package on 21/02/2010, and was connected on the 01/03/2010.

On the 14/04/2010; I received the following email:

“We hope that you are enjoying your home broadband experience with us. Unfortunately, it looks like you’ve been using significant amounts of our network capacity and it’s affecting the service that our other customers get.”

I called them and was told I was over my limit for using 108GB! I called to complain and ask for an explaination. I was told (over many hours of calls) that Safwaan had made a mistake, and I shouldn’t have listened to him and instead gone by their Fair Usage Policy.

I have all these calls recorded if they would be any use (despite one of them advising me he doesn’t want the call used, not even in court; that’s a risk I’m possibly willing to take).

I was told they would not be able to provide me broadband. I explained that this was a violation of the agreement on the contract, and they disagreed and could only offer £40 on my mobile phone bill.

To change to another company that provides the bandwidth they promised has cost me £283.50 extra for the year. I’ve asked for this money but they would not accept and refuse to discuss it further.

I’ve recently received a bill from them for £1.75, and they’ve told me that this was an error and would be refunded to my credit card, but can provide no explaination of this charge since they have a 3-month free broadband promotion.

Can’t say I’m very impressed. Have contacted The Register and BBC Watchdog so far.

O2 Broadband Download Limit?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

I want to change to o2 broadband, but i dont know if how much i download is going to be a problem.

I use my home connection for my work, and for backing up my home folders. This means I download approximately 150-200GB a month. I can be more specific than this.

I emailed O2 to ask them, didn’t get a reply, so I phoned them up and asked.

A really nice guy, called Matt said:

We can’t forsee a problem with how much you download but can’t guarantee it.

He said to email O2, which I have, four days ago. They say they’ll reply within 24 hours but they don’t seem interested in getting back to me.

Today I sent a message to @o2 on Twitter. They say they can’t help with not receiving an email response.

All they could say was:

“you might be affected by fair use”, and

“if your usage is classed as affecting others then we would contact you”

Being as I can actually give them the last three years of my usage, they can’t even give me a clue whether this would be too much or not.

I could go with O2 and chance that I’ll be ok, but then I might end up with a letter after 3 months telling me I’m downloading too much, meaning that I’m stuck in a contract; and obviously wouldn’t be able to do my job.

At this stage, O2 on Twitter aren’t replying to me anymore and I still haven’t had an email back after 4 days (despite them saying they’ll reply within 24 hours).

I’m writing this blog in the hope that other people will then be aware of this and hopefully be able to advise on what O2 might be able to do, or an alternative ISP to use (though I’d prefer to go with O2, since I have a mobile with them).

Either that, or you never know, O2 might actually read this and realise they’ve got a bit of a problem here. If they could sort this out, I’d be a far happier customer – rather than considering changing my Mobile operator next year because of O2 ignoring me.

Android, Win XP and Gentoo on a Acer D250 Netbook

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

This has been a total nightmare! But it’s been fun too!

I’m trying to transfer Android from an Acer D250 to another Acer D250 without Android. I want Android because it boots quick for web browsing (and I’m not leaving it on standby like some fools on Twitter suggest), Gentoo because it’s great for web development and Windows XP for graphics designy stuff. Because GIMP sucks.

If anyone’s got any questions as to WHY I had to do it this way, please do comment. After a week of having trouble; mostly with Windows XP – I got to to work using a DVD Drive, 3 SD cards, 3 HDDs, two IDE-USB converters, Ghostzilla, BartPE and SysRecCD. I also needed nLite for the original XP installation I’d made.

Before starting, I had a working Android/XP installation, a installation of Gentoo (originally made on another machine) and my installation of Windows XP too.

  1. Backup Gentoo to a .tar.gz
  2. Backup Windows XP with NTFSClone
  3. Use Ghostzilla to duplicate the working Android/XP to Netbook – Android and XP both work fine...
  4. Use NTFSClone and restore to a secondary drive
  5. Make a BartPE CD with the Intel Storage drivers
  6. Boot BartPE and delete everything on the NetBook’s C: drive
  7. Copy all the files from the restored NTFSclone image (on a secondary drive) to the C: drive in BartPE
  8. Reboot and hope! You should now have Android, and your installation of Windows XP
  9. Backup using GhostZilla since it’s now got Android and XP on.
  10. Reboot into SysRecCD
  11. Use gParted to resize Netbook’s drive to make space for Gentoo and swap partition. You’ll have to move the 4GB FAT32 shared partition of Android/XP. Make the two new partitions (ext3 and swap) for Linux as Logical partitions.
  12. Then do mke2fs and mkswapfs on the new partitions.
  13. Extract the gentoo.tar.gz to the ext3 partition
  14. Don’t install Grub. It’ll probably break everything. Boot back into Windows XP.
  15. Download the latest Grub4Dos and copy grldr to the root of C:
  16. Edit the boot.ini to add in (info here)

       C:\grldr="Gentoo Linux"
  17. Make a menu.lst file and add in your boot stuff (info here); mine is:
      timeout 0
      title Gentoo Linux
      root (hd0,4)
      kernel /boot/bzImage root=/dev/sda5

Then back it all up!!

WOOOHOOO! I’ve learnt loads after doing this! Huge thanks to @rbsfou and to @kichimi; and especially to @flirtygertie for her Netbook and putting up with me too!

Hope it helps someone! Any questions, please do ask!

sǝɹnʇɐǝɟ ʇɐǝɹƃ ǝɯ…

Monday, September 14th, 2009

sǝɹnʇɐǝɟ ʇɐǝɹƃ ǝɯos sɐɥ ʇı puɐ ɹǝʇndɯoɔ ʎɯ oʇ ʇı pǝllɐʇsuı ʇsnɾ ǝʌ,ı `,ɐʇsıʌ sʍopuıʍ, ɟɟo sƃɐls ǝuoʎɹǝʌǝ ʎɥʍ ʍouʞ ʇ,uop ı

RAID5 Array Setup on Gentoo using mdadm and recovery

Monday, July 20th, 2009

RAID is all set up and working! Finally! Very happy with it.

Sorry, this is going to look a lot of rubbish to most people, but here’s how I got my RAID to work and the diag output!

I’m pretty sure it’d be useful to someone.

If you don’t find the below interesting, I think you’d like this at least:

RAID as seen from Windows XP

 (more...)

RAID Array – 2

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Well, all the bits finally turned up! I haven’t actually much yet apart from making a few decisions, and taking a few pictures:

  • Can’t run my backup on Windows XP x86 – it doesn’t support more than 2TiB, so looking at a second Linux box. For the moment, my backups are going on the 3 separate 1TB drives I already have.
  • XFS seems great, but doesn’t care about bad blocks. Similar with JFS, although I haven’t been able to find out details. EXT3 seems the best bet, but if the FS goes over 8TiB, I’m going to have trouble
  • Software RAID is better than hardware in some terms – specifically in diagnosis. You can actually check temperature and SMART status per drive.
  • oh, and with hardware, you can’t span an array across multiple controllers
  • There’s a way to automatically check for Bad Blocks – see here
  • MDRaid seems to be the best way for software RAID
  • Fill all the drives with data, and randomly corrupt sdX and mdX, see if it can cope – and randomly remove one drive, see what happens

Ok, on with the geek pr0n. Enjoy some pictures of what I’ve got so far. Very impressed with the case too actually!

RAID Array

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Well, I finally did it. I’ve just bought 6,000GB of Western Digital Hard drives, a massive case and am finally planning to set up my fairly massive RAID!

I’ve spent a lot of time weighing up whether to spend (literally) hundreds of pounds on a Hardware RAID with all the nice nobbly bits, or to use Software RAID, what type of RAID to use, how to get all the hardware in there, whether its possible to extend a RAID easily without losing data, it’s been one hell of a battle.

Along with help from my friends Rich and Thom, who have a slightly better system than what I’ve got an are using hardware, I’ve learnt a hell of a lot. There was also a very useful Slashdot post, Grishankh (216268) gave some excellent advice and I’d really like to thank him for it.

So what have I learnt about hardware and software RAID?

  • RAID IS NOT A BACKUP!
  • Hardware RAID is incredible expensive. If you need two PCI-E cards the same, you’ll want identical cards too.
  • Most hardware RAID cards are actually fake, and use software RAID. Expect to pay through the nose.
  • SMART monitoring on a hardware RAID is fraught with problems. Only some cards can tell you the SMART info.
  • Some hardware RAID cards use proprietary methods to store data, if you card dies and you can’t get another one, you’re possibly screwed.
  • Drives must must MUST be the same size, and preferably the same format to work best.
  • RAID 0 is just for spanning disks, RAID 1 is great but a tad excessive. RAID 5 seems a good, happy medium. If one drive dies, you’ll be fine, but you’ll probably lose data if more than one goes. But you really should have a backup anyway.
  • If you want to extend a drive, you’ll probably have to use a software RAID app like LVM on top anyway, so any benefits of using hardware is kinda lost.

That’s why I’m using software RAID. It’s only a file server, it’s not for anything mission-critical, I’d just like to have a big drive, and a massive back up of it, so I’m planning to set up two software RAIDs in the end, one on Linux, one on Windows. At the moment, I’m just going to be backing up anything important.

In terms of configuration; I’m no expert at this, but it looks like I’m to use:

  • IDE drive as bootup, and another as my (temporary) personal backup
  • 6x 1TB Western Digital drives connected under RAID 5 using
    • mdraid
    • LVM
  • to be honest, unless anyone else has any better ideas, I’ll probably stick with the Gentoo Guide as to setting up RAID.

So what about the hardware? Ok, well obviously I’ve gone for:

Cost a lot less than hardware RAID and should get me set up quite nicely! If anyone has any advice though, I’d love to hear it!

Thanks to all those who helped me =D