the evenings out here - Thoughts, rants and musings about absolutely everything except photography. Or cats.

Dear customer, we’ve changed your flight

Oh. No, actually we haven’t

in Hall of Shame , Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I don’t why it is, but for some reason airlines, collectively, have managed to produce some of the most god-awful web design and email communication on the Internet.  I’ve sent more than one rant to an airlines’ customer services department asking if I should take the state of the web site as an indication of their general maintenance standards. I should have started a collection of these years ago, but it’s never too late to start.

So, please step up Aerolineas Argentinas, who helpfully wanted to let me know about a change in a booked flight:

Mail aa

My Spanish is rudimentary, but I would say that the gist is that my flight number AR1874 has been changed to AR1874. Ohhh-kay.

Just to confirm, with a snappy graphic:

Mail aa 2

Seems to be consistent. Well, my confidence in their booking system is slightly shaken :-)


Ping ? Pong ....

Mr Angry blows a gasket

in General Rants , Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Apparently over a million people (well, Apple Cultists anyway) have already signed up for Apple’s brand new “Social Network for Music”, Ping. Well, I hope they found it more interesting than I did. Apple’s flirtations with online communities go back quite a way - I wonder who remembers eWorld ? - but one thing they have in common is that they are irretrievably, hopelessly crap. And Ping follows in that proud tradition.


Another Green World. Ping’s early ancestor

For a start, the recommendations, apparently based on stuff I’ve bought on iTunes, are just absurd. I mean for F%&s Sake!!! Does it LOOK like I’m interested in Katy fscking Perry ???? Or Lady Gaga ???  What is the point, Apple ? Why are you wasting my time with this unadulterated SHIT ?

Ping is embedded in iTunes. It only knows about the iTunes Store. It doesn’t make any kind of useful recommendations.  And if I want to “like” something in my iTunes library, what do I need to do ?  Well, find a song in iTunes, select it, go over to the artist, click through to the Store, find whatever it is I want to like, work out that “Like” is hidden under “BUY”, and click.  Jesus H. Christ on a unicycle, who could possibly have though this was anywhere near good design ?  It is absolutely hopeless.

And then there’s Ping on iPhone… does it offer something approaching the same user experience as on iTunes ? No, of course not!

I’m getting really fed up with this company. All I want, and I suspect many others do, and good, well designed reliable computers that “just work” - as they used to - and if they can manage to keep producing half decent iPods, well I’ll take one of those as well. I’m an iPhone user, but frankly, only because it just about manages to provide an average level of functionality that trumps the competition, and it keeps me entertained on the train.  Just as well I don’t make too many phone calls.

As for a “Social Network for Music”, well, Steve, I suggest you pull your head out of your arse and sign up to Then maybe you’ll understand nobody needs your pathetic disguise at maximizing iTunes revenue.


iContact show us how not to do it

Just a little rant. I feel better now.

in General Rants , Monday, October 26, 2009

No further comment really necessary. This sort of thing is simply unacceptable in 2009. Especially from a company that purports to promote responsible, permission-based email marketing.


“I am trying to cancel my account, as we no longer need it for this specific purpose. However, since discovering that I cannot in fact cancel online, I must inform you that I will never use your service again, nor will I recommend it to anybody else.

This is fundamentally unethical: if I can sign up online, there is no reason why I should not be able to cancel online.

This is not the hallmark of a trustworthy online business, or one I would wish to do business with.”


When you really want a screw-up….

...just call Microsoft. Some things never, ever change.

in General Rants , Monday, February 23, 2009

It really is like taking candy from kiddies, but one thing that never changes is how incredibly good f***ing Microsoft is at stealing your money and f***ing everything up.

Today’s screw up:  I needed to move my virtual installation of my paid-for legal copy of Windows XP from one computer to another. Move. Not “duplicate”. Windows XP noticed this (well, that’s amazing in itself) and screamed to mommy, wanting REACTIVATION!!!!


So I reactivated. And got told I wasn’t allowed to, ‘cos I’d done it too many times (like about 4).  So I get this amazing dialog:

VMware FusionScreenSnapz001.jpg

Yes, I have to call a helpline (probably hosted by HeidiSoft in Alpenschwizerpfloangliswurstelikon, where they speak nothing but some bizarre inbred swiss german dialect) (and have no sense of humour) and read out, yes, Fifty-F***ING-FOUR digits.

I’ve no idea how it would actually pan out, because the phone number given doesn’t work, and the help URL on the page before is invalid.

Maybe I’ll just forget it.



in Hall of Shame , Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I appear to be on the business spam list of a bunch of shysters called terrapinn, who are promoting yet another of these ersatz "conferences", where a bunch of bored disinterested suits spout marketing presentations to another bunch of bored disinterested suits, who are only in it for the expense account bar tab at the nearest lap dancing joint. Believe me, I've been there, done that. Anyway, at least Terrapinn provide an "unsubscribe" link (yeah, I know, but whatever), which when clicked on produces this nice little popup: terratards.jpg Seven days to "process" ? Sure. In the spam list they go. Suits.
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