Archive for September, 2009

After I use my vacuum cleaner, I empty out the bag and clean the parts that touch the floor. But no matter how careful I am, this process leaves some dust and debris on the floor, so I end up having to vacuum that area again. It’s a minor annoyance, for sure. But I worry […]

A few days ago, I needed to find the addresses of two Metra train stations. So I went to the brand new Metra website and clicked something like “Find a station”. A text box and map appeared, so I typed in the city I wanted: Lake Forest. The map zoomed to Lake Forest, California. Great, […]

Considering how far technology has come over the past decade, it’s disappointing that some large companies still refuse to adopt tools that would improve the customer experience and drive sales. Here are several examples: – Among those retailers that operate both online stores and physical locations, some of their websites don’t provide any indication of […]

We live in a world of asynchronous communication. You send an email, but you don’t know if the other person has received it. You leave a voice mail, but you don’t know if anyone has listened to it. You send an instant message, but can’t tell if your contact has looked at their IM window. […]

I’ve heard some bad hold music over the years. Usually, this means the music is a few decades out of date, and isn’t exactly the sort of classic mix that customers of all ages will enjoy. Other times, it’s a computer-generated soundtrack that only seems to exist in the alternate dimension of conference call services. […]

While walking back from the store on Sunday, I saw one of those signs designed to drum up support for Chicago’s 2016 olympic bid. The ad featured a picture of a cyclist or runner or swimmer or something, along with the text “We support the bid”. Presumably, the idea is that the venue displaying the […]

Here in Illinois, we have some arcane law that restricts the sale of alcohol on Sundays until after 11 am. Not surprisingly, stores have placed signs near their wine aisles to let customers know about the restriction. This cuts down on repetitive questions, so the signage makes sense. But what if you’re shopping there, and […]

Whether it’s the weak economy or a more fundamental change in the way people do business, it seems like more and more companies are embracing telecommuting. In the process, these firms end up reducing the amount of office space they lease, since fewer employees are parked at a desk in some office building. Of course, […]

It’s hard to pick the most frustrating aspect of trying to fix the email functionality on my Dell printer/scanner. However, perhaps the most insulting thing was realizing that Dell spent lots of time and energy on all sorts of obscure features that I doubt many customers use. Meanwhile, the core features that a large portion […]

About halfway through a marathon troubleshooting session for my Dell printer, I decided to update the firmware. Sounds easy enough, right? I went to the Dell support site, located the model number, and clicked the button for downloads. I found the firmware link, which was supposed to contain a file with a specific name — […]