O2 being a bit dim

October 29, 2014

Companies should always try to think like their customers. That way they won’t spend money releasing pointless service ‘improvements’.

I’m with O2 for my mobile contract. I’ve recently started receiving a text every time someone calls me and I don’t answer – to let me know that I’ve missed a call.
Why?
Does O2 not know how mobile phones work?
My mobile phone tells me each and every time someone has called me. And it has done for as long as I can remember.

The world's most pointless text message?

The world’s most pointless text message?

So why this new text alert?
I know I can turn it off.
But why turn it on at all?
It seems a colossal waste of someone’s time to have coded things so that it sends a text.
It’s a very extreme version of belt and braces. Or, as I prefer, a waste of time.
Think how much good could have potentially been done with that person’s time (or, more likely a whole team of people)!

Big companies should start thinking about what they ask people to do.
How much of it is a complete waste of time?
From my experience in a large financial institution, most people’s time is wasted on a regular basis.
O2 also don’t bother sending you a text to let you know you’re about to go over your minutes allowance. So, rather than allowing you to buy a (relatively) cheap bolt-on they charge you 40p per minute for each call.

So here’s a question for O2 – which service do you think would be more useful for your customers? A pointless text message to tell you who has just called you, or something that might save your customers money?
It’s not rocket science chaps.

And if you try putting your customers at the heart of every decision you make you’ll not make stupid mistakes like this. Well, you might, given your history, but you really shouldn’t.
Perhaps you should change ‘Be more dog’ to ‘Be more awake’?

Labour’s Tristram Hunt (a great monicker for all you rhyming slang fans out there) has suggested that teachers take a ‘Hippocratic oath’ before they’re allowed to teach.

And that just shows how out of touch he is. Most teachers are doing a great job. While having their hours raised, the amount of work they’re responsible for raised, and also dealing with children whose parents think schools will raise them and they don’t have to do anything themselves.

Add in the fact that there are almost no useful deterrents to stop out-of-control children nowadays, and you have to ask ‘who would want to be a teacher’?

Great teachers inspire; great politicians no longer exist.

Great teachers inspire; great politicians no longer exist.

The answer, generally, is someone who cares enough about a subject to put up with all the nonsense that surrounds the job and still try to educate our next generation.
So, why doesn’t Tristram stop trying to score political points and perhaps look a little closer to home?

Surely if anyone needs an oath, it’s the politicians?
How about they state before they’re allowed to decide our futures that they’ll try to be a decent person? How about they stop taking the piss with expenses and stuffing their pockets with cash from big businesses? And how about them just being decent of their own volition, rather than us having to spend millions changing the law to stop them being as bent as an eight-pound note?

Tristram suggests giving them a compass to help remind them they’re leading the next generation. Why not just give them a better rate of pay, and look at how we can regain control of classrooms from some children who think it’s a game to see how far they can push the teachers?

Or you could just blame the teachers! Which, from a politician, must be the ultimate insult.

Some of Greggs’ customers are taking their message a little too literally, and adding their own ‘support’ to the campaign.

Please support the anti-litter campaign

Please support the anti-litter campaign

Perhaps changing the line to “We’re proud to support Scotland’s anti-litter campaign” might have helped.
It seems such a simple thing. How many people read and approved this before it was printed?

If they’d read it out loud (and been conscious) they’d have noticed that they appear to be endorsing littering. And, given the number of Greggs’ bags that cover the pavements on every high street, they should be doing all they can to reduce it.

I realise that people littering isn’t Greggs’ fault. But if they’re going to pretend they care about litter they could at least pay attention while they’re doing it.

2014 hasn’t been a great year for the dedicated, passionate fans of Newcastle United. They’ve seen a run of games where they’ve lost 16 of the 25 matches they’ve played this calendar year.

The fans seem equally angry with the owner and the manager. Given their form and results, you can sort of understand why. They’ve been doing quite a bit of protesting to try and get the manager sacked. I’m not sure I agree with wanting a manager to lose his job, but they’ve clearly had enough.

When they travelled to play Swansea a couple of weeks ago the fans unveiled a new banner. It’s a great, simple thought that plays on the unique make up of the Welsh language. It also plays on a visual that football supporters know well – the form guide. And everyone I know who has seen it has sent it on to other people they know – it’s a lovely idea that’s gone viral.

A new town in Wales? Or a Newcastle nightmare?

A new town in Wales? Or a Newcastle nightmare?

10/10 for the idea.
I hope the fans get a team worthy of the passion they display at each and every game.

The Royal Mail has set out to simplify their parcel pricing. And they’ve failed. Before they even launch their project it’s doomed to failure.
The very fact that their ‘handy’ guide runs to 16 pages means it’s a nonsense.

Keep it simple, stupid.

Keep it simple, stupid.

They are truly deluded if they think that making things that complicated helps their business.
People lose trust in the company if they’re never sure how much they’ll pay, and if what they pay is actually the correct amount (as no one seems to know what’s really going on – the Royal Mail staff included).
The way things stand it’s a lottery how much you pay.
It’s like almost everything that big companies are responsible for – terrible.
When no one takes responsibility for thinking ‘does this make sense?’ you’re in big trouble.

A company should always try to put their customers at the centre of everything they do. They should always think about what’s in it for their customers. If they don’t think like that then they’ll quickly become irrelevant.
The Royal Mail clearly hasn’t given much thought to their customers who have to try and navigate a hugely complex set of pricing rules.

It’s not too dissimilar to a pricing strategy based on half your gran’s age, multiplied by the number of red cars outside minus the square root of the circumference of Tommy Cooper’s fez.
Get someone who knows what they’re doing to sort your pricing policy out, before it’s too late.
You’ve got the infrastructure and the resources to be a great company.
But if you don’t start thinking about your customers, you’re in big trouble.

There’s an article on the BBC site showing a new tag by Banksy. It shows several domestic pigeons holding placards and menacing a migratory swallow perched next to them. The placards carry slogans like ‘Migrants not welcome’ ‘Go back to Africa’ and ‘Keep off our worms’.

Banksy's pigeons piece (close up)

Banksy’s pigeons piece (close up)

Banksy's pigeon piece (wide shot)

Banksy’s pigeon piece (wide shot)

People have apparently complained that it’s racist.
I’d argue that if you think the birds’ graffiti is racist that’s purely because of how you think. (And you might find you’re a tiny wee bit racist yourself.)
There’s a lovely piece by Stephen Fry where he has a go at people who are “offended” by things. And he’s right – the world would be a much better place if we were all a little more tolerant. (While I’m at it – Britain would be a much better place if Mr Fry was in charge!).

Stephen Fry tells it like it is

Stephen Fry tells it like it is

Interesting to note that the area where he tagged it is in the constituency of the Tory MP who has just defected to UKIP. The area’s called Clacton-on-Sea.
Some may argue that UKIP are the closest to an out-and-out racist party in mainstream politics in the UK. Coincidence? I think not.

Banksy’s making a statement about the current state of the UK. There are greater divisions within society, as the rich get richer and the poor get left behind. That’s exactly the sort of scenario where the right-wing parties can take advantage. Any enemy is great for them. And if they come from overseas and are ‘different’ from us, all the better for them.

It’s sad that we’re so intolerant and fearful of other people. I think Banksy’s piece makes a strong comment on the current state of the country. And it’s pretty sad that no one in power has the first clue what the fuck is going on. (Don’t laugh – someone voted for these morons.)

The council are so efficient at removing graffiti that they’d painted over it (really, really badly) before Banksy had even announced on his website that he’d done the piece. But it does go to show that words (and ideas and knowledge) are power.

Go use your power.

All graffiti images are copyright banksy.co.uk

This is a lovely poster for Ikea. They’ve used the simple idea of colour filtration to have three headlines in a small space. They have one headline in green, one in blue and one in red – all laid on top of each other. Once they shine the corresponding colour of light onto the poster, only one line can be read. Once they rotate through the three coloured light phases people can read all three headlines in the small space.
The ad is a great way to show you how to make better use of small space.

The headlines are:
Do it like this billboard. (Green light)
Make good use of your space. (Blue light)
With small-space solutions from Ikea. (Red light)

Here are some screen grabs:

All the headlines on top of each other

All the headlines on top of each other

Ikea poster - green light headline

Ikea poster – green light headline

Ikea poster - blue light headline

Ikea poster – blue light headline

Ikea poster - red light headline

Ikea poster – red light headline

There’s a video of them creating it on YouTube. It’s well worth a watch.
Ikea are great at showing you how to maximise the space you have. And this poster is another lovely example of it.