Archive for August 9, 2018

A Follow Up To The Customer Service Issue That My Wife Has With Oakley, Lens Crafters, & Luxottica

Posted in Commentary on August 9, 2018 by itnerd

Well, here is an update to this issue that my wife has had to try and get her Oakley eyeglasses fixed by any of the following companies:

  • Oakely – The company who make the eyeglasses
  • Lens Crafters – The company who sold her the eyeglasses
  • Luxottica – The company who owns both of the above

Sadly this continues to be frustrating. My wife went to another Lens Crafters to see if they could help her. And to be fair, they tried. But they told my wife that Oakey has the parts that she needs, but they won’t give them to Lens Crafters. Instead, Oakley wants her to call them. Now here’s where it get really frustrating. They gave her a phone number to call which is the sixth different phone number to call since this gong show began. Assuming that Oakley could give her the parts, the Lens Crafters location that she went to would install them.

That is insane. Lens Crafters and Oakley are both owned by Luxottica and they won’t help each other to solve a customer’s issue? That’s just mind blowing.

It get worse. Lens Crafters finally after weeks of trying to get their attention finally responded to my Tweets after one of my Tweets to my original story got a reply from someone in a similar situation:

I tried to go to that site on both my Internet connections and via tethering to my cell phone. I got this:

fail.png

So the site exists, but it isn’t responding.

#Fail

So I sent this back to the Lens Crafters Twitter feed:

A few minutes later I got this:

So we phoned the number. Which is now the seventh phone number that has been called, and following these instructions got us to a recording that told us to go to the website that was Tweeted to us earlier. The one that doesn’t work.

#EpicFail

This was my reply:

Clearly this underscores that none of these companies who are all related to each other aren’t focused on providing customer service. It also underscores that we shouldn’t be doing business with any of these companies. And you might do the same as a company who can’t or won’t stand behind their warranty and can’t or won’t help their customers doesn’t deserve your hard earned money.

UPDATE: The web page that wasn’t working last night is working now. Thus my wife submitted a complaint via that form. According to the form, it will take three business days to receive a response. We’re both fairly sure that we’re not going to ever receive a response. But we’re open to being proven wrong. Also just for fun, my wife is going to phone the most recent of the seven toll free numbers that she was given to see if anything positive happens. Which she is sure won’t happen. Expect a update on that front.

In the meantime, I got a voice mail from Rudy Project today. I have not yet returned their call, but when I listened to it they said that they saw my original post as well as this follow up and wanted to know if they could assist my wife with getting her eyewear that works. I’ll be phoning them back in a bit and I will update this post accordingly.

UPDATE #2: Well, the horrible customer service continues. As I stated above, my wife called the most recent of the seven toll free numbers that she was given. She iMessaged me as to what happened next:

oakley1oakley2oakley3

Yes. My wife was on hold for 1 hour and 17 minutes. Even the worst telcos and cable companies are not anywhere close to being that bad. But as horrifically bad as this is, it actually got worse. My wife then told me that they only ship these parts to US addresses. So she used the address of a friend who lives outside of Washington DC to get them. Apparently, international orders go through the website that requires you to submit photos that I spoke of in my original story. The one that never, ever responded to us.

But it got even worse than that. Apparently, they only had one pair of the parts she needed in stock and….:

oakley4

So they can’t even place her on a back order and automatically ship the parts to her. She as the customer has to call back if they don’t get it in 14 days. In other words, there’s no shipping confirmation, no tracking number, and most importantly, Oakley takes no accountability for making sure that their customers get what they need.

That my friends is a massive #fail. Now here’s where there’s a positive turn to this rather horrific story.

I returned Rudy Project’s call. Because of my profile as a blogger, they’d like to work with my wife and I to get us into their products. Thus they’re hooking us up with a local Rudy Project dealer so that my wife can get the prescription eyewear that she needs, and I can touch and feel their products so that I can choose eyewear that works for me. That’s currently set up for next Wednesday afternoon. Sure my wife will have to take an afternoon off work, but if it gets her eyewear that she can actually use and be comfortable in, it’s worth it. And when we get finally get our respective eyewear, I’ll be blogging about it.

In the meantime, if it wasn’t clear before, it sure is clear now that Oakley, Luxottica, and Lens Crafters have horrible customer service. They won’t stand behind their customers, nor do they make it easy for their customers to resolve issues. Which means that they are to be avoided at all costs as companies who won’t do the right thing for their customers and make it easy for their customers to do business with them don’t deserve your money.

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Amazon Announcements Now Available On Alexa-Enabled Sonos Speakers

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 9, 2018 by itnerd

Starting today through a cloud software update, Amazon Announcements will be available on Alexa-enabled Sonos speakers, Sonos One and Sonos Beam, in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada (English).

Whether it’s announcing that dinner is ready or that it’s time for bed, just say “Alexa announce…” and whatever you say next will be one-way broadcasted to all Alexa-enabled devices in your household.

Alexa Announcements is the latest update in our ongoing partnership with Amazon to bring new features and services to the Alexa experience on Sonos. Other recent updates include:

  • Audible with voice control in July
  • Full support of 20+ of the most popular Alexa skills in May, including: mlb.com at Bat, Children’s books from Amazon Storytime, Headspace, and more
  • Availability in new geographies, most recently adding France in June

 

Samsung Announces Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Watch, Wireless Charger Duo, and Galaxy Home Smart Speaker

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 9, 2018 by itnerd

Samsung announced a lot of stuff at a product event today. Here’s a rundown of what was announced:

  • The new Galaxy Note 9 was announced and it is equipped with a 6.4-inch 2960 by 1400 Super AMOLED screen, and like previous Note models, it works with the S Pen stylus. It features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 to 8GB RAM, dual AKG speakers, a 4,000 mAh battery, and 12-megapixel dual-aperture camera system. But it adds a Intelligent Camera function that’s able to detect what you’re taking a photo of. The S Pen that comes with the Galaxy Note 9 introduces new Bluetooth-enabled features that allow it to be used to control the camera of the device for taking selfies and other photos, control video playback, and more. It will ship with Android 8.1 and pre-orders start tomorrow with an August 24th launch date. Here’s a video that does a full rundown of the specs:

  • Samsung also announced the Galaxy Watch, an LTE-enabled device that’s been designed to look like “a real watch” with a circular face and bezel that doubles as a control unit. It offers up Corning’s DX+ glass and better battery life than previous Samsung smart watches, with Samsung claiming that it will last several days on one charge. I question this move as the Apple Watch dominates the wearables category. But clearly the Korean company thinks they can make a go of it.
  • Samsung has introduced the Wireless Charger Duo that’s able to charge the watch and the phone at the same time.
  • Galaxy Home, which is designed to compete with Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home, and other smart speaker options on the market. I’m really questioning this move as for starters, Bixby sucks. And on top of that, I don’t know how much room is left for a new entrant like Samsung.
  • Samsung has finally announced a deal with Spotify to enable the streaming service to be used seamlessly across all of Samsung’s devices.

Clearly the Galaxy Note 9 is the headline here. But all of these announcements will get Samsung a fair amount of press. But will it translate into sales? It will for the Note 9. I’m not sure about the rest of it. But time will tell.

UPDATE: Telus sent me that statement;

Following Samsung’s announcement of the new Galaxy Note 9 today, we’re happy to confirm that it is now available for pre-order at TELUS. The latest iteration of Samsung’s Note series is available for pre-order at www.telus.com/galaxynote9 for $750 with a Premium plan, and $550 with a Premium Plus plan. TELUS customers who pre-order the new Galaxy Note 9 will also receive a pair of Gear IconX earbuds, valued at $299.99.

The Note 9 will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on August 24.

 

SAP Concur Sees That Airbnb Corporate Travel Bookings Are On The Rise

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 9, 2018 by itnerd

Businesses and employees have been turning to alternative forms of accommodation for the past few years – most notably with Airbnb – and this trend shows no sign of slowing. As a response to this growing demand, SAP Concur announced this week that it is the first corporate travel solution to offer Airbnb listings directly from their travel platform, Concur Travel. Business travelers can now search, book and review Airbnb properties alongside hotels.

SAP Concur / Airbnb Data

Total booking amounts for Airbnb increase across the globe

Worldwide, SAP Concur data shows Airbnb bookings are on the rise, with APAC (85%), EMEA (65%) and the Americas (53%) all continuing upward year-over-year growth. In the Americas, the U.S. still expensed the highest amount of Airbnb lodgings. However, Mexico showed the fastest growth in spend, followed by Canada and the U.S.

Toronto among most expensed cities, along with San Francisco and London

Toronto is the only Canadian city to be included in a ranking of the most expensed cities. On SAP Concur, business travelers expensed more spend on Airbnb accommodations quarter-over-quarter in San Francisco than any other city, while London consistently ranked second place.

Quarterly variances in Airbnb expenses on SAP Concur often correspond to large industry events. For example, bookings spike in Austin, TX during Q1 each year, as business travelers make their way to South by Southwest. The top five spots are occupied by eight different cities across the eight quarters that were measured.

Airbnb lodging for business travel continues to grow globally among SAP Concur customers

According to SAP Concur expense data from Q1 2016 through Q4 2017, they found:

  • More business travellers are booking earlier. In 2017, 54% of Airbnb bookings were made at least 15 days in advance, an increase from 2016 (45 percent)
  • Business spend on Airbnb peaks in October. On average, SAP Concur customers spend 26% more on Airbnb lodgings compared to other months. In fact, October happens to be one of the busiest months for business travel overall, with previous SAP Concur data showing 20% more business travellers making trips during this time of year.
  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most popular weekdays for Airbnb stays, with an average of 22 percent more bookings on these days compared to other weekdays.
  • Higher Education institutions continue to spend the most on Airbnb lodging per year across industries, followed by technology companies.
  • From 2016 to 2017, the percentage of Airbnb bookings in SAP Concur which either began or ended on a weekend increased from 51% to 56%.

Airbnb Integration with SAP Concur

Airbnb has been a valued partner to SAP Concur for years. The connection to Concur TripLink has enabled travelers to stay within company policy while booking lodging directly from Airbnb.com. In the coming weeks, Airbnb listings will be viewed directly within Concur Travel. As the only corporate travel solution with Airbnb listings embedded directly in the online booking tool (OBT), SAP Concur clients can now seamlessly search for and view Airbnb listings alongside hotels, including pictures of properties and review ratings which are so important to Airbnb customers.

This builds on Airbnb’s existing connection via TripLink, which simplifies expense reporting after a trip as itineraries and e-receipts are automatically fed back to SAP Concur, helping prepopulate employee expense reports.

 

Beakerhead 2018 Science And Engineering Event Announced

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 9, 2018 by itnerd

In just seven weeks, enormous electric bolts will light up the sky in downtown Calgary when a crazy cacophony of exhibits and events takes over the city. The Beakerhead crew is announcing the official program lineup with tickets now available online for all ticketed events. This year’s extravaganza will include remarkable spectacles of art and science, unique activities, and more than 50 distinct events – many of which are free, but still require registration to get tickets.

The Calgary-born smash up of art, science and engineering is in its sixth year. Last year, more than 145,000 people participated in Beakerhead and organizers are planning to top that number in 2018.

Beakerhead events take place indoors and out. Beakernight is science’s biggest ticketed street party and tickets are now on sale.

Highlights of Beakerhead 2018:

  • Light up the Night: Giant electric bolts will light up the night sky thanks to two 10-metre Tesla Coils built by a team of artists and engineers.
  • Dinner with Drones: This exclusive dinner event will be an international first!
  • Lunch Without Light: This special Dark Table dining experience is led by a famous broadcaster and an esteemed neuroscientist.
  • MakeFashion Gala: This Calgary based international phenomenon will debut new collections of high fashion wearable tech.
  • Beakerbites and Beakerbar: Dining is a whole new experience when chef and bartender become scientist! Creative Calgary chefs and mixologists experiment with a new theme in 2018: canola.
  • Four to Six on Fourth: Blocks of open-air experimentation including a human-sized hamster wheel, artists, performers, and hands-on or feet-on experiences like walking on liquid.
  • Beacons: This series of free neighbourhood installations is completely wild! There’s everything from a giant dung beetle to a 3.5-metre lotus that lights up with your heartbeat.
  • Workshops: Learn the art of animation, understand cryptocurrency, meet famous scientists and broadcasters, make organic facial oil or a vegan carrot cake and much more.
  • Zorbathon: Get inside a zorb and cavort with family and friends in an oversized playground. Participate in rolling races, bump-a-thons, obstacle courses. Make a day of it.

Beakerhead takes place September 19 – 23, 2018 with the ticketed Beakernight on Saturday, September 22 at Fort Calgary. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the official website at beakerhead.com.