Thursday, January 26, 2012

Open Letter to Kwik-Fit

To whom it may concern.
I just had a puncture fixed by Kwik-Fit.  The price of £21.50! was excessive, but I had no choice at the time or else I would have gone elsewhere.
The experience started badly as the fitter just HAD to look at some amusing content on his colleagues iPhone before dealing with my tyre.  I did point this out to the chaps in the office, but they were not interested and seemed to think that keeping a customer waiting was ok. 
I was shocked when I got the bill to see the breakdown.  I neither asked for nor wanted "Nitrogen inflation" or a "New Inflation Valve".  That would have saved me £6.50.  £15 is still steep for a puncture repair!
This just strikes me as gross profiteering.  I know for a fact that my local tyre shop charges £10 for a puncture repair.
I am shocked and disappointed that you would take advantage of customers in this way.  If you must add extra services to a simple request then you should inform the customer BEFORE so they can choose NOT to have them.  As I said, I did not want "Nitrogen inflation" and there was nothing wrong with the valve (I have difficulty believing a valve costs more than £1).
I take it that you price promise your work.  What documentation do you need in order to prove that other businesses charge a reasonable amount?
An annoyed customer

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

IT Knowledge

<soap box mode>

Over the past few years, as computer technology has been invading it's way in to just about everybody's life, there has always been one thing that has never ceased to amaze me.

I cannot understand why it is still socially acceptable, in fact almost encouraged in some circles, for people to be proud of the fact that they are totally Technologically inept!

The has been a conversation on one of the Mensa lists I belong too, during which one lady was happy to declare that she did not know her own phone number and another (supposedly tech savvy) person did not know how a phone number should be formatted (trivial, but an indication of the lack of respect this kind of knowledge holds).  I ask you, what other area do you find people proudly declaring their ignorance?

I have noticed, in my interactions with friends etc, that not many kids (in my social circle) are doing any form of technical subject.  Those that are doing "Computers" seem to spend more time learning how to write a word document and make pretty pictures, than they do learning how to actually PROGRAM a computer.  I am glad to see that the government is finely waking up to this   the question is "Will the rest of us wake up, before we are left too far behind to catch up"?  

The Empire and the UK's good times, were built on manufacturing.  We have thrown that away and seem to be in the process of throwing the hi tech business.  This country has had some great inventors in the past.  Why are we not trying to train the inventors of the future?  Why are kids at school not being told that  programming is creative and "artistic".  Designing and building a "thing" and then making it work, thus solving an issue or achieving a goal, is incredibly satisfying (and "creative").

This is an episode from a podcast I listen too about this subject.  The guy starts by talking about a "Portable dog Killer" (don't panic, the name is more dramatic than the device) and then goes on to discuss the need to encourage innovation and development of new "stuff"   it is well worth a listen.

After WW2 we threw away an early lead in Computing.  Let's not let the rest of the world crush us in the stampede to the future, while we sit around twiddling our thumbs and drawing pretty pictures.

"There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what the heck happened". Philosopher Dr Friedrick Nietzsche. 

</soap box mode>

P Please consider the environment
Save paper - do you really need to print this email?
Save electricity - do you really need to send this email?
Save your own energy - do you really need to read this email?