Update: Gateway goes downhill

I’ve always been a fan of Gateway products and have pushed for their adoption wherever possible. However, that may soon end as a result of terrible customer service regarding a rebate that was supposed to have been mailed to me early in February.

I spoke to both Young-America (The company that handles Gateway’s rebates) and Gateway’s Customer service department and continue to be passed on to another department.

Lessons in Customer Service

1) Don’t pass the buck
2) Don’t ‘transfer’ the user – ‘connect’ the user.
3) Treat the customer as one, even after they’ve actually completed the purchase. This is probably the single most important aspect, as it builds customer loyalty.
4) Keep your promises. If you say you’ll call back, ensure that you stick to your word.

My ordeal with Gateway continues. Updates will follow as and when I receive it.

Update: Initial review of GMail

I finally got down to spending some time with Google’s GMail service and as Mark Williamson describes, Google may have missed a significant window of opportunity to reach the typical consumer.

However, it could still find potential commercial customers by bundling the GMail service as a message server appliance similar to the Google Search Appliance.

Some of the feature sets that I experimented with include:

Contacts: I could not find a way to import my existing contact list

Calendaring Functionality: GMail offers no scheduling or collaborative features.

Archiving: Rethinking the whole idea of folders and storage to facilitate the concept of archiving by flagging messages

Rich Text: Unable to compose messages in rich text.

Virus Scan: Yet to determine if messages are scanned for viruses

Google Power: Full fledged Google search technology powering the service

Converse: The whole idea behind filing messages is built on the idea of conversations. As long as the sender / recepient are emailing the same headers, the message is grouped as a conversation.

The question remains, are we all one massive beta testing group for the new GMail Appliance server?

GMail

The eagerly anticipated and long expected invite to Google’s new Email service, a.k.a GMail finally arrived. Perhaps, using Blogger has other miscellaneous benefits, one of which is getting to test drive Google Lab creations. Out of curiosity how can you express happiness in 1GB of storage space?

Linux Training

I just attended a one day training session on Linux. Sadly the training session was rather lame primarily because it was marketed as a hands-on lab and was definitely not. Over the past four years I’ve always made a very half hearted effort in attempting to move toward Linux and have never successfully made the transition.

However, today was another reminder that I really have to move completely toward the platform and find alternatives to products required to get my work done. Personally, I would like to enjoy remaining in my Microsoft world, but the economics of the market seem to have swayed a large portion of the users I support toward considering Linux.

So eventhough the training was lame, I still walked away with enough training material to start preparing to support the platform for the rest of the users.