Monday, September 20, 2010

Motorola Sucks, part 3 - Motorola Feedback Network

Okay, this is interesting. I got this email from Motorola a day or so ago.  I had a chance to read it now. 
Dear Motorola Forums member,

When you registered on the Motorola Owners’ Forums, you expressed interest in providing feedback to Motorola. Thank you!

Please click this link (removed) to take a short enrollment survey for our Motorola Feedback Network. As a member of the Motorola Feedback Network, you will be included in various studies and feedback opportunities. Registering is no guarantee that you will be asked to participate in benchmark studies or beta-test software, but we chose those people from the MFN.

If you have already received an invitation previously or signed up via a link on the Motorola Owners' Forum, please ignore this e-mail and accept my apologies for the duplication.

The survey takes only five or 10 minutes. It’s all private and none of it will ever be used to advertise or market to you. If you have any questions, please e-mail me here. (removed)

Thanks again, and we hope to be in contact with you soon.

Matt Greenberger
Consumer Experience Champion
Mobile Devices Consumer Support
It sounds good, right?  Granted maybe Motorola will find this blog along with the great graphic I used and toss me out of the network, but this email wasn't marked as confidential. 

I'm just hoping it's a sign that they realize they REALLY need some help and want to change future posts that people write from "Motorola Sucks" to "Motorola Rules". 

Thanks for the invite, Matt. I'm in.


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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Please Demand Healthier Food, Thanks...

You know things are a bit tight for an entrepreneur right now. Like seriously, the local 99 cent stores are my friends right now. Moving in the metro-NYC area is never cheap even if where you're moving is cheap.

Anyway, things will turn around soon and, since I'm not looking for a place to live, I can turn my focus back to my work and seeking out a new client or two or something else to supplement my income.  I'm pretty effective when I do that, so I'm not too worried.

However, with that said, food. OMG, food in NYC is ridiculous. It's expensive and things like fruits and veggies? Gah, exorbitant compared to what I'm used to in South Korea and in my native California. I'm doing okay because in law school I had to be frugal, so I can snap back into that really easily when I need to.  Good for me that there is a farmer's market that is nearby.  I'll make sure to stop by this week to pick up a few things.

However, I'm running low on this product, Applesnax's unsweetened applesauce, and I'm just irritated because it's not like I can skip over to the local market and replace it.

Why? It has no added sugar.

Why the hell is it so hard to find products with no added sugar when obesity is a major problem and type 2 diabetes (not what I have, BTW) is nearly damn epidemic here in the USA?

I ask this seriously.  I know that Mott's has one too.  However, it's really rare that you'll find me in a mainstream supermarket and that's where you'll find Mott's products.  It's rare that small corner markets will stock sugar-free products. There just isn't any room and probably not much demand. I am someone who will ask local merchants to start stocking things and, I think, it's time to start asking for more sugar-free stuff.  I just hope more people start doing it because it's pretty insane how much easier it is to get processed high-fructose corn syrup crap than simple foods.  


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring...Like seriously, it was pouring.

Just a bit of weather and architectural weirdness.

I actually think this is good because if the rain slides off the roof like that, someone did that on purpose. I'm hoping for a winter season of no leaks or snow weirdness.

Basically, I heard the thunder coming in and then boom, this deluge started. No problem as I'd seen them before, but with the heavy rain, I decided to check on the open windows and saw this:

Wow. That's A LOT of water. :)


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*Some* recruiters are morons...

Okay, when I first came back to the States, I completely denied any urges to freelance.  Too scary.

Honestly though?  I sort of saw myself doing this. I just wasn't sure how to do it or, honestly, what to do.  I knew the freelance writing market was being gutted due to the recession (economic slow down, my a$$, this is a recession).  Experienced writers were getting laid off and long-running magazines and papers were shutting down.  Not really the best time to come in as a newcomer only to have to compete against experienced writers.

I started looking for your typical 9 to 5.  I had almost no success.  That was jarring for me because I was always someone who could land something pretty fast. It brought home how very real this recession is if I couldn't find something.  What people told me and what I eventually noticed was all that time I'd spent online? That gave me a wealth of skills that some people are willing to pay for and to my clients and to a well-wired South Korea, THANK YOU.  Now I freelance and have been doing so for about a year.

Things are tight for sure, but it's rare that I'll apply for a job.  If I happen to scan the help wanted section and see something I think would be a good fit, I'll apply.  It's rare.  Why?  I'm convinced that most recruiters are just too conventional for their own good.  Most who talk to me are a bit baffled when they hear my background.  Honestly, I can understand it to a certain degree, but I look at it as "this is a candidate with a wealth of experience and tons of valuable transferable skills."  They, in contrast, don't get that I'm well-educated, well-traveled and haven't sold out to a law firm or something conventional like that. (God, no!)

Anyway, the inspiration behind this post are the recruiters who contact me.  I've not gone looking for them.  They're usually finding me from my LinkedIn profile.  (So it's good to see the site does have some value in that respect.)  I had a recruiter contact me last week. She requested a resume and I sent that to her. She said she'd follow-up with me.  I was going through my emails last night and remembered that I'd not heard from her, so I shot off a quick follow-up email.  Her reply?
Dense recruiter:  What kind of position are you looking for? 

Me: You contacted me, so nevermind. Good luck finding someone.

That was my measured reply which was actually code for this, "Pardon me? I wasn't looking at all. You contacted me; you fucktard!"
Honestly though...lately, I've been getting a few recruiters contacting me.  What I'm noticing is a lot don't do their homework.  If you find me via LinkedIn, maybe read the page and get a feel for my background before contacting me.  It's sort of insulting to know someone found you on a page where you've sat down and laid out your professional background, but then the person asks you to go through it. Instead, I want someone to show me they've read my info and ask me questions about it (questions being clarifying time lines or understanding my roles and experience). 

Basically, take the time to show you've read it and not just did a key word search.  It's lazy when I'm sitting there as the person who was contacted but I feel like I'm the one doing all the work.  It's lazy and I lose faith in you real fast.  Usually by the time you talk, a recruiter also has your resume. it.

I've also had recruiters who've come to me then flip the dynamic.  It suddenly feels like I've got to sell myself and, half of the time, they've not even bothered to give me specifics about the job. It's weird. I'll chalk it up to a lack of professionalism and maybe a general dislike of people or what they do.

I'd not put candidates I'd approached on the hotseat. Usually, that causes me to just end the conversation and get back to work thankful that I can work for myself.


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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Questions about living and working in South Korea...

I just got this request via comments:

"I was wondering if you could email me and just tell me a little about how you got started in Korea and what challenges you faced making new friends and getting established there."


This entire blog, especially, the earlier ones deal with that...well, sorta. 

I'll admit I did start this blog six years after I got there. There aren't any "well, here I am in South Korea!" posts.  However, there are ones that talk about moving, living there and my experiences. Also, there are a ton of other K-blogs where people are talking about moving there and adjusting to life in South Korea.

I answer specific questions but not general questions. Also, this blog IS a broad overview and it touches on many subjects.  Any I didn't write about? I probably didn't want to make that part of my life public and, in terms of topics, there are a few glaring omissions.

Take some time to run a few searches, click around and read what's already been written.  There is also just the feeling you've not read much I've written yet.  (I just ran a couple of searches to make sure posts come up, they do.  There is a search panel on the sidebar which allows you to run searches of my blog only.  I do try to make it easy.  Also, you should probably start with the podcast I did with another K-blogger in 2006.)

After that, ask me questions.

Good luck.


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Monday, September 13, 2010

Motorola Sucks, part 2 - The Factory Reset

There is only going to be a part 2, and that's great because I don't want this to drag out any longer.  If you slogged through my first rant, Motorola Sucks, part 1, you know that I was lucky and got a free Android phone from Motorola a few weeks ago. Yeah! (And, seriously, thanks...)

However, you also know that after a few weeks the phone went buggy on me.  I called Motorola customer service. They kicked me to T-mo.  T-mo kicked me back to them because it was a free phone. The problem was all of my calls rolled into voicemail (nothing on my end to give me a chance at picking up) and the home button didn't work (so no multiple app fun for me...sheesh, is this an old pre-4.0 iPhone OS?)

In one of my calls to Motorola, I was livid because it was, at least, my third or fourth call.  That rep, however, suggested something else: a factory reset (or hard reset). 

Um, okay.  I'd heard NOTHING about that being a possibility before. It does suck because it wipes everything off the phone and, while I was constantly prompted to backup my Blackberry, this Android phone doesn't seem to have that. However, resetting the phone could very well fix the problem. Plus, I was desperate as my only other option was to mail the phone in and be without a phone for the 5 to 7 days it might take. The phone goes back to its factory state but things like contacts would remain as those are synced with Google, as is anything on the SD or SIM card. Okay, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I asked the rep if the instructions were online.  She told me that they weren't.   That.seemed.odd.  However, I didn't have my laptop in front of me at the time to double check (and I would have).  I wrote the steps down and decided to try it after my move was complete and I was settled.

My plan was to bite the bullet and mail the phone off today if I had to.  However, over the weekend, I decided to go back into the Motorola user forums to search for something, anything that could help me.  I figured I couldn't be the only person with a problem like this.

Sure enough, guess what I found?  A step-by-step guide on the factory reset that I was told by a Motorola phone rep WASN'T online.

Good grief...are you f%^king kidding me?  

Granted, this is a forum, so maybe Motorola is just not keeping up with the content that's going up.  However, I found it with just a couple of targeted searches. It was posted about a month ago by someone tagged as a "MotoXprt".  I'm not sure how one becomes a MotoXprt. What's most pressing is why, after these folks have been tagged as experts, that their posts aren't tracked and archived by Motorola customer service.

Just a big old pot of "argh"! Seriously, I would have done this a few days ago had I known.

So, the phone is working again. Yeah! It's ringing and the home button takes me home. However, Motorola's customer service is horrible.  This is something that ~maybe~ should have taken one call.

The online diagnostic didn't walk me through a factory reset.  The customer service rep who suggested it said there were no guides online when actually there are. The fact remains that if something goes wrong with the phone again, I've still got to mail it in.  At least, now I know how to do a factory reset.

Glad I now have a working phone.  I'm still glad I got it for free because I'd be absolutely livid if I paid for this low level of service.

Signing off.

...and Motorola? Your customer service sucks.  It's not just the hardware that people are paying for.  It's the experience of dealing with your company.  That, unfortunately, needs to seriously be reorganized.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Motorola Sucks, part 1

Yeah, "intelligence everywhere"
except in their customer service!
Honestly, I'm so exhausted that I just need to write this out to get it off my chest.  There will be a part 2 or even part 3 (hopefully, won't be needed) because the low level of customer service happening here is just insane.


Why?  I thought that I lucked out when I got a Motorola Cliq XT Android phone for free.  I mean "wow".  My little Blackberry was still holding on and I was going to wait until early next year to do an upgrade.  Yet, I was envying my Android and iPhone carrying friends to some degree.

Initially, the phone worked like a charm.  I'm not sure what happened but the home button stopped working and my calls now immediately roll into voicemail.  It sucks. I'm in matches of phone tag constantly and there isn't a thing I can do about it except apologize profusely to the people that are trying to contact me.

I took it to T-Mobile.  They looked at it and confirmed the phone wasn't working.  They checked it for water damage and they were ready to switch me to a new phone.

But oooops!  Because it was a freebie phone from Motorola, they told me I had to contact them.  (Which, BTW, I HAD.)

This is where the clusterfuckery begins.  I call and their automated system that routes you to the right person is frustrating at best.  I finally get to someone and she tells me my "options" are to mail the phone in.  I stop and I say "and my other option is?"  She repeats that I can mail the phone in to be repaired.  I explain that "options" is plural which, in English, means there are, at least TWO choices.  I point out she's only given me one choice.  She then corrects herself to stay that is my only option.

WTF?  WTF?  (I'm not pleased to hear this).  I've not bothered to get a home phone. The last one I had in Seoul was just a waste of money.  I rarely used it.

Hell, here I'm never home and, when I am, I don't want to talk to you.  I do have Google Voice and I have made calls via my computer, but what?  You can't send me a loner flip phone or something to tide me over?  WTF?  And, let me point out this piece of crap was given to me by this company.

Anyway, I ask to speak to someone else because this is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time.  All around the policy is what it is.  No one can help, not even the folks listening to the conversation via social media (yes, their @MotoMobile Twitter account responded).

The customer service for this
phone sucks on so many levels!
The problem is I was moving so there is no way I'm sending my phone to Texas when I'm trying to move.  I call today because having a phone that doesn't ring is so many levels of ridiculous it's not funny. It's to the point that I'm missing IMPORTANT calls and I'm having a hell of a time just getting things done because people really do screen their calls with voicemail now and call back.

I give up and decide, fine. I've got to bite the bullet, send the phone in and be phoneless for a few days.  30 minutes on the phone to get an RMA number to return the damn phone.  I'm also told postage is on me (fine, fine...the piece of crap phone was free) but that it will take 5 to 7 business days to get it back to me.  EXCUSE ME?

I'll update you all on what happens next, but, trust me, had I known their customer service policy was this shitty I wouldn't have accepted the phone.

So, note to self and anyone who reads this: just don't buy Motorola.  I think I'm going to upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy, I'm just going to try to hold out until I get to the T-mo upgrade period (early November for me.)  I'm not that pleased with T-mo's customer service on this issue either but 1) I didn't buy the phone from them and 2) they have no impact on Motorola's crap service policy.

I'm sorry but eff you Motorola.  You suck.

Yes, I know, lesson to me: a living lesson in you get what you pay for.

More Moto hate here:

Here is the promised Part 2 that I also linked above.


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