Friday, September 23, 2005

A bad communication day 

I know I owe you still the days 3 and 4 from the VON, but I will do this over the weekend. Currently I am sitting onboard of the Lufthansa plane to FRA and fuming. This day was not good at all, communications wise. Skype, Lufthansa Connexion and MS Exchange.

It started with Skype Zones. I subscribed Skype Zones before I went to Boston and wanted to check it out here. I also checked out some WiFi places near the Prudential. But because the Copley Square Hotel featured free WiFi and it was a busy week, I finally forgot to check it out.

On Logan Airport I opened my laptop asking myself if they still are so stupid like last year to have only one WiFi offer - that is: 8$ for 24 hours. Since also did not intend to stay 24h on Logan this year, I did not take the offer.

But, surprise, surprise, the SkypeZones SW chimed in and told me that I are in a SkypeZones Network. Do yoo want to connect? Ok, I wanted.

After working away some time, it came up with one of the most stupid error messages I ever saw, and I saw many in my computer life, trust me:

You appear to be offline
For assistance, please e-mail Skype at

What do they mean with offline? I was online at the WiFi and could have been connected if I would have been so stupid and paid the 8 bucks, Since I did not pay the 8 bucks, I was of course off-line from the Internet, and basically I subscribed to SkypeZones to overcome this problem. So it is your fault that I am off-line, and I want my 6 Euros for SkypeZones/1 month back.

I also would like to know how to e-mail to you being off-line. Are you kidding?
Trust me, I will e-mail you bastards as soon as I am on-line again.

I think Skype and their people seem to completely have lost their minds since they are sold to eBay. First the are not able to set up a Skype Call for their boss for 1 h at the VON (he may have called me on my laptop) and then they are coming up with such stupid error messages. Are they doing this on purpose?

Next problem:

Lufthanse has now on some planes offering you Internet access (If you are lucky, because you never know, and if LH wants to advertise that, they should be careful, assume one expect to have Internet access and chooses now LH?)

Anyway, this is a new Airbus A330-300, the seats are still smelling like in a new car ...

Stop: here I have to make another remark:
1. This is a complete new plane or it is completely new refurbished, and they do not have in-seat video in economy, the seats have the niche, but it is empty. Still the old screens poping out. How much does this cost on the life time of the plane to keep the passengers happy?
2. The controls are in the arm-rest where you normally put your elbow. If you put your elbow down, you call the flight-attendant. They really enjooy this. I am sitting just before the galley and hear the ping-ping all the time. The purser said they had this problem in the Jumbo already and now its back again. How stupid can you get?

Back to WiFi in the plane. I connected of course and after paying my 29$ (serious, one must consider this in relation to the 8$ for one our on Logan, this is a 7 hour flight!), I was connected for approx. 10 minutes, long enough to Skype home and to see that I had a bunch of new e-mails, but I could not read them, because the connexion dropped. Something in the atmosphere, they said. (Last time it did not work they said this is because we east of the Ural, and it will for on the other side) The Internet will come back in an hour or so. How is this with the 29$ ?

I had an additional problem: at the same time my MS exchange server at the office started to behave weird (it is now midnight, nobody there to fix it) , so I was never sure if it was the connexion or my e-mail server, what was so slow.

The connexion came back after 1 hour and is still on, but it is very slow. Last time it was much faster.

Why are these morons unable to offer services that simple works. Considering a car manufacturer offering you a beta verson of a car.

To finalize this rant;

I hate pop-up windows popping up BEHIND other windows. This seems to be a new fashion to bother people. Sometimes you detect only after some minutes such a hide-behind window. Again, are they doing this on purpose?

I think we still have some way to go for reliable communications and satisfying user experience.

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