An ode to eBuyer Support

UPDATE 28/11/2013: eBuyer have finally contacted me, over two months after originally opening the ticket. They offered me an apology, and a direct line and email address of someone higher up in the support department. I may consider buying from them again, although I still do not have the power adapters. (There’s no point in them being sent now as I bought alternatives.)

Just over a week ago I ordered 2 cisco Wifi adapters for work, using eBuyer business. They both support power-over-ethernet (which unfortunately I don’t have) or can be used with the supplied DC power adapters. At least, that’s what the description said. Instead, they arrived just with kettle leads, but no adapters.

No problem I thought, this is the kind of thing that technical support are normally very happy to put right. Their support options are “eNotes” which apparently will be answered “within 48 hours”, or a premium rate 10p-per-minute number. Yes, for a business service.

Being the skinflint that I am, I refused to use the premium phone, and instead used the eNote system. My queries were promptly answered by “samantha”, who may or may not be human, and always suggested that her “supervisor” or “product manager” would get back to me straight away.

I even resorted to poetry (not something I am known for my capacity for) as a way to get their attention. Alas, my lyrical efforts were met with stony-faced (some may say “robotic”?) deferment.

I thought that one week was probably enough time to resolve a “didn’t-ship-the-right-power-adapter” issue, and decided just to order something that would work from another site, but given the effort I put into my poetry, and the lack of acknowledgement it got, I have decided to post the entire thread here for posterity. An ode to “samantha” at eBuyer business support.

Full thing after the jump:

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Use GPG to encrypt your communications. Please!

I’m really cross about the current state of surveillance as drawn to our attention by Edward Snowden. As a UK citizen, I don’t feel the US government have any right to my data, nor do I believe that any other government including my own should be reading my email or private messages without permission. And it should have to fight damn hard through the courts to get that permission.

There’s been enough said about this elsewhere, although I’m surprised that more people – particularly people who would describe themselves as ‘techies’ like myself – are not completely up in arms about the revelations that have been made. (I guess we’ve all assumed that something was going on, but found it easy to ignore without evidence.) As someone who has been on the internet since its inception, it’s galling that it has come to this.

I’ve also been blindly calling for all people to encrypt all their personal communication for decades, without success – mostly due to laziness and lack of decent, user-friendly tools. Admittedly, I usually also do this drunkenly in pubs, which does not always provide the best audience. Nevertheless, the more encrypted traffic is out there, the more privacy we all have, as an encrypted email becomes less of a suspicious marker for interested parties.

I have recently rekindled my desire for this to happen, so have prepared a page on configuring Windows and Chrome to do encryption with a smallish amount of work.

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Electric Sheep in HD

I’m a big fan of the Electric Sheep project by Scott Draves, and after buying a nice, new 1080p telly I decided I’d like to display it in full HD to mesmerise guests when I’m not watching anything.

The following is a 2-hour looping video of the 256 most-voted sheep on the sheep server rendered in Full HD.

More details and a torrent for a high quality mkv version or burnable blu-ray iso below.

You’ll want to watch this full screen, in 1080p. Ideally whilst playing some music.

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Attempt Seven

About once every two years I get some short-lived enthusiasm to maintain a blog. Usually when I have a single moderately-interesting thing to post. At which point, I’ll set up a new site, post a couple of things, and then leave it languishing unloved until such a time as I take it down again due to all the spam. Probably about a year later.

This is the start of the next cycle.