AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Monday, August 25, 2003

HP - Did they reply?

Yeah - they did. It took a while, but this was caused by the time difference, I guess. HP's response came on their Monday, I received it just now, on Tuesday, August 26.

The lady that responded was very detailed in her outlines, something that I really appreciate and that makes me feel more comfortable. It shows a somehow caring attitude, that allows even non-technical guys like me to follow through with solutions to a problem.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

IPaq problems and HP's orientation

Sorry, I have another one to talk about!

My wife and I each have an IPaq PDA, now by HP after the merger with Compaq. She has the 1910 model and I have the 2210 model. To get the data into ones computer, one has to undergo a process that is called hotsyncing, via software named Active Sync. It is only possible to hotsync your data to the computer, when your PDA has established a partnership with your computer – what means computer and PDA communicate with each other. A last couple of weeks ago, when I bought my PDA, I tried to establish this partnership. Normally, it was possible for a computer to have more than one partnership with the PDAs. Somehow, this time I failed. It was not possible to get the computer to recognise my PDA. When I installed my ActiveSync, it didn’t recognise my wife’s PDA. Quite frustrating. I went to my retailer, and they really tried to help me several times, but gave up last Saturday. But only after they checked user forums and similar. They are great in service, but this is a different story. However, last week already, the store manager gave me HP’s helpdesk number, which I called this Friday. Numerous number descriptions – if you have a … than dial 1 – followed by another if you have a … than dial … Quite disturbing, but this is the effect of cost savings. At least, someone picked up in the end of the process. Her name was Annie and it was quite clear that I reached an outsourcing center in India. She must have been new as well, because she really had no clue what I was talking about, and constantly put me on hold. Or discussed something with someone, related to the issue. But one could also realise that she was trained to apologise for the hold etc. Still, in the end, she asked me for my name and return number, and promised to find out about the case, but, well, I would still sit and wait. The call never came.
After a while I called again, and I think, I ended up in India again. Had real problems understanding the guy on the phone – which resulted in me asking – what, can you repeat? But at least the guy had some idea what he was talking about, it appeared, but he told me to go the HP’s webpage to download related drivers for my PDA. Than he also asked for assistance and put me on hold. When he came back, he told me that Microsoft had changed the ActiveSync program which now wouldn’t support more than one partnership per computer. Basically saying that I would have to work with a guest partnership, which is also possible and which doesn’t allow to sync the names and addresses. I was a bit disappointed. Later I went back to my retailer, and he couldn’t really believe it – so than off we went and he checked it on webpages – without success. He promised me to check further and call me if he would find a solution. He also advised me to reinstall the program, and to reinstall Microsoft Outlook – without which it sometimes is tough to hotsync. He didn’t call back as well, but I know that normally, and onsite, they provide great service. What frustrates me is that at home, I painstakingly went through the process of uninstalling and installing the different programs – I found out that my PDAs have more than one partnership already, and it is not possible to have more than two. So I had to delete some partnerships. This brought me one step further already. Next I found out a very simple truth. Namely, that my wife’s PDA’s ActiveSync version 3.5 (which I was aware of) and my PDA’s ActiveSync 3.7 are totally different. My PDA doesn’t recognise ActiveSync 3.5 and her’s doesn’t recognise ActiveSync 3.7. I have my opinion about non-compatibility of software and I am always quite upset about it, but this is really, really bad. I would now have to uninstall either one software ones in a months and safeguard the respective files, in order to have both PDA’s secured. I don’t want to only hotsync one of the PDA’s and risk loosing the data in the other. Additionally, I am pretty upset about the way, HP’s personnel handled my call. I know that more than one partnership with computers is still possible. My retailer has shown me. And it seems like a simple way to get rid of a customer. Additionally, that Annie or however her name is, hasn’t called me back. An absolutely turndown.

I am sending this story to HP, and wonder, if I receive a reaction from them!

Any comments? Send something to

I will be in holiday till mid-September, so for those of you who read my stuff, please have patience with me – I will be back. Ay be with some stories from Germany, but surely with stories about my great retailer.


They never came back to me

One would think that an e-mail to a CEO would result in some reaction. Isn't this one of a CEO's priorities? To take action when a customer is unhappy? GoDaddy never came back to me!! I now extended my web domain address with for another 2 years. Probably independent from the incidence, they offered me some discount. While still very much more expensive than GoDaddy, they at least have shown that they are service oriented. Comments? Send something to

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Better than GoDaddy

Contrast the following experience with the experience that I had with GoDaddy that I just described with the one that I had have with Handango ( Handango is another ecommerce company but it sells software for PDAs. I purchased a product from them last year, but since I upgraded my PDA, I lost this particular program – additionally, I couldn’t find it in my hotmail account. The problem was that, while the company offered another download in their webpage, one, naturally, has to log in via with password and e-mail address. I forgot my password, and as such, had to contact the company’s service desk, in the hope that they would respond and assist.

Here is my writing to them:
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Sometimes last year, I purchased the program called Lemonade from you, however, I have lost the e-mail with my registration code, reference code etc.
I won't be of much help by providing you my User ID number, because I also lost it. Can you help?
Looking forward to your early reply!
Best regards,
*** Yours truly

Shortly afterwards, I got my account information and could log in to download my program again.
Great – however, I received another mail today, which wouldn’t have helped too much, as it assumed that I have registration code or my earlier e-mail, but well, it also offered me further help. So much better than GoDaddy.
Someone care to share their own experience? Send something to

Monday, August 18, 2003 Web Domain Company a bitter disappointment

I am deeply disappointed with a company called

The company, amongst others, offers domain hosting services. For those who don't know what this is - a domain name is the address of a company in "internet language" so to speak. is a domain name of the company called Amazon.

Similar,, is the address of Yahoo. As such, is the address of Godaddy. One can buy such domain names from this company, which also offers other services.

I am owning some domain names, which are currently with a company called Network Solutions and hosts under the name This company is pretty expensive - US$35.00 for a 1-year hostage of one domain name. Godaddy offers the same for below US$10.00. It also offers to assist in the transfer of a domain name from one provider to another. They get some raving reviews on their webpage, and so I decided to transfer some of my domain names.

In the beginning sometimes early this year , I started slowly - was a bit uncertain -, and was quite surprised that everything went smoothly. sent me an e-mail, asking me if I am okay with the transfer, and sure I was.

As such, I thought I try it with the next one as well. However, something didn't go right. There was no e-mail from this time. I inquired with and they stated, that sometimes, former hosting companies would just ignore such requests, hoping to keep the business. After a while I sent a similar mail, and got the same response from GoDaddy. I was a bit angy with, but well, since I didn't want to loose the address, I extended the service one more year. I was also a bit surprised. The company earlier appeared pretty professional - very responsive and service oriented. Once, I wanted to let an address expire, and they extended the period automatically and reduced the amount from my credit card. I informed them about the mistake, and without any discussion, they reimbursed me and apologised. Service at its best. May be they changed was what I thought.

Anyway - I wanted to change another web address in the end of July - and initiated it. After a while - still no response or reaction - neither from nor I send another mail a few weeks later and than, another one, shrtly thereafter. No reaction whatsoever. Now I started to get this feeling of being real pissed off.

I browsed in GoDaddy's webpage and send off another e-mail last week. To their service counter - which, by the way, promises to get back to the inquirer in 8-12 hours, and to their president, a Mr. Parson.

This was last Friday - enough time - despite the power outge in the US that happened over the weekend etc. I am really angry - lesson learned?

1.) Don't trust if there are raving reviews;
2.) Service has its price
3.) It is a best lesson on how to loose a customer. I plan to develop a webpage and woooms - what do you believe? Is there any future business with GoDaddy?
4.) Bad news travels fast - one talks more about bad experiences than about good experiences, right? And this will be a story for years to come!!

I am copying my last e-mail into this review - but will keep my e-mail address out to avoide spyweb to get it and flood my e-mail inbox even more - and will inform GoDaddy and

I wonder, if I will get a reply? Or if they do something to the domain address that is still hosted with them? Remember, I was successfully once!!

Dear Mr. Parson (this is the President of GoDaddy),

I am sorry that I have to bother you with my complain,
but I am developing into a very unhappy customer.
Please allow me to outline the story:
I transferred one domain name to your company, since
it looked efficient, and got some good reviews
elsewhere. But now I am a bit in doubt – as I
actually don’t know, how you define customer
satisfaction or delight.

I have send three mails to your company with regard to
the transfer of a web domain from Network Associates/ to Godaddy -

In the statement following the sending of the mail,
your automatice response is that customer service
would get back to me in between 10-12 hours.

I am not sure, but, without wanting to sound rude or
insulting, you should fix your watches!! I am still
waiting for responses from your side!!

I have two reference numbers for two of mails sent:
- 030803 – 000093
- 030806 – 001659

I send the last mail about three days back, but it
might be that I didn’t get a reference number, since I
sent it when I wasn’t logged in.

Over time, I tried to transfer three domain names from
Network Associates/ I had no problem
initiating and succeeding with the first one, The second one ( failed.

In this case I inquired with your customer service
about the status, and they appeared to be very
responsive. They stated that they contacted Network
Associates (, but that sometimes, the
former host would just ignore the request for

This time around for the third transfer
(asiabusinessconsulting), I didn’t get any response
from you after my inquiry about the status.

Now I am not so sure anymore that Network Associates actually ignored the transfer of the second domain name. Could it be that you just take the money from your potential customers? How do we know? The only thing I know is that Network Associates was very helpful – once, they transferred my cash payment back to me, when they extended a domain name that I didn’t want anymore and they assumed I would like to keep it.

They also asked me if I would agree to the transfer of to you. Now – I didn’t get back any
inquiry from them, when I wanted to transfer the
second domain name, only your mails, that you
contacted them. And, to repeat, this third time, I
don’t even get a response from you about the status of the transfer.

I wanted to change to you, because of cost
consideration and your company appeared to be a
reliable company. Can I be THAT wrong? And no, I
didn’t forget to note down my e-mail address or
deleted your response accidentally – just in case that
this is something put forward.

I wonder if you react to this inquiry!! Please send a
response to either _____ (left blank here, intentionally) or

I will be on leave in about 11 days, and after that,
won’t be able to access my e-mail inbox for 3 weeks.

As such, I would hope you expedite the issue.

Best regards,

Andreas Dorn

PS: I will send this mail to your customer service as

So I am waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Any similar experience ? Send something to

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Benchmarking - Posting Number 2

Remember, a couple of weeks back, I wrote something about benchmarking of company practices, and that this invokes the danger that in the end of the day, companies look alike, thei products and services look alike, and probably, that people look and act alike. This comment was based on experience, observations, a good dose of thinking and also a lot of gut feeling. But i am happy to report that the Financial Times reported something similar in their edition on August 11, 2003. And here is an extraction of the text - the text actually talks against the objective to put the observation of competition in the centre of attention of managers. But there is a piece in the text, that talks about the failings of benchmarking:

Think for a minute about five-star hotels in London or Paris. Other than their locations, what sets them apart? One could make the case that their offering - food, decor, staff uniforms, toiletries, even the way the toilet paper is folded into little triangles - is similar. The same goes for business-class service on the leading airlines, where food, seating, uniforms, films, even the boring offering of orange juice, champagne and water before take-off, are almost universal.

Yet companies are increasingly claiming that their cost structures are rising and their margins shrinking. This holds true for most industries, be they consumer products, financial services, industrial products, information technology, telecommunications or business-to-business.

"To achieve high growth in the future, companies need to break out of this vicious cycle of competitive benchmarking, imitation and pursuit."

Wah - here it is - doesn't it sound interesting?

Tell me what you think? Send something to "".


Accident of a friend

A colleague of mine had an accident two days back. It happened in heavy rain, and traffic jam during rush hours. Her car, a Kelissa, was hit by a van behind her. She believes that the van's brakes didn't work, or that the driver didn't use the brakes, but accidentally pressed the accelerator. Her car was pushed on the car in front of her. So sadwitched between two cars. The van driver also quickly admitted that he was at fault and so did his boss, who arrived a short while later.

What is the nice piece in this is that the boss called her the next day in the morning to apologise again. Now this is something to congratulate on!!

Did it ever hapen elsewhere? Or something similar? Tell me and be published in this spot!

My e-mail address is

Thursday, August 14, 2003

A great experience

I was at the playground with my little kid on Sunday. While he was busily smashing stones and tried to discover and unearth dinosaur bones, I watched a soccer game. There was something in the game that I liked. In Malaysia there are three main ethnic groups - Malays, Indians and Chinese. Very often, you see them mingling in their own group, with their own peer, despite honourable efforts of the government to form a Malaysian nation.
Actually, the different groups were the reason I fall in love with this country. When I came back here in 1993, I happened to get into a group of friends that were what they are - a great bunch of people that didn't look to which ethnic group they belong. There were Malays, Chinese, Indians, Germans, Americans, and Australians.
And in this soccer game, there played Malays, Indians and Chinese. No problem with the group. And, even better, there were many different age groups. From young kids, around 6 years old, to around 30 years of age. What else can you expect? Well, may be some women also running after the ball, to balance the gender. But I liked it - Malaysia boleh. I still have hope!!
Send something to

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Scary or an opportunity?

I just found this in article, published in a newspaper called Scotland on Sunday on March 9, 2003.

"It's been estimated that half the products and services we'll be using in five years' time - and the jobs that go with them - have yet to be invented. The stock of human knowledge used to take centuries to grow, it now doubles every five years. On one projection, by 2020 it will be doubling every 73 days. That is why 'lifelong learning' must be much more than just a nifty bit of political labelling. (...) People are fast becoming the key commodity in the knowledge economy.
In the business world, lifelong learning will no longer be about bettering oneself. It will be about survival. The product - be it goods or services - that does not change and renew and innovate will be the product that dies... swiftly."

It continues by quoting Carly Fiorina, the CEO of HP, that stated earlier (exact date of quotation couldn't be identified): "Keep your tax incentives and highway interchanges, we will go where the highly skilled people are."

This is what the new world is about, but it is scary, worrying, but also exciting. Reinvent yourself - constantly.

Any comments? Send, as usual to

Sunday, August 03, 2003

My Hairdresser

Hairdressers & dentists are the two jobs that I have most problems with. I take great care to find good shops with great people for both those needs. For the dentist, I look for someone who doesn’t hurt me too much. My concern with hairdressers is that I would have to walk around with a style not necessarily to my liking if they mess up. And it is also important for me that they do know my preference as well.

I like my hairdresser in Taman Desa, called “Talking Heads”. Ran by a couple of elderly Chinese women. They hardly speak English. I am always served by the one who is most able in it and I always remember the first time I went in there. Actually had a bad feeling but have to say that in all the three years I went to have my hair done with them, they never disappointed me. She always recognizes me, ask me how I am doing and so on. The shop itself had green, run-down looking walls. The chairs were also not the newest ones. I write in the past tense, since everything changed in June, as I was told. They renovated. Now the shop is ultra modern. White walls. Big picture with great looking models advertising fantastic hairstyles. New leather chairs. However, same old hairdresser, same old customers. My question is: Great design is needed in the brave new world of tomorrow, to attract more clients & customers. But what will happen if your employees don’t exhibit a new mindset to delight their customers and clients? They might, temporarily, attract more &-new clients & customers. For a while, their old ones might come. But, will they have enough perserverance to succeed? Only time will tell. What's your opinion? Send me a comment to


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