This time I was nice enough to write to the Daily Mail to point out their mistake, rather than just whining here. They’re mocking the gentleman shown above (an intellectual, to be sure) for having jenius tattooed on his head, instead of genius.


You may want to rethink the story available at titled “Some ‘genius’! Suspect on assault charge pictured with misspelt tattoo”. The lettering on the gentleman’s face is in cursive, and starts with a cursive G (see for details on how to write one). Now it’s not a particularly well done cursive G, for sure, but then I imagine the sort of people who will put tattoos on other people’s foreheads probably didn’t have the best cursive teachers.

I look forward to your follow-up article about the ‘Daily Mail Reporter’ so dumb he or she can’t recognize his or her own language when it’s written down.

Cheers, Paul

Customer Service, Part 3

Today’s O2 email:


I know this will surprise you just as much as it has me, but this morning I got another text message from you. That’s three times you’ve told me I won’t get any more texts, and three times you’ve sent more texts. Once is a mistake, twice is a system error, but three times means you’re lying to me.

Given that we’ve established that you’re lying to me, I no longer believe the summary statement you’ve given to me, nor do I believe the details of the router return. Hence I’m not paying anything, or sending anything, until:

1. I’ve heard from somebody who has a first AND last name, and a direct phone number (and who doesn’t lie to customers)
2. I’ve received a written bill BY POST that clearly states it is the final bill.


Cheers, Paul

PS As always I hope that you, as an individual, have a really good day, and that my frustration doesn’t get you down.

Customer Service, Part 2

Here’s an email I just sent to Argos:

I wanted to let you know just how far your delivery service was from what a reasonable person would expect. My order number is xxxxxxxxx, for a Nara Entertainment Unit. To quote from the acknowledgement email:

“We will contact you by Friday 12 November 2010 to arrange a convenient date and time for your delivery (except items delivered by post).”

I was not contacted.

I did receive an email from DHL, telling me that 2 packages were out for delivery in Stockton on Tees this morning. Note that there was no reference to Argos on that email, I was not aware that DHL were your delivery company, I didn’t know that the item came in two parcels, and I live 300 miles away from Stockton on Tees. Oh, and the email started “Dear Harris”.

Going back to the original email:

“A signature will be required for this delivery”

Or, as it turns out, they might just leave it down the side of my house with a note put through the door, and leave it to my wife to struggle with lifting them inside before they were stolen.

I’m about to open the packages now. It would not surprise me at this point to find a Peruvian basketweave chair in them.

Paul Harris

PS. Also from the email:

“We’ve charged this order to your 6 Months Buy Now Pay Later Card under the {2}”

Variable substitution is tricky, but it’s worth the time to get it right.

Customer Service

Here’s the text of an email I just sent to O2. They keep sending me text messages saying that I’m going to get a bill, but don’t send me the actual bill. I’ve asked them twice to stop sending these texts and been told that they will; this is my third attempt:


Guess what? I got another text this morning, what I didn’t get was a final letter telling me what my bill is. I’ve copied in a bunch of people this time who hopefully have the skills to actually do something. To help them out, here’s what I would like you to do:

1. STOP TEXTING ME (Seriously, how hard is it to NOT text somebody? I don’t text billions of people every day, and it takes me no effort at all)
4. STOP TEXTING ME (Just in case you forgot, it’s a while since I said it).

The real shame of this is that I only moved to Virgin broadband because there was no connection fee for my new home. Turns out their broadband sucks, and I was thinking of switching back to you even if it did cost me £100 to reconnect. But now?

Cheers, Paul

PS I’m sorry for shouting, and I hope you have a really good day today. I know that you’re doing your best, and it’s just your organization that is the problem.


My Essential Software

I recently got a new laptop for work, and had to install a bunch of stuff. For what it’s worth here’s what made it in within the first couple of days:

  • 1Password
  • DropBox (these two together are literally the first thing I install)
  • Evernote
  • Quick Search Box (QuickSilver replacement; either is fine for what I do)
  • Skype (Needed for work, for personal IM I use Adium with the Skype plugin)
  • TextMate (with AckMate)
  • TinyAlarm
  • Xmarks
  • XSlimmer (because of my OCD)