The Technø Grouch
Where crappy technology gets what it deserves


If you own or manage a company, and you recognize some of the problems described in these articles, consider hiring me. I offer Customer Interface Systems Analysis Services. Sounds fancy, but basically it's this; Everywhere you have the chance to lose customers, I can help prevent it. That includes everything from your phone tree, to your website, to software installs, to your customer service team and billing. You already know that it costs a lot more to win a new customer than it does to keep existing ones. Why not let me help you keep more of them?

I love technology. Well, sort of. I guess I love the promise of technology. The problem is I'm continually disappointed by it. I think it's because the goals of management are a little different from those of the engineers. And of course the CEOs have to be responsive to the stockholders. All of which colludes to force the engineers to stop making corrections before the products are really for market.

So because I love the promise of technology, I buy into the marketing. I try to wait until the second release of software or hardware so I'm just off the bleeding edge. But most of the time that doesn't work. Ya see, when companies get started on the next version, they know they have to add a bunch of new bells and whistles. After all, this sales pitch will just never be successful: "Same software, but this version actually works!" So the old broken stuff never gets fixed. You get the new, improved version with even more broken stuff than the previous one. And if there's anything wrong with any product I buy (software, hardware, phone service, a can opener), it's guaranteed I'll find it--usually in the first few minutes! And if not then, definitely just a few minutes after the warranty runs out.

I do understand that if companies don't sell their stuff, they can't stay in business and keep paying the engineers. It's just that when greed gets out of balance with the quality (which seems like most of the time), we get poor products and services. And that's where I get my name--The Techno Grouch.

See those creases between my eyes? They never go away, even when I smile. They're from all those times when technology let me down and I shouted, "Noooo! Oh, Sh#@!" Can you guess how many times that had to happen to make those creases permanent? I can tell you--a lot! (My brother tells me if nobody heard me except the cat, it never happened. And my brother's not even a lawyer.)

This site and my columns are devoted to all the crappy products and services my friends and I have been subjected to that have put those creases there. I'll give you the details and name names. But I'll also give space to the guys who get it right. You can probably guess there won't be a lot of those.

I guess that kind of makes me the Andy Rooney of technology. (You gotta say this in Andy's whiny voice.) "Didja ever have one of those days?" Well, I sure have. Maybe sharing the burden will lighten your load a little. Ready? Here we go...

Oh, yes, and I develop FileMaker databases for clients and write books on the program, too. I'd really rather do that than complain about technological disappointments, but somebody's gotta call these people on their bad work--especially since they're taking our money.

If you need some FileMaker work done, go to my other website at Data Design Pros.

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7) Delta Lost My Luggage An attorney friend of mine flew Delta Airlines recently. They lost his luggage and all his pleas to the answering machines at the end of their endless phone trees have resulted in - nothing. He filed a lawsuit. So they brought in a team of highly paid lawyers to fight him. Follow the progress of this David and Goliath story here.

Email me here.