* Posts by Ian

11 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Aug 2007

Amazon shames eBay with 24 per cent profit bulge


A few more reasons eBay sucks

A couple more reasons it is in trouble:

1. The redesign...is shoddy and counter-intuitive. Nasty rollovers everywhere causing you to constantly hit the wrong piece of navigation

2. And it often just fecks up and falls over on Safari running on OSX. No I am not going to change browsers cos of your shoddy code....c'mon I've already bought an expensive comuter, let me buy tat!

3. The elephant in the room: as more people (especially small business people) use eBay, categories get saturated. The bargains that were to be had a few years ago are not to be had because you have savvier people buying as well as the eedjits who continue to pay well over the odds. This is kinda good for eBay because they make more $$ per transaction as the transaction values are higher, but for the average punter the net effect is lower satisfaction.

4. And the bargains aren't there because more of the seller's margin gets snitched by eBay

Just my 2 euro cents worth....

Woolies to be resurrected as online-only store


out-of-date failure

@Anonymous Coward - those brand values should fit perfectly with the rest of the portfolio. Kays?

London store brews £50-a-poop cat-crap coffee


weasel and cat sh*t

I've had the weasel coffee - over-priced and over-rated.

Interestingly I was on a coffee plantation in Kerala, India last year and they were thinking of going into this market as it's the only was they could make enough profit on the crop. A neighbouring plantation had already started up production using....domestic cats (hundreds of them).

Seems to me that the Cats Protection League is missing out on a killing here

Tiscali in shock customer satisfaction win


@ Jason W

I did plenty of research when I moved recently and took up plus.net on the basis of many reviews. Very, very bad mistake. Max 200K (on a good day) from my 8Mb and endless chicken and egg arguments when I try to get them to figure out why I am barely faster than dialup.

"You need to do 3 speedchecks on the BT Speedcheck site"

"I can't - your connection is so slow that it times out, I have tried it 40 times"

"OK, leave your modem on, we will test that"


"Hey, your modem isn't on"

"Yes it is, but you can't connect to it because your connection is too slow"

"Hmmm - can you do 3 speedtests on the BT site?"

etc etc etc even until the end of the world.

Thanks feck it's a 1 month contract. I might try BT at this rate....

Vodafone CEO sticks head in sand, goes 'La la la'


The billing relationship - worked well for AOL

Isn't the fact that they "owned the billing relationship" the old crud that AOL used to wheel out in the late 90s? And look what happened there - broadband access isn't at all commoditised now.....mind you, respect to TW/AOL for having the balls to write down $55bn in one go a few years back ;-)

I have to agree that Vodafone has headed southwards in the past year or so - their billing system is sha**ed. Every month my bill is wrong, every month I ring them and they agree and yet I simply can't get a corrected bill out of them. I wouldn't mind so much but wherever I've tried to use the poxy 3G cards I never get more than a dialup style trickle anyway. I've pretty much given up on the things.

I too will be delighted to terminate my billing relationship asap! Yesterday copuld not be too early.

Microsoft: New Live Search 'as good as Google'


Of course they have 40% reach - they cheat!

Mistype a URL in IE with default settings - what do you get to? Live search!

It's the same trick MSN has used for years - as an advertiser you get access to a vast but sh*te audience who don't want to be there but don't know how to stop it.

I've actually seen the data that proves this but the risk of getting the Reg sued prevents me from naming the source. ;-)

Vodafone takes one on the chin for billing problems


Bunch of muppets

I got 2 3G cards for my company a few months back - first bill overbilled me by over £100. They only fessed up when I called them, then had to chase 3 times for a refund.

They initally offered me a credit note, which is about as much use as tits on a bull if you're paying DD from your own bank acount.

3 days ago they finally admitted that it wasn't possible to issue me with a corrected bill having promised it to me twice.

I can't belive ethat they 1. overbill you 2. don't fess up 3. trey to keep hold of the money once you've caught them out 4. fib about fixing you up with correct paperwork.

Oy Vey. I can only assume they have bought NThell's old billing system....

Facebook was my idea, says yet another ex-Harvard student


No, I really did invent it.....

Launched October 2002, name of studentUK - all the core functionality there.


But it went titsup. Too much, too soon ;-)

Mind you, being owned by Jarvis was the kiss of death (literally if you were travelling on railways)

High street music retailer ChoicesUK goes titsup


Hardly a surprise . . . .

There's a Choices shop near me - it has all the charm of Heathrow Terminal 2.

Grey carpet, (bad) 80s interior, miserable staff, crap stock, crap prices. The store looked like it was stuck in some kind of time warp. With the exception of Fopp this is the case with all these little chains that have gone titsup - nobody liked them or wanted them because they were rubbish.

I'm hoping they turn it into a Rymans.....

Land Registry denies ID fraud risk


Land Registry techies - 66 hours a week for maintenance!

Below is a real email exchange between me and the Land Registry when I questioned why they "shut" their online service (i.e don't process search results) all day Sunday and every evening. I stupidly tried to use their service at a time when I wasn't at work.....

I almost fell off my chair when I saw the reply.

Like hello, internet, 2007 - 66 hours downtime a week for maintenance. These guys must be tech ninjas! ;-)


Dear Ian Tester

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry that you are unable to use Land Register Online during this period.

The reason we shut down the website during these periods is specifically so that we have the ability to carry out essential maintenance.

At the Land Registry we are responsible for maintaining the largest property data base in the world, please note that we need the essential downtime to insure that the data is correct and accessible when most needed.

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Yours Sincerely

Edward Chambers

e-Services Delivery Group

Land Registry Head Office at Peterborough

-----Original Message-----

From: LROnline [mailto:LROnline]

Posted At: 12 August 2007 11:02

Posted To: Ed

Conversation: 1 : Ian Tester

Subject: 1 : Ian Tester

The utter stupidity of not allowing 24 hour record access on the internet: Discuss.

"Our service is currently unavailable. Operating hours are between 7 am and 12 midnight, Monday to Saturday (excluding bank holidays)"

Yahoo! tops! Google! on! customer! satisfaction! survey!


New CEO Jerry Yang?

Jerry's the founder of Yahoo! - hardly that new. ;-)

Sad to watch Yahoo! sink further into the sh*t: this stat has got to be a weird blip on the downwards trajectory.

I was working there last year, everyone was going insane about Yahoo! Answers and how innovative it was. I couldn't understand why everyone was getting excited about a forum with a search box and ratings. Ho hum.