Further Great News About EasyJet – Not

February 24, 2009

My wife has submitted the following email to EasyJet Customer Services:

Never again, Easy Jet. My three hour flight from Alicante to Glasgow was torture thanks to a drunk sitting next to me. He was already hammered getting on the plane but the Stewards served him 3 double vodkas within minutes of take-off. As the abuse and taunts increased I finally hit my call-button. Only to be told they could not possible move him, but that I was free to find another seat. Difficult as the flight was close to full. Giving unlimited alcohol to these louts guarantees trouble, but profit comes first, I guess. Why is alcohol not limited? It is completely irresponsible and dangerous to fuel those already inebriated. Your comments would be welcomed.

Their reply:

We would like our Customers to have a speedy response to their enquiry, with this in mind we have looked at your email and have provided you with some suggestions for an instant answer to your question. We hope you will find these helpful.

If we have not found an immediate answer to your question, we aim to respond to your question within 12 hours.

Yours sincerely
easyJet Customer Experience Team

I was a Sucker

February 16, 2009

A few weeks back we bought four tickets on EasyJet’s web site for a
week in Spain (for the sun which has not shown up yet!). I noticed
when we checked in that our trip was insured with travel insurance. “I
didn’t want or buy travel insurance!” I said to no one in particular.

Additional travel insurance is a dumb purchase for most buyers and a
huge money maker for sellers. It is dumb for buyers since the risks
covered are low but cost is high. It is often in addition to already-
covered risks like death, medical, etc.

While on holiday I looked more closely at EasyJet’s web site. Amongst
all the other extras they flog at the customer is travel insurance.
Nicely hidden with the default “buy” switch on. Nice one.

I was suckered.

Why can’t EasyJet treat me as a customer instead of treating me like a
cow in a herd of cattle?


It Just Keeps Getting Better

February 16, 2009

Google Calendar now has a facility for synchronising a calendar in iPhone with Google’s Calender. Useful.

Apocalyptic Predictions of Climate Change

February 16, 2009

The weather this winter (note that it is “winter”) has been a bit cold, snowy, etc. British people tend to have a short memory about weather and forget that in winter it can get a bit cold, snowy, etc. When the snow does arrive, there is such uniform shock and surprise that the government didn’t do anything it. Weather like this also generates yet more articles in the media about this weather is all proof of the apocalyptic future caused by climate change.

Experts at Britain’s top climate research centre have launched a blistering attack on scientific colleagues and journalists who exaggerate the effects of global warming.

The Met Office Hadley Centre, one of the most prestigious research facilities in the world, says recent “apocalyptic predictions” about Arctic ice melt and soaring temperatures are as bad as claims that global warming does not exist. Such statements, however well-intentioned, distort the science and could undermine efforts to tackle carbon emissions, it says.

In an article published on the Guardian website, Dr Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, calls on scientists and journalists to stop misleading the public with “claim and counter-claim”.

Finally some science gets attention in the media. While the above was in the Guardian for which I have a lot of respect, I do note it appears as if this news is not being reported by the BBC (or at least as far as I’ve noticed).

Climate change politics in the UK centres around the Kyoto Treaty, which itself is focused around wealth creation and redistribution.

Sometimes "What We All Think" Could be (Maybe) Not True

February 10, 2009

Wal-Mart is a political issue. People and organisations line up on both sides of the “issue”.

Charles Platt, a former senior writer from Wired, has published a fascinating story in the NY Post about his experience of actually working at Wall-Mart.

Based on my experience (admittedly, only at one location) I reached a conclusion which is utterly opposed to almost everything ever written about Wal-Mart. I came to regard it as one of the all-time enlightened American employers, right up there with IBM in the 1960s. Wal-Mart is not the enemy. It’s the best friend we could ask for.

We have other big political issues in our world: The Economy. The Climate. The Environment. Families. War. What can we learn from Wall-Mar?

This Rings True to Me. Technology.

February 8, 2009

Susan Cramm writes at the Harvard Business Review “Don’t Use Technology to do Dumb Things”. See http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cramm/2009/02/dont-use-smart-technologies-to.html.

Technology can help us do almost anything – for better and worse. In considering the options, leaders need to ask the question: “I know we can do it, but should we?”

I particularly resonate with the following two principles she gives as they match my experince and I notice that few others actually do this:

1. Increase breadth of impact by pushing technology as far down in the organization as possible.
2. Increase the depth of impact by implementing features that simultaneously serve individual and business interests.

The War on Terrorism Continues …

February 7, 2009

Now photographers are the risk. From the British Journal of Photography regarding new laws in the UK:

The relationship between photographers and police could worsen next month when new laws are introduced that allow for the arrest – and imprisonment – of anyone who takes pictures of officers ‘likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.