US built cars less safe….

The USA car industry has seldom put safety first, and never drivability. Turns out the second affects the measurement of the first, as electronic stability control (ESC) was deemed required for those 13 vehicles that maxed out the rating standard in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. The winners include 3 Hondas, and […]

Customer service – how to ensure phones are answered

Meg Whitman commented that in the early days Paypal customer support staff didn’t answer the phone – they were avoiding speaking to customers. I don’t understand why more customer service lines don’t follow Trade Me’s example. At Trade Me you pay$1.99 per minute when you call (a 900 or o900 number) customer service – but […]

Surfing from work…

Personal surfing from work is bad, says the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in New Zealand. While this may be a great debating point for the chamber, Brownlee clearly isn’t thinking this one through. I certaibnkly wouldn’t want ot work for him, nor for any organisation that wanted such micro control over my activities. Better […]

ShipBuktu – shop the USA

Shipbuktu alpha-launched today. The site is still in test, but the back-end logistics are set. essentially. I’m involved on an unconfirmed sem-official basis. Shipbuktu gives Kiwis a USA address, so you can shop the internet USA style. Amazon electronics, Gap clothing, and everything from telescopes to car parts are finally¬† available to us here. Believe […]

PS3 sales banned on eBay UK, restricted on eBay USA

Stupid. Really stupid. eBay USA is restricting sale of Sony PS3’s to members with high feedback, and even then only one per member. eBay UK is prohibiting sale of PS’s until pre-sales commence next year. Thus does eBay, which normally serves to reduce barriers, prevent trading across borders. The obvious play is to buy PS3’s […]

Overstock.com – and why it does not work

eBay wannabe competitor Overstock just had a horrible 3rd quarter, with revenues down on the previous year. Although it’s a cyclical business, pundits are concerned that revenues fell despite better internal operations. In the last quarter the conversion rate, and Google ads were less effective. Meanwhile the brand suffers (while attracting the morbidly curious like […]