Back to the BackBeat

Hey guys,

Before I get started, kind of a major milestone coming up…This blog is about 120 views shy of 20000! In just over 2 years total of writing, I consider that a heck of an accomplishment! Thank you all so much for reading what I have to say, I couldn’t possibly find everybody that has found my work here and enjoyed it, but I wish that I could.

I have taken to this forum several times in the past to review a product or service I’m particularly fond of. When I find something I like, I really tend to stick with it for as long as I can, so with that in mind, I’d like to take a look back at one of my favorite things, which I use every day, sometimes for multiple hours a day.

Plantronics BackBeat GO Bluetooth headphones

I originally extolled the virtues of the BackBeat GO headphones from Plantronics in this post, so I won’t go too far into a review here. Back then, I was only starting to really appreciate the wonder that is wireless headphones, and my love has only continued to grow the more I use them. I’ve now owned these headphones for a little under 18 months, and they are starting to require a little more attention from me.

When they first arrived, I would charge them about once a week, and I was good to go. If I wanted to use them for a whole day, I would probably have to charge them at lunch, and continue in the afternoon, but for walks and commute, they were (and are) a dream. I still don’t think there’s really anything I would change about these headphones, the most they have ever tangled is in the photo to the left, where as you can see they have looped around themselves one time, forming a VERY loose knot. This, in addition to the incredible battery life, ease of use and insertion/removal, and how well they stay in your ears, are more than enough for me to recommend you buy these headphones right now!

That being said, now that the battery on this particular pair is showing its age, I’m starting to wonder what the next step is. Plantronics have released an updated version of the BackBeat’s, called the GO 2. Since these are available in Canada (though not in major retailers that I’ve seen so far), I’m definitely thinking about moving up to the new generation when these guys do finally die. The improvements to the new generation are iterative, but you are making adjustments to an already excellent product, so not much is needed.

If my next pair of headphones is anything like the current one, I will be the happiest person alive!

Thanks Plantronics!

You can find specs and info about these headphones here (in Canada).

Can you go a day without change?

There is a saying that only two things in life are certain: death, and taxes. While there is a certain amount of truth to that, I can simplify things even further. I say only one thing is for certain on any given day: life is going to surprise you. I have spent almost my entire life living with that knowledge, and that is why I have been so adaptable to new environments and changing circumstances.

On any given day, for any number of reasons, you may suddenly find yourself in a completely unfamiliar situation, absolutely without warning. This has happened to me on many occasions, and I’m sure it has happened to you quite recently. Sometimes, these surprises will be small, and will be dealt with and digested in a matter of seconds. Other times, more serious and larger surprises can take days, or even weeks to process.

The best thing I ever came up with to deal with these daily occurrences is to remind myself constantly that I cannot take anything for granted. The second you get comfortable with something in the world, it can be yanked away from you, and you will be stuck wondering what you could have done to avoid the surprise, or to see it coming.

The fact is, you can see surprises coming. If you keep that simple fact in mind, the only thing that will catch you briefly off-guard on a given day will be what particular fact you took for granted will be changing on that specific day.

This is the very specific reason that I choose to live my life knowing that by the end of that day, I might lose something or someone that is very important to me. I have lost jobs, friends, family, opportunity, you name it. I lost a whole year of physical activity to a knee injury that took less than a second to occur, and three years later I still worry every day about what I would do if that happened again.

When you find something that you know is right, you absolutely need to chase that for all it’s worth, and do everything you can to keep it in your life. You need to trust your instincts, and believe that what is best for you isn’t necessarily what you have right now.

If you are with somebody you love right now, hold them tight and tell them just how much they mean to you. Life means a constant flux, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. The second you stop resisting surprise, and accept that the world will never get to perfect, the better your life will be for it, and the happier you’ll become.

Don’t try to prevent surprises from coming up, try to accept they will happen, and learn to ride the waves of change.

Internet Math

Today, I’d like to talk about something that is affecting me right now as a Teksavvy customer without Internet, caused by the strained relationship that Teksavvy has with its internet vendor (Rogers). My livelihood depends more and more on the internet by the day, and not having internet is extremely stressful to me.

I have been without internet for 3 days now, after trying to pay more to have my internet speed increased. After calling to change my plan (which took about 4 days longer than necessary because of a clerical error), I waited a total of about 8 days for my Internet speed to increase. On the last day it was due to change, my Internet promptly disconnected (Monday August 5 in the afternoon) and hasn’t been back online, going on 3 days.

After spending several hours on Twitter and on the phone with Teksavvy agents over the last week and a half, and continuing to hear that we are waiting for Rogers because they are very backed up dealing with requests, I have finally settled in to a pattern where every 24-48 hours I call to see what the issue is. Teksavvy has excellent customer service, and engages their clients in ways that I have not seen from any other company. However, their dealings with Rogers are getting extremely convoluted, and Rogers does not seem to have the capacity to handle service requests for all of their clients. I do not know if this is greed or just a reflection of poor infrastructure that is causing it, and it’s not really important if it’s one of those, or something else.

Anyhow, the last conversation I had with Teksavvy, I was told that after waiting 48 hours for Rogers to respond to my service request, I was told that that meant Rogers now only had 24 hours to respond to my support ticket, and to eventually get my internet connected. This kind of delay is really inexcusable for a major telecommunications company, and it is downright ridiculous to be handicapping customers like this.

Anyhow, since it has been a LOT more than 48 hours since my initial issue, which was never really addressed, I am a little bit confused about this new 24 hour timeframe to respond to my issue. I was told that if they did not respond to my new 24 hour request, it would be escalated again to a 12 hour response window, and on and on. After a few seconds of reflection, not only is this policy ridiculous on Rogers’ part, but it is absolutely an unhelpful and unsustainable way to deal with service requests. I have made a table to illustrate this point.

As you can see, with an interval that decreases by half at each request, within a total of 24 hours from now (ending at 4 PM tomorrow), I (or Teksavvy on my behalf) will be sending infinite requests to Rogers. I am sure that I am not the only person in this situation, as Rogers seems to be very behind on this kind of request.

I am REALLY hoping that my request will be dealt with when I call this afternoon, otherwise my phone bill will be huge, I will not be able to get any work done, and there’s a good chance the universe will explode.
Teksavvy, you are excellent, but you really need to make Rogers treat you and your customers better, or people will not stay patient for very long. I am a good example of someone who is a very loyal customer, and a patient one at that, and even I am getting a little tired of this.