The Smarter CEO :: Adam Arnold's work - life blog

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A day brings many problems

Having negotiated potential disaster (i.e. significant data loss from an apparent computer failure at 6 a.m. this morning) I had hoped for a relatively smooth day. My experience tells me this will rarely be the case and, as of 1 a.m. and with my ‘day’ drawing to a close, I have endured two additional events which could have been avoided had either of the two companies responsible operated a little better.

As the SmarterGroup has expanded I have acquired additional mobile phones for staff use, with different providers for the majority of handsets. Further to rave reviews from close business associates I have decided to move back to O2 and migrate all handsets onto one account, picking up an iPhone to replace my own Nokia E61i. I had considered the Nokia to be a decent handset until playing on an iPhone and being truely blown away.

I say ‘move back’ as I had been an O2 customer for 3/4 years until they billed me by, by DD, for every call and text I had ever sent in the period. Luckily I wasn’t on my phone anywhere near as much as I am these days, but they still cleaned out my current account! O2 offered to put my account in credit to the same amount, presumably thinking I wouldn’t notice that having £3,000 O2 talk-time wasn’t the same as having the money in my bank. I departed soon after to Orange who have been very good for the past 8 years.

Before deciding O2 were the way forwards I had tried to migrate all other handsets onto my Orange account but they wanted me to jump through hoops to make the order. I will let Orange work those out – had they treated me a little better today I would be more useful in terms of customer research. Therefore, it only served to annoy me when I called today to ask for my PAC code that the lady insisted she could beat whatever deal I was being offered elsewhere. I declined and asked that I could have the PAC code and be on my way: which she refused. It then took a further three people and 30 minutes to obtain confirmation that a PAC code was on its way to me.

Computer and telecoms hassles out of the way, our bank decided to pipe up with a few problems of their own. At SmarterHousing we specialise in the provision of high quality student accommodation. Inherent within this business is the need to make timely payments to Landlods in relation to rent collected on their behalf. I am forever in turmoil over the difficulty the bank can cause although I am only just getting to the point of leaving – changing banks is a hassle when over 200 separate households, with up to ten individual tenants per property, pay rent into the existing account.

My main gripe is that our daily payment limit is constantly reset to £10,000 per payment max/max per day. This poses problems when numerous clients are paid in excess of £10,000 at the start of every month and earlier this week was no different. I attempted to pay over rent in the region of £14,000 to one of our key clients and my online banking refused. Rather than create panic I wrote a cheque and called the bank to confirm the would clear it. They advised that if there were problems they would call which, of course, they did shortly after I had spoken to Orange.

You’d assume they would call me, as the main contact, although they chose to call our Technical Director, Andrew Clarke, stating the signature was ‘dodgy’ and asking us to confirm the payment. He called me to confirm, which I did, but was then unable to get hold of the bank on the number provided.

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