Sunday, November 24, 2013

Talk Talk now ignores their customer's problems

Yesterday I managed to get Talk Talk, the UK's worst ISP, to give me a callback. This was after they 'diagnose' our problem and concluded that our line is working perfectly fine, despite we trying out every available telephone connection in our house to find this untrue. Never mind that the phone number they assigned to us actually belongs to another household, possibly in breach of data protection act, they downright lied to me about doing any so called diagnosing.
Well I was at home with my mobile phone glued to my head the entire time. It was 12.05pm when I finally received a call but only to get disconnected when I answered (I have full bars on my phone, so the problem is on their end). Now they have logged my issue on their service centre as 'solved', even despite not having bothered to talking to me in the first place. Oh, and the issue isn't solved. I do not have a dial tone on my landline, the internet does not work and lo and behold, the number still belongs to another household.

Thanks for wasting my time once again, you cretins!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Talk Talk assigns someone else's number to us

Well I knew this would bite me in the ass when I decided to return to Talk Talk when we moved to our new home. Talk Talk promised to send a BT Openreach engineer to our house on 21 November 2013 to get the phone line activated. I have received several confirmation text and phone calls from TalkTalk confirming this very fact. I was made clear by TalkTalk that if I wasn't home to receive the engineer, I would be charged for the call out. Fair enough, I thought.

On the day, I received a letter from TalkTalk confirming my new phone number and that the phone and broadband package will go live. But after waiting an entire day for the engineer, no such engineer came. The phone and broadband service that was supposed to go live did not.

I went to twitter to ask their customer service representative, but they were unhelpful, using typical scripted lines. I also used the live agent chat facility on their website, but the agent was unhelpful, insisting each time that my line is okay, which I find utterly insulting. How can an agent, possibly living half way across the world, can ascertain that my phone line is working, when I, despite living here, can't.

The 'live agent' at Talk Talk also insists we call their customer service. Well how can I call when I have no phone line to call? Bloody genius.

Finally I decided to call the number that TalkTalk assigned to this household and found that it belonged to someone else! Someone else who isn't living in this household. So not only is TalkTalk denying me service, I am possibly paying for someone else's phone rental! I am also pretty sure they are breaching some kind of data protection act by assigning me someone else's number, so I hope they get a big fine from Ofcom. But knowing how in bed Ofcom is with ISPs, I doubt so.

So well done TalkTalk, you have convinced me that you are utterly hopeless and can never be redeemed. I am sure you will prevent me from leaving Talk Talk despite breaching your part of the contract by denying me the service you promised, but once the 12 month contract is up, I will be sure to take my money else where.

Monday, November 11, 2013

SGP Spigen Neo Hybrid for LG Google Nexus 5 case review

SGP Spigen's Neo Hybrid is one of my favourite cases for smartphones. Each time a new phone is announced, SGP will normally be one of the first port of calls where I would search for a compatible case. It isn't surprising then that when Google and LG announced the Nexus 5 that I quickly ordered a Neo Hybrid case.

The Nexus 5 isn't exactly a looker, so covering it up in a case is a no brainer. The Neo Hybrid is a two piece hybrid case. It comes in two separate parts: an inner layer which is made of soft flexible TPU, and a polycarbonate skeleton bumper frame, which is designed to go over the silicone bit. It is available in dark grey, silver and champagne gold, which is a bit of a bummer as I would have preferred to get one in yellow.

Simply slip the silicon case over the phone and once that is fitted, you then slot the outer glossy skeleton frame over it. You would not want to be removing this case often as the case is very tight. Not that you would need to as the Nexus 5 has no expandable storage option of accessible battery compartment.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

LG Google Nexus 5 first impressions

Today I took delivery of the new Google and LG flagship, the Nexus 5. As I have been needing a new smartphone since July, I decided it is time to ignore my LG bias and check the device out. After all Google has been very impressive when it came to shipping this out so soon after announcement (next day!). Call this a late birthday present.

The Nexus 5 is a clear design evolution of the Nexus 4. You will find that the same basic shape is retained but the screen has been upgraded to a 5" 16:9 1080p LCD IPS display, which bumping the pixel density up, is simply gorgeous to look at. This is one of the best displays I have ever viewed in door, and that includes the HTC One.

While the removal of the glass back plate in favour of polycarbonate made the Nexus 5 feel cheaper than the premium-feel Nexus 4, it has made the new flagship significantly lighter and thinner as well. Yes, plastic may feel cheaper in your palm compared to glass, but I am sure it will probably be able to sustain a bit more everyday abuse than the crack happy Nexus 4.

I found the power button, which is located on the left side of the device next to the micro SIM card tray, to be a tad too small and too close to the top edge of the device. A power button located in the middle of the phone, similar to those found on Lumia and Xperia devices, would have been far more comfortable. A 3.5mm headphone jack and microphone can be found on the top, while the metallic volume rocker sits on the right side. You will find a pair of iPhone 5-esque loud speaker grills on the bottom with a micro USB sync/charge port in between them.

The backside is a design in simplicity, with a 8MP camera and a single solitary weak LED flash. While the back cover looks removable, I have been told it isn't. If you went for the white version like I did, you will find that the Nexus 5 sports a two-tone colour, which I admit looks rather neat. The camera itself isn't something to write about, especially after my brief affair with a Lumia 1020, and the camera app is still annoyingly basic. With only 8MP of data, you won't be cropping pictures a lot, but OIS and a faster lens for low light photography is a welcome upgrade regardless. Only time will tell if the camera here is a good enough improvement over the Nexus 4's poor camera.

With a top of the range Snapdragon 800 and the latest Android 4.4, the Nexus 5 is mighty fast. In fact it is so quick, you wouldn't have to install a slim down launcher like Nova (though I installed it anyway as I detest the fixed Google search bar). Android 4.4 does not appear to feature any ground breaking innovations as far as the GUI is concern, though the Nexus 5 does sport a voice wake up feature first found on the Moto X.

Overall the Nexus 5 isn't the most gorgeous looking device out there, but it is very functional. Everything is where you expect to find them, and while I would have preferred the power button to be located near the middle of the device, at least it isn't on the top (glares at HTC). As far as 5 inchers goes, the Nexus 5 feels great in my palm. Android isn't exactly a one-hand use friendly OS, but it doesn't become too irritating.

The Nexus 5 is available right now from Google Play, starting from £299, making it one of the cheapest Snapdragon 800-powered smartphones around. It is also available subsidised on various wireless carriers such as Three UK.