Archive for Trance

HTC Customer Service Problems…

Posted in Music, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2010 by eljmayes

Before I start, may I say that I don’t typically complain about a corporation’s conduct in public. I’m not Roger Cook. I prefer to rectify any issues in swift, courteous and private manner. However, HTC have proven on numerous occasions they are not swift, not particularly courteous and way too private in my opinion. This post will be a truncated version of an email I sent to HTC last week (mid December 2010) and will contain humour. The why I am putting my musings out in public is to make smartphone buyers aware of the practices that some in the HTC may employ if things do go wrong and you need to speak to their customer services.

HTC (formerly Hong-Ta Corporation) are a Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer who were founded in 1997. They originally specialised in Windows Mobile devices but now have branched out into the Android platform, most famously with the HTC Hero and the HTC Desire.

To give you all a very brief overview of what has happened to get to this point- I bought a HTC Legend smartphone from Play.com in April and it developed a fault with the battery and motherboard earlier this month (December 2010). After much grandstanding, quarreling and general tomfoolery from both sides HTC decided to repair the phone and send it back to me. With four scratches on the aluminum casing.

The first concern of mine regarding HTC’s customer service may sound trivial. HTC have a policy of not allowing customers to know the second name and/or rank of their agents. These actions remind me of the title of a certain house music ditty from earlier this year featuring three Swedes, one American rapper and a terrible beard: –

Joking aside, this tactic is rather annoying as it leads to the customer being lead around in circles by HTC with no one taking control of their case in my experience. So for example, if you wish to speak to a certain agent in customer services you look automatically like a fool as you are immediately asked questions along the lines of “What is their second name” and “What rank do they hold in HTC”- information that you the customer are not privy to. This would be funny (and make a cracking comedy sketch) if you were ringing a freephone number, but you are not, you are paying national rate to compound the issue of look liking a chump from the off. HTC has stated all agents do give out their rank/first name when prompted but in my experience it varies from agent to agent and is an unnecessary annoyance to customers who already may be less than happy with the company.

My second concern is regarding the conduct of those higher up in the hierarchy of HTC, especially management. HTC (to the best of my knowledge) operate one call centre in Bournemouth with their Head Office in Slough not fielding any customer queries. This can lead to (putting it politely) issues with manager’s egos perhaps getting a tad inflated. In two conversations with an escalations manager who I shall call “Mr. X”, as obviously I don’t know his second name, he stated to me: –

*He did not care about my opinion and that what I did in my free time, implying anything (true or false) that I posted on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs about HTC would not matter, a statement HTC have later distanced themselves from. Ironically he then stated that I would not be “fair” to him on this blog if I were to post anything about him on it. You can’t have you cake and eat it can you?

*That if I were to write/email the CEO of HTC (Peter Chou) any complaint would come back to him, effectively meaning he had a monopoly on their mailboxes. I find this hard to believe as HTC deals with customers from around the world and I doubt they would have one man monitoring this massive task. His conduct reminded me of this gem from 1993: –

Cracking record. Anyway, “Mr. X” was posturing much like Batman- only his jurisdiction wasn’t Gotham City, it was Bournemouth. And he wasn’t a crimefighter, he was (somehow) an escalations manager for HTC.

*All complaints about staff came through him meaning he effectively regulated himself, a practice that HTC actually have not denied as of yet. “Mr. X” therefore was not only Batman, he was Robocop as well. Ray Mallon must be quaking in his boots.

*That he had wiped one of the telephone conversations that had taken place between us, HTC dismiss as “impossible” because of the tapes being sealed off to managers. Either HTC or “Mr. X” are telling lies here, to be honest I don’t know who to believe. HTC has stated it does not have a formal policy on the taping of conversations which I see as a bit of a cop out and slightly worrying from a data accountability standpoint.

*He would deny me access to those higher up in hierarchy simply because I spoke too much. I will admit that I do chunter away sometimes (hence the length of this blog post), but this is no valid reason to deny me access to higher ups in the company is it? Being a man who loves a good chunt isn’t illegal in my book.

My two poor conversations with “Mr. X” were not isolated incidents however, it seems as though the majority of managers at the Bournemouth call centre are incapable of being even slightly receptive to customer’s needs. Their arrogance reminds me the character portrayed in this video: –

That’s right, they reminded me of Craig Boombastic, a respected and revered member of the community;). If you do not encounter arrogance you’ll probably encounter the fact they do not answer the question in a way that would make David Cameron/Ed Miliband/Nick Clegg proud. I do get the impression HTC’s customer service training process doesn’t errmm actually include a lot of customer service training.

My third concern is with a communication aspect of HTC. Sometimes they do ring you back granted, but it’s usually only if they have a tale of woe to tell you or a higher power has forced them to do so. An example of this is when I was trying to get some sort of apology for the utter bunkum that “Mr. X” spouted. A manager lower down the food chain promised me a call back one Monday to rectify the situation as I had rang late on Friday. I was not contacted on Monday by anyone from HTC despite this. I rang HTC again to see what was going on, and was told a “Mr. Y” (remember a second name is too much to ask with HTC) would ring the next day which he didn’t. In fact “Mr. Y” did not ring me on Wednesday either, only sheepishly responding/apologising on Thursday after I had filled out a customer survey in which I vented my dissatisfaction. “Mr. Y” stated that he was the highest power a complaint could go to in the UK, effectively trying to claim the title of Batman/Robocop/He-Man from “Mr. X”. To sum up, in my experience if you have an issue with HTC you will have to try to get in contact with someone at their Head Office in Slough. This may sound easy enough, but given HTC have a habit of rarely picking up their phones in their Head Office getting anyone in a supervisory role to hear your frustrations is about as easy as tracking down The A-Team in the year 2011. If you fancy trying your luck the number is 01753 218960.

Confusingly, I believe the commenter on this thread who goes by the name of “MR X” is in fact “Mr. Y” at HTC for those keeping score at home.

I’m sure there are customer service agents who work for HTC UK that are reputable but they seem to be confined to the lower reaches of the organization. As I’m a kind soul I shall give some recommendations to improve customer services to round off this rant positively (if anyone from HTC is reading this): –

*Allow customers to know agents’ second names, to make communication easier and quicker.
*Accept that HTC on occasion may not always be correct, even at management level.
*Do not give out time scales for callbacks unless you are positive you can fulfill them.
*Have two customer call centres so customers and management know there isn’t a farcical culture of self regulation at HTC.
*Answer their phones promptly at their Head Office in Slough- it is their European headquarters after all.

From a customer service perspective HTC UK have proved to me they are not “Quietly Brilliant”, they are “Quietly Incompetent”.

UPDATE- The matter has been (somewhat) resolved via HTC giving me a refund directly actioned by big cheese Jeff Chou. This is after a “Mr Z” at HTC said they would not be giving me a refund “under any circumstances”. I would advise anyone reading this to think long and hard about buying a HTC handset, especially in the Android realm given the stiff competition from Motorola, Samsung, ZTE and LG. HTC are in my opinion the Lancia of smartphone manufacturers, great products but sadly lacking in PR/customer service.

FINAL UPDATE- After a “Mr M” (a ravishing young gentleman called Ed Mayes) took it upon himself to gain an apology for HTC’s conduct this week, he was successful. HTC Head Office apologised to myself and have put an a very comprehensive apology in writing.

This was after HTC’s Bournemouth Office decided (in my opinion) that they could not contact their own Head Office for a reason that is still unknown to myself. This whole issue reminds me of the this classic moment from Alan Partridge: –

I’m not sure what was in the metaphorical drawer to make the HTC Bournemouth Office not want to contact their own Head Office, but I would hope it was in slightly better taste than Alan’s collection of Top Gear magazines;). Joking aside, I am baffled as to why it has taken around ten relatively intelligent people in an office six weeks to use a telephone to ring their peers.

I shall reiterate my opinion that HTC need to reform their customer services to two dedicated call centres to avoid a culture of self regulation which I believe to be rife in the Bournemouth Office at managerial level. I shall also state HTC need to train their managers better to avoid such cases as mine, apologising quickly instead of backing their peers in their office at length and constantly stalling.

I have offered to take down this blog post but bizarrely HTC lead me to believe that “any publicity is good publicity” with their constant idiotic/silent/bait and switch tactics in the past few weeks. Therefore I am keeping this blog post online for perpetuity as I believe customers signing up to lengthy two year contracts need to know what type of customer service they may encounter in the unlikely event of their HTC smartphone needing repair.

DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs 2010 Analysis…

Posted in DJing, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by eljmayes

Due to a leak on Twitter the results of this year’s poll are available earlier than ever. Here they are in full: –

1 Armin van Buuren (non-mover)
2 David Guetta (up 1)
3 Tiesto (down 1)
4 Deadmau5 (up 2)
5 Above & Beyond (down 1)
6 Paul van Dyk (down 1)
7 Gareth Emery (up 2)
8 Markus Schulz (non-mover)
9 Ferry Corsten (down 2)
10 Axwell (up 4)

11 ATB (non-mover)
12 Sander van Doorn (down 2)
13 Infected Mushroom (down 1)
14 Steve Angello (up 6)
15 Dash Berlin (new entry)
16 Sebastian Ingrosso (up 9)
17 Laidback Luke (up 10)
18 Judge Jules (up 26)
19 Afrojack (new entry)
20 Aly & Fila (up 2)

21 Fedde Le Grand (up 8)
22 Carl Cox (down 4)
23 Swedish House Mafia (new entry)
24 Cosmic Gate (down 5)
25 Bobina (down 10)
26 Benny Benassi (non-mover)
27 Sasha (donw 14)
28 Simon Patterson (up 14)
29 John Digweed (down 12 )
30 Eric Prydz (up 4)

31 Richie Hawtin (down 3)
32 Andy Moor (down 17)
33 John O’Callaghan (down 9)
34 Roger Shah (down 13)
35 Kaskade (up 16)
36 Headhunterz (new entry)
37 Chuckie (up 25)
38 Bob Sinclar (down 3)
39 Avicii (new entry)
40 Kyau & Albert (down 3)

41 Feel (down 11)
42 Moonbeam ( up34)
43 Joachim Garraud (down 7)
44 Daft Punk (down 11)
45 Lange (down 14)
46 Sean Tyas (down 1)
47 Eddie Halliwell (down 6)
48 Erick Morillo (up 5)
49 James Zabiela (down 11)
50 Umek (down 11)

51 Paul Oakenfold (down 28)
52 Matt Darey (up 2)
53 Mark Knight (up 8)
54 Richard Durand (down 5)
55 Martin Solveig (down 8)
56 tyDi (down 4)
57 Hernan Cattaneo (down 25)
58 Sven Väth (down 10)
59 Astrix (down 4)
60 Super8 & Tab (up 22)

61 Andy C (up 39)
62 Myon & Shane 54 (up 29)
63 Marcel Woods (up 11)
64 Roger Sanchez (down 4)
65 Wally Lopez (down 3)
66 Mat Zo (new entry)
67 Marco V (down 17)
68 Leon Boiler (down 5)
69 Ronski Speed (non-mover)
70 Wolfgang Gartner (new entry)

71 W&W (new entry)
72 Boys Noize (down 4)
73 D-Block & S-TE-FAN (new entry)
74 Dubfire (down 28)
75 Dirty South (down 16)
76 John B (up 16)
77 Daniel Kandi (up 10)
78 Arty (new entry)
79 BT (new entry)
80 Boy George (new entry)

81 Pete The Zouk (new entry)
82 Fatboy Slim (up 12)
83 Skazi (down 2)
84 Paul Kalkbrenner (new entry)
85 Pete Tong (down 2)
86 Bloody Beetroots (new entry)
87 Arnej (new entry)
88 Joris Voorn (new entry)
89 Dada Life (new entry)
90 Noisecontrollers (new entry)

91 Showtek (new entry)
92 Laurent Wolf (down 26)
93 Claudia Cazacu (new entry)
94 Calvin Harris (new entry)
95 Luciano (down 6)
96 Marcus Schossow (down 17)
97 Sied Van Riel ( down 12)
98 The Thrillseekers (down 41)
99 Justice (down 34)
100 DJ Vibe (new entry)

It seems as though those DJs who are actively using new media to garner votes are at a big advantage, the Top 100 is sprinkled with a few odd names amongst established DJs. The era of getting in the chart via extensive gigging are numbered, with a DJ more likely to chart highly if he/she produces literally anything remotely tuneful.

The lack of DJs playing non four to the floor music is worrying- especially when you consider how dubstep has emerged as a genre in the last twelve months. You have to go all the way down to No. 61 to find the first non trance/house/techno DJ Andy C. Unless David Guetta has changed his style from “house” to Mongolian breaks recently.

If you wish to increase your chances of getting into the chart you must consider changing a) your style of music to trance or b) your name to something Dutch sounding. The chart nowadays is nothing more than a bit of harmless fun (if lucrative monetarily) which DJ Magazine publishes to keep their profile high throughout the year.

Tim Berg – “Bromance”…

Posted in Music with tags , , , on September 17, 2010 by eljmayes


This “epic” house tune has topped he charts across mainland Europe this Summer, and it will be released in the UK on October 24th on Data Records. Likely with a different video, which will no doubt feature more nakedness but fewer sinning priests;). Strong themes.

Magnetic Man – “I Need Air”…

Posted in Music with tags , , , on August 8, 2010 by eljmayes


Stadium dubstep trance anyone:)?

DJ Magazine Top 100 DJs 2009 Analysis…

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by eljmayes

armin-van-buuren-sensation-white

The chart in full incase you haven’t seen it: –

1. Armin van Buuren (non-mover)
2. Tiesto (non-mover)
3. David Guetta (up 2)
4. Above & Beyond (non-mover)
5. Paul van Dyk (down 2)
6. Deadmau5 (up 5)
7. Ferry Corsten (down 1)
8. Markus Schulz (non-mover)
9. Gareth Emery (up 14)
10. Sander van Doorn (up 3)
11. ATB (up 14)
12. Infected Mushroom (down 2)
13. Sasha (down 6)
14. Axwell (up 6)
15. Andy Moor (up 3)
16. Bobina (up 12)
17. John Digweed (down 8)
18. Carl Cox (down 6)
19. Cosmic Gate (up 43)
20. Steve Angello (up 43)
21. Roger Shah (up 37)
22. Aly & Fila (up 9)
23. Paul Oakenfold (down 9)
24. John O’Callaghan (up 36)
25. Sebastian Ingrosso (new entry)
26. Benny Benassi (up 13)
27. Laidback Luke (up 19)
28. Richie Hawtin (down 13)
29. Fedde Le Grand (non-mover)
30. DJ Feel (up 25)
31. Lange (up 6)
32. Hernan Cattaneo (down 16)
33. Daft Punk (up 5)
34. Eric Prydz (down 13)
35. Bob Sinclar (up 5)
36. Joachim Garraud (down 9)
37. Kyau & Albert (down 15)
38. James Zabiela (down 21)
39. Umek (down 6)
40. Christopher Lawrence (re-entry)
41. Eddie Halliwell (down 22)
42. Simon Patterson (up 22)
43. Offer Nissim (up 8)
44. Judge Jules (down 12)
45. Sean Tyas (up 9)
46. Dubfire (down 16)
47. Martin Solveig (up 5)
48. Sven Vath (down 24)
49. Richard Durand (up 17)
50. Marco V (down 6)
51. Kaskade (new entry)
52. Tydi (new entry)
53. Erick Morillo (up 17)
54. Matt Darey (down 20)
55. Astrix (down 12)
56. Menno de Jong (down 8)
57. The Thillseekers (down 12)
58. Nick Warren (up 26)
59. Dirty South (up 15)
60. Roger Sanchez (down 3)
61. Mark Knight (down 19)
62. Wally Lopez (up 13)
63. Leon Bolier (down 32)
64. Blank & Jones (down 3)
65. Justice (up 8)
66. Laurent Wolf (up 1)
67. Astral Projection (up 27)
68. Boys Noize (new entry)
69. Ronski Speed (up 28)
70. Sander Kleinenberg (down 11)
71. Ricardo Villalobos (down 35)
72. Chuckie (new entry)
73. Sharam (new entry)
74. Marcel Woods (up 9)
75. Lisa Lashes (up 2)
76. Moonbeam (new entry)
77. Rank 1 (re-entry)
78. Sebastien Leger (up 11)
79. Marcus Schossow (new entry)
80. Steve Lawler (up 11)
81. Skazi (re-entry)
82. Super8 & Tab (new entry)
83. Pete Tong (down 5)
84. Tocadisco (up 14)
85. Sied van Riel (new entry)
86. Tiga (re-entry)
87. Daniel Kandi (new entry)
88. Mike Koglin (down 1)
89. Luciano (re-entry)
90. Yahel (down 34)
91. Myon & Shane 54 (new entry)
92. John B (new entry)
93. Simon Posford (new entry)
94. Fatboy Slim (down 2)
95. Robbie Rivera (re-entry)
96. Antoine Clamaran (new entry)
97. Nic Fanciulli (down 1)
98. Gui Boratto (new entry)
99. Alex M.O.R.P.H. (new entry)
100. Andy C (down 50)
101. Greg Downey
102. Talla 2XLC
103. Armand Van Helden
104. Deep Dish
105. Dash Berlin
106. The Chemical Brothers
107. Danny Tenaglia
108. Sesto Sento
109. Peter Rauhofer
110. Dj Vibe
111. Danny Howells
112. John Dahlbäck
113. Showtek
114. David Vendetta
115. Dj Dan
116. Laurent Garnier
117. Magda
118. Crookers
119. Loco Dice
120. BT
121. Chris Lake
122. Anderson Noise
123. Pendulum
124. Chris Liebing
125. Gabriel & Dresden
126. Nitrous Oxide
127. Yoji
128. Marco Carola
129. Chicane
130. Adam Beyer
131. Mauro Picotto
132. Mstrkrft
133. Joris Voorn
134. Jody Wisternoff
135. Bad Boy Bill
136. Stoneface & Terminal
137. Don Diablo
138. Valentino Kanzyani
139. Darude
140. James Holden
141. Tritonal
142. Spartaque
143. Heatbeat
144. Victor Calderone
145. The Bloody Beetroots
146. 2Manydjs
147. Manuel Le Saux
148. Hybrid
149. Lisa Pin-Up
150. Mat Zo

The first thing I wish to mention is the lack of coverage that the list is getting online- DJ Magazine themselves haven’t updated their site to announce the results yet! The list has been available since Monday so that has something to do with the muted response, as does the fact that the top ten is virtually the same and lower down is dominated by obscure trance DJs. I can see that next year DJ Magazine pulling out of the poll entirely since it’s not really fitting in with their mission statement to cover all genres of dance music.

With well over half the top one hundred now trance DJs it’s clear that the followers of the likes of Van Buuren, Tiesto et al are very adept with the internet and new media. Or (more likely) that followers of every other genre don’t bother to vote for their favourite DJs as they feel they stand little or no chance in making an impact in the chart.

It’s very easy to get hung up on issues arising from the chart, like a DJ from Russia who knows how to spam effectively can actually rank higher than Carl Cox, Dave Clarke doesn’t even place in the top one hundred and that Graeme Le Saux’s Spanish brother almost made it into the chart. Thats why I believe the chart should now be treated as a bit of fun. Admittedly a bit of fun that generates millions of pounds for those who place in the top one hundred, but a bit of fun notheless.

Olive – “You’re Not Alone”…

Posted in Music with tags , , on October 2, 2009 by eljmayes


This is the “leather trousers” version of the video for those of you keeping score at home;).

4 Strings – “Take Me Away” (Dave Darell Remix)…

Posted in Music with tags , , , on August 13, 2009 by eljmayes


I have no idea who Dave Darell is but this proves my theory that pretty girls plus a cheap video can’t mask a dodgy tune;).

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