Technorati must be using Microsoft technology on T-Mobile Sidekick Phones

I’ve just come back to the Technorati website to have a look at what’s hot in the world of blogging, to a bold and fresh new look.

Oooh look, a bold fresh look for Technorati
Oooh look, a bold fresh look for Technorati

Great I think, It must have needed freshening up, or maybe it was just some spare time work for the development team, or maybe it is marketeers tinkering with something that works, or whatever.

But it doesn’t work anymore. That’s a problem for any blogger anywhere who uses their service.

There are streams of complaints from disgruntled users, many of which are technically based but all of which add up to a branding disaster for Technorati.

Oooh look a bold new look for Technorati that their customers seem to simply hate!
Oooh look a bold new look for Technorati that their customers seem to simply hate!

If you’re going to upset an audience, then perhaps the blogging community is the most vocal, the most connected and the most keen to share their thoughts with a connected world.

Following on from my thoughts about Pentax and T-Mobile Sidekick, they need to act fast to get the functionality back or watch their fans/customers leave in droves.

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How to undermine your brand in one easy lesson

Branding is about trust isn’t it?

The constant reassurance that for the cusomer, their choice of brand makes them feel good all about their purchase decision all the time. It’s a partnership that each party benefits from. Out of this, trust grows and a for the brand owner, a long term relationship hopefully ensues.

If you lose your customers trust, then you lose them. Maybe not immediately, but you certainly undermine their love for you. Big style.

So that’s why T-Mobile losing ALL of the data for their Sidekick customers is such a disaster for their brand.

The Sidekick phone, great for the youth market, but perhaps a total disaster for T-Mobile
The Sidekick phone, great for the youth market, but perhaps a total disaster for T-Mobile

Sidekicks are a much sought after range of phones, that are more akin to mini computers with their keyboard and high end functionality. They are available in the UK, but only hacked ones that have been bought in on the grey market. To me, they are a strong a compeitior for the youth market than the iPhone as they deliver what youth want, ot what fat business people like myself want. In effect, if I like it, they’ve failed.

In this article by Endgadget, they go into more detail, but its no surprise to a committed Mac user like myself, to discover that the issue is a back end server problem supplied by Microsoft.

At the same time, this article by PC World also shows that us Mac geeks are becoming a bit rarer (and a bit richer)

It seems that 36% of Mac owning families earn over $100k but that figure is only 21% for PC only families. So apple have bagged the top end of the market, which is a good place to be for any brand. They must not take too many risks in a chase for growing market share by stripping the great things out to deliver a cheaper product to the wider mass market – or they really will do damage.

Mind you, if the next upgrade they supply is as disastrous for my own mac as the move to OS10.6 Snow Donkey (or whatever its called), which I have now had to downgrade again – because it wouldn’t run so many programmes and I had the small problem of not being able to print – then I may even think about a switch to PC’s.

Actually I won’t, that was a lie. I’m allowing them a few mistakes because I love them. Will T Mobiles Sidekicks customers be quite so generous?

One bad brand experience will taint your brand forever

We’ve been having problems with T-Mobile and their Blackberry services for months. Every time it sent and email to one of our handsets, it bounced back to tell the sender it hadn’t arrived.

Helpful stuff – particularly as it did arrive and we had people ringing and complaining and all sorts.

We rang T-Mobile on loads of occasions and no-one seemed to want to own the problem and get it sorted.

Finally, I rang to give them one last chance or we were going to shift contractors and then we spoke to Jean.

She took control, involved her techy helper Jason in the problem and was simply brilliant. She promised to call me back five minutes later and then did. She said she thought she had an idea what was causing the issue and would be back to me shortly. Sure enough, she rang back to confirm that it was now mended. It turned out to be something very simple at their end, but no-one else had looked in the right place.

She even said she would call back the next day to ensure the problem had been resolved. Guess what, she did at exactly the time she agreed.

So I thought I would write to their press office telling them they had a star in their team and they should praise her and shout about her from the rooftops.

They sent me back an email almost immediately letting me now they were dealing with it and would be back in touch within 12 hours.
And guess what?

They haven’t been. And its now 42 hours later.

Poor old Jean. She is trying to turn around an underperforming brand single handedly and no-one else seems to be backing her up.

Remember, just ONE bad brand experience will taint your customers view of you – potentially forever.