- n9uf cegetel, the enterprise branch of n9uf Telecom. You shell out money, they give you an half-working crappy enterprise phone + Internet service. You call them for some maintenance tasks on their undocumented, unspoken-of firewall that renders the Internet connection unusable for enterprise purposes, but they don’t have any flexibility in their offer.
You pray them to let you have the service you want, you offer them to pay whatever they want, but no, that won’t do. The commercial guy, which could have been interested by the money part, is not reachable and does not bother answering our voice or electronic mails.
Then, on a whim, they remove every little customisation you had painfully managed to make them perform on their router’s configuration (probably benefiting from an uninformed employee’s good will). This includes the incoming TCP 25 port, which means that your company suddenly stops receiving any e-mail.
Fortunately for us, we’ve got another helpful provider to sort out the situation. Fortunately for n9uf cegetel, my company will move in a few months, so it doesn’t make any sense to change our provider right now – but they can scratch one customer starting in next September.
- Veritas. We bought BackupExec with the Desktop and Laptop Option (DLO) two years ago, in order to backup our servers as well as our 30+ desktop PCs. It could be handy, except that the DLO has always been a bit flaky. This improved a bit with the successive hot fixes and revisions (which we had to manually deploy on each and every desktop or laptop, how’s that for a centralized administration ?), until we naively upgraded to the 10d version.
Now, it is not possible to install DLO on any new PC, nor to upgrade or reinstall it on an already existing PC. The installer just launches, and stops there. It’s apparently an installer bug, but Veritas stubbornely refuses to listen to our problem. We reluctantely paid for a support ticket (duh!), with low expectations, and we were not disappointed. As of today, the person handling our case hasn’t helped us a bit (except by providing very deep input like « try reinstalling DLO from scratch »), and we are now pretty sure she’s dodging our calls. Net result : we’ve paid a bunch of money for nothing. Sweet.
- Apple. Now, this is a little edgy, since I’m complaining about free products, but who knows, I could have decided to buy an iPod, in which case I’d have to install iTunes anyway, free or not. Me, I use iTunes because I find it provides a pretty satisfying user experience. Cool.
The problem is that iTunes forces you to install Quicktime as well, and that Quicktime is today the one and only media player that :
- Doesn’t start a movie right after we’ve double clicked on it (you have to press the play button, so that’s a third click, thanks for my RSI)
- Displays nag screens and advertisement for the professional version, so I really feel like it’s time to drink the Kool-Aid, because I’ve never chose to see those ads, and…
- Thinks watching movies in full screen mode is so hype that it has to be a professional, paid version.
I mean, who do they think they are ? Real ? Even Real is not so bold as to make you pay to see one of their crappily encoded movies in full screen ! Anyway, like I’ve said, all this is free so I’d better rant about something else, but you try that Quicktime crap right next after dealing with n9uf cegetel and Veritas, and you’ll understand.
Rant over, and now that’s three companies less in my list of potential employers .