Zagg. It could have been better.

Filed in GeneralTags: , , ,

When I discovered invisibleSHIELD on the 'net, I immediately knew it would be the best protection available for our soon-to-be-purchased iPhone 3G's, so I went on line and ordered two of the iPhone shields to be sent to our Hong Kong address. The shields were not going to ship until after the iPhone 3G's had begun shipping, and actual shipping of the shields to us here in Hong Kong would take 3 weeks to get here but that was acceptable.

That order was made in the middle of June.

When I arrived in L.A. in late June, I immediately ordered shields for my MacBook Pro and the screen on my Canon camera (impossible to do online because there were bugs in their web ordering system). Because I was living in L.A., I specified my L.A. address when I ordered the items over the phone, and the items arrived before I returned to Hong Kong. I had time to apply the camera shield but not the MacBook Pro shield because it involved many more pieces of plastic; some of them very large. To be extra careful, I viewed the demo video on zagg's web site before applying the camera shield.

Back in Hong Kong, I set about applying the shield to the MacBook Pro. I was dismayed to find that the kit for the MacBook Pro contained only the same amount of special fluid as was included in the kit for the camera shield even though the surface area of the MacBook Pro shield would be at least ten times larger than that of the camera shield. I proceeded to apply the shield regardless.

Everything went pretty well although it was impossible to get every bubble out from under the plastic. Unfortunately, when I got to the last piece of shielding which also happened to be the largest, there was insufficient fluid remaining with which to wet my hands and both sides of the shielding (as instructed in the video). I had to chance it. Worse though was that it was almost impossible to handle such a large piece of sticky plastic, especially without enough fluid, the result being that one corner of the plastic folded on itself and stuck like superglue. The only thing I could do was cut off the folded corner and accept the fact that one corner of my MacBook Pro would not be protected.

I wrote to Zagg about the situation, suggesting that they record a video for the MacBook Pro shield, and requesting that if at all possible they send me a replacement for the folded piece of plastic; with sufficient fluid of course. Other than the computer generated email to indicate that they'd received my email, they ignored me completely.

I accepted the situation and moved on.

This week, I received an email from the company stating that our two iPhone shields had been shipped, refused and returned. It turns out that Zagg had incorrectly shipped the iPhone shields to the L.A. address instead of the Hong Kong address I specified when I ordered them. When I replied to their email pointing out their error, they completely ignored the order confirmation issued by their own company, insisted that the shipping address on the original order was the L.A. one, and insisted that I pay shipping charges to Hong Kong.

I was probably one of a minority of unlucky customers, but Zagg's arrogance is still something to be very wary of. I wonder if I'll ever see the iPhone shields…

Update (August 28)

Zagg has replied indicating that while I supplied our Hong Kong address as the billing address, I supplied the L.A. address as the shipping address. Unfortunately for them, this is impossible because I was not aware of the L.A. address until after I arrived in L.A. on June 16 when visiting with Peisha. The iPhone shields were ordered on June 11. There is something really screwy with their system!

Update (August 28)

Zagg replied again, still adamant that I had given them the L.A. address as my shipping address. They're not asking for a lot of money to reship the iPhone shields so I'll pay it and be done with it, but I don't like the way they do business. Here's a copy of my final message to their support people. What's missing from this version of the message is a copy of an email conversation I had with their tech support people when while ordering the shields for my MacBook Pro and Canon camera, I was unable to specify an L.A. shipping address and a Hong Kong billing address!!!

In summary people, the Zagg shields might be as good as they claim, but their service is absolutely dreadful. If you have one and only one address, you'll probably get your order. If you have more than one address, think twice before ordering from Zagg.

Take care all.

Dear Jenn,

I appreciate the opportunity to redress your corporation.

I will repay the shipping fees, but for the record, here's something else for you to chew on. when I ordered the shields for my **MacBook Pro and Canon camera** while staying in L.A., I attempted to order via your web site specifying Hong Kong as my billing address and L.A. and my shipping address. it was NOT POSSIBLE to confirm the order. below are a few of the email messages related to that incident.

so between:

  1. the confirmation sent to me by your corporation that specifies both the shipping and billing addresses as being those of Hong Kong, and
  2. the fact that I was not aware of the L.A. address at the time I ordered the iPhone shields, and
  3. your system was incapable of accepting an order where the billing address was Hong Kong and the shipping address was L.A. when I tried to order my MacBook shield two weeks later,

you guys have it completely wrong, or you're covering for someone in the company, or your IT system is screwed up, or something else much worse.

if you think the original order has both the shipping address listed as the L.A. one, I challenge you to retrieve a copy of the order archived by your automated backup systems on the night of the order.

the arrogance of your corporation is staggering. I have never encountered such arrogance before. hopefully, this will be the last time, and I'll steer my fans away from your corporation as well. I wouldn't want them to get hurt by someone so ruthless.


Update (August 28 evening)

It has occurred to me that the whole fiasco may have been caused by human error. When I couldn't order the MacBook Pro and Canon shields online while in L.A., I was forced to call Zagg's phone sales centre. It is quite possible that the lady who took my order mistakenly (and with good intentions) also changed the shipping address for the iPhone shields. I've notified Zagg of this possibility, and suggested that they compare archived versions of my order from before and after the MacBook Pro order. I suspect that the orders will be different. However, I doubt that the Zagg personnel will actually go so far as to retrieve multiple archived versions of my order to get to the bottom of this eventually proving that they were at fault. We'll see.

Update (August 29 evening)

There has been absolutely no response to my last email messages which is understandable given the harshness of the messages. I have nonetheless paid the (extremely reasonable) re-shipping fee and Zagg will reship the iPhone shields to us on the next working day; i.e., Monday. Thankfully, they're shipping the shields by first class instead of their standard shipping method so we'll receive the shields in a week and a bit instead of 3 weeks and a bit.

Obviously, it wasn't worth my time or energy to complain about or investigate the shipping error. Zagg were only asking for a few U.S. dollars to reship the items to me, and I give them a thumbs up for their shipping options and prices.

My only concern now is how the shields will affect Chinese input on the iPhone. With the iPhone, we can use our fingers to draw the Chinese characters, and the software is incredible at recognising the characters irrespective of stroke order or neatness. However, there are times when the glass can become rubbery to the touch making it harder to draw the characters quickly and accurately. The invisibleSHIELD on my MacBook Pro is very 'sticky' and I fear it will impede my ability to draw the characters with a smooth sliding action. Handwritten Chinese input is important to me, so if the shield does in fact affect Chinese input, I'll have to remove it. Now wouldn't that be a laugh!

Cheers all. Time to sleep.

Typhoon Nuri. Tame?

Filed in Digital Hunter, General, Hong Kong, Photo of the DayTags: , , , ,

The first time I was in Hong Kong, visiting with a student from The University of New South Wales in 1985, we were hit by a #10 typhoon. At the time, I believe I was staying with his family in a hillside home made of tin and concrete next to the now non-existent 荔園 amusement park. It was quite an experience, although the hurricanes in Australia can be even stronger. In my hometown in Queensland, a hurricane lifted a hurricane-proof roof off from a motel and dropped it elsewhere!

A young Bulbul feeding before the typhoon

The wind and rain as it began this morning stirred insects from their hiding places. The birds, including this young Bulbul, were joyfully catching more bugs than they could count.

Today though, here in Hong Kong, my family and I are staying indoors. No one in Hong Kong is going to work. Everyone is waiting, waiting for the biggest typhoon we've seen in a while pass smack right over the middle of Hong Kong.

Our kids are inside. We went out for their daily walk this morning before the rain became too heavy, and now they're sleeping. There's nothing else for them to do. Fortunately, there's no lightning. A couple of them really don't like lightning, especially 小白. If there's lightning at night, she'll come looking for me and sit next to our bed forlornly looking at me as I sleep. If I don't notice her, she'll paw me until I wake up and sit with her. Rachel doesn't like lightning either. Wind and rain don't seem to bother them much although Jason and Dallas both hate getting wet. If Jason is out roaming around the village and it begins to rain, you can be sure that very soon after, he'll be at the garden gate barking politely to be let in.

Typhoon Nuri won't be on top of us until around 5pm today. Until then, I'll have to keep my ears and eyes open, watching that everything around us remains stable and anchored to the ground. It will be an interesting day.

Update 4.30pm

The wind stopped. Everything is quiet. We took this opportunity to drive down to the local shopping centre. Unfortunately, only one supermarket and one coffee shop were open, and the lines were way too long at the supermarket, so we came back with just a cup of coffee and a slice of typically commercial low-grade cheesecake.

Arriving home, we were met by an amazing sight; thousands of dragon flies and hundreds of swallows feasting on them. This was the first time I've seen evidence of a natural enemy for the dragon fly. I stood near the middle of one swarm of dragon flies as the swallows flew around me. They were definitely enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to photograph what I was seeing so I don't have any photographs to show you.

There was still no wind or rain so we took the kids for a walk while we could.

Everything is very very still. I suspect that we are perhaps in the eye of the typhoon. So far though, this typhoon is nothing to write home about.

Update 9.00pm

I was right. We were in the eye of the typhoon. But I was wrong. This typhoon is very powerful, even though it's only a #9. I tied down a few of the not-so-sturdy construction items around our home today, but this wind is proving to be too strong for my reinforcements. Our second fridge on the balcony was moving away in the wind. I had to tie it to the wall. Most of a light aluminium sheet fence that keeps the kids within our garden area is warped and ripped. We'll have to replace it. As long as it doesn't fly away and damage someone's property or hurt someone, I'll accept the situation.

Also on the balcony, a wonderful stainless steel cupboard that someone kindly gave to us when they moved house a few weeks ago isn't moving anywhere, but the doors unfortunately are no match for the vacuum force created by the typhoon wind, and everything within the cupboard including my power tools is getting wet. We'll have to dry everything out tomorrow, and I'll have to develop a method of securing the doors in typhoon weather.

Nothing to write home about… yeah, right! This is one pretty nasty wind. On the other hand, it's very soothing to stand in. If not for the danger of getting hit by flying objects, I'd spend a lot more time standing out there.

This is the first time we've experienced a typhoon of this magnitude while living in our current residence, and as such, we have no idea how resilient the flat is to the elements. There's a large window and a large two-panel glass door in the living area. You can see the window swell and flatten with the wind, and as new-comers, it's quite scary. For the first hour or so after this wind hit us, I had a hard time relaxing, wondering if anything was going to break or shatter. So far however, everything is ok.

According to the government weather site, typhoon Nuri is moving away; very slowly, only 14km/hr. We'll probably have to put up with these gale-force winds for at least another hour. We won't be getting much sleep tonight.

I should mention that unlike most people in Hong Kong, we don't live in a high-rise. We live on the ground floor of a village house facing South to the ocean which is just half a kilometre from us. According to the government weather site, Nuri is now blowing us from SSW so we're really getting the full force of Nuri.

I wonder how the birds survive these winds…

Update 11.30pm

Nuri is still blowing just as hard as ever. The fence is still on the ground although disconnected in several places. I hope it stays on the ground for the rest of the night, and I can then hopefully repair it tomorrow. According to the weather site, Nuri is already on its way away from Hong Kong. I really hope the wind drops to a more modest speed within the next hour. We'll see.

Update 2am

Still blowing hard. There have been lulls now and then, but the occasional powerful buffets make up for those lulls. I'm really tired now. I need to shower and sleep. With luck, nothing more will be broken tonight and the weather will allow us to clean up tomorrow. The fence will take longer to repair but I'll examine the problem tomorrow.

Next time, we'll be better prepared ;-)