Consumers Not Smart Enough for Smart Phones

I would like to see these numbers and exactly which phones are not up to snuff. Maybe it is just the really crappy ones, and because alot of people buy those….the numbers go up on the returns, but the quality Blackberrys and iPhones don’t get returned (although I recently blogged about the hatred of Apple…I think there is more to this story. I’ll stay on top of it.

Consumers Not Smart Enough For Smartphones from Eric Zeman

You have one chance to guess what the most-returned gifts were this holiday season. If you guessed smartphones, you’d be right. A new survey from Opinion Research Corp. shows that 21% of gifted smartphones were returned to the store. The reason? Inability to understand the product set-up process. Perhaps smartphones aren’t ready for prime time after all.

That’s really shameful. One in five people found smartphones so difficult to set up that they gave up and returned them to the store. Hardware manufacturers, wireless network operators and software/platform creators should be red-faced with embarrassment.

“Irreparable damage to a brand’s reputation and perception of the company itself is at stake when a product is not easy to setup and use,” says Kevin Wood, senior technology analyst at Opinion Research. “Nearly 16% of the respondents we surveyed indicated that their poor setup experience significantly worsened their perception of the company that manufactured the product.”

Did you hear that, product managers? How do you explain yourselves?

Unfortunately the study doesn’t dive into which models or platforms in particular were most returned. That sort of data would be very revealing, and even more embarrassing for the companies responsible for creating impossible-to-understand products. The study is slightly skewed in that it did not include the Apple iPhone nor BlackBerry devices from RIM in its questions. I am sure people returned those devices as well, but at what percentages we’ll never know.

Some smartphones are easier to use than others, there’s no doubt. But if one in five regular people can’t figure them out, what does that tell us? The user experience is not getting the job done right.

Delete MySpace Account Day

Apparently today is the day to delete your MySpace account if you are fed up.

Here is the original BLOG that came up with the idea.

There is also a story on

For those of you on Facebook, there is a group dedicated to a mass deletion.

I don’t know that I am going to join them…but I do hope that MySpace joins the open source community in response to the outrage. There are quite a few glitches and a heck of alot of spam that comes through the site.

I think that the biggest draw that keeps my friends and I at MySpace is that it is easier to post music there. Facebook has had the open application development for a while now…and nobody has created an app that really comes close to what the band pages on MySpace do.

Get on it, you developers out there!

There is a news story today that they will be more ‘Facebook-like’ by allowing outside agents to submit applications next week.

Let the world know what you think.

Comcast Cable Internet Counter Offers

We just had AT&T install a DSL node 1 block from our place and now we were trying to figure out what (if any) services we would continue to get from Comcast.

It looked like we were going to make the change and get rid of our basic 33 channels of TV and get the way cheaper DSL (from $71.37 down to $30). Then I called Comcast to see whether they had a better deal that I could stay on with.

Once I spoke to the operator there, I decided to stay with Comcast.

I asked the rep if there was anything cheaper than what they were charging me to get basic cable and internet. He did some hemming and hawing that the $71.95 we paid was the best deal they could offer, I told them that I was going to switch to AT&T…He paused and then,

Well, we have this deal right now where you can get basic cable and internet for $55 a month for a year

“And do I have to sign some contract?” I asked.

No, you can opt out any time, no restrictions.

So I took it and doubt I’ll go through the trouble for the last $20 a month to switch to a lower grade of service (DSL is slower..We all know it can’t reach the speeds of cable. Even if it is fast enough for turtles). Plus I would kinda miss The Discovery channel and I don’t think my wife would really be OK with not having her food network channel. Actually, I think Alton Brown is hilarious and would miss it too.

Generally we try not to watch too much TV. But I digress…

Lets not let these monopolies continue to gouge the customer. They hide these deals and don’t tell people about them unless they have to. One of the best ways to make sure you are getting the best deals is still to talk to people face to face.

Human relationships are still not really possible through the internet or the web. As much as we love our instant messaging and twittering. There is no comparison with a smile, a voice, a handshake

Live Life Backwards

Those of you who read those forwarded emails have probably seen this before. I think it bears repeating, especially for those of us that may be closer to the end than the beginning…

I want to live my next life backwards.
You start out dead & get that out of the way
Then you wake up in an old age home, feeling better every day
Then you get kicked out for being too healthy. Enjoy your retirement & collect your pension
Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day
You work 40 years until you’re too young to work
You get ready for college, then high school where you drink alcohol, party, & you’re generally promiscuous.
Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, & you have no responsibilities.
Then you become a baby, & then…..
You spend your last nine months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions, central heating, room service on tap, and then……..
You finish off as an orgasm.
I rest my case.