First Coffee for June 17, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee for June 17, 2005

Donuts Delite.jpg
(Photo by Aimee K. Wiles)

Coffee shops are the finest institutions in the United States of America, and those which sell just doughnuts and coffee are the best of the best. So it is with a heavy heart First CoffeeSM salutes Donuts Delite of Rochester, New York which for the past 47 years has sold just doughnuts and coffee, and which in another sign of the decline of Western civilization is closing June 30th. Frater, ave atque vale.

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the best ex-Beatle album, the closest they ever got to an actual reunion, 1973’s Ringo by… see if you can guess: continues to drive customers away with fictitious “ship by” dates and an emphatic “screw you” attitude towards customers. First CoffeeSM’s mild-mannered reporter alter ego wrote about three ways to lose customers back in March, using as a poster child. Readers wrote in with their own horror stories and harrowing experiences confirming how awful is.

First CoffeeSM received another one today, saying “Add another customer. I ordered a book April 25 for a high school class. [] shipped it May 27 and I received it June 7, 4 days after school was over.”

Echoing a complaint First CoffeeSM personally made and other customers have seconded, the customer says “Repeated e-mails to them are met with ‘canned’ responses. I’ve complained to Amazon (where I bought the book used) and that at least got a response from them, but still no refund (I returned the book).”

t’s one thing to ship a book or CD late, that happens to everyone. Where is losing customers is by not giving a tinker’s damn, and sending aloof, condescending, arrogant e-mails reflecting that fact. Thanks for your money, sucker, we’ll ship whenever we feel like, forget what we promised. Shut up and go away.

As First CoffeeSM’s noted before, the whole point of CRM is that in doing business with the public, you will have problems with customers. Some will be your fault, some will be the customer’s fault. Part of CRM is the art and science of turning negative customer interactions into positive ones – as CRM preaches, there’s no better time to gain a customer for life than when she has a problem with you. It’s how you manage problems that decides the customer relationship.

Companies like are why some people still don’t trust online business. They stink, they should be flipping burgers somewhere, they hurt honest online businesses and anyone who needs to get in touch with them please do at Local Phone Number: (305) 262-4973 or Fax Number: (305) 468-3892.

As wretchedly as treats its unlucky customers, at least it’s better than government, the archetype of terrible, uncaring service, right? Wrong. The United Kingdom’s Department of Trade & Industry advice web site, Consumer Direct, now has for its consumer complaint service Secure Post Office, powered by CertifiedMail, a provider of secure messaging products.

Consumer Direct, launched in summer 2004, is a national phone and online service that works in partnership with local government, Trading Standards and other advice agencies to provide comprehensive information and advice to consumers before and after purchasing goods or services.

What’s great about the service is that consumers can post complaints about businesses or products on the web site and have that information securely directed to the appropriate department or agency. Two-way confidential communication online.

For the Consumer Direct project, CertifiedMail added four functional elements to the Secure Messaging System for tighter integration with existing systems, security and efficiency – the Multilingual Secure Forms interface, XML transformation and delivery of Secure Forms data into a Consumer Direct backend CRM system, multilevel administration with global and group administrator delegation and web services API for full programmatic control over all CertifiedMail messaging.

Providential Holdings, Inc., a provider of international advisory services specializing in mergers and acquisitions listed on the Berlin and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges is announcing that its majority-owned subsidiary Touchlink Communications, Inc. has entered into a letter of intent to acquire a 51% equity interest in Eye Telecom, Inc., a Virginia corporation and FCC-licensed carrier.

This transaction is expected to be consummated by July 31, 2005. With switch facilities in New York, Los Angeles, London and Italy, Eye Telecom has direct routes to 17 countries including the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and the Far East, and offers Wholesale Carrier Services, Switch Partition (Virtual Switch), VoIP, Private Label Prepaid Calling Cards and Prepaid Mobile Service.

So how is Oracle’s campaign to give SAP a noogie panning out?

You might have heard of Oracle’s recently-announced Project Fusion. Investor’s Business Daily says it’s a campaign to fully digest – “meld” is their exact word – Oracle’s recent purchases, such as PeopleSoft/JD Edwards and Retek: “The goal is to blend the best features from its existing product lines into Fusion while still updating software versions deployed by current users.”

InfoWorld says the idea behind Project Fusion is to “integrate PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle E-Business Suite, and the JD Edwards solutions into a single application.” It’s a multiyear project, so don’t look for immediate results – please. Edwards and PeopleSoft software will be upgraded and supported at least through 2013, Oracle promises.

John Schiff, general manager and vice president at JD Edwards World Group tells InfoWorld that Project Fusion, still in the early stages, is a follow-on product to all of its current offerings from PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Oracle. Data will be delivered through Oracle middleware such as the customer data hub, product data hub, and financial data hub.

Also this week Oracle started “a campaign to take away SAP customers by offering them a plan to migrate to Oracle products,” according to Reuters.

Called the “OFF SAP” plan – “mimicking one by SAP that tries to lure customers that Oracle gained after buying rival PeopleSoft,” Reuters explains – it offers SAP customers “up to 100 percent of their software license to switch from the earlier SAP flagship product known as ‘R/3 to Oracle’s suite of applications.”

Pretty gutsy offer for the decidedly second-place business software vendor, but Oracle does have that huge installed database advantage over SAP. Even though right now SAP sells more stuff than Oracle, if Oracle’s successful with their strategy of relying on their database to make the add-ons more attractive – to go from Oracle to SAP you pretty much need to rip everything out and start over from scratch, but lots of SAP users are running Oracle databases – First CoffeeSM thinks in the long run they might be the horse to back.

At any rate, it’s fun to watch rich, successful adult businessmen descend to the level of schoolyard insults, as Oracle calls SAP “sap,” as in “fool,” instead of S-A-P and SAP calls Project Fusion “Project Confusion.” First CoffeeSM’s pretty sure there’s a photograph somewhere of Larry Ellison sticking his tongue and waggling his fingers from his ears towards Henning Kagermann.

If read off-site hit for the fully-linked version. First CoffeeSM accepts no sponsored content placement, but “appreciates” a kilo of Jamaican Blue Mountain Peaberry whole bean coffee. 

Feedback for First Coffee for June 17, 2005


Consumer Direct is a great idea - but regrettably they are conniving in one of the largest scams in the UK:

0845 are charged at a premium rate - a minimum of 5.5¢ per minute during working hours. Some telco companies will charge even more to call such numbers - even 10¢ per minute!

Yet there is no requirement to label such numbers as "premium rate"; nor to declare how much they cost to call. And in addition, call queuing is allowed on such numbers.

Such numbers are NEVER included in "packages" where the consumer pays a fixed amount for a given number of minutes in any month.

These number are a giant scam perpetrated on the British consumer. Take a look at:

I did not make clear in my last post that Consumer Direct's telephone contact number is solely a 0845 number.

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