Mike's Life Stuff

On Hotels

I like to think of myself as a five star kind of person. All through life, I’ve always strived (and all too often failed financially) for the finer things in life.

But a recent experience made me question that whole philosophy.

Premier_Inn

I spent two nights in two different hotels – one a four star Hilton in a big city, the other a lowly Premier Inn, near a provincial airport.  I didn’t pay the bill – I didn’t even see it, but checking their respective websites it looks like the second was less than half the price of the first.  read more »

Update on 2011 - Part Three

So we’ve covered all the work stuff and it’s time to focus on the personal side of life.

Haria Extreme Run

I’m A Triathlete

You probably know that I decided to become a triathlete in 2011. Julie calls it a mid life crisis – on my 50th birthday in March I announced I wanted to do Ironman in 2013. Typically, she decided to join me!  read more »

Adverts That Were Just Wrong

I was 24 years old, a newly appointed manager and I was sitting in what felt like a very grown up meeting where we were being presented with  a new marketing plan and strategy by an agency. I was the most junior person there by miles.

As the Powerpoint presentation ran, a feeling of dread came over me. Every fibre of my being was telling me that the agency had completely missed what the brand was about, and that the strategy was miles off in terms of speaking to our target audience.

586493ri9qocjyh  read more »

Time To Put The Livedrive Thing To Bed

Following on from my previous posts on the subject: Livedrive, don’t use them and Livedrive, are they in trouble? it’s time for me to move on from this and concentrate on more important stuff, so I need to write a final post updating everyone on where we are.

On 3rd November, a full eight weeks after my initial support request, I was called by Ian Burge, who heads up sales for Livedrive. As I previously reported, Ian was apologetic, acknowledged my bad experience and told me he’d do whatever he could to help.

Good_news

Within a couple of days he’d come back to me to tell me that 280 of the files had been restored, but there were some that couldn’t, as for some reason they hadn’t originally uploaded correctly. He told me that the support department had no idea why that would have happened. Bear in mind that these files should have been uploaded to the system more than a year before, and we’d never had any indication there was a problem.

Once again Ian was honest and straightforward to deal with and is a credit to his company. If only he had got involved earlier, it might have saved so much aggravation, but ultimately it isn’t his job to placate unhappy customers. He told me that Livedrive had underestimated how much support would be needed in their market. It seems they have a large number of customers who are not very technically minded and who need more help and support than planned for. The company are reacting to that as fast as they can, but it has meant their support has been very slow in the meantime.  read more »

Livedrive - Are They In Trouble?

Update 03/11/2011 At Last! Someone from Livedrive has called me. Ian heads up Livedrive's sales (the poor old sales department always seems to get lumbered with these things!) He was very honest with me, didn't make any attempt to feed me any BS, and admitted that the service I've had simply hasn't been acceptable. He's going to talk to the techie guys and find out what can be retrieved and what went wrong in the first place. I appreciated the fact that he didn't make any promises other than to get back to me over the next few days with some answers. It must have been a tough phone call to make and I appreciated him doing so. I'll update here as soon as I have more news.

If you didn’t read the sad and sorry story of my problems with Live Drive, then this would be a good place to start: Livedrive – Don’t use them!

Incredibly, I still have not heard a word from them about my problem. Whoever runs the Twitter account for them is ignoring me, and I’ve lost count of the number of emails I’ve sent them, none of which have received a reply.

There is one update, which is almost amusing. Having obviously taken a decision that they don’t care about my problem, and they can’t be bothered to try to deal with me. they still managed to charge my credit card €10.95 yesterday for this month’s service!

I started wondering if it was just me. Was I the only person having problems? Maybe they think I’m just some kind of trouble maker.

So I decided to do a quick Twitter search to see if I could find other people with issues. The last few days worth of tweets provided some insight:

2011-11-03_1129

2011-11-03_1129_001  read more »

Road Test - Toyota Prius

It’s interesting how much debate is sparked at the merest mention of the Toyota Prius. Everyone seems to have an opinion and most seem to be polarised at either the “love it” or “hate it” end of the scale.

A case in point is my old friend Jeremy Clarkson, who clearly hates the Prius. Who can forget his “road test” of the car, when he followed a Prius, in a BMW M3, screaming around a race track at top speed for several laps. He then expressed surprise when the BMW’s fuel consumption was less than the Toyota’s. The only thing the segment proved was that JC never lets good journalism get in the way of a good story, and that the Prius isn’t the best car to buy if you want to go motor racing.

Prius  Dash Closeup  read more »

Which Social Media Service Should I Use To Promote My Business?

It’s a question I’m often asked, and the answer is surprisingly simple:

Whichever one your clients and potential clients use!

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Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All you have to do is find out which ones they use, and then make sure you have a presence there. Finding out is as easy as asking them – via email, on the phone or Face to Face – but if you’re “in tune” with your clients, you probably instinctively know where they currently spend time on line.

These are very rough guidelines and are based on my experience here in Europe:  read more »

Starting A New Chapter

Those of you who read this site regularly, and those who are subscribed to my newsletter, will know that I’ve been working as a consultant for a company called Booost Oxygen. We’re soon going to be launching a canned oxygen product aimed at sports people into the UK market, and it’s been interesting and good fun working on the project.

The Book

The brains behind Booost are Darren Smith and Richard Booth, and they run a group of companies over in UK - I’ll tell you some more about those later.  read more »

Nightmare On Customer Street

This is a guest post from Archan Mehta

Have you been staying on top of Mikes Life?

Well, if you have, you know how our host has been sharing ideas about customer service. Mike has had to put up with quite an ordeal and he is in good company.

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Image: Surachai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net  read more »

Life In A Wheelchair

I spent a morning in a wheelchair earlier this week as part of a series I’m writing for our Lanzarote Information website.  You can read that post here: Lanzarote Accessibility – A Morning In A Wheelchair. It’s quite factual because of the nature of the site and the needs of people with accessibility problems.

But for this site, I wanted to relay a more personal perspective.

Face it.

You or I could end up without the use of our legs in an instant. A car crash, a bad fall, any number of things could lead us to being either temporarily, or even permanently unable to get around using our primary means of doing so.

My overwhelming sense when negotiating life in a wheelchair was frustration. Stupid things like:  read more »

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"Mike's Life is where you can stay current with the life, thoughts, successes and failures of Mike Cliffe-Jones. Never knowingly ordinary, Mike shares as much as possible about his work as a marketer and in business, as well as his enviable lifestyle on and in the oceans around The Canary Islands."

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