Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

So what about the rain eh...... 61.2 mm since midnight

Monday, 9 August 2010 09:25 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

So I’ve decided enough is enough… let’s see where this journey takes us. Here’s the email I’ve just sent to the Christchurch City Council complaints department and our local MP about the drainage challenges we’ve been having at home..

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Update – 9th August 2010

For those that know me well will know that I’m a stickler for principles (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not so much) and since peoples personal safety is at risk, I followed up again this morning to try and achieve an acknowledgement of the issue from the Council.

So…I fired off an email to some other potentially interested parties, as I hadn’t heard anything by lunchtime, and I was quickly greeted with a response from the Mayors Office, as well as a confirmation from the Christchurch City Council complaints resolution department stating that they had received my emails, and they will be in contact within 10 working days. 

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So we’ll see what the next 10 working days brings J

Update - 26 August 2010

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Update - 27th of August 2010

I just had a call from the Christchurch City Council in the wake of last nights email (above). Thanks Owen Southen (Senior Contract Manager, Land Drainage) for the phone call, and speaking and listening to common sense – I should receive a letter from the Majors office over the next few days - CCC are aware of the issue, and are working with the park rangers across the road into how they can address this flooding issue – most probably replacing the drainage pipe that isn’t coping well with the large volume of water.

Owen apologised  for the lack of response until now, and was more than happy to supply his direct contact details. So once I receive the letter and see the contents, I’ll then be back in contact to see where to from here.

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Noel Lemming - Extended Warranties Updated & Conclusion

Thursday, 4 February 2010 02:46 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I’ve always been the kind of person that prefers to buy higher end appliances, and purchase the extended warranty for piece of mind. I’ve never had to ‘claim’ before, however this week that changed, and the process to date has been very painful. We have a DVD Recorder which we use religiously for Home Theatre, recording a bit of TV etc and on Saturday it gave up the ghost. None of the buttons work, the remote was ignored, so it would seem that something has popped due to heat. So we’re 4.5 yrs into the 5 year warranty and it was time now to track down my invoice. I’m pretty particular about keeping such things, so before long I was happy to find it, and know I would be covered under the terms of the extended warranty. I popped down to the local Noel Lemming’s on Sunday, where I was told I had to contact the 0800 number during business hours (or I could do this online - www.nzclaim.com/noelleeming) in order to receive a valid claim number. I was told this could take up to 3 days before I receive one, and then I could take the unit to the appropriate repairer. I guess my bone of contention here is the fact that 1. I have to ‘wait’ to be approved for something under Warranty (This isn’t insurance is it?) and 2. I’m now into day three of waiting and I hadn’t heard anything back until I called again. I asked for a note to be added to the notes to say I had called yesterday and today and I will again today. Do they hope/assume that people mislay the paper work and never make a claim?

Has anyone else had this kind of experience?

I received this email after my phone call from them today – It’s from the Underwriter of the Warranty - International Underwriters Group - http://www.nzclaim.com/noelleeming. I guess it would be nice to know when purchasing the Warranty that it is ‘outsourced’, and when I asked how long it would take to have a resolution after reviewing the email, the answer was 3-5 business days. This seems a _long_ time for a company to do the right thing.

From: noreply@iugonline.com

Sent: Wednesday, 3 February 2010 2:23 p.m.

To: Nick MacKechnie

Subject: Claim Update - Reference Number: IUG-SXXXXXXXXXX

=====================================================

THIS IS AN AUTOMATED EMAIL – PLEASE DO NOT REPLY

=====================================================

Claim Reference Number: IUG-SXXXXXXXXXX

We have reviewed the information entered on the Contact Us and have the

following reply.

We are currently looking at all of our options first before making a decision

on your claim. We are currently awaiting for Noel Lemming to come back to us

to see what replacement they have available so we can make a decision, once

this has been made you will be notified of it. Thank you.

To contact us about any aspect of your claim

=============================================================================

1) PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL

2) Go to www.nzclaim.com/noelleeming

3) Click the "Click here to enter" link

4) Click the "Existing Claim" link

5) Enter the Claim Reference number above together with your Last Name (this

must be the same name you entered when you first logged your claim).

6) Click on the "Contact Us" tab and complete the relevant sections

Thanks again and we look forward to assisting you further.

Regards

IUG Claims Department

www.nzclaim.com/noelleeming

0800 4 SUPERCOVER (478737)

I’ll update this post as things change... It seems like an awful process that doesn’t support customers who are loyal and I will most certainly think twice about purchasing goods from these guys again.

Update

Less than 30 minutes after posting this, and advising some key people in Sony and NLG/IUG, I received this:

From:    noreply@iugonline.com
Sent:    Wednesday, 3 February 2010 3:13 p.m.
To:    Nick MacKechnie
Subject:    Claim Repairer Details - Reference Number: IUG-SXXXXXXXXX

Follow Up Flag:    Follow up
Flag Status:    Flagged

================================================
THIS IS AN AUTOMATED EMAIL – PLEASE DO NOT REPLY
================================================

Claim Reference Number: IUG-SXXXXXXXXX

Repairer Details
================
Next Electronic Servicing Limited,
127 Antigua Street
, Addington, Christchurch 8002, New Zealand
Tel: 033662002

Return To Base Warranty Repairs
===============================
* Please deliver the faulty product to the repairer detailed above.
* Please attach details of your claim reference number to your faulty product.
To do this you can choose to print the summary page that appears when you have
completed logging your claim and attach it to the product.
* If you are sending by mail/courier you are responsible for all costs of
doing so and ensuring that it is suitably packaged to avoid damage during
transit.
* Please ensure that you quote the claim reference number provided when
discussing your claim with the repairer.

To check the current status or review your claim at any time
==============================================================
1) Go to www.nzclaim.com/noelleeming
2) Click the "Click here to enter" link
3) Click the "Existing Claim" link
4) Enter the Claim Reference number above together with your Last Name (this
must be the same name you entered when you first logged your claim).

Thanks again and we look forward to assisting you further.

Regards

IUG Claims Department
www.nzclaim.com/noelleeming
0800 4 SUPERCOVER (478737)

So I’ve now dropped the unit off for repair/diagnosis at Next Electronics, and I should know the status within 5 working days. Good progress, pity about the pain thus far! J

Final Update

Well yesterday, day 5, I received the following settlement offer from IUG for the DVD recorder I had purchased. The settlement price offered was the original purchase price in the form of a voucher at Noel Lemming.

From:    noreply@iugonline.com
Sent:    Wednesday, 10 February 2010 1:27 p.m.
To:    Nick MacKechnie
Subject:    Settlement Offer - Reference Number: IUG-SXM10341656

Follow Up Flag:    Follow up
Flag Status:    Flagged

=====================================================

  THIS IS AN AUTOMATED EMAIL – PLEASE DO NOT REPLY

=====================================================

Claim Reference Number: IUG-SXXXXXXXXX

Your faulty product is beyond economic repair, therefore we intend to offer
you a settlement in accordance with your extended service plan terms and
conditions.

=====================================================

Being happy with the settlement outcome, I drove down to the local Noel Lemming to have a look at the units available, so I could find a replacement unit. I was greeted by Ken (Sales consultant) in the Moorhouse Avenue branch and he showed me the options available.

The conversation led onto the challenges I had had in terms of getting to the point where I was today. Ken asked me if I would mind relaying my experience to the Sales Manager as this type of feedback was often heard second hand by him – so he introduced me to the Sales/Branch Manager (James Cuttance).

James was excellent, listened to my feedback and made it clear Noel Lemming took this type of thing seriously and would stand behind the Warranty in the event where the customer was unhappy with the outcome, or a party didn’t step up appropriately. He made a kind offer of me finding the unit I wanted and then making things right on the difference. I kindly thanked him for the offer, and explained that that wasn’t my intention of raising the issue – more so that if this would help others in a smother transaction over these types of claims in the future then this exercise would have been worthwhile.

For me as a consumer,  the experience of walking in with a proof of purchase to a Noel Lemming Store, having the unit accepted as being under warranty and then the rest of the process being hidden from me would have lead to a much better outcome from my perspective. There is nothing worse than felling like you’re being pulled from pillar to post, running around to various places, dealing with multiple people to drive aggravation. I understand the acceptance, approval, delivery to repairer, go/no go on repair etc has to happen, however I’m not so sure I have to be , or should be part of the process. From my perspective I bought the unit and Warranty from Noel Lemming, I don’t care about about the backend things that needed to happen.

Two other points that I’d like to mention –

1. Upon the approval of the settlement, IUG then send you a voucher in the post to the agreed value. This can take up to five days. From a customers perspective, why cant this be emailed to me and then presented to NL with an approval number or you are asked what your local NL branch is, and that they have been advised and your account has been credited (and they backend magic happens). Seems absurd that I have to wait 3 days for approval, another 5 potentially for repair/replacement/settlement and then potentially another 5 days to receive my voucher before most people will replace their purchase.

2.NL no longer sell 5 year extended Warranties – this has been reduced to 3 years. The cynic in me assumes that MTF (meantime between failures) is in the first x hours of use or after 3 years, and therefore the likelihood of a customer claiming is drastically reduced, therefore money for jam…

Right, on a more positive note, I ended up purchasing one of he Panasonic HD HD/DVD Recorders - Panasonic DMR-XW350.

Panasonic-DMR-XW350_1

Features & Benefits

Integrated Twin HD Digital Tuner

The DMR-XW350 features Twin HD Digital Tuners for your viewing & recording enjoyment. The integrated twin tuner allows for Digital broadcasting reception without the use of an external tuner incorporated into a set-top box. High quality digital television enjoyment has never been easier with a Panasonic Recorder. The hybrid digital tuner offers HD/SD recording.

VIErA Cast

The DMR-XW350 also supports the new Panasonic VIErA Cast, facilitating access to popular sites YouTube and Picasa through the DVD Recorder

7 Day EPG

The DMR-XW350 also supports 7 day Electronic Program Guide where transmitted by each broadcaster, 7 day EPG makes recording a breeze, simply select the program you wish to record by name rather than remembering days, dates and times.

HDMI Connection

With HDMI connection, recorded images are transmitted with no deterioration for high quality reproduction. Both video and audio signals are transmitted over a single cable, so connection is easier and there is less clutter in your home theatre cabinet or stand.

VIErA-Link for easy operation

With a single cable, HDMI enables transmission of not only A/V signals but also control signals. All you have to do to enjoy a new level of operation convenience is hook up to a VIErA or home theatre system with VIErA Link compatibility. When you want home theatre entertainment, for example, just press the VIErA-Link button on the remote. Power to all the components switches on, TV input and other settings are automatically adjusted, and the show's ready to begin. It's that easy.

New features include:
Auto Preset Download - Connect the Recorder to your VIErA TV via an HDMI cable, and the channel setting information is automatically downloaded to the Recorder as well as the aspect ratio of your TV.

Direct TV Record - If you want to record the program you're watching, you can start recording it quickly and easily by pressing the VIErA-Link button on the VIErA remote control and selecting "Direct TV Record" on the VIErA Link menu, recording starts almost instantly.

Pause Live TV - Pause Live TV lets you freeze TV  programs just like pausing a DVD, by selecting "Pause Live TV" on the VIErA Link Menu. The TV programs is temporarily save on the hard disk drive so you can watch the rest of the program , right from the stopped frame, at a later time. Alternatively you can press the "Pause" button on your Recorder remote and the channel you're watching is Paused for up to 8 hours.

250GB Hard Disk Drive

The built-in 250GB Hard Disk Drive lets you record an enormous amount of programming without using a DVD. With a massive 441 hours of capacity and editing capabilities, you can have the freedom to store a massive amount of your favourite programs. Should you wish to archive the information, you can easily record it to DVD.

2x Resolution in LP Mode

Our recorders provide exceptional recording quality. You can enjoy viewing extended recordings (4 hours, single-sided DVD-RAM/-R) with exceptionally detailed images and 2x the picture quality. The virtual multi encode system provides LP recording mode with 500 lines of horizontal resolution - twice the resolution of conventional LP recording mode.

500 Line Horizontal Resolution

4x Natural Gradation (12-bit Analogue to Digital Converter)

Greater natural gradation and amazingly rich pictures are delivered with 4096 steps of grey. The 12-bit analogue-to-digital converter has 4x the gradation found with a conventional 10-bit analogue-to-digital converter. Resulting in a faithful reproduction of details, so you can see for the first time, everything there is to see!

12 bit Analogue to Digital Converter

441 Hours Extended Recording Time with EP Mode

The innovative engine inside Panasonic Recorders assures long recording time combined with outstanding picture quality. Our  recorders offer the unique combination of outstanding picture quality and long recording time to either Hard Disk Drive or DVD. You can record up to 8 hours of material on a single-sided DVD or 14 hours 20 minutes onto a dual layer DVD.

Super Multi-Format Recording & Playback

Incredible recording versatility with Super Multi-Format recording and playback. You can enjoy recording of DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DV-RW, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW.

Digital Camera Linking through USB Terminal & SD Memory Card

DMR-XW350 is equipped with an SD Memory Card and USB terminal. This makes it easy to view photos from any digital camera that uses an SD memory Card or USB cable. Just slip the SD Memory Card into the card slot or use the cable to connect the camera to the DIGA recorder's USB terminal, and you're ready to enjoy a spectacular big-screen slide show with family or friends.

DV-Input for Easy Transfer from a Digital Video Camera

With the DMR-XW350 transferring material recorded on a Digital Video Camera is Quick & Easy. You can simply transfer digital recording to Hard Disk Drive or DVD while maintaining breaks in your recording. DV-Input is the ideal solution for those wishing to transfer material from a video camera while maintaining the high quality.

Direct Navigator for Easy and Quick Search

With Direct Navigator technology graphical user interface you  can find desired material on the hard drive quickly. Just press the direct navigator button to display thumbnails of all the programs on the hard disk drive or a DVD-RAM disc, then, select the one you want and press enter. It's that easy! and with "List Display" you can sort the programs by date or title.

Time Slip Function

Chasing Playback:

Set your Recorder to begin recording, then with Chasing Playback you can commence viewing the program at any stage during recording.

Simultaneous Recording & Playback:

Enjoy watching a pre-recorded program or DVD while recording two programs. You can conveniently catch up on the previous week's episode while recording this week's program.

16:9 Widescreen Recording

The DMR-XW350 will record 16:9 Aspect Ratio (Widescreen) when receiving Widescreen input from either HD or SD Digital broadcast transmission. Recording is performed as normal and you will be able to view full 16:9 format for playback.

Nick.

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Meridian Energy – gripe!

Saturday, 15 November 2008 10:51 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I had a call from Meridian Energy a week or so ago as we’ve been laggards at being home so the new power meter could be installed – thanks to the electric gates for keeping out many unwanted guests! :-) So I arranged to have the gentleman install the new meter early on Wednesday morning (as I’d been in Auckland for work). It took him about 40 minutes to install and off he trundled.

A few things miffed me about the engagement:

  1. It somewhat urks me when I have to clean up after tradesmen, especially after they install a unit in my property to make life easier for them/their employer
  2. The new units are being installed to remove the requirement for people to manually read the meter – we live semi-rural, and as such required a larger than normal external aerial. When I asked if this could be put in the ceiling as it was ugly and I’d prefer I didn’t have to look at it, I got the response you’d expect I would receive – needless to say, I will be ‘moving it'…
  3. You’d expect that a nice new meter would be a little more ‘modern’ – there is no LCD screen, it’s the standard analogue counter that the pervious model had, there is no ability to see how much power you’re consuming, peak power statistics etc
  4. Since this unit was put in to make life easier for the power company, it in fact costs me money to make it easier for them, as well as their cost savings in not having someone read my meter. These new units poll a site to update the statistics on my power usage and I’m paying for that privilege. Is this another way they can increase profitability? Shouldn't they be offering me a discount or adjusting power bills to take this into consideration – I THINK SO!

 

Nick

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Trademe Spam – Unused credit in your Trade Me Account

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 22:34 by Nick MacKechnie

I received an email this morning highlighting to me that I was in credit on my trademe account.I’m not exactly sure why this urked me, however I guess it steams from the fact that I think I’m more and capable of deciding when/where Il spend my money, and this was the first time I’ve seen these ‘proactive emails’…. Maybe Credit Card companies should do the same… (I think not!) – Now to see if I can disable this annoying nag…

Nick

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Federation – IM/Status Updates

Monday, 11 August 2008 06:55 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Thought of the day - So call me a Facebook and Twitter addict! I spend a fair amount of time on both and I do find it slightly irritating that I need to login to respond/chat to friends rather than using my favourite IM client. I’d love to see some sort of federation so I could use Live Messenger to update status’s on Twitter, chat to Facebook friends etc. Obviously there’s lots of reasons why this probably wont happen, least of all being technically possible, never the less it bugs me!

Nick.

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Google evaporates Docs and Spreadsheets cloud

Wednesday, 16 July 2008 03:06 by Nick MacKechnie

Google's Docs and Spreadsheets disappeared today for close to an hour, proving that the world's largest search engine is a long way from perfecting the art of online business applications.

Many businesses paid good money to look at this screen, which appeared - at least to people in Silicon Valley - from about 9am to 10am

Go here for the full article.

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Country prepares for chaos on roads – Tomorrow!

Friday, 4 July 2008 05:04 by Nick MacKechnie

Police are urging motorists and commuters across the country to either get to work early tomorrow morning or take the day off work to avoid getting caught up in planned action by truckies over increases in road charges.

Auckland

Police have advised motorists to arrive at work before 7.30am or to avoid travelling on the region's motorways and streets altogether, so as not to get caught up in what will likely be hours of gridlock.

Police have been advised that up to 2,000 heavy trucks will converge on Auckland's CBD after travelling along northern, southern, eastern and western feeder motorways from about 7.30am.

police have predicted that even if the truck numbers are significantly less, there will be heavy congestion around the CBD until midday.

Acting Inspector Ross Endicott-Davies of the Auckland City Police District said police will be doing their best to manage the event and work with the trucking industry.

"Traffic movements within the city will be controlled by SCATS (Sydney Controlled Automated Traffic System) but traffic flows are not expected to get back to normal for several hours after the protest has finished."

He advised people travelling to the airport for early morning flights, to get there well in advance or to consider staying overnight in a hotel, or similar accommodation, near the airport.

Wellington

Wellington police have also advised commuters to avoid motorways and the CBD.

More than 100 trucks were expected to travel in convoy on State Highways 1 and 2, leaving McKays Crossing and Seaview, near Petone, from 7am.

Inspector Simon Perry said the volume of trucks would cause huge delays on the motorway systems, and gridlock the central city.

"This protest is happening in peak time and the convoys may merge as they approach the CBD.

"We expect motorists will need to factor an extra 90 minutes delay into their travel time."

Christchurch

Christchurch police said to expect delays in the north and south of Christchurch.

The truckers are planning to approach the city in convoy from Kaiapoi in the north, via Main North Rd and Papanui Rd.

In the south truckies will protest along Sockburn Rd and Blenheim Rd.

Inspector Derek Erasmus of Christchurch police said the Road Transport Forum had assured police that all truckies would be following rules, they would comply with traffic signs and road rules.

Motorists should take the obvious precautions of allowing extra time, avoiding the main two routes where possible and to be patient.

In town motorists should expect extra trucks on the road. It is believed they will mostly circle the city center and leave via Victoria Street.

Inspector Erasmus says he is unsure how many will be involved but is expecting up to 200 extra trucks on Christchurch roads.

"Obviously depending on their size there will be delays at intersections in Christchurch. Convoys will become broken as they progress through intersections."

"We expect drivers will behave responsibly and comply with law," said Erasmus. "The main issue will be congestion."

Nick.

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