The wifey and I have gone away for the weekend, it’s her sister’s engagement party this afternoon so we’ve jumped in the car and headed up to Bourke for the weekend. Bourke is a small country town in north west New South Wales, and is about 8-9 hours drive from where we live in Newcastle.
Finally, finally, finally! It’s all over and Apple has just sent me my new serial number for Aperture v2.0. This has seriously been a trial, and it has proven to me that Apple is just like all the other computer companies out there in that they do also have problems with their systems from time to time. I’ve been a big big Apple fan and do my best to speak the gospel that is Apple, but now I’m not sure if I will be so quick to sing their praises.
Anyway, here’s the email I just received from Apple….not one single offer of free product, at least it has the serial number in it…err well my version does, not this one however.
Thank-you for your recent e-mail to the Apple Store.
We understand your frustration over this issue and have checked with our respective department and has managed to request for a replacement serial number for your order.
Your Aperture serial number is XXXXXXXXXXX
We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused and assured you that we have taken steps to ensure no recurrence of this unfortunate situation.
We look forward to serving you better in the near future.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for further assistance.
The Apple Store can be contacted by phone Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm (EST) on free phone 133 622 (MAC) (excluding NSW public holidays).
The Apple Store
Hopefully that’s this is the last time you’ll hear me complain about Apple.. Despite all this drama I still love them…..specially my iPod Touch..
Now it’s time to get back to all my little projects, I’ll be telling you all about a new one that my partner Cath and I have just about gotten ready to launch some time next week.. Mean while, check out the gallery I’m slowly getting together over at Mathew Packer Photography, hopefully it will fill up a lot quicker now that I’ve got my Aperture back.
Last week I mentioned that Apple Computers had just released the very eagerly awaited upgrade to their photo editing and management application Aperture. Being an early adopter I downloaded Aperture 2.0 as soon as I heard about it, and Apple also sent me my trial serial number.
My first impressions of Aperture 2.0 is that Apple has really taken it to the next level and is now ahead of Adobe’s offering Lightroom. I was so impressed with how Aperture 2.0 worked on my Mac Pro, and my MacBook Pro for that matter, that I decided I had to buy it.
When you open Aperture 2.0 you get this startup screen with your trial serial number and the details of your library, you also get this popup with a couple of options allowing you to either continue your trial (assuming it hasn’t expired), buy Aperture 2.0, and Authorize (see screenshot).
I clicked on the buy option on Saturday morning, Safari promptly opened and went to the purchase page where I confirmed my existing Apple / .Mac account information. I then had the option to buy a completely new version of Aperture, or as an existing user I could just buy an upgrade from version 1.5 to 2.0, and then had the further choice of buying a boxed version or just receiving an electronic license version. I chose the upgrade from 1.5 to 2.0, and to receive the electronic licensing as I didn’t require another box and with all the available tutorials on the Apple website I didn’t really need the user manual. From there I had to confirm my credit card details and my delivery address..
Pretty easy process to do, and the transaction seemed to go through quickly and without any problems.
I went and checked my .Mac email address and had the order confirmation was there already (10:51am), I was expecting that the invoice with serial number would arrive soon there after. Waiting, waiting, waiting, nothing. Oh well, must’ve been a hold up in the system somewhere, it is Saturday after all. I went back about my work, editing photos, and figured the serial wasn’t overly important to the photo set I was working on.
Finally at 6:34pm the invoice arrived, no serial number. What the! I logged into .Mac and then into the area where you can check your order process and it shows that I’ve purchased Aperture and that the invoice has been sent, but still no serial number. By this time it was way too late to ring Apple anyway as it was nearly 7pm on a Saturday night, I figured I’d leave it till Monday and that it would be easy enough to sort out.
Monday comes, I call Apple and they have no idea what has happened and are looking into it. After not hearing back from them in what I considered a reasonable amount of time I call again. This time I get passed around from Customer Support to Apple Care to Pro Apps to Customer Support and eventually back to Apple Care, no one can help me but they’ll have someone call me back shortly.
Well this time they did actually get back to me shortly. After outlining my purchase process again to Kevin, I think his name was, I was informed that he would look further into it and get back to me shortly. About an hour or so later I get a call back from Kevin, they’ve recognised the problem and are looking into why I wasn’t issued a serial number and could I email him a copy of my order confirmation and invoice so that he could reference them both. I emailed them to him while I still had him on the phone, he acknowledged the receipt of them.
I was confident that things were now being taken care of and that I would soon have my license. This is now Monday afternoon.
4:30pm Monday afternoon I left work, still no Aperture 2.0 license. Around 5pm Kevin from Apple calls me on my mobile to say sorry and that he hadn’t heard back from the Pro Apps team yet but he would chase them up the following morning. At no stage did Kevin from Apple Computers Australia give me any bad service.
At 10:49am on Tuesday morning Kevin calls me, I’m thinking ‘hells yeah here comes my serial number’. He’s apparently spoken again to Pro Apps in the US and they are generating me a new serial number and they’ll call me sometime in the next COUPLE OF DAYS with the serial number. I complained that I couldn’t fathom how it could possibly take a ‘couple of days’ to generate a serial number. I also told him how disappointed with Apple Computers I was and that this sort of service was absolutely disgraceful. He apologised and said he would get back to me, or try to get someone to contact me later in the day.
It’s now Wednesday, and I still don’t have a serial number for Aperture 2.0, and Kevin has still not called me back.
I emailed customer support again this morning, they replied with a generic ‘we can’t help you any further, you’ll need to contact Pro Apps support on this US phone number’. I replied to that with and told them how disappointed I was that after all of this that they had the gall to suggest that I should spend more money on a product that I have yet to receive by calling their support line in America from Australia. I also told them that I would now be filing a complaint against Apple Computers with the Department of Fair Trading in Australia.
About another minute or two later, just to add insult to injury, I get an automated email from Apple asking me to fill in a survey to do with my recent call to Customer Relations. You can bet I told them what I thought of their service.
As a long time Apple supporter who currently uses a Mac Pro with 2 x 23″ Cinema Displays, a MacBook Pro, an iMac, an iPod Touch and an iPod Nano, on a daily basis this sort of customer service is purely disgraceful and I would find it extremely difficult to continue to recommend their products in the future as I would be afraid of influencing friends and colleagues to buy an Apple Computers product that they might not ever receive….despite being charged for it!
Lift your game Apple Computers.
Another Lite n Easy week has gone and another couple of kilo’s as well, so the weight loss total so far is 7 kilograms which puts me down to 93kg. The main area I lost weight from this week was my legs and feet, I think I almost lost an entire shoe size or pretty close to it..weird..
The highlights food wise this week were the Chicken Tenders with Chilli Plum Sauce on a bread roll, week A day 4, and then the Chicken and Pasta Bake on day 7. Mmmmmmmm, I can still remember the chicken tenders!
I also tried a couple of different dinners this week, the best being the Baked Chicken with Mushroom Sauce!
Anyway, still happy with how the dieting is going and that I’m still losing weight without having to do a tonne of exercise..
Stay tuned for next week, I’ve got a few new dinners coming and I’m looking forward to the Thai Chicken Cakes we get on Day 2.
Take it easy, Matt
I get a few emails from time to time from friends who are starting out in the blogging world asking me how I’ve gone with setting up my blog and bringing in traffic and all that sort of stuff, so I figured I would actually write an article about what I’ve done and that way I can direct people to it and hopefully they’ll find it a useful resource.
This article is a guest post by photographer Joel Courtney
As the Southern Hemisphere once again rolls into summer, the season of the festival descends upon Australia. The familiar, and the unfamiliar, bands and music acts line up to tour down under and be part of great festivals such as the Big Day Out, Homebake, the new years eve festivals of The Falls Festival, the Pyramid Festival, and even the Hunter’s own Groovin The Moo and many more. Add to this the year round traffic in big name acts that venture to the arse end of the world for a tour and a holiday in a sunny clime and the summer in Australia is a music lovers paradise. Or it was.
Ticketing for big name events, be it Kylie playing her pop at the big venues, the all day festivals such as Big Day Out or the multiday festivals such as the Falls Festival, has changed markedly. Where once fans would spend overnight, days and even weeks camped out to guarantee tickets, these days those queueing up are lucky if the first half dozen get tickets before the event is completely sold out. How? Via phone and web sales. The very method that makes purchasing tickets easier has also made it harder to get tickets to shows that fans desperately want to see. While the first generation of web sales barely rated a mention, they are the overwhelming majority of sales for the big name events. The problem now is that there is no queue – it’s a free for all, and whereas it once was effort that ensured you got your ticket, these days it now comes down to chance.
A Progression of Ticketing Sales Techniques
The Queue for Tickets
Originally the volume of sales per unit of time was low due to the requirement of being at a physical location and having a physical transaction occur.
The Phone Sales
Telephone sales increased the volume of sales that could occur simultaneously, limited by the capacity of the telecommunications system to take simultaneous calls, and also reduced the effort required to obtain tickets by moving the queue to your nearest telephone outlet – most likely down the hallway at home. This still took time to complete, however, the system made things easier. Automation of these systems further reduced the friction in the process and increased the volume of tickets that could be sold in a given amount of time.
The Wonderous World of The Web
Web sales have further eroded the effort required to obtain tickets for events by dramatically increasing the number of sales that can occur simultaneously and reducing the effort required further.
The result of this technological change in sales is obvious. It is now inefficient for fans to stand in line or try the telephone for large concerts, as web sales are taking the vast bulk of tickets due to the tiny amount of time it takes to complete a transaction and purchase tickets.
The Rise of Scalping?
Whether or not the “business” of scalping is on the rise I cannot answer. If it is not, it is definitely becoming both more visible, thanks to the popular route of using eBay to onsell tickets, and more lucrative, simply look at the profit margin of tickets being sold on eBay. Further to this is the number of people who purchase a ticket or two extra to sell (scalp by any other name) to “pay for their own ticket”.
The Problem with Ticketing Agencies
I am not going to hold my barbs back about the ticketing agencies, nor promoters. The process of selling tickets and not accepting a return for 100% of the sale value ensures that the practice of onselling of tickets will be supported within much of the music community. Everyone undoubtedly knows a friend, or a friend of a friend, who had to sell a ticket to concert X or festival Y due to some legitimate reason that had come up. For those in that situation there are very few ticketing agencies I know of that accept 100% refunds on those tickets.
New Ticketing Ideas
A number of festivals, both locally and overseas, have recognised the negative publicity that can surround ticket sales that end up in the hands of scalpers over fans. Two such festivals that spring to mind are the United Kingdom’s Glastonbury Festival, and Australia’s Splendour in the Grass at Byron Bay. It should be noted that the promoters of The Big Day Out series of festivals is attempting to reduce the prevalence of scalping, though their measures to date have been little more than a staggered release of tickets.
Glastonbury is a massive annual festival in the UK that draws the top acts globally. With a massive increase in popularity of the festival, the organisers come face-to-face with the negative publicity surrounding large volumes of tickets landing in the hands of scalpers.
This year saw Glastonbury adopt the approach whereby all purchasers had to pre-register with the festival site to obtain their non-exchangeable tickets – including submission of a passport photo which was security printed into the ticket. Additionally there were a portion of tickets issued only to those arriving by coach in an attempt to reduce the volume of private vehicles at the event. Despite this tickets still sold out in record time – lasting only 105 minutes before the festival was sold out. The registration system was more successful than many thought it could be – with a ratio of almost three people to each available ticket.
Splendour in the Grass
2005 saw the tickets to the annual festival in Byron Bay sell out in less than two days (considered long these days). The promoters, rightly or wrongly, were heavily criticised on blogs, discussion boards and eventually the media for the lack of time available to obtain tickets. 2006 saw a new ticketing arrangement, where the following process was put in place for ticket sales:
- Tickets are only available via the festival website;
- When purchasing tickets, name, age and address of the person buying the ticket must be submitted and will be printed on the ticket itself;
- These tickets will be sent via Australia Posts’ Registered Post three weeks prior to the event;
- At the gates of the festival photo identification must be presented and matched to the details
- Tickets must be picked up at Australia Post offices where photo identification must be presented on the ticket.
The first year that the system was in place, 2006, saw the camping tickets sell out in three hours and the remainder of the general admission tickets were gone in two days. 2007 saw the system work more efficiently and the first release of tickets were sold in around five and a half hours.
A Proposal for Reducing Scalping of Tickets
The future success of festivals and headliner concerts rests with the ability for fans to get tickets from ticketing agencies, organisers and promoters or the bands themselves rather than the racketeering scalpers. The method that I am proposing would sit comfortably with either organisers/promoters or a ticketing agency working in conjunction with event staff.
While it is always nice to get tickets with friends, a strict limit of one ticket per person should be established. While this may appear unfair, with complaints including the limited access to payment services, it severely hampers the method scalpers employ to make their purchases viable – bulk buying. Reducing it down to the individual increases the effective resistance that is put up to the viability of scalping.
Despite seeming more than a tad “Big Brother” employing the methodology seen at Glastonbury and Splendor in the Grass, where tickets were issued to people with their details on the ticket, should also be implemented. At these festivals ticket details were matched to the person, using suitable identification such as drivers license, passport or other forms of identification to ensure that the person presenting the ticket was the person who purchased it. Additionally, photo identification can be used as an additional measure, assisting in the speeding up of the throughput of people into the event grounds and allaying concerns about queues at the entrance gates.
The proposal made here is that these details are required to be pre-registered, either on the promoter/organiser’s website or with the ticketing agency’s website, depending on the method of sale. Registration for those who do not have website access can be made via a written request or at the usual “participating outlets” currently being used by agencies and organisers. Both registration details and a photo would thus be required prior to any ticket sales commencing as a condition of sale.
Delivery of Tickets
Splendour in the Grass’s method of ticket delivery is definitely one that will again force inefficiencies into the scalpers business process. Sending via Registered Post closer to the actual event date and requiring photo identification to pick up the tickets also increases the security of the process and reduces the profitability for scalpers.
No Fault Refunds
The biggest excuse that is employed by people is that they have a ticket (or tickets) that they no longer need, for whatever reason. This is where tickets should be able to be fully refunded with no questions asked. That is the refund shall include the booking fees and other add-on costs. This should be available up until the date of the event, and last minute tickets made available via a registration process through the promotor/organiser/ticketing agency’s website on a first-registered first-offered basis.
I’m always keen to hear feedback on ideas, but please attempt to be constructive. “That’s a crap idea” won’t wash without giving reasoning as to why it’s crap, and better yet alternatives to the processes outlined above in reducing the levels of scalping that currently occur with tickets to the big festivals and events.
Well it’s been a week of Lite n Easy and so far so good. At the start of the week I weight pretty well 100kg on the dot, at the end of the week I’ve managed to knock that down to 95kg. I’m pretty happy with that seeing as it’s 5kg, and particularly because I did next to no exercise. Does hitting golf balls at the driving range count as no exercise, as that’s pretty well all I did.
This week was week D in Lite n Easy’s food rotation, my highlight would’ve been the Canton Dim Sims that were for lunch on day 2. Very tasty indeed, cant wait till it comes around in another 3 weeks time. Dinner wise I’m always into Lite n Easy’s Satay Chicken, I also tried their Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai for the first time and I have to say I probably wouldn’t get that again, however I did enjoy the Chinese Pork which was also another new dish.
Managed to catch Parkway Drive last night at Panthers Newcastle. Talk about a savage show, those guys are brutal. At one stage I copped a boot in the back of the head as some kid came over the top of the mosh, thanks to Kevin at Reverb Street Press it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. Security didn’t seem to care much.
Anyway, here’s a bit of a gallery from the show. Enjoy.
[svgallery name=”080213-Parkway Drive”]
I photographed the Amathyst, Skura gig at The Cambirdge Hotel the other night for I’m With The Band. I’ve been good friends with the girls for a year or two now and have photographed plenty of their shows so it was a pretty easy gig to shoot from that point of view as you don’t have a band getting a little nervous, or annoyed, when someone is sticking a camera right up in their face.