When I run into a really good piece of software, I post about it here. For example: Scrivener is really working well for me, and so is Curio (if you’re really interested you can look for my original posts on these two). When I’m writing (which I will be doing as soon as I finish this post) I have only these two applications open, and they work very well together. I recommend them highly. If you are visually oriented (as I am) you will really like Curio.
In the same spirit of sharing information, I have a complaint. Have you heard of the Cliphanger? It’s a system for keeping cell phones, pdas, ipods, etc easily within reach. You put the removable hanger on the back of the phone, put the hook on the wall or the dashboard, and voila.
Simple ideas are often the best. I’ve been struggling for years to find a good way to stow the phone while I’m driving — so I can see the caller ID, and hit the speakerphone if I need to. So I ordered the Cliphanger — which is not cheap, we’re talking here about mass produced plastic parts and small bits of adhesive, after all — with some extra hooks.
At first all went well. Hanger attached to cell phone, no problem. Clips onto purse strap, no problem. Hook attached to study wall. I let it sit 24 hours, as recommended, no problem. So I was very cheery when I went to put the hook on the dashboard of my car. In fact I was going to put on two hooks, one for the phone, one for the ipod. I had hopes of never again hearing that sickening crunch of stepping on a very expensive piece of plastic and metal.
I get the first hook ready, I prepare the surface, I study the dashboard for the perfect spot. I apply the hook.
The hook falls off. I pick it up. Maybe I did it wrong? But no, the hooks on the office wall went on without a problem, exactly the same way. I try again.
The hook falls off and rolls underneath the seat to a place unreachable by grasping human fingers. So maybe it was a one-time defective hook. I get the other one ready, very carefully. I place it on the dashboard firmly, hold it there for thirty seconds.
It falls off immediately, bounces on the open door and flies off into the grass beside the driveway.
So I did what any reasonable consumer does: I went back to the website, found the email address for assistance, and I wrote. Two days later I wrote again. Nothing.
Today I decided to file a claim. I filled out the online form, explained (again) the situation, and hit the send button. Now this is what I got:
We have received your submission. Please reference the above RMA # and return all available broken Cliphanger pieces to the address below. For most returns, a small padded envelope and a first class stamp via the USPS are sufficient. Replacement parts will be sent when we have received your return.
695 North Kays Drive Suite #9
Kaysville, UT 84037
Email any questions or comments to: email@example.com. Remember to include the RMA # above in all correspondence for best service.
A suspicious person could postulate that this company has programmed those little buggers to go skittering off to remote spots, so there’s nothing to return and you’re just out $5.99 for a pack of three. Worse, you’ve got a hanger on the phone but nothing to hang it on. Worserer: nobody from customer service gets back to you.
Time, money, effort: wasted.
So fie upon Cliphangers. Fie.