Election Reflections

Canceling eFax

I've had an on-line fax service with eFax for years and years. It's worked fine, but I think I've sent or received three faxes in the last year and the service costs some stupid amount of money. My current subscription expires in November and I wanted to just let it expire and not auto-renew.

eFax doesn't give you a simple web form to cancel; you have to chat/talk to someone. I opted for the online chat.

I've removed the individual's name because i'm sure s/he was just working the script.

Please wait for a site operator to respond. You are currently number 1 of 1 in the queue. Thank you for your patience.
You are now chatting with 'EFax Representative'
EFax Representative: Hello, Lee. Welcome to online Fax support. I am XXXXXX, your online Live Support Representative. How may I assist you?

Lee Hinde: Hi; I'd like my account to expire at the end of the current subscription period.

Lee Hinde: the next payment date is 11/9

EFax Representative: Lee, if you wish to cancel the account at the end of the current billing cycle, then you would need to get back to us at that time, as cancellations are effected immediately on the day you contact us.

[What Lee's thought bubbles would have said] Like it would kill you to add a 'don't renew' button to the account setup. I have a reminder system, I could add a reminder for early November, but why do I have to do their work for them. I'm sure eFax is counting on me forgetting.

Lee Hinde: ok; cancel it now.

EFax Representative: Could you please provide me your fax number, registered email address and billing zip code for verification?

Lee Hinde: [provided requested data]

EFax Representative: Thank you for providing your information. Please give me a moment while I pull up your account. 
EFax Representative: In the meantime, please type the number corresponding to your reason for cancellation:
EFax Representative: 1) Moving to another provider
EFax Representative: 2) Bought a fax machine
EFax Representative: 3) Business or role changed
EFax Representative: 4) Short term project completed
EFax Representative: 5) Financial reasons
EFax Representative: 6) Problems with faxing or billing
EFax Representative: 7) Dissatisfied with quality of service
EFax Representative: 8) Too costly

Lee Hinde: 8

[Lee's thought bubbles]  Too costly for the use (not an option). If they had something where it'd cost me $20 a year plus a per use charge, I'd go for that.

EFax Representative: I completely understand your wish to discontinue. I'd like to suggest that you make use of our service at least for the period you have paid for, so that you can receive and send any pending faxes. This will also ensure that you make the maximum utilization of our service. The usage charges for sending faxes are applicable.
EFax Representative: Lee, all you need to do is to just contact us once at the end of your current annual billing cycle. 

Lee Hinde: I'd like to cancel now.

EFax Representative: Please remember once this number is closed, your number will be reassigned and you will no longer have access to any new faxes sent to you at this number or have access to faxes stored in your online message center. Would you like to keep your number active till the end of your current annual billing cycle?

Lee Hinde: no, I'd like to cancel now.

EFax Representative: OK, I will go ahead and cancel your account.
EFax Representative: Is there anything else I may assist you with?

Lee Hinde: No thank you.

[Lee's thought bubbles]  Consistency is important.

EFax Representative: You qualify for a 6 Month Trial of our eVoice service. You will receive 6 months of our eVoice® service free. 
EFax Representative: With eVoice® we'll give you a toll free number where your clients can be greeted with a professionally recorded greeting which you can script. For example: "thanks for calling xyz company for sales press 1 for support press 2." When an option is chosen you can customize where you would like the calls to ring, whether it be your cell, office or home phone. This service is included free for 6 months or 500 minutes of usage. After the 6 months it is month to month without any contracts and only $12.95 per month if you decide to keep it. Would you like an 888, 877, 855 or 866 toll-free prefix for your eVoice® number?

[Lee's thought bubbles]  Are you kidding me?

Lee Hinde: I'll get an email confirming the cancellation?

EFax Representative: Sure. An email confirmation will be sent at your registered email address.  

Lee Hinde: thanks.

EFax Representative: eVoice answers and routes your calls, transcribes your voicemail to text-and much more! It's like having your own personal assistant 24/7. And the best part is, eVoice works with your existing phone number, so you don’t have to deal with the hassle of changing it. 
EFax Representative: You will never miss an important call. Would you like to try this free for 6 months?

[Lee's thought bubbles]  Yeesh. Not 'hanging up' yet. There may be some other needed step.

Lee Hinde: no

EFax Representative: Thank you for contacting online Fax support. I hope you found our session helpful. Goodbye and take care.
Chat session has been terminated by the site operator

Now all I have to do is remember to check the credit card statements in December for the charge that will inevitably show up.

iPhone 5. Buy it.

I waited a year when the iPhone first shipped. Jumping in at the 2nd phone I've upgraded every other year, taking advantage of the carrier subsidy.  I've had the iPhone 5 for a week and I can't recommend it enough.

Some caveats: I'm an Apple fan. I have been for almost 28 years, since the Mac shipped. I use a Mac as my primary computer and the native contact/calendar apps as my defaults. I'm leveraging the synergy of living in a homogenous technological world. It all just works. You may be able to do the same thing in an all Windows world or an all Android world and god bless you. I got a Nexus 7 to try and grok Android and well, it's cute, but I feel like I'm working in a left-handed world as a right-handed person. Doesn't make it bad. Just not for me.

So, that said, here's what's cool about the iPhone 5 over the iPhone 4 that I replaced.

• It's fast. The camera, for instance, appears instantly. Pictures save instantly.
• It's fast. LTE has shown up in Sacramento so I can use it here and I got a taste of that speed when I was in the bay area last Saturday.


• Cell service is better. People always complained about the connection when I talked to them on the cell from home. Hasn't come up yet since the 5. Maybe they've given up complaining. But they sound better to me. All that antenna work finally paid off.
• It's weighs less than its predecessor devices and you can feel it.  John Gruber went for paragraphs about how 'nice' it feels. It's really that good. I haven't figured out if I'll get a case. I didn't with my 4 and I'm disinclined with the 5.
• The extra height is useful without being cumbersome. I carry the phone in my front pocket and I was wondering if would be able to tell that I had a larger device there. No problem.
• Apple have a problem with Maps. Once in SF it got us around fine. But it had problem doing destination searches and it sent me on a wild goose chase to get to SF from Oakland. But as Tim Cook pointed out, there are alternatives. And Maps isn't that bad. Your mileage may vary.
• Siri's cool. It's been out a while, but I didn't have it on my older phone. She's plenty useful with the faster networking and faster processor of the 5. Not perfect, but I had a perfectly useful text conversation without typing a word.

iOS 6 (save Maps) is nice upgrade. Maybe more a 5.5 than a full dot release, but let's not quibble. Synchronization between my computer and the phone is effectively instant, so a calendar entry made here is updated there before I need it. I've used the reply with message (send a text to a caller when you can't answer rather than just send them to voicemail).

I'm predisposed to buyer's remorse. I have none with this week's new toy.