Archive for the ‘Business Travel’ Category

How dissapointed I am with this phone and the service provided!I proudly bought my first smartphone last December. In effect, as I am a PC user, I had been waiting for a Windows phone with similar functions to the i-Phone.

Once the HTC HD2 became available in Hong Kong, I immediately sought to purchase one for my professionnal use.

I quickly found out Hong Kong CSL Ltd was the exclusive distributor for the HD2 with their 1010 “High performance” network so I ran to the closest outlet in Tsuen Wan and bought this technological marvel signing on at the same time for a two year contract with the provider.

As I run a company and travel a lot, communicating all the time with suppliers and clients; I was very pleased to suddenly get easy access to Skype, Email and Internet “on the go”.

Even though HTC HD2 is regularly unstable and tends to lag or freeze a little too often, I accepted the negatives for the positives and worked happily with my new phone for 4 months.

3 days ago, my phone started acting up; I lost the capacity to sync with my Sony Vaio, so I performed a hard reset. Following the reset, the PC would still not recognize the phone so today, I took it to the outlet I bought it from.

The charming staff tried their best to fix my problem, but finally had to admit  my HTC HD2 needed to go back for repair.

As 1010 CSL is my service provider, I immediately asked for a replacement equivalent phone for the durantion of the repair. Something I find completely normal in view of the high cost of the phone (close to 6000 HKD) and the fact that I am also a customer of 1010 CSL, and that they are also the exclusive distributor in Hong Kong of the HTC HD2.

The only replacement phone they could offer me was some old Nokia, that wouldn’t fetch 10 HKD in Sham Shui Po. As I complained bitterly but politely about this fact, one of the charming staff offered to lend me his own smartphone for the period of the repairs; an offer I promptly refused!

They finally found an old Nokia E71 for me, which I must say, does nothing more than remain usable as a phone due to age and excessive maltreatment as a demo phone in their shop.

What a disappointment and what a poor service!

I wonder how companies such as 1010 CSL and HTC in Hong Kong can get away with providing such a crappy service to their premium clients, or is it that no-one complains!

As I have managed companies and done plenty of business travel for the last twenty years, always spending a fortune with mobile communication providers; I have been used to another level of service in Europe. In fact, I haven’t bought a phone for the last 15 years, although i always used the latest models. The providers always seemed to value my clientèle in view of my phone bills.

This is clearly not the cased in Hong Kong’s  jungle where customer service is a word not found in the local dictionary.


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We all experienced, a few months ago, the rapid spread of the swine flu alarm that peaked at the end of April 2009, creating a temporary crash in the stock market and widespread panic buying for medication, protection masks and foodstuff.

The scare not only caused a 5% two-day slump in some stock markets, it also affected the general morale of the population creating a further setback in the world’s shaky path to economic recovery.

The internet played a major role in the hyping of this particular scare!

Conspiracy discussion forums all over the web were flashing with pandemic alarm signals forecasting the approaching doom. For the uninformed: You should know that conspiracy forums can clock-in 50,000 to 100,000 visitors a day. They are also used by the mass media as a barometer and an alternative source of often unverified information. (more…)

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The present trend in the European Fishing Tackle Market is certainly not that of clear positive growth.

All we hear about are of reductions in the numbers of regular Anglers, over-fishing, depleted fish stocks, water pollution, lack of image of the hobby, competition from other sports and a soft European economy.

Not only is our trade badly organized in protecting its activity at European and National level; it also shows a total lack of synergy between the main economic agents concerned with recreational fishing.

When was the last time that a meeting was held in Europe between all of those concerned with Recreational Angling? By this I mean the Angling Federations, the Trade, the Media, the Tourist Trade and the other related industries such as the Boat manufacturers and Boat Engine manufacturers. The answer is never!

Not only should these industries and organizations be concerned about defending and promoting the Recreational Angling activity; they should also be working together in synergy in order to develop common strategies to make the market grow.

It is not very difficult to find potentially successful strategies for market growth in Angling. There is often not much need for invention and new ideas. Adapting already existing practices from another market is often enough. Techniques from the UK such as Match fishing and UK Style Carp Fishing have been adapted and promoted with great success in other European countries. The Italian anglers have given us “Bolognese” rods and Beach Ledgering; the French and the Belgians the Roubaisienne Put-Over pole. Each time one of these “new techniques” has been launched successfully in another market, it has benefited both the brands from where the technique originated and the national or regional brands that were smart enough to pick up early on the new trend. International brands are also prime benefactors of the spread of fishing techniques from one region to another.

More recently, Southern European Markets such as France, Spain and Portugal have benefited from new emerging markets such as Lure Fishing and Jigging. Whether practiced in the Coastal waters or in the rivers and the lakes, these two newly introduced/re-vamped techniques have brought some much needed growth to the struggling local companies. Even if, the market being what it is; these successful launches are rapidly followed by extensive competition, oversupply and price slashing. They open the markets to a large number of newly required products and therefore new sales. (more…)

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By Marian Burros, The New York times
Published: January 23, 2008

Recent laboratory tests found so much mercury in tuna sushi from 20 Manhattan stores and restaurants that at most of them, a regular diet of six pieces a week would exceed the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sushi from 5 of the 20 places had mercury levels so high that the Food and Drug Administration could take legal action to remove the fish from the market. The sushi was bought by The New York Times in October.

“No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks,” said Dr. Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J.

Dr. Gochfeld analyzed the sushi for The Times with Dr. Joanna Burger, professor of life sciences at Rutgers University. He is a former chairman of the New Jersey Mercury Task Force and also treats patients with mercury poisoning.

The owner of a restaurant whose tuna sushi had particularly high mercury concentrations said he was shocked by the findings. “I’m startled by this,” said the owner, Drew Nieporent, a managing partner of Nobu Next Door. “Anything that might endanger any customer of ours, we’d be inclined to take off the menu immediately and get to the bottom of it.”

Although the samples were gathered in New York City, experts believe similar results would be observed elsewhere.

“Mercury levels in bluefin are likely to be very high regardless of location,” said Tim Fitzgerald, a marine scientist for Environmental Defense, an advocacy group that works to protect the environment and improve human health. (more…)

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In the same way as there is a link between the quality of a fishing spot and its remoteness; there is also a direct relation between the ease of access to a supplier and the competitiveness of his price.

Twenty years of sourcing fishing tackle have taken me to very remote places while searching for that special item to give my brand its competitive edge.

Before you go out of your way to visit a new factory, you should however attempt to gather some information about what you may possibly encounter. This often requires the help of a sourcing agent or a trader who has been doing his homework. You may otherwise end-up in the middle of nowhere, after a lengthy flight to a remote airport and a risky drive to an out-of-the-way factory. I must confess, this has happened to me many times! Prospecting for potential sources is a must for an importing company that aims to stay in the lead and unless you speak the local dialect you are totally in the hands of your hosts and your guide or your agent.

It is therefore extremely important to work on that special relation and leave a good impression during the short duration of a factory visit.

Here are a few guidelines to more successful sourcing in remote areas: (Assuming you do not speak the language of the supplier whom you are visiting, you will be using your agent as a translator for the meeting.) (more…)

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Uncontrolled and carelessBy Andrew Bounds in Brussels. Published: September 27 2007

Europe’s fishing policy is “poor”, with its waters among the most overfished and the industry among the least profitable in the world, according to an internal European Commission study. View the whole article published in the Financial Times..

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For those who sweated it out at the EFFTEX show in Prague and wondered why I was wearing shorts and a summer fishing shirt on the first day of the show; well, it’s because I analysed the information available in the EFTTA Newsline last march and could remember EFTTEX in Geneva.
Helder and Jorge
I can understand the decision of the EFTTA Board, the choice of the venue was based on geographical location. It is just unfortunate that air-conditioning was not available. I have always maintained anyway that exhibitors should wear outdoor clothing at Tackle Trade shows; we trade after all, in an outdoor sport and our final customers do not carry out their favourite pastime wearing a pin-striped suit.

There were more of these on the show than usual; I suppose this has to do with the recent concentrations and take-overs that have happened at a staggering rate in the last few months.

I do express my doubts about the success of these concentrations. Multi-brand management inside a same group has just not seemed to work in the past, at least in Europe. I can understand this strategy when approaching the US market but there are no Wall Marts and no Bass Pro Shops of significant equivalence in Europe or in the rest of the World for that matter. (more…)

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