Saturday, August 15, 2015

miscellaneous—using fotorama

Testing slideshow software, take two. This is Fotorama, created by Artem Polikarpov, and I love it. It took a while to figure out how to get it to work in ExpressionEngine, but now that I know, it’s easy.

This one can take images from anywhere on the web, so setting it up from a Flickr account will work well. I set this up by uploading images to the photo gallery module in EE and linking to those.

posted by lee on 08/15/15 at 10:41 PM

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pepper on a bug hunt—those damn moths!

I’m testing slideshows. I need it to have a caption, thumbnail navigation, be responsive, and to open fullscreen. Oh, and it cannot be Flash-based since Flash doesn’t work on very many devices and crashes Firefox more often then not.

This one is WOW Slider, which is pretty pricey, but worth it because it does the job for the ecommerce sites I build. The problem is, in this context, it doesn’t open in fullscreen but within the iframe. I’ve written to tech support there to find out the workaround for this—they’re usually quite good at solving any issues that might come up—but I won’t hear back from them until Monday. Which is fine. UPDATE: tech support at WOW Slider provided me with what I needed—this slider now goes to fullscreen no problem. Turns out I needed to add allowfullscreen (no quotes) to the iframe.

The problem with using this version is the files have to be uploaded via ftp and they are not editable within the CMS, so unwieldy for editing by anybody but me. It has to be set up and captioned in advance.

posted by lee on 08/15/15 at 01:22 PM

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optimum (cablevision) & “loyal customers”

The other day we received a letter from optimum letting us know that our promotion was about to end and, because we’re such loyal customers (Stanley since 1982!) they are going to extend the promotion. However, our bill will go up $15 per month.

First, we couldn’t figure out what promotion they’re talking about. We have Triple Play, a bundle package that allegedly saves some money if you combine all three. Plus we have the gold package. No promotions. We thought.

So I called. They claim, now, that Triple Play is a promotion, not a bundle package—guess they changed their mind about this since we signed up for it about, I don’t know, 8-10 years ago? For loyal customers, they said, they didn’t end this promotion, just turned it into a “step-up” promo and didn’t just revert the rates to “regular” rates. I asked what the regular rates are for getting three services at the same time, but nobody could tell me and it’s not found on their website, anywhere. I asked why we, as loyal, long-term customers, can’t get the new two-year Triple Play rate. Because, the guy said, we’re not new customers.

I asked how having to pay $15 more per month is any kind of a reward for customer loyalty. Got a bunch of bullshit from the customer service guy. No matter how I asked, or what I asked, I got the same answer, which was no answer at all. So I asked to speak with his supervisor.

Spoke with the supervisor—he called me back. Cablevision is, for the most part, pretty good about calling back, etc. After the same story, where he wouldn’t (or couldn’t) budge on that $15 price hike, I asked to speak with someone who could actually do something.

A while later, he called me back again and said his supervisor said to give me a one-time credit of $180 to cover the price increase over 12 months. Which they did—it’s already applied to our bill. Don’t know why the first person I spoke with couldn’t apply that same discount.

We still pay too much money for cable—and I still deeply resent having to pay $5.98 per month for sports programming since we never, ever watch sports. I want to be able to select the channels I want to pay for—ESPN would NOT be one of them. And it would be a breathe of fresh air if, for real, Cablevision actually did have a customer loyalty program where we could get a significant price break. I wish there were competition. We can’t get Fios, it’s not available, and Frontier is a joke (our clients stuck with Frontier hate it). Optimum claims without the “promotion” our internet connection would be $50/month instead of $30. Which makes no sense.

After dealing with “customer service” at Cablevision, we got a survey to fill out. I did. I was blunt: loyal customers don’t get rewarded by Cablevision. Nope. We get screwed.

So, this afternoon, yet another rep called, to thank me for my “valuable” input, to reiterate the same line of bullshit that enraged me the first five times I heard it. He offered to send the latest modem version since ours is so old, and a wireless router which is, supposedly, ours to keep. I accepted—I doubt we will use the router since Stanley says you have to go through Cablevision to set it up and he’d rather just buy a new router (ours is getting a little long in the tooth).

The rep asked if there was anything else he could do. I told him, “lower my bill.” Ha! I am not appeased. I’m not unhappy with the services themselves—good connections and good service. I’m deeply unhappy with the prices they charge and the bullshit they spew about “customer loyalty.”

posted by lee on 08/15/15 at 12:59 PM

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