If it ain’t broken, PLEASE don’t fix it!

I am seething with rage right now and the object of loathing is Gmail!!! Recently, the Google gods decided to “improve” Gmail – and right now, I’m regretting using the service.

I don’t know who I’m more angry with at the moment – Gmail for “fixing” something that wasn’t broken or my stupidity (and blatant disregard of my own “standards”) for expecting something of value for nothing.

The new Gmail interface – to put it politely – SUCKS!!!!

I’ve composed the same email THREE TIMES over the past 90 minutes.  I’ll be in the middle of composing this same email and suddenly the screen will “refresh” and my reply will be GONE!!! Admittedly, I’m multi-tasking.  I’ve got 5 other things going at once so the reply is happening in “spurts” –  but still – COME ON GMAIL!!!

The first two times it happened, I tried to tell myself that my Higher Power wanted me to revise this email.  Maybe that’s still the case. I’d love to hear your two cents on this situation.

Is this my Higher Power protecting me from myself?

Here’s the deal: I’m actively seeking guest blog posts for a new blog I’ve launched: Divorce Recovery Advice.

(If you’re a coach who specializes in divorce recovery,  consider yourself invited to guest post on the blog.)

The blog is REALLY new and yet it’s already getting some nice SERPS on a couple of desirable keyword terms.

Today I got a GREAT post from a divorce coach.  This woman is a NATURAL born communicator and in the course of just one blog post, she had no trouble gaining my trust.  She knows her stuff and it SHOWS!  It’s a GREAT guest post – so, I head over to her website to grab a head shot to include in her author’s bio box. (This guest post is scheduled to appear later in the month – thanks to WordPress’ ability to schedule posts to publish in the future!)


Oh my – what a DISASTER!  Her website F-UGLY.  However, the good news is that according to Alexa – no one is seeing it anyway.

Remember – my first impression of this woman was her guest post.  Her guest blog post was great – and her website is BAD!

Here’s my dilemma –

I can help and she obviously NEEDS my help.  However, she didn’t ASK for my assistance.

It was the email to her to tell her when her guest blog post will “air” on the blog that I have lost 3 times.

On the one hand, I could invite her to be a repeat guest poster  to my blog.  She would be building content on my blog and putting Adsense money in my pocket.  I could tell myself that she would benefit because my blog after 6 weeks is doing MUCH better traffic wise than her website.  However, if someone clicks through, they’re not going to stick around.

On the other, I could offer to help her.   Which is the horns of my dillemma.  She didn’t ASK for my help – and I’m afraid that offering to help might cast my invitation to guest blog as a filthy marketing whore tactic.

What would you do?

Carbonite Online Storage Review

customer serviceBack in April, I got an email from my FTP software people offering a free 30 day trial of Carbonite Online Storage. I signed up and when 30 days was up, my backup still wasn’t complete but I signed up anyway. I had worked during the backup and hadn’t noticed any drag at all of either my system or my online experience.

On May 8th, I signed up for 2 years of Carbonite service. On May 22, I entered my office, turned on my computer and was greeted with the dreaded blue screen of death. My hard drive was dead.

I packed up the beast and dropped it off at my local computer repair shop. (C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida but the link provided to their website now loads some spammy site trying to get you to run an online virus check. UGH!)

Mark (my favorite tech at C&W Computers) went to work diagnosing the problem and I went home to a business that was now officially “on hold” until I could access my files.

But I had Carbonite! YEAH! I also had purchased an Alienware computer to serve as a business backup, so I installed my software onto the beastly monstrosity. Once the software was installed, then I tried to transfer my Carbonite backup to the new PC.

The process of transferring the subscription was fraught with problems. The password I set didn’t work… so I tried to retrieve my password using their system. They sent the password recovery email, but it included a code that wasn’t needed on the password recovery page… and didn’t send the code that was required.


So, finally, I pick up the phone and call. I am greeted with a message that tells me

a) I am the first caller in line and

b) for another $20 a month, I can get my calls answered immediately.

I then spend the next TWENTY MINUTES on hold listening to beg notices to upgrade to VIP customer status which also lets me know that I’m the “first” caller in line.


In the end, I did get through, I did get my password reset and I did backup the files to my other PC. However, I still have a really bad taste in my mouth over the whole VIP customer service deal.

A little more than 2 weeks earlier, I had paid a fee to use their service for 2 years. I had tried to use their “hands free” password reset option. I picked up the phone as a last resort… only to find I was being asked to pay MORE for customer service.

Carbonite, you should have offered me the priority service information BEFORE I purchased. Heck, better yet, why not include PRIORITY SERVICE for ALL of your customers!!!

Carbonite did a great job of backing up my files. Carbonite DOES NOT back up your software though. It doesn’t back up your email either. However, it did restore the backup of my data files to my new pc over the course of a week.


In all fairness, the guys at C&W were impressed by the amount of data I have on my PC… which is why they set me up with an external hard drive AND Symtantec Backup Exec. It’s backing up EVERYTHING I need, not just the data files.

It cost $500 to have the guys at C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida replace my hard drive and set up the new backup option. Carbonite cost less than $90 for two years of service.

However, in the end I’m happier with C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida than I am Carbonite…why? Because C&W Computers in Stuart, Florida included VIP customer service in EVERY sale!

I want to be clear – I understand that customer service is a bitch!!!  Customers are unreasonable at times in their demands.  However, I don’t think I was being unreasonable in expecting to be able to retrieve my password without calling customer service.

POST SCRIPT NOTE:  This blog post is an example of “the internet never forgets”.  The date on this review is June 21, 2008.  Carbonite has had more than a year to address the problems outlined above.

It’s now more than a year later and I’m still getting comments and page view on this post.

Carbonite was johnny on the spot responding to this review and I hope they’ve “fixed” their automated password retrieval problem in the meantime.

I’ve left comments open on this blog post so that if you’ve had a GOOD experience with Carbonite, you can leave it here.

However, if you want to leave comments about this review, you MUST include a VALID email address to get your comment approved to appear here.  If you don’t use an email address that I can use to contact you – then your comment won’t see the light of day.