Category Archives: Sad

The Vodafone Horror Show

Who knew that trying to throw money at Vodafone for a new phone would be such a difficult task!

Those who know me are aware I am a huge fan of the new Nokia Lumia devices. They look good, they work amazingly well and the operating system is great. When the Lumia 1020 with the 41mp camera was released, I knew it would eventually be mine!

When I saw Quidco offering £120 cashback if buying a Lumia 1020 through Vodafone, I jumped at the chance! I placed an order on the 15th of October which included:
Lumia 1020 (£49.99 one off cost)
Red L – £42 a month (4G & includes 6GB of data per month if ordered within October)

Great – Order made. Surely I’d get my phone, right?

I received an email confirmation confirming my order is being processed and subject to a credit check. With no debts, on the electoral roll and a good credit score, I was pretty happy this would go smoothly. Usually it takes an hour or so, thus I was a little concerned when 24 hours had passed and I had received absolutely no email, text or confirmation as to which direction my order had gone.

Vodafone Logo

Time to call Vodafone help! I spoke to a girl who asked me to spell my first name 5 times. It’s Joshua – I still don’t understand why it was so complicated for her to spell that! But either way, once she had my details, she drew a blank. Had no idea where my order was and told me she’d call me back shortly.

8 hours later, and still no call… I now went through 2 services:
1) Twitter help
2) Live Vodafone Chat

Twitter Help: A useful contact got in touch to told me to send him the details and he’d look into it. I did this, and an hour later he informed me it would take around 48 hours to get back to me. Not good enough as right now I don’t know whether my order is even being processed or whether a credit check has taken place. I needed an answer on this now. Live Vodafone Chat: A sales representitive informed me my order was still being processed, and he’d highlighted it as an “emergency” to ensure it gets done quicker

Phew, so now it seems everything is fine, right?

Another day passes, thus the saga is now in it’s 3rd day. Still no contact from Vodafone confirming the order (though it appears the money for the phone is pending release from my bank account!). I decided to call Vodafone again and spoke to Gary from the Belfast office – Gary informed me that the order had not been processed as there were multiple matches for my address (whatever that means!). He told me my credit check was however passed, so I can just go-ahead and re-order on the website to get my phone.

I went onto the website, re-ordered, and instantly got an email saying my order had been rejected. I called and spoke to another girl, who this time told me that my first order was actually with the fraud department and hadn’t been cancelled. What this meant, is when I attempted a 2nd order, not only was that one rejected, but it cancelled my ORIGINAL order as well!!!!

Of course at this point, I got pretty angry. I was informed that as they admitted this was their mistake, they had reversed the first order being cancelled and submitted it back to the fraud department for extra checks. I asked how long it would take and I was told that this was with Quidco! I was a little confused as Quidco are simply an affiliate site, but I was told that Quidco are the actual owners of the phone and do the security checks.

So then I spoke with Quidco, who as expected, denied all of this. It is a Vodafone order from the Vodafone website and Quidco are not responsible for anything here.

As of now, its 3 days after my order. I don’t have a phone, I may have a bad credit mark for the 2 orders thanks to Vodafone and I still have no confirmation of how long it will take.

Vodafone, I hope you’re reading this – Do you really think this is a good customer experience? And will I ever get my order processed?!?!

Tweet me @thejsug !

Vegas Over – Bad Run Continues in Texas

Hey Everyone!

Well, the poker trip is sadly over. In the end, I pretty much broke even – Which feels like a HUGE win believe it or not. Within 1 week, I lost with the 2nd or 3rd nuts against the nuts in coolers at least 4 times… Generally those are guaranteed wins, and should they have won, I would have ended up well over $2k up. But of course, poker isn’t always fair, and I feel like I should have recorded a $1k loss based on some of the hands this week. I only won hands BEFORE showdown which is usually a good indication of either bad play, or bad luck. Seeing as I never went to showdown with weak pairs, I’d definitely put this down to bad luck…!

It’s been very far from a wasted trip though after meeting some awesome people. The guys I met last week at the rock festival were great fun and I certainly look forward to gigging with them again in the future, but I also met a very interesting person at the poker table – Someone who has a biomedical science degree (I can’t remember the exact title unfortunately) and then moved to Vegas to play full time. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love Vegas though… You get all sorts of people from all forms in life together in a small vicinity (the strip). I mean hell, even in the bar at the Excalibur at 4am I ended up chatting to a guy who is a DOTA 2 player – What are the chances of that!?!

As you may have seen from FB statuses, I haven’t had a great trip to Texas so far. It started with my flight to Dallas being delayed meaning I would potentially miss the last flight to Austin. When I got to Dallas, I managed to JUST get on the plane, which was then delayed for an hour on the runway!! Sigh. Finally got to my hotel at 1am after a 30 min cab, but it didn’t end there. I walked into the hotel and got greeted by the manager “Ah, Mr Sugarman!” – Well, I have to admit, at this point I thought “wow, getting greeted in person – That’s nice!”. But now I know why..

I was informed that as it was football weekend, a few rooms had overstayed and thus they did not have any available rooms even though it was already paid for. They arranged for me to stay in another hotel 40 minutes away and offered to pay the cab. SIGH. Back in the cab, and 40 mins later I check in to the crappiest dump I’ve ever stayed in…! Well, I was in a bad mood so I watched some of the Obama/Romney debate to cheer me up (nothing like a bit of late night comedy on TV).

I’m now back in my original hotel (room upgraded of course) – Currently watching the Giants comeback against Cleveland with my feet up relaxing. This feels pretty good. Will head to the Austin Capitol building soon as my poker friend has recommended, and chill out before the madness begins tomorrow for the Game Developer Conference.

Catch up soon!

Tweet me @thejsug !

Incredible Insight into the Criminal Mastermind & Poker Pro: Howard Lederer

I’ve just completed the 3 hour interview called “The Lederer Files” (you’ll find all 7 parts on youtube), created by a suspect journalist at PokerNews.com. I say suspect as he was obviously very passive in his questioning which was disappointing. Louis Thereaux would have been much more enteratining!

For those of you who aren’t aware who Howard Lederer is, or what on earth I’ve been posting messages about the past few days, let me summarise in a few short sentences for you:

Howard Lederer was a co-founder and shareholder of Full Tilt Poker along with a few other pro’s. Full Tilt engaged in some very dodgy dealings, and were operating for a large period of time when they knew they didn’t have funds to cover player deposits (which is highly illegal and against their licensing regulations) – Even when the owners discovered this, they CONTINUED to accept deposits from European players which is comparible to a pozni scheme, as these covered withdrawl requests from other players to cover any issues up.

Finally, the world came crashing down as the Department of Justice indited certain share-holders, and the reality of the situation was exposed. Who lost out? Well, any US player with a Full Tilt Poker account containing funds, as these people are still today unable to retreieve their money (some accounts containing substantially large sums).

Howard Lederer is hardly the only person at fault, but since the problems began, no major player has come out to give their account or reasoning behind what happened. No apologies, no explanation, nothing. Now that FTP has been sold to PokerStars, Lederer agreed to do this interview to try and clear his name.

However, in a 3 hour interview, no apology to Full Tilt Poker players was made. In fact, Lederer used this interview to try and push his colleagues under an already fast moving train and try and get himself away from it. The unfortunate thing for Lederer is that this was incredibly transparent to anyone with 2 brain cells… Bad decision Howard!

I’ve never been an owner or shareholder of a business, especially not one that has $500 million being paid out in dividents over a few years, but I’m pretty sure that if I was, I’d have an idea of the businesses finances and how well it’s doing. Howard completely denied knowing that the company had a difference of $250 million between player accounts and what the company actually had in terms of cash in the bank. Not only were they crediting poker accounts BEFORE the money had been withdrawn from a players bank account (to the sum of $146 million!), but they were giving out loans wrecklessly to “friends” within the game.

Let me give one good example of the disaster that was full tilt. Erick Lindgren supposedly received a $2 million loan from full tilt. However, without being known to the share-holders, this was double credited. Yup. The guy recevied $4 million by accident, and no one even attempted to retrieve this or even knew about it until the ship came crashing down…!

Lederer continued to justify this as a company that grew out of control, which is true, but yet there was still no apology, and just a string of excuses as to how he himself is the good guy in all of this.

The title of this blog could, in a way, lead to some liability issues for defamation of character. I mean, he’s not been found guilty in any court (yet!!!!), but he is at least guilty of an incredibly moral crime if not a legal one. He was ultimately responsible for this, and even had the cheek in the last part of the video to almost ask for sympathy for when he returns to the poker world so that he is accepted by the poker community. HA! I think if anything, this interview has made him even more hated…!

The world of poker has a lot of negative stigma associated with it, and this situation will re-iterate that but also bring it into the 21st century due to taking place in the online world rather than the physical one. It’s ashame as with business such as PokerStars, PartyPoker, Betfair Poker and more, they don’t deserve to be hurt by the actions of criminals, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. It will also harm the chance of the a US turnaround in reintroducing the legalisation of poker within the US.

One thing I’m surprised at is the lack of press this interview has got. Nowhere in the UK’s paper or news media have I seen a mention of what’s happened?! I mean, this is a company that was worth billions of dollars, with one of the men primarily responsible giving a 3 hour interview! For an industry that’s worth over $100billion, you’d think it would get at least some publicity?!

Final thought for the day: Ivey, Lindgren, John Juanda, and other players associated with this horrible situation.. They made judgement calls. Some right, some wrong, most with their own profits in mind, but these guys were NOT decision makers, they did NOT know about what was going on, and when they did they quickly showed their unwillingness to “help” these crooks. Ivey suing FTP may have been counter-productive but completely understandable, and Lederer’s stupidity in commending this as disgraceful shows how deluded he is in terms of considering himself as a “good” player in the mess….

Online poker may never be the same again.. Sad times. Anyway, here’s part 1 of the Lederer Files. I really recommend watching this even if you don’t want to brave the full 7 parts!

Tweet me @thejsug !