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GoToMyDoingMyHeadIn

Go To My PcThe other week, someone asked me if I could help set them up with something that would allow them to access their computer remotely from anywhere in the world. As luck would have it, I’d just seen an advert on TV here that day for GoToMyPc, a piece of software which allows you to do just that!

With the client software installed, you can go to any web browser in the world, go to a page, login, and get remote access to your desktop that you’ve left switched back at home or in the office. Cool huh? Well yes, but I realised quite quickly that it’s just a more user-friendly-dumbed-down version of the Citrix interface which I’ve used before back at the BBC.

Dumbed down – but still complex enough (!) for me to go and install for someone for which they paid me thank-you-very-much.

But the catch is that to sign up, you have to give them your credit card details, as you get a 30 day free-trial period, after which they start billing you on a monthly basis.

So I signed up, and then remembered yesterday that my 30 days was getting close to being up, so I called up their customer service number to cancel. Straightforward? Of course not!

It took me three phonecalls to do it.

The first time – after 17 minutes of waiting, I got cut off.
The second time – after 12 minutes of waiting, I got bored and rang off.
Third time (just now), took only 6 minutes on hold and I gleefully said “No, it’s fine, I just don’t want to be charged for using it anymore thanks”, when they asked me “Why are you leaving our service sir?”

But the WORST bit? The VERY WORST bit. Is their ‘on hold’ music … OH. MY. GOD.

It’s so bad, I must subject you to it here, so you can experience what I had to hear for a total of 35 minutes of my life.

Seriously, try playing this several times in a row and see how your sanity holds up! I swear it’s a conspiracy. They’ve sat round and come up with the worst piece of music possible, in order to dissuade you from staying on hold on the phone so that you give up trying to cancel. Have a play and see what I mean … !

GoToMyPc – On Hold Music (Mp3, 883Kb)

21 responses to “GoToMyDoingMyHeadIn”

  1. jen says:

    Hi Geoff,

    This is completely irrelevant to your post, but… I love that you have OMD on your last.fm playlist. Now I’m not the only person in the country that listens to them πŸ™‚

  2. Richard says:

    Less OMD… more OMFG! It seriously is bad.

    I think it’s a ploy to stop people holding, so they have to keep paying. And shouldn’t you be able to cancel online? Or is that another deliberate obstacle?

  3. geofftech says:

    #1 – Surely the fact that “ELO” is up there is more embarassing? I’ve been listening to a lot of ‘Mr Blue Sky’ recently, for reasons which are too complicated to go into here!

    OMD rule! well… they’re very good anyway. and you’ll spot lots of other 80’s hangover in their too:? Pet Shops Boys & Howard Jones for example..

    #2 – You can’t cancel online! Don’t be silly! They want to make it as hard as possible for you to cancel. You sign up, registed, extend, download, do everything else you want to online, but not cancel… it’s the way of the wicked coroporate world…

  4. I don’t see this ‘on hold’ music in your last.FM playlist, Geoff.

  5. Mark says:

    I’m thinking ‘theme tune to quirky 1980s sitcom set in New York’?!

  6. Paul Webb says:

    You could beat out a really neat syncopated rhythm by banging you head against a wall.

  7. Mikey says:

    My mum got annoyed when I played the music to listen, enough said

  8. Bumble says:

    Oooh I love that. Mind you I own some dreadful music according to everyone else lol

  9. geofftech says:

    Do you know, I can’t actually listen to it anymore .. i just played it back to remind myself of how bad it is, and had to stop ten seconds in.

    Let me go and try banging my head against a wall… that might indeed be more painless.

    #5 – Good point. It could have been called “Chums”, or “Buddies”, or “Mates”, or .. or .. oh you get the idea. I’ll get my coat.

  10. stroppycow says:

    Oh and I thought my 20 minutes (got bored hung up) and 12 minutes (got bored hung up) with Pitney Bowes’ holding music today was bad, it doesn’t even come near this.

  11. geofftech says:

    Pitney Bowes? Que?

    (And yes, I know I could google…)

    Actually – there’s a good question. Has the OED put the word ‘google’ in it yet? It is a verb after all. “I google’d for so and so…”

  12. Another Chris says:

    Oh dear, haha. The music sounds like some sort of stuff you’d get off the demo tunes section of a Bontempi keyboard. Mind you, I’ve had worse in my time.

    NTL probably have the worst of the lot. Hearing the same piece of music and all the bloody adverts in a loop for around 2 hours whilst trying to contact their billing department. In fact, you could guess which advert was going to come up next … football digital TV pack followed by advert for their crappy broadband internet service followed by the recommendation you go to their website. I think I still have nightmares to this day.

    You could have used Logmein.com – it’s free and whilst the ‘pro’ features are in a trial for 30 days, it reverts back to plain old simple remote control only after this. You don’t need a credit card to sign up to it. It’s a great piece of software when wanting to remote control other machines when stuck behind corporate firewalls.

  13. David says:

    Surely razorlight are british!

  14. geofftech says:

    I believe so too, why? I never said they were American!

  15. scottb says:

    You poor, poor man! I had to force myself to listen to the entire clip. That is the worst
    “on hold” muzak I’ve ever heard.

    Quickly now, Pitney Bowes is a company that specializes in document and mail management (postage
    meters and the like). Its products are well known in Canada.

    BTW Geoff, you have suddenly become my nearest neighbour in my Audioscrobbler/Last.fm page.
    How did that happen?

  16. Pitney Bowes. Franking machines.

    If Googled was in the OED, it wouldn’t have an apostrophe.

  17. geofftech says:

    #15 – it’s because i’m now physically nearer to you in the world Scott! L.FM has detected this and also made me a closer neighbour to you virtually! πŸ™‚

    Oh, and who else is ignoring Ian’s pedantry? I know I am.

  18. Chris says:

    #3: Nothing embarassing about ELO. Out of the Blue= Greatest Album Ever Made™

    #13: Two of Razorlight are indeed British, but the other two are Swedish. All of them are quite friendly.

  19. CV says:

    That is certainly the most irritatingly jaunty piece of music I have ever heard. I have images of teletubbies bouncing around inanely, joined by a sickeningly cute little smiling dog. Maybe it’s designed psyhcologically to put you in a happy mood so that you decide not to cancel because everything is good in the world and the best way of enhancing your live is to keep your GoToMyPc subscription alive..?? Seems they miscalculated and are sending all their customers completely la-la (get the teletubby connection?) and unable to concentrate long enough to use a computer? Anyway, I feel complete in the knowledge of the full horror you have endured. Well done!

  20. presidentbaltar says:

    Geoff,

    I’d also reccomend Logmein to help cure your woes. It’s free, which right there should be reason enough to switch. But on top of that it’s also just a very well put together piece of software.

    Additionally, both OMD and ELO are fantastic bands that would still be making music if I had my way

  21. Bob Hannent says:

    Why not use something which is free and from my experience reliable:
    http://www.tightvnc.com/intro.html

    From a security standpoint I would obviously get the person at the other end to disable it after use. But I have relied heavily on TightVNC in the past, the guys I used to work with liked RealVNC, but who knows.

    What I do know is that TightVNC has a java web interface so that if someone installs it on their machine and activates the server it will permit you to access their machine from any browser which supports the Java client.

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