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Archive for March, 2010

Top 5 browsers reviewed and download links

March 31, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Following on from our review yesterday on the current changes in the browser market, Dr Search reviews the top 5 browsers.

To download any or all of the browsers, please click on the links or the logos themselves.

Mozilla Firefox Firefox browser download

Firefox was the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Netscape (in fact, it was originally to be named Phoenix), after the non-profit Mozilla Foundation decided to create a new browser as a rival to the potential Microsoft monopoly. Launched in November 2004 with additional funding from Google (which remains the browser’s default search engine), it is still the world’s second-most-popular browser. The “streamlined” Firefox 4 will be released next year.

RECOMMENDED- It’s quick to download, is security conscious and frequently introduces new features ahead of the competition- as being freeware has masses of free addons/plugins that really will improve your online experience.

Opera Opera was first released by the Norwegian company of the same name in 1996. Opera is the only browser of European origin to appear in the top five browsers of the browser ballot box. It was also Opera’s creators that initiated the anti-trust suit against Microsoft which led to the browser ballot. Though it has the smallest market share of the big five browsers on desktops, Opera’s mobile version is much more successful and available on most smartphones. We are still waiting to hear whether its iPhone app would be approved for release by Apple.

Safari Sarari browser download Safari– Apple’s native web browser is more highly regarded since the launch of Safari 4 last year – though it’s still much better in its original Mac version than on Windows. Thanks to the iPhone, for which it remains the default browser (and so far, the only browser worth the name for the device), it has also surged somewhat in popularity. Despite being overtaken by Chrome, its market share continues to increase at the expense of Internet Explorer.

Google Chrome
Chrome browser logo download
Chrome– released in Autumn 2008, Google’s browser was explicitly designed for life in the digital cloud. By stripping away the browser furniture to the very edges of the screen, Chrome makes it possible to conceive of a desktop that operates solely online – not least because Google recently launched Chrome OS, its suite of online applications designed to replace desktop software and data storage.

In December, Chrome overtook Safari to become the world’s third-most-popular browser. However since Google launched Buzz in February there has been a storm about data privacy issues.

Internet Explorer Explorer browser logo

First included on Windows operating systems in 1995, the ugly Internet Explorer triumphed in the first “browser war” with Netscape Navigator, emerging as the world’s most widely used web browser in 1999, a position it has retained ever since.

After reaching a peak 95 per cent market share in the early 2000s, it now enjoys a more modest 60 per cent or thereabouts. Internet Explorer 8 – an improvement on clunky past efforts – was released last year.

Browsers- eu opens choice for web users

March 30, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Browsers are the software which you use to view and surf the internet, which makes it one of the most important programmes on your computer.

You now had a choice of browsers besides Microsoft’s market-leading Internet Explorer – among them Chrome and Firefox after the eu gave Microsoft an order to offer choice to it’s european users.

“A browser is like the suspension in your car,” explains John Lilly, CEO of Mozilla. “The suspension mediates the relationship between you and the road; it can pass on the bumps quite stiffly or it can soften them. A browser alters the internet’s performance in the same way.”

Lilly was recently in Europe helping to raise awareness of his and other browsers, just as Microsoft began to offer European Windows users a “browser ballot box”: when they connect to the internet, up to 200 million PC users in selected countries, including the UK, may now find a pop-up on their screen, offering them a selection of free, alternative browsers to try instead of their computer’s native Internet Explorer.

Both Firefox and Chrome stand to benefit from the initiative, which began at the end of February, and is part of a settlement agreed between Microsoft and the European Commission following a lengthy anti-trust dispute.

Explorer’s dominance (it remains the default browser for more than 60 per cent of web users worldwide) came not as a result of its quality, but because it is the default browser on Windows PCs. At the moment, Firefox is the world’s second-most-popular browser, with around 25 per cent of the market – approximately 370m users – while Chrome has just over 5 per cent.

Lilly, who is 38, joined Mozilla soon after the launch of Firefox in late 2004 (when the company also launched its free email software, Thunderbird). He became CEO four years later. Mozilla had been founded in the aftermath of the first so-called “browser war” of the 1990s, when Microsoft all-but destroyed Netscape Navigator, the original market leader and the first browser to reach a mass audience.

Following its defeat, Netscape made public its browser’s “Mozilla” source code for other web users, and the Mozilla organisation’s founders – themselves former Netscape employees – decided to craft a successor to Navigator. After agreeing a deal (which still stands) to include a default Google search box in the browser, much of their funding came from Google, which sends revenue Mozilla’s way in return for web traffic. Firefox was the result.

Microsoft had released its Windows XP operating system in 2001, and by 2006 it was on more than 400 million machines. XP’s default browser was the famously clunky Internet Explorer 6 – and its vast, unwarranted popularity, says Lilly, was damaging to the maturation of the internet as a whole, discouraging developers from realising its true potential with their websites.

“So many people still use IE6, and lots of companies have it built into their office IT systems,” says Lilly. “I can’t understand how they do it; it’s a really horrible experience! Hopefully Microsoft’s next browser will finally be to the same standard as everyone else, because that would stimulate another huge wave of creativity on the web.”

The forthcoming Internet Explorer 9 is at least expected to be fast, unlike its predecessors, which uniformly lagged behind the competition in terms of page loading speeds. But users are already deserting Explorer in droves; its global market share has dropped from more than 75 per cent per cent two years ago to just over 60 per cent before the ballot roll-out. And thanks to the ballot, Microsoft is being forced to compete with other browsers on a more level playing field.

Since the last week of February it has reportedly lost 1 per cent of UK users, and 2.5 per cent of French users.

Opera, the Norwegian company originally responsible for implementing the anti-trust suit, has benefited most from the ballot, claiming that downloads of its free browser have increased dramatically since the launch of the ballot box.

Firefox, says Lilly, has also put on users, but “we already get 100,000 new users organically every day, so an extra 150,000 over a week or two is meaningful but not hugely important”. Users who check the ballot box thoroughly will find a second page of seven browsers such as Avant, Flock and Slim, which even many tech-savvy users may not have heard of.

The key to the future of browsers may not be on desktops at all, but on mobile devices. In the next five years, in the view of many experts, more people will be connecting to their internet via their smartphones and tablets than via their desktops or laptops.

This will doubtless break Microsoft’s stranglehold, but it’s not necessarily beneficial to browser diversity: most mobile devices come with default browsers, including a Google-made browser on phones that use the company’s Android operating system.

Safari is the default browser for iPhone (and for the iPad, which is due for release this week in the US), though Opera last week submitted its “Opera Mini” application to Apple for approval. Could Apple countenance a browser war on its own mobile devices?

Mozilla, meanwhile, is hard at work on a version of Firefox for Android, which, like its desktop version, will vary from Chrome in its vital statistics. Chrome, for instance, strips back the browser furniture to a bare minimum at the edges of the screen; its near invisibility as you surf reflects Google’s ambitions to get everyone working continuously in the cloud – storing and interacting with their documents and data entirely online.

Firefox, on the other hand, emphasises its users’ security, which Lilly believes explains its popularity in privacy-conscious Europe (where it has an almost 40 per cent market share).

So which is better, the mighty Google’s Chrome or the more modest Mozilla’s Firefox? Most tech-watchers seem to agree they’re the two finest browsers on the market. Chrome has been around for just 18 months, and only formally released a version for Macs earlier this year.

Firefox’s age and experience – Lilly says that Firefox 4 is expected next year – means it has a more extensive suite of extensions and add-ons that allow users to customise their browser to suit their needs.

And of course, you may be concerned that Google already has too much of your personal information for comfort without installing the company’s software on your computer.

Tomorrow Dr Search the principal consultant at the Search Clinic will review the top 5 browsers.

Seth Godin- “CRM is dead- long live CRM” Part 2

March 29, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Part 2- Seth Godin Interview- follows on from Part One- last Friday 25th
Seth Godin interview part two

For some organisations, a lack of ‘focus’ probably manifests itself out of an enthusiasm to be in the thick of the social action. Businesses are being told they need to be part of the conversation – but that is easier said than done, and so some efforts go awry. Even with Godin’s advice on building a tribe, there are firms that feel their trade doesn’t lend itself easily to social media.

Most social strategies are based around the idea of followers and users talking about your brand and promoting you on networks. So where does that leave the likes of wholesalers who sell non-branded items or any number of unsexy B2B-style sectors that users are unlikely to talk about on the likes of Facebook?

Godin is adamant that it can work for any organisation – they just need to approach it with the right attitude and the right strategy.

“If you insist on being a price-driven, commodity supplier to businesses that don’t want to talk about you, well then don’t expect to grow. That’s all there is to it!” he explains. “What we know is that if you can change that equation, you can grow. How can you get people to talk about you? Well for example, let’s say you are a plumbing supply house in a small suburb or rural area or even a city, why not invite all of the plumbers – the ones who never get to talk to each other over a beer – together once a month, to a party. Just to talk to other plumbers. You don’t have to say talk about my widgets or talk about my faucets – just talk.

“Now if all the plumbers come together once a month to meet eachother and trade stories and hang out, don’t you think they’re going to want you to be part of that conversation? Don’t you think you become irreplaceable in the extent that you are the host of all these plumbers? Instead of saying ‘I have the cheapest faucets’ what you need to say is ‘I have the coolest plumbers, come here you get invited to meet your peers’. So there are all these opportunities to unlock conversations. But no-one is going to talk about your boring products for boring people. However, if that’s what you insist on, then be prepared to be invisible.”

Listening to him talk about creating and leading a tribe, about making these all-important connections, it all seems so straightforward. Perhaps it is this ability to conjure eureka moments with such ease that is the reason for his own leadership status. Or perhaps it is the fact that he makes business seem less of a science or art, and more of a lesson in human relationships. As long as organisations understand they can’t manage those relationships, of course!

“The real question I would ask everyone is if you went out of business who would miss you? And if the answer is only the people who’ve got to walk three more stores to get to a dry cleaner, that’s not a good answer,” he concludes. “The idea of being missed, of being an important part of someone’s day or someone’s business or someone’s life isn’t easy to accomplish.

You’re not going to accomplish it by making what the big companies make but for just a few pence cheaper. You’re going to accomplish it because you touch people, because you’re generous, because you make change, because there’s something about what you do and how you do it that people viscerally connect with. And if you can’t do that then you’re going to be struggling for years. And if you can do it, then you’re going to discover there’s a line out your door.

There’s a line of people who want to be touched by you, who want to be connected, because that’s a basic human need.”

This interview was origionally with Dan Martin is the editor of sister site, and also manages the Web 2.0 discussion group.

Seth Godin- “CRM is dead- long live CRM”

March 26, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

When Seth Godin speaks, people listen. He has been one of the most celebrated speakers of the past two decades.

His best-selling books have inspired thought and debate on business concepts ranging from customer tribes (Tribe) to storytelling (All Marketers Are Liars). And his Seth Godin Blog is ranked number one marketing blog in the AdAge Power 150.
Seth Godin Blog
So when he announced that “CRM is dead” in a 2006 post, the industry could be forgiven for having a few uncomfortable moments. But four years later, CRM is still around – so it would appear that on this occasion the mighty mind of Seth Godin made a mistake. Or did it…
“I believe what I wrote is that the idea of ‘managing’ customers is dead – not the acronym is dead. The acronym is going to be around for a long time because companies still WANT to manage their customers. But when I wrote it four-and-a-half years ago, I was right! You don’t get to manage your customers, your customers now manage you.”
In fact, his 2006 blog post highlighted that Disney Destinations Marketing had created a new department entitled Customer Management Relationships, suggesting that this was more than semantics, this was something significant. Forward four years and the recent Gartner CRM Summit pushed the same message – “Individuals are in control.
Individuals are making the choices,” Gartner VP Steve Prentice told the audience, “It is no longer about customer relationship management, it is much more about customer managed relationships.”
Godin was right on the money. But he still sees the ‘customer management’ philosophy alive in many of today’s businesses.

“The mindset that says that somehow you can get to manipulate what people are doing – which is what made all those hundreds of millions of dollars for the CRM people – is clearly bogus. That’s not what really happens. And if you take that mindset, you are going to react all the time instead of respond. But what ‘tribes’ is about is leading customers, not insisting or managing customers. And the difference between management and leadership is that managers know what they’re going to get and try to get it cheaper; leaders aren’t sure what they’re going to get but they have a goal, and they try to get there. And the companies that have a goal and move forward always outperform the companies that are trying to manage people to get it a little cheaper.”
This idea of customer tribes is one of Godin’s most celebrated concepts. In a nutshell it suggests that by connecting likeminded people and creating a platform for their interaction, people and organisations are able to create their own tribe – and ultimately lead it. It’s an inspiring idea, and one that has gained legs thanks to the growing ineffectiveness of traditional customer engagement efforts via marketing.
“Organisations that want to do marketing, used to do marketing by interrupting people. They used to do it by yelling at people who didn’t want to hear from them about things they didn’t want to hear about, and they figured that if they just yelled at people often enough they’d make enough money to earn it back.
“Well the world has changed pretty dramatically. We have discovered that people don’t pay attention to ads, they don’t respond to the ads and they don’t remember the ads. But what the internet is doing is making it easier to follow people you want to follow, to connect to people you want to connect to. So the future of marketing, as it turns out, is leadership. If you do something that people want to follow, if you connect people they want to be connected to, they all join a tribe – a group of people interesting in accomplishing something. And if you can lead a tribe, then the marketing will take care of itself.”
When it comes to setting up a tribe – and making a success of it – Godin has the following pieces of advice:
  • Be ‘human’ – “People don’t want to follow a committee. They want to follow a person. The most important thing to do is to be a person, to make a product that someone should buy because they want to not because you pushed it on them. To tell the truth. To be authentic. To be a human being and connect with people.”
  • You don’t have to have a big tribe to be successful – “Tribes don’t have to be very big to be effective. If you have 1,000 true fans, 1,000 people who will drive across the country to see you perform, 1,000 people who will tell their friends, that is enough to make an impact.”
  • Understand that not everyone wants to be in your tribe, and not everyone should be in your tribe – “One of the most difficult things to do as a small business person is to say ‘you’re not in’ and ‘you can’t do this’ because we want everyone to be our customer. But tribes, all of them, succeed because there are outsiders. You can’t have insiders if you don’t have outsiders.”

This concept also offers the possibility of a more level playing field for businesses, irrespective of their size. “There’s a coffee bar in London called Prufrock, one of the things that he does is that instead of having a frequent buyer card, where if you buy eight cups of coffee you get a free one, he gives you one where if you buy eight cups of coffee from his competitors, and he lists them all, he’ll give you a free one. Why would you do that?

You do that because you’re speaking to a very specific sort of person, a cosmopolitan urbane person that gets that you’re winking, understands that they’re part of the coffee ‘tribe’, that acknowledges the fact that you care enough about coffee and coffee drinkers that you would send people to your competition. That act by a small company changes the landscape. Starbucks can’t beat them at that game.”

The proliferation of social media platforms has not surprisingly had big implications for this area. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have continued their rapid penetration, while new platforms such as Google’s Buzz have emerged in the meantime. Godin believes that the spectacular rise of social media has had both positive and negative effects. “The bad news is that most marketers are using social networks as a new way to spam people.

Using social media as a new channel to yell about what they do. On the other hand there’s a whole breed of companies coming along that’s realising that if you can build a social network on Ning or something like that, or if you can just build an email relationship with people or that you can move people through this electronic medium so that they can connect with each other, then you’re half way to building a tribe.”

Godin himself is very selective with his social media use. He famously (infamously?) shuns Twitter, for instance, although there is a Twitter feed of his blogs. The reason for this, he insists, is simply a matter of time. There are so many social networks out there that it is difficult to use them all – and he advises that people specialise.You have to pick. You can’t do all of them. The reason I’m not on Twitter is that I already picked. I have a blog, I need to take care of it, I need to focus on it, I answer hundreds of emails every day. If I added Twitter to the mix I would be bad at the other two things. So you need to focus. There are companies that use Twitter quite effectively, and if you can be one of them, in the way you tell your story, and the kind of people you interact with, then go do that. But don’t do it just because everybody else is doing it – that’s a silly reason.”

Part 2 of the interview with Seth Godin will appear on Monday’s post.

Google stops censoring search results in China

March 25, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Google has stopped censoring its search results in China, ignoring warnings by the country’s authorities.

Google ends china censorship
The US company said its Chinese users would be redirected to the uncensored pages of its Hong Kong website.

In January, Google had complained about a “sophisticated cyber attack originating from China”.

China accused Google of violating a “written promise” it made when entering the market to abide by laws requiring it to filter its search service.

A Chinese official was quoted by the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying Google’s decision to ignore the promise regarding its Chinese language search portal was “totally wrong”.

Chinese government officials had warned Google repeatedly that it would face consequences if it did not comply with the country’s censorship rules.

In a blog post, the company said the Chinese government had been “crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement”.

It said there might be some service slowdowns and delays in getting search results while it beefs up resources to handle the re-directed queries.

One cause of the row was Google’s revelation on 12 January that it – and more than 20 other companies – had been the victim of a cyber attack that originated inside China.

During the attack Google lost some intellectual property and discovered that the attack was aimed at the GMail accounts of human rights activists. This attack led Google to “review the feasibility” of its Chinese operations.

It said the size of its sales team would depend on how many Chinese people can get at the Hong Kong-based site. Currently about 700 of Google’s 20,000 strong workforce are based in China.

While Google is the world’s most popular search engine, it is a distant number two in the Chinese market, which is dominated by Baidu.

However, because of the size and growth rate of China’s internet population, any loss of business there is likely to harm Google’s future growth prospects.

Analysts said that initially Google’s prospects would not be dented by shutting down as it is responsible, at most, for 2% of its annual $24bn (£15.9bn) revenue.

China operates one of the most sophisticated and wide-reaching censorship systems in the world with an estimated 30,000 people directly employed by the state to run online marketing activities for the communist party.

The 30,000 are employed to monitor web activity and many automated systems watch blogs, chat rooms and other sites to ensure that banned subjects, such as Tiananmen Square, are not discussed.

Facebook linked to rise in STD syphilis

March 24, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Facebook has been linked to a resurgence in the sexually transmitted disease (STD) syphilis, according to health experts.

Facebook linked to the rise of syphilis

The virus has increased fourfold in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside, the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular, because it has given people a new way to meet multiple partners for casual sexual encounters.

Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, said staff had found a link between social networking sites and the rise in cases, especially among young women.

He said: “Syphilis is a devastating disease. Anyone who has unprotected sex with casual partners is at high risk.

“There has been a fourfold increase in the number of syphilis cases detected with more young women being affected.

“I don’t get the names of people affected, just figures, and I saw that several of the people had met sexual partners through these sites.

“Social networking sites are making it easier for people to meet up for casual sex.”

In Teesside there were 30 recorded cases of syphilis last year, but the true figures are expected t be much higher.

Research has shown that young people in Sunderland, Durham and Teesside were 25 per cent more likely to log onto social networking sites than those in the rest of Britain.

A Facebook spokesman said: users should “take precautions” and be careful when meeting up with anyone they have met online.

Dr Search also warns that there are personal data issues with Facebook. So common sense is required, not just when it comes to unprotected sex.

Facebook overtakes Google in monthly traffic reports

March 23, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Social networking website Facebook has capped a year of phenomenal growth by overtaking Google’s popularity among US internet users, with research data showing it has scored more visits on its home page than the search engine.

Facebook overtakes Google in number of hits search clinic ofr the latest online marketing news

In a sign that the web is becoming more sociable than searchable, research firm Hitwise said that the two sites accounted for 14 per cent of all US internet visits last week. Facebook’s home page recorded 7.07 per cent of traffic and Google’s 7.03 per cent.

It is the first time that has enjoyed a weekly lead over The lead may be slim, but it has become inevitable as Facebook’s popularity has grown rapidly from just over 2 per cent of visits a year ago. Heather Dougherty of Hitwise said that Facebook had “reached an important milestone” with the weekly figures.

Facebook’s membership has more than doubled in the past year, passing the 200m mark last April and 400m in February.

“The true value of Facebook and social networks is just becoming clear to marketers,” said Augie Ray, analyst at Forrester Research.

Google has responded to the ascendancy of the social networking site with introduction of its own Buzz service last month. Buzz allows users to add status updates, friends, pictures, videos, location information, comments and links to other networking sites. Buzz, though, has struggled with privacy concerns just as Facebook has been criticised for encouraging members to reveal more of their personal data to search engines that seek real-time information about their interests.

The Hitwise figures only cover visits to the site, meaning that services such as Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and searches carried out in a box in a browser toolbar are excluded. Taking all Google properties into account, the internet company accounted for 11.03 per cent of US website visits last week among the top 100 domains, compared with 10.98 per cent for Yahoo properties and 7.07 per cent for Facebook, according to Hitwise.

Facebook’s trajectory suggests that it will soar ahead of in the coming months. However, social networking sites have fallen in the past. had led since September 2007, when it overtook News Corp’s

Internet users worldwide spent more than five-and-a-half hours a month on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82 per cent increase over the previous year, according to the Nielsen Company research firm.

US users spent nearly six and a half hours on Facebook compared with fewer than two and a half hours on Google.

Data watchdog warns online retailers passing on shoppers’ bank details

March 22, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

The Information Commission has warned online shoppers to avoid inadvertently agreeing to allow retailers to share their details with other firms.

Customers of several online companies told the BBC that they did not realise they were agreeing to join discount services when clicking on links.

They uncovered it when amounts of up to £99 were taken from their accounts.

The companies involved denied being unclear and said customers who had complained were refunded.

Veronica Hayton told Money Box on Radio 4 that she bought some storage bags from

A month later the company called to see if she was happy and then asked if she wanted a holiday discount brochure.

“I noticed it referred to a 30-day free trial but then next thing I knew a firm called Break4Free had taken £99 out of my current account without my authority.

“I wasn’t aware that debit card details had been passed on by the original supplier.”

Veronica questioned the transaction but when she asked for a tape of the phone conversation was told it had gone missing. She was refunded in full.

Another listener, David Strange, told Money Box that he had bought a ticket on and then was asked to click a link to get a £15 discount off his next purchase.

But instead he had money taken from him by a company called Shopper Discounts and Rewards.

“Having seen the website again it states there is a £10-a-month charge.

“But a lot of people might not realise and might not check their account to notice the £10 a month charge.”

Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith warned companies that they did not just have to comply with the letter of the law.

“Some businesses [think] so long as it is there in the small print somewhere that’s good enough. But it isn’t. It is not about complying with the law it’s about making sure your customers know what’s happening with their information.”

Spacebags admitted that bank details were passed on to Break4Free. But Break4Free told Money Box it would refund people who complained. Shopper Discounts and Rewards also promised to refund unhappy customers.

“It is very important that all customers understand the benefits before they join so we ensure that offer pages are clear and straightforward.”

David Smith said: “These notices have to be upfront and obvious and if there is financial information and a charge involved you’d expect it to be up there in flashing lights.

“We do have some cases involving and Shopper Discounts and Rewards.

“If we are satisfied their practices are improper and they won’t change voluntarily we will use our enforcement powers to require them to do so.”

But he warned that customers had to be smart when shopping online too.

“The responsibility isn’t all one way. Consumers shouldn’t go to websites with their eyes shut or blinkers on.”


Customers use social media websites to complain about poor customer service

March 19, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

Consumers are increasingly using social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to vent their anger after receiving poor service.

twitter for complaints Facebook for complaints

A quarter of consumers polled by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) said that they did not get good service from businesses.

More than 80% said that they would tell their family and friends if they received excellent or poor service.

But a third said they would write a negative view on the company’s website.

The OFT is encouraging companies to use its approval badge.

Some 14,000 UK businesses have OFT Approved Code status which means they provide an accessible and robust complaints procedure.

Charles Wallace, from the OFT, said: “Consumers clearly expect good standards of service and for many people it is an important part of the buying process.”

On January 21, 2010 Dr Search posted: Bad customer service costing billions of Pounds in lost revenue

When another study reveals the shocking cost of poor customer service- this time it’s Dr Search’s alma mater- Oxford Brookes University who delivers the damning verdict on poor service standards.

Its survey suggests that three out of four people have switched at least one product or service in the last two years due to poor service.

And the University’s Professor Merlin Stone estimates that if the study is reflective of the entire population, firms could have  lost up to 20 million good customers, costing them around £3.39 billion.

Dr Search also points out that it is stunningly easy to use Twitter to complain about lousy customer service.

All you have to do is post #brandhell and watch the response. Utilities, finance and telecoms companies are particularly adept at using the media.

Labour tramples human rights in new digital spin

March 18, 2010 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Uncategorized

There has been a groundswell of opposition to labour’s new Digital Economy Bill from firms such as British Telecom, Google and Facebook, which say that elements of the bill could undermine free speech on the net without reducing copyright infringement.

It also includes element that would give courts the power to block websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

The bill has been passed by the Lords and is now expected to be rushed through the Commons before the general election.

A campaign has also started on the internet encouraging people to write to their MP to stop the government rushing the bill through “without proper debate”

Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group (ORG) is a vocal opponent of the Digital Economy Bill and the new research.

“I am fed up of hearing corporate propaganda being deployed in order to justify intrusions on our rights to freedom of speech, privacy and to a fair trial,” he said.

“We have no truck with infringement of copyright, but it is shameful that anyone from the Labour movement can attempt to justify removal of vital services such as the internet as a punishment.”

The ORG recently revealed that certain amendments to the bill proposed in the House of Lords – but not passed – had been drafted by music industry group the BPI.

“Members of the Labour movement spent decades fighting for people’s rights to basic services, education, and political organisation: they need to ask themselves where their true values lie,” said Mr Killock.

“Are they with Gordon Brown’s call to recognise the internet as just as vital for the today’s citizens as water, gas and electricity; or are they with music industry lobbyists, calling on Parliament to infringe people’s human rights?”