What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Discuss your experiences with purchasing the XO though the G1G1 program here. First impressions or whatever else is important to you. Mention it here!

What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby rbrb » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:34 pm

After not receiving any follow up emails after the initial email thanking me for my purchase & donation, it took me exploring forums such as these to find out what I was supposed to be doing to insure that I actually receive my laptop. The broken promises, including that I was promised to get my laptop in 7-10 days almost three weeks ago, are disappointing. But what is most irritating is that I don't have confidence that if don't call and email and spend lots of energy on hold, that my laptop is going to fall through the cracks. It takes thousands of us individually calling and emailing and waiting to talk to people who don't have any information, when it would be so much more efficient if someone from OLPC gave accurate follow-up information. I did receive an email over the weekend from OLPC (only the second email I have gotten from OLPC) which stated that my address is now correct and it will ship in 30-45 days -- but given OLPC's track record, I don't know that I have much confidence. (And of course this email contradicts the 7-10 days information I was given and the information on the tracking page which says my laptop is in the shipping queue and is ready to be shipped).

So my frustration is that all of us who donated shouldn't have to expend so much time and energy trying to track down our laptops. I understand that OLPC is a volunteer organization but this just doesn't seem that difficult to manage. Futhermore, as much as OLPC tries to guilt us into believing otherwise, the G1G1 program does not inspire confidence in OLPC as a charity. When I think about where to give at the end of every year, OLPC is unlikey to get my continued support given how badly they have handled the G1G1 program, both administratively and in terms of the defensive tone they have taken with us, their donors.
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby pgf » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:04 pm

thank you for that excellent summary.

paul
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby WhatsHisName » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:19 pm

Ditto.

One of the XOs I ordered was to be used to promote donations to OLPC through my business. That is unlikely to happen, as I can no longer in good faith recommend OLPC to my customers and prospects.

To me, the G1G1 failures, especially in the lack of communication with the donors, indicates a deep-rooted problem within the organization's culture.

Business 101: Failing to plan is planning to fail.


Day One G2G0
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Infamy » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:23 pm

rbrb wrote:After not receiving any follow up emails after the initial email thanking me for my purchase & donation, it took me exploring forums such as these to find out what I was supposed to be doing to insure that I actually receive my laptop. The broken promises, including that I was promised to get my laptop in 7-10 days almost three weeks ago, are disappointing. But what is most irritating is that I don't have confidence that if don't call and email and spend lots of energy on hold, that my laptop is going to fall through the cracks. It takes thousands of us individually calling and emailing and waiting to talk to people who don't have any information, when it would be so much more efficient if someone from OLPC gave accurate follow-up information. I did receive an email over the weekend from OLPC (only the second email I have gotten from OLPC) which stated that my address is now correct and it will ship in 30-45 days -- but given OLPC's track record, I don't know that I have much confidence. (And of course this email contradicts the 7-10 days information I was given and the information on the tracking page which says my laptop is in the shipping queue and is ready to be shipped).

So my frustration is that all of us who donated shouldn't have to expend so much time and energy trying to track down our laptops. I understand that OLPC is a volunteer organization but this just doesn't seem that difficult to manage. Futhermore, as much as OLPC tries to guilt us into believing otherwise, the G1G1 program does not inspire confidence in OLPC as a charity. When I think about where to give at the end of every year, OLPC is unlikey to get my continued support given how badly they have handled the G1G1 program, both administratively and in terms of the defensive tone they have taken with us, their donors.


rbrb, I completely agree that donors shouldn't have to do a THING after making their donations, and I definitely know the feeling of "Yeah sure, another 7-10". No doubt, OLPC will need to work on it's communication, presentation, and execution going forward.

I am however concerned with this defensive tone. Did someone on Donor Services treat you disrespectfully? Was there something else that I have missed? If you could expand on this for me, it would help us get things right going forward.

-Infamy
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby mattd » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:23 pm

Infamy, I think you're missing the point. I'm in the G1G0 boat and am not expecting to recieve an XO 'til March (crosses fingers). I have also been through many of the regularly occuring hiccups posted on this and other forums.

Despite that, I really don't care about the delay as long as I get an XO at some point. This is not a judgement on those that are upset/irritated/flustered/fed-up (or any other adjective I didn't think of). Far from it. It clarifies their position in my mind.

Their postition is that OLPC's handling of G1G1 problems has been mishandled, mismanaged, and been the epitomy of ineptitude since day one (no pun intended).

I completely agree. I feel lucky that, in the infamous words of Steve, the XO really is a trinket or toy to me. But this is completely a matter of perspective.

I would suggest you keep this in mind before the next time you suggest to an irritated donor that it's not OLPC's ineptitude, but the tone of communications, that has made them irritated.

You're a great asset to this forum, but please don't assume irritated donors are stupid. It not only insults them, but me as well.
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby rbrb » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:46 am

Infamy,

To answer your question, no I have not had any bad experiences with any of the OLPC representatives that I have dealt with, other than providing inaccurate/false information. The volunteers have been friendly and professional. When I spoke of the tone coming from OLPC, it was the responses from representatives of OLPC on forums such as these where people who are impatient are berrated for not understanding that OLPC is made up of volunteers, that people are busier getting laptops to Mongolia than to the G1G1 donors, and that the laptop should be viewed as the equivalent of a public televsion coffee mug. The "trinket" comment I find the most offensive. The G1G1 program was marketed as a the only way for individuals in the US to actually get a OLPC laptop. People paid twice its price because they felt good about giving to OLPC AND wanted the laptop, often to give to their children as gifts (myself included in that one). And except for the shipping debacle, the G1G1 programs appears to have been incredibly successful, raising enormous amounts of money for OLPC. OLPC should never in this instance berrate the donors. OLPC should be expressing gratitude and apologies, nothing else.
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Infamy » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:36 pm

mattd wrote:Infamy, I think you're missing the point. I'm in the G1G0 boat and am not expecting to recieve an XO 'til March (crosses fingers). I have also been through many of the regularly occuring hiccups posted on this and other forums.

Despite that, I really don't care about the delay as long as I get an XO at some point. This is not a judgement on those that are upset/irritated/flustered/fed-up (or any other adjective I didn't think of). Far from it. It clarifies their position in my mind.

Their postition is that OLPC's handling of G1G1 problems has been mishandled, mismanaged, and been the epitomy of ineptitude since day one (no pun intended).

I completely agree. I feel lucky that, in the infamous words of Steve, the XO really is a trinket or toy to me. But this is completely a matter of perspective.

I would suggest you keep this in mind before the next time you suggest to an irritated donor that it's not OLPC's ineptitude, but the tone of communications, that has made them irritated.

You're a great asset to this forum, but please don't assume irritated donors are stupid. It not only insults them, but me as well.


Mattd, I am not sure what part of my statement assumed stupidity on someone else's part. I was trying to figure out if someone related to OLPC berated a donor. That is all. I had no intention of implying anything past that, and rbrb has responded as such(thank goodness ;) )

rbrb, you make a good point. We certainly don't want to berate people for their frustration. In general, we should strive(regards of where we are) to not berate anyone. As Mattd points out, perspective is everything. Regardless of whether we are talking XO's or bananas, it doesn't foster the right kind of environment to berate someone. Furthermore, I think the biggest problem so far has been communication out of OLPC. Silence is not becoming, as we have _all_ experienced. OLPC learned a lot there(this being their first of this type of distribution), and is working extremely hard to make sure that donors are in good hands going ahead through March. As the system was setup, OLPC was really in a position of oversight(so that operations elsewhere where not jeopardized as this program ran it's course), as their vendors oversaw the logistics. They've found the issues that arose, and are pushing their vendors to do their best from here on out. I think you'll find that OLPC hasn't quite had time to breathe, and when this wraps up, this will be a pretty warm and cozy place to be.

Thanks Again,

Infamy
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Goatview » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:23 pm

Really, Infamy? You guys don't berate? What about your comments about me here:

http://blog.hostgator.com/2008/01/31/on ... will-fail/

You and Steve have berated others plenty of times. You have a selective memory at best. At worst? You figure it out.
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Infamy » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:00 pm

Goatview,

I am MORE than justified in what I wrote at hostgator, saying that you "go overboard" and "do not listen to advice given". Proven entirely by the fact that you have your refund placed, and yet you continue with crud.

Again, enough is enough. If you have something constructive or beneficial to help others here with, by all means chime up. If not, keep it to yourself.

-Infamy
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Goatview » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:10 pm

Oh, I think I am being helpful. Others will be less afraid of requesting a full refund knowing that someone else did it successfully (and guiltlessly) before them.

This is being typed and sent on my new eee, which arrived at my house the very day they said it would after my having watched its progress on the UPS tracking page all along its uneventful journey.

Incidentally, my first comment on that gator page was written prior to receiving my refund so your comments were still being directed at a donor, reluctant as I was by that time.

Microwiz, I figured out how to connect to my wireless!
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Infamy » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:00 am

That's wonderful Goatview. Unfortunately the topic is: "What I think frustrates many of us still waiting". So you are not helping, as your comment doesn't have anything to do with waiting for an XO.

Your first comment on host gator was written on the first of February, which, incidentally, is a DAY after you applied for your refund. Lets not split hairs here, your refund check was in the mail when you posted over there.

-Infamy
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby microwiz » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:48 am

Infamy wrote:I am MORE than justified in what I wrote at hostgator, saying that you "go overboard" and "do not listen to advice given".


Unfortunately, with all due respect for your hard work, Infamy, you're not justified.

Consider your position - you have an official affiliation with OLPC, albeit a volunteer one. Is "we unleash well-poisoning ad-hominem invective when someone calls us on issues" the appearance you want OLPC to have?

It's the unfortunate duty of someone with an official affiliation - outsiders and private folk can be as nasty as they like, even to you, and affect nothing but their own reputation. But you must be nice, because you affect the reputation of OLPC when you're otherwise - even if it galls you to do so.

(Steve's response was slick and stayed positive, despite dispensing disinformation; however, the two of those responses together make for some unfortunate and unintentional comedy :/ )

Frankly, I'm surprised to find myself explaining this from the outside. Perhaps the OLPC volunteer onboarding needs some added coverage of this, or more emphasis to the coverage if it's already in there...

Hoping this will help point things in the direction of calm,

Microwiz
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby Pecisk » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:40 am

microwiz wrote:
Infamy wrote:I am MORE than justified in what I wrote at hostgator, saying that you "go overboard" and "do not listen to advice given".


Unfortunately, with all due respect for your hard work, Infamy, you're not justified.

Consider your position - you have an official affiliation with OLPC, albeit a volunteer one. Is "we unleash well-poisoning ad-hominem invective when someone calls us on issues" the appearance you want OLPC to have?

It's the unfortunate duty of someone with an official affiliation - outsiders and private folk can be as nasty as they like, even to you, and affect nothing but their own reputation. But you must be nice, because you affect the reputation of OLPC when you're otherwise - even if it galls you to do so.

(Steve's response was slick and stayed positive, despite dispensing disinformation; however, the two of those responses together make for some unfortunate and unintentional comedy :/ )

Frankly, I'm surprised to find myself explaining this from the outside. Perhaps the OLPC volunteer onboarding needs some added coverage of this, or more emphasis to the coverage if it's already in there...

Hoping this will help point things in the direction of calm,

Microwiz


Microwiz, in my humble opinion, volunteers are not as support guys aka "negotiators" who can take everything people throw at them and go home and be happy. Even more, my moto on XO shipment problems is that people have full rights to be angry, but NO ONE gave them rights to be jerks. And it doesn't matter or you are donor, or you are millionaire who could give some money. It simply doesn't justify this.

So while agree Infamy should be nice even if someone goes overboard, it is for totally different reasons - just because it doesn't matter. If people go all emo, it is clear that they will reject almost any suggestion to calm down, as far as I have experienced. So it is better to post non-personal message in response or even just leave it. In fact, Infamy always do very good job on this aspect, unless someone tries to provoke him very openly.
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby microwiz » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:59 am

Pecisk wrote:Microwiz, in my humble opinion, volunteers are not as support guys aka "negotiators" who can take everything people throw at them and go home and be happy. Even more, my moto on XO shipment problems is that people have full rights to be angry, but NO ONE gave them rights to be jerks. And it doesn't matter or you are donor, or you are millionaire who could give some money. It simply doesn't justify this.

Fully agreed, people should not be jerks. However, the volunteers chose to affiliate themselves publicly with OLPC - so, unfortunately, their public behavior and statements MUST be held to a higher standard, difficult and stressful though it is, whether they're responding to "jerks" or not. OLPC's standing image problems only worsen otherwise.
Pecisk wrote:So while agree Infamy should be nice even if someone goes overboard, it is for totally different reasons - just because it doesn't matter. If people go all emo, it is clear that they will reject almost any suggestion to calm down, as far as I have experienced. So it is better to post non-personal message in response or even just leave it. In fact, Infamy always do very good job on this aspect, unless someone tries to provoke him very openly.

For individuals, it's their choice (IMHO, a poor one) to "go all emo" as you suggested, but at least all that it leads to is difficulties for their own reputations. But what is the tack to take in the face of Infamy's official-sounding posting in the comments at the previous link? Being seen to air dirty laundry like that (better kept private and internal) really makes an organization look out of control. :(

I am finally playing with the XO-1 from my order. I'd like to see OLPC stick around for a while, especially with all the enjoyment and education my daughter's getting from the bundled software. OLPC has already alienated a lot of donors, which is always a bad thing for a charitable organization to do - I would really like to see them get a handle on managing their reputation before it leads to any other difficulties.
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Re: What I think frustrates many of us still waiting

Postby pgf » Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:09 am

microwiz wrote:I am finally playing with the XO-1 from my order.


woo hoo! :-)
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