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When being different isn’t really.

My car insurance is up for renewal next month and while I’m happy with my current provider, a new company called Blue Insurance, has been a bit of a talking point recently.

I first heard of them when I heard one of their representatives on the radio. They sounded like a forward thinking company that was going to shake up the local industry a bit. For example they have a 2 year policy which guarantees no increase.  A breath of fresh air so :-)

Until I sat down to try and get a quote.

Please don’t misunderstand me. This is not a hate post about the company. I’m merely highlighting the frustration I felt and some fundamental customer service mistakes I experienced.

So back to getting a quote. I happily went off to their site (really easy to navigate and find info), clicked on the “car” link and prepared myself for what I believed (hoped?) would be a stress free and quick process.


While I expect to be presented with a certain number of questions, some of the required information were really un-necessary and a waste of time. For example, there is a question whether a 2nd car is kept at the residence. You have to answer this.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.39.21

Now I could say NO, but being the cynic that I am, I figured this might be one way for them to get out of a potential claim, because there IS a 2nd car at the residence. So I click yes.

Which presents me with this.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.39.39

Fair enough, except I don’t know the information and it means having to call another person to get the info. Waste of time and annoying.  I should not have to bother answering this in the first place. I want insurance for my car. And yes, I get that they want to try and gain additional business by knowing the 2nd car’s details. But by frustrating me, the likelihood of this is close to zero.

So I click the “…you don’t know Car registration”  link and I get the following form.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.39.46

At this point, I’m annoyed but still willing to give them my business, so I start filling in the form.

Except the Registration Year dropdown does not present me with any date. I can not pick one.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.48.23

The Body Type is not available (SUV):

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.48.45

and I can’t select the engine size or style.

By this stage I’m getting more annoyed and wonder will I even bother carrying on. BUT I decide to keep going, only to be presented with yet another stumbling block.

Penalty point details.

I have 2. I think I got them almost 2 years ago but I have no idea of the exact date.  Again I could just pick any date but this would mean correcting details at a later stage. More time wasted.

So I decide to call the RSA on the number Blue Insurance kindly provide on the form.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.54.14

Except of course they’re closed because it’s after 6pm.  So I decide to call Blue Insurance and I’m greeted by; “All our agents are busy right now……”.  MORE frustration.

But I’m still sold on the perceived benefit that came across during those radio interviews and adverts (top marks for that :-) ),  so I did what a lot of people do in this day and age, I went on twitter. Surely that will fix everything.

My conversation is highlighted below. There’s no point being nasty, because as I know very well, people on the other side react better to genuine queries rather than a rant and also, it’s simply not necessary.

My first comment shows my frustration but subsequent interaction is friendly and yes, I still really want them to SELL ME INSURANCE :-D

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 21.32.45Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 21.33.00

I waited for them to follow me so I could DM them my number so I could give them my money. Even after all the frustration.


I decided to try again the next day when their social media person was back online.  Yes, I was still willing to give them a chance.

So, the next morning I tried again. I’m still smiling :-) Mostly.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 21.44.06

and received the following reply.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 21.45.49

which is when my patience finally ran out and Blue Insurance lost at least one customer and probably more.

As someone who deals with customers every day, that’s not the way to deal with a potential customer. A very frustrated one, who has been tying for 2 days to buy your product. The person may not have been aware of this but my tweet SHOULD have alerted them to the fact that this had been an ongoing conversation, looked at the history and resolved everything by asking one of their CS reps to call me.

Instead, that was apparently the end of the conversation. And I decided to stay with my current provider.

Again, this is not about placing blame or having a rant or wanting someone to “pay”. Its about a potential long term customer taking the time to point out a frustrating experience.

It might help someone to figure out a way to streamline their processes and gain, not lose customers.

Posted on

So I sold a domain….

“And how long have you been working here?” was the comment from smart alec Tony in work :-D



Yes, that IS my day job but this domain was one from my personal inventory. I’ve always liked domains.

I’ve regularly bought them but rarely sold any of my own. Actually, I’ve NEVER sold one of my own :-)

I was never in it for the quick turnover sale. I just like domains :-D


I see a domain that I feel is interesting, relevant and  MIGHT some day have a higher purpose so to speak.

So it came as a huge surprise (and luck)  that someone had expressed an interest AND bought a domain I’d registered.

It’s a really great feeling when something you felt was “worth” something turns out to be so. Not to mention the fact that someone is willing to pay ME for one of my domains as opposed to me always paying OTHERS for domains :-)


I was also very lucky. I had initially MISSED the first email enquiring about the domain but luckily Michele bumped into the person at a recent industry event and suggested I speak to them. Thanks Michele :-)


The domain in question is one of those new fangled TLDs which has created both positive and negative sentiments.

Personally I think they’re great. For the consumer they have something that is pretty relevant and available. At the very least there are a FEW options open to them. Think,,  etc.


Domain not available in one TLD ? No problem, next!

For domainers (not sure I qualify) they represent an opportunity to find those little nuggets that everyone is looking for. And no, I don’t mean trying to extort money from anyone. The domain I sold, was one of the most generic terms you’ll find.

For registars it means more to offer their customers.

And if you just like domains, well there’s more and more to choose from.

Long live choice!


While I haven’t gone into any detail about the domain as I want to be respectful to the buyer, I might do a follow up post re: the domain / sale price etc. at a later stage.

Needles to say I’m still smiling form ear to ear and I will certainly be looking around for more.

And that’s generally good for the people who employ me! :-D



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Is short still sweet when it come to new gTLDS?

We keep hearing that the problem with .com is that all the “good”, aka short, names are gone.

In a marketplace that has limited “stock”, being the holder of such domains is great. But does this apply to the new gTLDS ?

Yes, having or golf.clubs in your portfolio would be great but is it the length of the domain that’s the “valuable” bit, or the context.

Our searches are becoming more and more complex, so does this suggest a similar pattern re: new gTLD registration?

We used to search for “restaurants, berlin”, then “restaurants in berlin” and now search terms are becoming increasingly lengthy and descriptive.

It SEEMS to suggest that even if you’ve missed the boat on “the” domain, there are now opportunities, via gTLDs, to register domains that are very relevant, descriptive and most importantly, available.

Long live choice!

Which of these would you buy if you had the opportunity?

Or maybe ?

I’d love to hear your choice and thoughts on the above.

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Can Twitter really help my business (community / hobby / campaign) ?

This morning I posted a photo on Twitter of a lego minifig, attached to my desk’s sideboard using Sugru.

It’s something that I saw recently, and  just copied :-D

The reason for this post isn’t so much to rave about the 2 products, which i really like, but more to do with the ripple effect that one tweet can have.

Granted there was no earth-shattering record broken here. Merely an interesting  set of events that show how a business, for example, can make itself know to a potential customer.


My tweet was pretty short and sweet.



It was favourited 4 times and retweeted 4 times.  Again, nothing to get excited about. Sugru favourited and RTd it, which I thought was cool.

Then I looked at the others who had RT’d. One of them is Haje Jan Kamps ( @Photocritic ) , the CEO of a company called Triggertrap.  Being curious, I had a look at what they do and this is where the point of this post lies.

Triggertrap offer this really cool app (free), and cable kit that allows you to control your digital camera via your phone. I have a Canon and as it turns out, they ave the kit for my model.  At €24.00, it’s something I will most probably buy and most importantly, I’ve also already mentioned to a few people I know. These people have cameras AND like gadgets :-)

Within the matter of a few minutes, by picking up on my tweet, @triggertrap may have found at least 4 new customers. They in turn may of course recommend the site to someone else, leading to more possible sales. And so on…

So, while you may think your tweet is silly, has no purpose, probably won’t be seen by anyone “important”,  send it anyway. The worst that can happen is you’ll have a bit of a laugh and at best, who knows!
Have you sent any tweets that generated unexpected results ?

Posted on is NOT cool

You’re driving along and you see a nicely branded van.

Very clear messaging, lovely graphics and you know exactly what the service is.

There’s even a domain name!


And then, there it is, the ever-present abomination that is the  @gmail address.  Instant fail.


Why?  Why in the name of all the deities (if you subscribe to them) would you go to all that effort and then look like a complete amateur by having a Gmail address ?

You have a domain name, USE it.   In the examples below, who would you consider buying from;




I see countless businesses “promoting” themselves this way. Do NOT use a Gmail address.

A domain name will cost you from €8.00 / year.  How many coffees do you drink in a week ?


I understand the argument that people have had their gmail for years. There are ways to keep using that address and phase in one that uses your domain name or alternatively keep using the gmail account but “mask” the sender with your cool shiny new email address at your very own domain name.

Any decent hosting company will advise on how you can do this.*


So PLEASE, don’t waste all that work done on creating your brand and then kick it in the teeth with an @gmail address.

If you have any questions on the above please feel free to comment and I’ll be more than happy to help.


I’d be interested to hear if you’ve ever changed your mind based on someone not having a “proper” email address.



  • ** <– this sucks as well
  • ** <– so does this


*Any connection to real plumbers called Peter is purely by chance.

*Disclaimer: I work for Blacknight. This is not a sales pitch. It’s a HUGE pet peeve of mine :-)

** A valuable contribution by @donenda


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Lego Series 10 dot codes. Tomahawk warrior.

Lego Series 10 Tomahawk warrior

Lego Series 10 Tomahawk warrior


The lego Series 10 dot codes Tomahawk warrior  is pretty cool.

Apart form the expected paintwork, he has 2 nice features.

Lego Series 10 Tomahawk warrior tomahawkrightweb

The obvious one is the tomahawk, which is made of hard plastic but the blade part is actually a softer rubber.

The other is his mohawk, which is also made of the same soft rubber.

I think it finishes the minifig off nicely and the softer texture gives the hair a more “real” feeling.


And now for the dot codes :-)


Lego Series 10 Tomahawk warrior
Lego Series 10 Tomahawk warrior dot code


I can think of some cool scenarios where you could use this mini-figs and ity seems some have already created one of the obvious ones :-)

Any thoughts how you would use this minifig in a  photo ?



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Lego Series 10 dot codes. Baseball guy

The lego series 10 baseball guy is, well, a baseball guy :-)

He has a cap and his mitt and that’s pretty much it.


Together with the motorcycle mechanic, he’s probably one of the mifigs I like the least.

Series 10 Baseball guy Lego minifig
Series 10 Baseball guy Lego minifig

The baseball mitt is quite cool but other than that, he’s not super impressive, BUT the important part is the pic below of the bump codes :-)

Hopefully this helps to complete your Series 10 Baseball Lego minifig set!

Series 10 Baseball Lego minifig packet
Series 10 Baseball guy Lego minifig dot codes

What do you think of the baseball guy ?

Any ideas who the Stackers team are named after ?


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Lego series 10 motorcycle mechanic, bump code.

The lego series 10 motorcycle mechanic is pretty much to stereotype :-)
Lego series 10 motorcycle mechanic

From the moustache, red bandana and tattoo, to the jeans, chains and patch, it’s all there.

Lego series 10 motorcycle mechanic

Accessories wise, there’s not much but I can think of a few scenarios

where I can re-use the wrench and bandana.
Lego series 10 motorcycle mechanic

It’s one of my least favourite mini figs, as I think it’s a bit boring.

Maybe he’ll grow on me

Anyway, the bump codes are below, so if he’s your missing piece, good luck!

Lego series 10 motorcycle mechanic

Alternatively if you don’t want to go through the hassle, here’s a link for the minifig on Amazon*

*I will  get a few cents from this to pay for the site’s hosting :-)

Any thoughts on this mini fig ?