Apple support hard to find
ALMOST from its beginnings Apple Computer has been known as an organisation with clever people but completely incapable of functioning as a serious business. Recently Technology Post received complaints about developers who get no support.
It is not so much that the people at Apple are unco-operative - they are among the best-liked in the territory. The problem is that you can't find them. It sounds like a classic case of under staffing.
A case in point is a local software developer who handed over his US$2,000 to Apple Far East in order to become a fully-fledged Apple Developer, only to be kept waiting for weeks for something to happen. To add insult to injury, this person signed up to be a Microsoft developer for Windows platforms.
Within 48 hours he had 32 CD-ROM titles from Microsoft. The message to Apple is clear: 'Hello, is anybody there?' IT is now clear that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who let their customers access the World-Wide Web through ordinary phone lines - and indeed, seem to have encouraged them to do so - may have backed the wrong horse.
Following the statement from the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) at the weekend, ISPs will need to change their lines to the '300' type approved by OFTA and change the fee structure to include the PNETS charge of nine cents per minute.
Many ISPs will need to update price lists and customers who had previously used numbers starting with '2', will have to change their dialling systems.
Many customers who were attracted to the non PNETS services were first time Internet users, and they are likely to tie up customer service lines seeking new numbers and advice on billing.
We now have a clear ruling from OFTA that all types of Web access are a form of telecommunications and therefore liable to the PNETS charge.
The free lunch is over, but while no one enjoys paying PNETS or any other fees, at least we know where we stand.
For the ISPs, one big nuisance is having to collect PNETS fees and pass them on to Hongkong Telecom within 14 days of the charge being incurred.
This makes discounted advance payment plans attractive to ISPs.