Readers have sent a flood of complaints about signal interruptions on PCCW's NOW Broadband TV since a weekly column in the paper mentioned the problem last week. 'There was a sense of relief to learn that I was not an isolated casualty with my NOW Broadband service. I suffer all the conditions that were described in your paper,' wrote Kim Carew-Reid of Mid-Levels. 'I have three set-top units and they all require frequent rebooting to overcome breaks in sound or to show any picture at all. It is fair to say that NOW has always been quick to respond to my calls and has replaced the set-top unit on several occasions. Unfortunately, the problems continue and I've lost interest in calling again. 'What particularly pains me is the need to get out of bed in the morning and manually switch off and on the unit to reboot rather than stay in bed with the remote control and wake in stages. I wonder if this is a problem of weak transmission or simply inadequate set-top equipment.' Reader Jim Kushner says: 'I have that same problem of sound going on and off, usually a few minutes after turning the decoder on. Changing channels isn't necessary; just quick-push the unit off and on again. But why do we need to do that? Verrrrrrrrry annoying!' PCCW did not provide any explanation for the problems but reassured customers that it is constantly trying to upgrade its services. 'We continuously upgrade the performance of NOW Broadband TV,' a spokesman said. 'We have just completed the latest software upgrade to customers' set-top boxes [STBs] recently. This was aimed at further improving the overall viewing experience of our customers. As the world's leading IPTV provider, we continue to bring new services to our customers such as the recent NOW Select interactive service [where customers can choose and watch their programme whenever they want]. 'While adding new services to the market, we will continue to ensure we deliver the best experience to our customers.' Hans Ebert, EMI Music Southeast Asia boss and also a NOW TV customer, has previously offered a quick fix on the problems in a letter to the Post. Switch to another channel, then switch back to the one you were watching. Alternatively, switch off the STB and switch it back on. A viewer may need to do this repeatedly if the problems persist. Billy Gibson of Sham Tseng has had cigarette smoke blown in his face so often at 7-Eleven stores he wants to know whether or not customers are in fact allowed to smoke. 'Being a regular customer of 7-Eleven convenience stores throughout the length and breadth of Hong Kong, I have noticed on several occasions smoking within 7-Eleven stores being tolerated by the staff, many of which sell hot food over the counter,' he wrote. 'Being unclear about the law, I have asked staff to clarify their company policy relating to this matter and have been advised that smoking is banned in all 7-Eleven stores. 'Despite highlighting the fact that smokers are present in their stores, I feel disappointed that no member of staff has to date enforced the company policy. In the smokers' defence, it appears that no signs are present highlighting the fact that smoking is not permitted on 7-Eleven premises. 'I also feel disappointed that no one within the 7-Eleven group has responded to my complaint that I raised on their website. I, along with the majority of the public, including the smokers, would be obliged if a representative of the 7-Eleven organisation could clarify the following points through these channels: Is smoking permitted in 7-Eleven stores, including those that sell hot cooked food over open counters? If smoking is not permitted, why do staff members fail to enforce the rule? What powers do staff members have to enforce it?' Contrary to what store staff said to Mr Gibson, 7-Eleven said its customers are allowed to smoke in its stores. 'Thank you for your e-mail to 7-Eleven relating to the smoking policy at 7-Eleven stores in Hong Kong,' a spokesman said. 'The laws of Hong Kong currently provide us with no legal authority to stop people from smoking in our stores and we also have no such policy to prohibit customers from smoking in our stores. We apologise for the misunderstanding of our staff in this case and will focus our staff training on handling customer inquiries in a more customer-friendly manner. 'We do appreciate your comments and will do our very best to provide the best service to all our customers. If you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us at uhavesay@7-Eleven. com.hk.'