Posts filed under “Corporate Management”

Obnoxious Dell Pre-Installs

Time for a rant:  This is one of those things that makes me look at Dell and wonder WTF happened to their vaunted customer service. I blame either a) a McKinsey ("the people who brought you Enron:™ ") -type consultant, or 2) some jackass MBA.

Dell no longer "delights" their customers — at least not this one. They have become a commodity supplier of low cost goods, which are IMO spyware/popup infected.

Seriously, who is the Putz that greenlighted this collection of obnoxious sales pitches?

- Type in a bad address, and instead of Google, you are directed to a Google like page with ads for Dell’s products (see below);

- Print anything, and the default printer utility will launch a sales pitch on toner;

Someone should fire that bastard. Hardly delightful day after day.

Here are the fixes:

To delete the printer pop up, you must uninstall the printer software, and then uncheck a box during the install process. Not only did it take a Dell tech support person an hour to figure that out, but it guaranteed that my next printer will be an HP. (Morons).

The other McKinsey/MBA type abrasiveness is this stupidity below. Mistype an address, or leave any site that auto refreshes (WSJ, TheStreet.com, Briefing), and you get a Dell/Google co-branded sales page.

Go away.

To remove that program, go to the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs. Look for the application named "Browser Address Error Redirector" or it may be called "GoogleAFE". Select "Uninstall."

btw, I do not recall giving permission for that to be installed. (Jerks)

If the sales / marketing people at HP had any smarts, they would be paying attention to these sorts of customer service rants. The shame is, the machine — once the obnoxious-ware was uninstalled — is a reliable screamer. 

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This sort of poor customer experience will certainly make me hesitate before  if I order something from Dell again . . .

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Dell

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For prior discussions on this topic, see Consumer Issues and Investors and  Consumer Issues (Feedback)

Hey! Your cranky when your off the meds!

Category: Corporate Management, Retail, Technology

CEO Options: Luck — or something else?

The WSJ streak of taking very interesting columns and hiding them on Saturday continues.

Yesterday, they asked: Are some CEOs reaping millions by landing stock options when they are most valuable amatter of dumb luck — or something else?

Excerpt:

"On a summer day in 2002, shares of
Affiliated Computer Services Inc. sank to their lowest level in a year.
Oddly, that was good news for Chief Executive Jeffrey Rich.

His
annual grant of stock options was dated that day, entitling him to buy
stock at that price for years. Had they been dated a week later, when
the stock was 27% higher, they’d have been far less rewarding. It was
the same through much of Mr. Rich’s tenure: In a striking pattern, all
six of his stock-option grants from 1995 to 2002 were dated just before
a rise in the stock price, often at the bottom of a steep drop.

Just
lucky? A Wall Street Journal analysis suggests the odds of this
happening by chance are extraordinarily remote — around one in 300
billion. The odds of winning the multistate Powerball lottery with a $1
ticket are one in 146 million.

Suspecting such patterns aren’t
due to chance, the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining
whether some option grants carry favorable grant dates for a different
reason: They were backdated. The SEC is understood to be looking at
about a dozen companies’ option grants with this in mind.

The
Journal’s analysis of grant dates and stock movements suggests the
problem may be broader. It identified several companies with wildly
improbable option-grant patterns. While this doesn’t prove chicanery,
it shows something very odd: Year after year, some companies’ top
executives received options on unusually propitious dates.

The
analysis bolsters recent academic work suggesting that backdating was
widespread, particularly from the start of the tech-stock boom in the
1990s through the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform act of 2002. If so,
it was another way some executives enriched themselves during the boom
at shareholders’ expense. And because options grants are long-lived,
some executives holding backdated grants from the late 1990s could
still profit from them today."

The chart below implies that the odds against these being random are quite high. (I guess Sarbanes Oxley didn’t root out all the corporate corruption after all).

Last week it was the mortgage resets, and this week its CEO Options. Great stories, buried on the front page — of the Saturday edition . . .

Source:
The Perfect Payday
CHARLES FORELLE and JAMES BANDLER
WSJ, March 18, 2006; Page A1
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114265075068802118.html

How the Journal Analyzed Stock-Option Grants
CHARLES FORELLE
WSJ, March 18, 2006; Page A5
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114265125895502125.html

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Category: Corporate Management, Data Analysis

Intel & the Patent Trolls

Category: Corporate Management, Intellectual Property, Technology

AT&T Merger

Category: Corporate Management

Home Depot CEO: Stunningly Clueless Regarding Employment

Category: Corporate Management

Does GM Hedge?

Category: Commodities, Corporate Management, Earnings

The Onion Once Again Foreshadows Reality

Category: Corporate Management, Financial Press

Beware of this stock: IDT

Category: Corporate Management

Sit Down & Shut Up

Category: Corporate Management, Financial Press