Thursday's Child...

Thursday – 13 October 2011
It’s a sunny No Bad News Technical Friday. The morning started with a frozen mocha and doughnuts. Personally, I think that’s a great way to kick off the last day of the work week.

It’s pretty much common knowledge that I appreciate good customer service. A few months ago, I signed up for a digital subscription to a model railroading magazine. One of the features that swayed my decision was the ability to download issues of the magazine. Win. Win.

Or so I thought until I actually tried to download an issue.

It turns out that the third-party company who distributes the digital copy uses Google Gears as their medium. Gears is being deprecated next year. So, I emailed the third-party and received the following a week later:

[THIRD PARTY] is aware that Google Gears is no longer supported by Google.  The publisher, however, at this time  has not yet opted to include the optional pdf downloadable version.

Well, okay then. And then I promptly forgot about it…

…until I got a notification that the new issue of the magazine was available. This time, I emailed the magazine directly — the subscription manager… and the editor-in-chief… and the publisher — with my question. Barely 24 hours later, I got a response from the magazine’s publisher:

The Firefox/Google Gears issue is relatively new. We have been waiting to see if [THIRD PARTY] develops an alternative solution. If they do not, we may have to offer a PDF download.

Okay. That’s all well and good, but doesn’t really give me much to go on. Still, I replied. I noted that I appreciated that the publisher took time to personally respond and that I hoped that they found a reasonable substitute for their current digital model. A few hours later, I received another response:


A couple of things…

First off, “Mr. Melvin” was my father. No need to be that formal with me.

Secondly, thanks for the kind words about the magazine. I’m glad you are enjoying our work.

We’ll make an announcement about the download problem soon.

And it was sent, as best I can figure, from his home – not his office. Nice. And it seemed to indicate that the digital download issue would be addressed with a little more urgency than “…we’re just waiting to see what happens.” I can live with that.

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