It’s time to Live Creative

Life is more exciting when you D.I.Y.

Melissa and I are starting a new spot to show our more interesting projects around the house, and this is where we are going to put them. Take a look, get some ideas, and explore your own creative side.

Visit Live Creative

My take on technology

In addition to the Live Creative blog, I am trying to rekindle the Technobabel site for my more technical posts. Things like predictions on upcoming gadgets, reviews of different products, and technology-based challenges and solutions that come up in my day-to-day life. I mean, heck, I work it and live it so it is time to start to share it.

Technobabel

RBC Bank (US) Online Banking Failure

Recent changes to the RBC Bank (US) online banking website have really been making me upset. Most of my issues or cosmetic or basic usability issues which are likely a result that I do this for a living, however, today I was pushed over the top.

Recently, it turns out we made a payment from an account that did not have the funds available (wrong pulldown selection from a screen where the fund available are not listed) — and after the payment which failed they changed an NSF fee. No warning! – No Notice! – Not Acceptable. Worse yet, after the first attempt failed the credit card then attempted to pull the payment a second time a couple days later which caused a second NSF fee. — No notice! No authorization!. So now we are down $70 … before we even noticed there was a problem. And it was us who noticed by seeing the NSF fees being posted to our account – for all we know at this time, the credit card company was going to attempt to pull the payment yet again. Don’t know.

My two issues here:

(1) The original issue was caused due to a missing “if” statement on the website to verify funds were available to make the payment – something that would have been caught at Teller. As someone who does this for a living this is a failure of the website and is completely unacceptable today. THIS IS A BUG and charging fees against customers is completely unacceptable when it could have been prevented.

(2) A re-attempt at payment should only have been done after authorization, or it should have been flagged with “fee already assessed”. This should really be illegal!

Technology is suppose to make things easier, cheaper, faster. Online banking should look to provide an improved the banking experience. At the moment, the RBC US Banking website is failing completely on this front — and worse it has taken many steps backwards from where they were just a year ago. Seriously — things have gotten worse.

USER ERRORS ARE STILL BUGS!

This is the first time I am serious considering changing banks … for now I am waiting to see how they handle this customer support. But I would really want to see is (1) reversal of all fees (from both the account and any potential CC fees) and (2) I want a conversation with the software team currently in charge of their website — they need some serious help.

Take me out to the ball game

This past Sunday, I took the boys out to the ballgame with tickets purchased through their school. Interestingly, it was a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Toronto Blue Jays – so we also took the flag up for fun 🙂

Though I am not much for baseballs slower pace; we all had a great time. The most exciting came in the first inning where a home run was hit and landed not 6 rows directly in front of us. What a way to start the game, however, it took until the 8th before the Rays brought home a couple more runs.

But Joe jumped around with the Canadian flag, getting great reaction from those around us (we were in a section from his school). And Owen talked and played a lot with one of the kids from his class. We sat and drank juice and enjoyed cotton candy and ice cream under the big lights of the ball park.

Joe also seemed interested in how the game worked, how it was scored, and what all the different stats were. And both seems quite engaged with the game and what was happening on the field. Helps that Joe was cheering for the Jays while Owen was siding with the Rays (and the fans around him).

At the end of the day, the boys had a chance to take the field and run the bases, and the place is impressive from down on the grass.

Really, for a boys day out of the house you could not get much better. When is hockey starting again?

First days of school

So it is that time of the year again and the boys are headed back to school. This year Owen enters Kindergarten and finally joins his brother, something he has been looking forward to for two years. But after a couple months of summer it was chaotic trying to leave the house on that first day – parents had homework eaten by the computer, lunches needed to be made, and once again we had to wake up to an alarm which ended up not working (or at least the waking us up didn’t work). But two boys, all excited about returning to school, were up with beds made eating breakfast by the time mom and dad arrived on the scene.

Saddened to leave the boys, Melissa didn’t leave the school grounds until the afternoon. Now, truth be told she as “volunteering” but I am sure that was only the excuse 🙂   We both joined the boys for their lunch break at which time I was finally able to remove the mother from school property and take her shopping – distractions work!

On the second day we got a call that Owen had gotten sick, running a fever of 101°. Which got him a day off from classes – and back home to comfort his mother.

For Joe, one that second day we woke up to him all dressed up – shirt & tie. Funny enough, he matched his dad which made drop off at the school fun 🙂 He so enjoyed looking his best and as you can see by the two RRR stickers awarded – he is doing his best as well.

Both boys are excited to be back at school, and now a few days in we are starting to find our groove. The boys have a morning checklist to things that need doing, mom and dad are having a 5-10 minute coffee on the lanai to start things going, and we are all working as a team to get out the door. Looking forward to this year!