I was planning to start the day with some remarks on the obnoxious Margaret Thatcher, who died yesterday - an obituary I've ben writing in my head for several years. But when I opened Firefox to get into Blogger this morning, instead of my usual home page - set to Google - I was greeted by the Chinese version of this:
After my initial WTF reaction, I tried opening my other two browsers, Chrome and IE, only to find the same thing - appropriately labelled "PCCW Force Portal" - in all of them. Attempts to bypass it by closing and reopening, and by opening new tabs, proved fruitless, with each new tab just popping up another copy of the same screen.
Finally I was forced to respond to the offer from PCCW (declining it, of course - I am not giving these clowns any additional opportunity to mess with my system; in fact I didn't even read the details of whatever scheme they were trying to push, I just wanted them off my screen) in order to get rid of the damn thing, and eventually got a screen graciously permitting me to go about my usual online business:
So why did this happen? PCCW's subsidiary Netvigator is my Internet Service Provider, and while others have good cause
to hate them, I've generally found their service OK. But I don't recall ever signing anything that gave PCCW boss Richard Li the right to override my system settings and hijack all three browsers on my system with his unsolicited advertising. If PCCW want to contact me, they have my email address. This is outrageous - contrary to all the rules of netiquette and totally unacceptable - in fact I shall look into making a formal complaint to OFTA about it.
And while I'm bashing PCCW, I received a letter from them recently (they know where I live, too, if they want to contact me) using all the standard meaningless PR buzzwords: "Thank you for choosing HKT as your telecommunications partner [i.e. phone company]. We constantly strive to provide the best customer experience through service excellence." before going on to say: "In order to cope with increasing costs and continue to offer high standards of service quality, we would like to inform you that the monthly service fee for Local Business telephone Services will have to be adjusted with effect from May 1, 2013."
Why can't businesses (not just PCCW) just be honest and say they are "raising" their fees, instead of always using the weasel word "adjusted". When was the last time you saw a fee adjusted downward?