Beware of Matrix

If you are travelling abroad and considering taking a Matrix Global SIM, avoid it.

I almost had a bad experience last time, but Matrix managed to solve it, as it was a billing related issue. I also gave a good review in sites like MouthShut.

This time, I took a card for Thailand, as I would be spending several hours there while in transit.

When I landed in Swarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, I switched on the mobile with the Matrix to inform my family that I had arrived safely. But all I got was a recorded message from the Thai mobile company saying my SIM card was not valid. The message asked me to contact ‘customer care’ but no number was given.

As I had taken the Matrix card, I had not bothered to activate roaming in any of my mobiles. I tried to use the airport WiFi, but the connectivity was extremely poor.

I spent the entire transit time of around four hours unable to contact my family.

It was the same during the return transit. What was worse, there was no way to contact Matrix as the SIM itself was not valid.

My family was also trying desperately to contact me. They had no way of knowing whether I had landed safely.

The shocker came when I returned to India and complained to Matrix. “We could have done something had you complained from Thailand. Sorry, we can’t waive your rental.”

I immediately went on Twitter tagging Matrix. Soon, I got a call and an email asking me to wait till the generation of bill. I replied to them that apart from the bill waiver, I was also expecting some compensation from Matrix for the mental trauma of losing all contact with my family.

When there was no response even after the generation of the bill, I sent Matrix an email. I got a reply that they would “look into it”.

But there was one more shocker the next day. Matrix had debited my credit card for the bill amount. I shot off another email to Matrix. I was assured that the rental would be waived. I again reminded about the compensation part. Matrix refused.

I once again went on Twitter and Facebook against Matrix. I filed a complaint with core.nic.in and alerted Akosha.

Soon, there was a call from Matrix asking me what compensation I expected. I said I was expecting a reasonable sum of Rs 5,000, considering the mental trauma faced by me and my family. After some time, I got an email offering me Rs 2,500 worth Matrix voucher.

Here was a customer getting fed up of Matrix, and Matrix was offering me a Matrix voucher. That too for half of what I had sought.

I replied to them rejecting the offer. Matrix replied back saying “As suggested, we have issued a compensation of Rs.2500 worth free talk time here, valid till 30th April, 2014, which is actually the best possible resolution we can offer. We do not issue cash rewards or cash discounts as a compensation and I am sure with you being well versed with Industry standards and norms, would be aware that product compensation is not rewarded in cash in such industry practices.”

I replied back: “I have not accepted the Rs 2,500 Matrix voucher for two reasons:

1. I am not a frequent traveller, and even if I travel on reporting assignments, I don’t think I am going to spend that much. You must also understand that I will go for Matrix only if I am satisfied with the response to my complaint.

2. Rs 5,000 is not big for a corporate like Matrix. I am not dealing with an individual who can’t pay. If it had been the case, I would have readily reduced the amount. I might have not even asked for Rs 2,500.

The amount is not much, as I had already said, considering that my family made numerous ISD calls trying to track me, and you would know how much ISD calls cost. So, the amount I have sought is not unreasonable.

I am not asking for rewards and discounts as you have mentioned. I am asking for compensation. If you don’t have a policy of compensating by cash, you can offer it by talktime in other networks (which is your area of operation), or gift vouchers.

And by offering a Matrix voucher, you are forcing a dissatisfied customer to go for a Matrix product again, which is not fair.”

That was the end of the conversation.

Matrix has come out as a totally insensitive company. I am waiting for the response to my complaint to core.nic.in and Akosha. The next step is to go to a consumer forum.

Tackling data transfer

(This article appeared in the Hindu Business Line)

The ease of transferring files between an Android phone and your computer could depend on what computer (or operating system) you are using. Though Microsoft’s Windows smartphones compete with Android, the Windows in your system will have no problem in recognising your Android. The same goes for Linux. The problem arises if you have a Mac. If you connect an iPhone, Mac will automatically open iTunes, but when it detects that a rival – Android – phone is being connected, it will refuse to connect and throw up errors.

This is where Android File Connect comes to your rescue. You have to download the Android File Connect utility from http://androidcom/filetransfer. After file is downloaded, double-click the file (androidfiletransfer.dmg). In the Installer window, drag Android File Transfer to Applications.When you connect your Android mobile for the first time, you have to open the application manually, but you never have to do it again.

You can now copy files between the Android mobile and the Mac using the utility.

If this sounds too complicated, there are apps such as AirDroid and Kies Air. These apps are cross platform and can be used with any operating system. AirDroid has a nice interface and connecting, transferring files or installing apps are so easy that you will wonder how you were managing without it.

.Open the AirDroid app in your phone, and key in the password at web.airdroid.com

.Or instead of keying in the password, you can scan the QR code in web.airdroid.com.

Once connected, you can transfer files between your mobile and the computer, manage contacts, view photos and videos that are in your phone. You can even install apps downloaded to the computer by using AirDroid.

Hotmail now supports push email, calendar, and contacts

Hotmail has introduced automatic push email, calendar and contacts sync with your smartphone.

If you have a Hotmail account, you can now get your email, calendar, and contacts pushed automatically to your phone using Exchange ActiveSync.

According to Hotmail,

EAS keeps everything in sync between your phone and Hotmail, so whatever you do on your phone, like delete an email, add an appointment, or update one of your contacts with a new number, will also be reflected on the web, and vice-versa.

If you use an email client on your PC that already syncs with Hotmail, like Outlook with the Outlook Connector or Windows Live Mail, what you do on your phone will show up there as well, delivering a seamless experience for managing your stuff between your PC email client, your browser, and your phone.

EAS is supported by over 300 million mobile devices worldwide, including some of the most popular Windows, Nokia, and Palm smartphones, as well as the iPhone and iPad.

Setup details:

Field Setting
Server / URL m.hotmail.com
Username Enter full email address, for example: someone@example.com
Domain Leave this blank
SSL Enable this
Certificate Accept the SSL certificate when prompted

Set up for specific makes:

Quick Steps

• If your device supports only one profile of ActiveSync, delete the existing ActiveSync profile on your device if you already use it
• Enter the following:
URL – m.hotmail.com
Username – Enter full name with domain info, e.g. john@hotmail.com
Domain – Leave blank (see Known Issues for some Nokia devices)
SSL – Enabled
Certificate – Accept the SSL certificate when prompted
Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks – All can be enabled.

Supported Devices

• The following devices have been tested against Hotmail ActiveSync
o WM 6.x
o WP7
o iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
o Nokia E-series, S-series, N-series running Mail for Exchange application

• More devices will be added to the above list over time.

• Users are welcome to try with other devices but support may be limited in the near term.
o Android Support: Hotmail team will add Android to list of supported devices in the coming months after testing is completed.
 Access from Android 2.1 is NOT supported due to known client issues on Android 2.1.
 There are users successfully syncing from Hotmail via the default application or the Touchdown application on Android 2.2.

WM 6.x Setup

The steps are identical between WM 6.1 and 6.5.  If deleting an existing profile, make sure to back up the data on the device before configuring the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access.

1. Click on “ActiveSync” under Start menu or under Programs.
2. Click on the link above to configure the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access. You may need to delete the existing profile if it is already in use.
3. Disable automatic detection of Exchange server settings.
4. Enter your full Hotmail address in User name field. Enter password. Leave Domain blank.
5. Enter m.hotmail.com in the Server address field.
6. Select the data to sync. Hotmail supports all 4 data types via ActiveSync.
7. The device will connect to Hotmail ActiveSync and perform an initial sync for the selected data.
8. Successful synchronization will result in device showing a screen like this.

iPhone Setup

The steps are similar for the iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad.  On a device that supports only a single ActiveSync profile, make sure to back up the data on the device before configuring the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access.

1. Click on Settings. Under Settings, click on “Mail, Contacts, Calendar”.
2. Click on “Add Account” in the Accounts page.
3. Click on “Microsoft Exchange” to configure Hotmail access.
4. Enter your full Hotmail email address in both Email and Username fields. Leave Domain blank. Enter your password. In the Description field, enter a name, e.g Hotmail.
5. Enter m.hotmail.com for the Server name.
6. If access succeeds, you will see this page. Select the data to sync. Click on Save.


Nokia Setup – Mail for Exchange

The following steps are for the Mail for Exchange application on most Nokia smartphones. If the existing ActiveSync profile is already in use, make sure to back up the data on the device before configuring the ActiveSync profile for Hotmail access.

1. Click on “Mail for Exchange” icon in the Application menu.
2. Click on “Sync mode”. You may need to delete the existing profile if already used to configure it for Hotmail access.
3. Enter your full Hotmail email address in Email address and Username fields.
4. Enter m.hotmail.com in the Exchange server field.
5. Select the Initial sync option for calendar, e.g. “Delete items on phone”.
6. Select the Initial sync option for tasks, e.g. “Delete items on phone”.
7. Select the Initial sync option for contacts, e.g. “Delete items on phone”.
8. Configure the Sync mode to be either push or pull at a specified interval.



ALL DEVICES

Set-Up
• Some devices support only 1 ActiveSync profile at present. On such devices, if the existing profile is already in use, it needs to be deleted before setting up Windows Live ActiveSync. The data will not be lost from the server for either profile. User can switch back and forth between the 2 profiles, albeit with some extra typing.

Mail

• Search on mail is not supported.
• When sending mail from the device, the send operation may sometimes fail if the server suspects suspicious Send activity from the account. User may see a message in the inbox asking the user to log into the browser to get unblocked. Until the user logs into the browser and follows the suggested steps upon login, send will be blocked from the device.
• A user can sync his Hotmail mailbox to multiple clients including ActiveSync clients on his mobile devices and DeltaSync clients like Windows Live Mail & Outlook Connector.  If the user has issues with a mail syncing client that was working previously, please contact Hotmail customer support to check if the limit on the number of sync relationships has been temporarily exceeded and if so, resolve it.
• Hotmail supports multiple nested folders with different parent folders and that share the same name. There is a known issue in handling “soft” deletes of nested folders with the same name. If the user wants to delete more than one nested folder with the same name, he should do so from the browser UI and not from the mobile device.

Contacts

• Search on contacts is not supported.
• Adding a birthday to a contact from the device and later editing it from the browser UI may sometimes cause the date to be moved by 1 day (ahead or later) due to time zone differences between the device and the server.
• When adding a picture to a contact from the device, the picture does not show up when viewing the contacts data on the browser. The picture metadata is visible only within the ActiveSync connection on the device.
• All of the contacts fields in the ActiveSync protocol do not map to supported contacts fields in Windows Live. All of the contacts fields in Windows Live do not map to supported fields in the ActiveSync protocol.

Calendar

• Many devices such as WM 6.x and Nokia support syncing only 1 calendar per profile.
• On devices that support syncing multiple calendars such as the iPhone, the user may see some shared calendars that are read-only. If a user attempts to add an event to a read-only calendar from the mobile device, the action will fail. On devices such as the iPhone, the event added to the read-only calendar will be deleted automatically and on some other devices, the device may retain a client copy. This is the client’s discretion.
• On Attendee’s device, Meeting Request’s Busy Status is always set as “Busy” regardless of the status set by Organizer.

iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

Mail

• iPhone is unable to download large attachments beyond 20MB. User will get a message that the attachment is too large to download when trying to sync a message with too large an attachment.
• Some attachments in messages synced to the iPhone may not download successfully. Apple Support Article: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1506
• Messages forwarded from a WM 6.x device and viewed on an iPhone cannot be viewed successfully. The original message is included as an attachment and cannot be opened.

Calendar

• When syncing multiple calendars, the user may see some shared calendars that are read-only. User cannot add an event to a read-only calendar; the action will fail. On the iPhone, the event added to the read-only calendar will be deleted automatically and on some other devices, the device may retain a client copy. This is the client’s discretion.
• Attendee cannot view a Meeting Request on iPhone if the meeting invite is an “.ics” attachment.
• When attendee changes RSVP status to a meeting invite, e.g. from Tentative to Accept, the attendee’s Busy status is not updated on the server. This is due to the command used by the iPhone to update the attendee’s RSVP status to the server.

Tasks

• Tasks are not supported.

Nokia

Set-Up

• Some Nokia devices cannot accept an empty Domain field during set-up. During set-up, enter at least a space and then after saving the profile, return to the “Credentials” section under “Options” to clear the “Domain” field for the set-up to succeed.

Mail

• For more details on mail related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes.
• There is a 200K limit on message body size when viewing messages synced via ActiveSync on most Nokia devices.
• HTML messages are not rendered properly. This is due to how the Nokia client requests for the message via ActiveSync version 2.5. Hotmail supports only EAS 2.5 at present.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user may not see a change in the mailbox till a new message is received in the mailbox.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user will see a message indicating that entire mailbox will need to be refreshed due to this setting being updated.
• Performance of the device may be affected if there are 500 or more emails in the Mail for Exchange Inbox. Avoid this by modifying the “Sync messages back” setting in the Mail for Exchange profile Email tab. The shortest setting is 1 day.

Contacts

• For more details on contacts related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes
• Not every contact field is synchronized. There is not a direct mapping between fields in the device’s phonebook application and the fields supported by the ActiveSync protocol.

Calendar

• For more details on calendar related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes
• User cannot create a Meeting Request from the device.
• When accepting/declining a meeting request on the device, the meeting originator will receive an email. There are a few scenarios where the tracking tab in their calendar meeting will not be correctly updated.
• Device doesn’t respect recurring events whose first instance is outside of the recurrence pattern.

Tasks

• For more details on tasks related issues on Mail For Exchange application on Nokia E and N series, refer to Nokia’s Mail for Exchange Release Notes
• Tasks on the phone must have a due date. If tasks are created on the server without a due date and are then synchronized to the phone a due date will be created for them. The due date added on the device will be the date the task was synchronized or if the server task has a reminder then the reminder date will be used.
• If there is a recurring task and the current occurrence is marked as completed on the device, the recurrence is not regenerated on the Exchange Server.

WM 6.x

Mail

• HTML messages are not rendered properly on Windows Mobile 6.x. This is due to how the 6.x client requests for the message via ActiveSync version 2.5. Hotmail supports only ActiveSync version 2.5 at present.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user may not see a change in the mailbox till a new message is received in the mailbox.
• When user changes the mail filter value, user will see a message indicating that entire mailbox will need to be refreshed due to this setting being updated.
• Mails, contacts and calendar events with Arabic or Japanese characters are not rendered correctly on WM 6.x.

Contacts

• GetItemEstimate always shows “1”, regardless of the number of contacts to be updated on the device.
• When adding/updating the “Notes” of a contact from WM 6.x, the changes do not get synced to the server.
• If user has previously set up the Windows Live application on the WM device to access Hotmail for the same account, and then sets up ActiveSync to access same account in Hotmail, he will see 2 copies of each contact.

Calendar

• RSVP (Accept/Tentative/Decline) buttons do not appear in Meeting Request mails sent from WM 6.x devices. The Meeting Request mails show up as regular email messages in the attendee’s mailbox.
• If Invitee deletes a meeting invite from the device and chooses to inform the Organizer via email, the Compose email window shows up, but the TO (recipient) line for the email is blank and does not show the organizer’s email address.
• GetItemEstimate always returns “1”, regardless of the number of events to be updated on the device.
• Device doesn’t respect recurring events whose first instance is outside of the recurrence pattern.
• Meeting cancelations or updates sent from WM 6.x devices may sometimes contain garbled characters when the cancelation/update is viewed in the browser mailbox.

WP7

Tasks

• Tasks are not supported.