This weekend represents the two year birthday of this freelancing lark which for me is a resounding success. A few weeks ago I reached a milestone with the amount of jobs crossing my desk exceeded one hundred which was in itself a real celebration for Ruth and I. It seems like eons ago when I first started – remember this:
Over the past two years I have worked on some amazing projects with some amazing people and I have loved (almost) every single moment of it. Here’s some stats:
- Cups of tea consumed: 1600
- biscuits consumed: 1300
- Pints of water/squash: 1095
- Websites build: 19
- Vimeo Posts: 57
- Megabytes of video shot: 2725
- Hours of editing: 580
- Emails Sent: 3515
- Emails Read: 5857
- Hours spent on phone: 178
- Tweets sent: 2990
- Blog posts written: 14
- Hours spent staring out my window thinking: 134
- Post-its used: 264
- Tracks listened to: 13824
- Freelancers used: 5
- Part Timers hired: 1
So what’s next? Well – I want to continue and I want to grow the business.
I don’t really know anything about growing a business but I do know that we feel compelled to keep going and to see what happens. We’ve always held lightly to our ambitions and wanted to give more room to organic growth and f course to see what God’s hand in all of this might be.
My hopes are to grow and collaborate a lot more this year. There are still different types of projects I want to do and have yet had the pleasure. I want to combine the great network of professionals I’m connected with. I want to make the business sustainable so I can support a family! I want to create some AMAZING things!
Over the next few months I’ll be looking at bigger business plans, networking opportunities that doesn’t suck, and possibly some rebranding!
A while back I had the idea of a giveaway to celebrate the fact that I’ve had a lot of work on.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
The guys at New Wine hit the sweet spot their timing was perfect which feels great as they have been a brilliant regular client over the last 2 years and I thank them greatly for this.
You can see the finished “Women and Leadership Promo” here.
Header image source: smailtronic
Work has gone quite well since beginning back in August 2011. We’re still not earning huge amounts but its been growing steadily. This has been massively encouraging and I’ve loved every minute of it…..except the minutes that were really stressful!
I operate a job numbering system to help me keep track of invoices, estimates and jobs. We are fast approaching job number 100. This represents a great success for me and to celebrate this I decided to have a celebratory give-away! Why 101? 101 is 1 more than 100 and it looks better.
As more work comes in, the project that lands on job number 101 will get £101 pounds off the final invoice of the project.*
So spread the word that digitalcreative.tv is moving upwards and onwards and let people know that I’m keen to help with their digital projects!
*This offer can only be applied to jobs that consist of 4 days of work or more. I, as Mark Robinson Digital Creative, make all and final decisions on how and who the offer is given to. The winner of the give-away will be announced on the website.
Over the past 2 weeks from 13th May I knew my contract was coming up for renewal so I started to think about what I would want to do next. I’ve been thinking about getting a Galaxy Note II as it would fulfil all my requirements and more!
My current contract, which I originally signed back in August 2008, is as follows:
18 Month Contract Samsung Galaxy S2 White Loyalty Discount 10% Cross Net Mins 700 Texts 100 Unlimited Landline Unlimited Data Insurance £6 p/m Orange Wed saves us: £216.00
I admit that this contract by todays standards is incredible and impossible to beat so I have been thinking that Orange might try and bully me out of it. When you think the mighty EE was launched in the last 12 months it would be no wonder really. I decided to log on to the website to see if I was in fact due to finish my contract and to see what I would be eligible for. This would mark the beginning of the current farce that is my upgrading/renewal experience.
I logged on to the website and followed the links towards the upgrade process and to my delight I was informed that I would be able to upgrade straightaway. I would also get to increase my loyalty discount from 10% to 15%. The image below shows all the handsets offered to me and you will see which ones are free and yes the NOTE II is free!
LOOKING GOOD ORANGE!
Due to my experience with Orange I decided I would call them up rather than risking doing anything on the website because, lets face it, their website performs about as well as a vegetarian zombie chasing a brainless rhino.
On the 31st May, having rechecked the offer on the website, I decided that based on this information I should go for it so I rang them but there was a problem. I’m not referring to the usual “inability to listen” characteristic so common with Orange customer service advisers. I joined Orange in September 2002 so I’m well used to them.
No The problem was that the offer on the website was not available to me from the guy on the phone. The best he could offer me was the same contract but the phone would cost be £79.99! When I asked him about the website offer he told me that if I tried to process that order that I would not even get to the checkout page as this offer should not be offered to me. He was unable to give any reasonable answer as to why this was the case. I decided I would try going back to the website to check so while he was still on the line I processed my order, got to the checkout page and successfully placed my order.
The chap was quite surprised and we agreed that there was no point in continuing the call as I had successfully placed my order and it appeared he was wrong. So the wait began…. …then ended the following day with a text message:
This was not good! I decided to try on the website again. The original website offer was still there so I tried again but was immediately met with an error once I tried to checkout so it meant another phone call was in order.
So it’s Monday, 3rd June 2013 at 7:30pm. I call now because I think if I can get the order processed before 9pm I might get it delivered the following day. At this stage I have created a spreadsheet comparing the cost of handsets and the offset with contracts which shows clearly that charging me for a handset is silly but I paid £50 for my S2 so I’d be happy to pay that. My aim is to get a better offer or the web offer.
The chap I got through to was less than helpful. Now I don’t like name calling so I won’t go there but the best way to describe his demeanour was obnoxious. I explained that I had had some difficulties and this somehow seemed to upset him but I can cope with that so ignore his short unhelpful answers but when we get to the crunch I am stumped! The long and short of it was that he said that categorically I would not be allowed to upgrade at all. He said that in no uncertain terms would I EVER get a phone upgrade from Orange on my current contract and that I should go buy my own phone because I would not be able to get one through Orange…..
I asked him some questions about this and tried to get some details of what Orange would offer me. This involved him having to check his system and refresh it to see what was on offer and then we got cut off…..I’m not so sure he didn’t cut me off on purpose but that would be speculation so lets leave it there.
I recorded these conversations so I have them on file – overkill I know but just want a record of it all.
Offer 4 & 5 – This time from someone helpful.
So having been cut off and very frustrated at the information given I had to call back which I did within minutes and this time I got on to a chap that was MUCH more helpful!
- Best offer with Orange –
- Same contract but phone would now cost £129.00
- Second Offer –
- 24 Month EE Contract EE £36p/m
- Free Note 2
- £3 addon fo 3GB data
- 10% Loyalty discount carried over.
Both of these offers have been added to my file so that I can go back to them. I’m wondering what will happen if I let my contract roll over a few months till the Note 3 coves out. Will there be better offers?
Insuring the final blow
While looking at all the options I followed up with one last question. I had already looked on the EE website to see my options and I processed an order right up to the checkout point. Insurance was going to be £8p/m which I thought was an acceptable hike up from the current £6 p/m.
Alas this was to be yet another surprise. As with their own tradition, the website and actual price were to be very different. The advisor told me that the insurance would actually be £14p/m…
I guess we’ll be looking elsewhere for insurance.
You would think that Orange might want to treat it’s long term customers with some sort of dignity and not like something annoying on the bottom of a show. The thing that is most troubling is that I have had different information from 3 individual agents and from the website.
At the end of the day – I don’t want more than I’m due but if an offer is made I expect Orange to stick with it. They seem to have no consistency and for a communications giant – they still suck at communications.
I’m left feeling like Panda:
Be sure to checkout my soon to finish “OrangeFail” tag! I’m gonna hope it doesn’t tun into a “EE-OrangeFail” tag instead.
I manage and run a few websites for different clients and along with that is dealing with the spam that some of them get hit with. I have tools to deal with spam and usually only about 3-5% gets through the net.
This morning one of those slippery blighters got through then net which resulted in me literally coughing out a very audible giggle in the middle of the queue in the post-office.
Here is a screen grab of said email:
This made my day – what’s been making yours?
It’s the tenth WordPress of the awesome and brilliant WordPress platform.
WordPress has been a key tool for me over the past few years and has become an essential tool in my a**enal. I use it for both personal and professional clients and it has been the platform on which this site has been based since 2007.
I am so grateful for the amazing software and the fact that it is totally free and open-source.
Have some photos of our ride this afternoon ion Richmond park to celebrate – this stuff is the reason I started blogging in the first place: