Clearnet, my mobile phone provider, has this cool new feature related to its text messaging–reminders! Yeah! All I do is log into “My Clearnet” on the Web, and there’s a place where I can type in a (maximum 20 characters) text reminder (like eat lunch! or whatever), then I tell it when to send the reminder. It’s just like any reminder thing you might have through your email client at the office or whatever.You can even set up recurring reminders to hit you every day, week, or month. Sounds pretty nifty, right?
There are two honking big problems with the service, which is a classic example of rushing a service to market before it’s ready, and of having a bad launch plan.
First and foremost, for some insane reason you are limited to storing only two reminders at a time. That’s it! If you have lunch on Wednesday, a movie on Thursday, and a meeting on Friday, you have to choose which one you won’t be reminded of, since it can only store two! Ten I could live with, but two???
Second and oh, so lamely, they don’t tell you about this limit!
Nowhere at all! So you go in there and enter your two reminder requests, then you enter a third one, and one of your others gets blown away without any warning! This is most definitely from the idiot school of feature implementation
I had such high hopes. You see, I don’t watch much TV, and as a result, I’m always forgetting to watch the few shows I like. So my plan was that my phone would remind me every Thursday to watch Survivor, and every Sunday to watch The Simpsons. OK, I can do that much, but I also wanted to be reminded to watch this movie, and that documentary, and this other special, etc.
And here’s the worst part–the one time it worked for me, the reminder came in not at 7:45 as I had requested but at 8:55, after the show was over! The phone drone at Clearnet blamed “network congestion” and said it’s “rare”. The second time I tried, the reminder never came through at all, because it had been bumped off when I put in a third reminder about a Newsworld Documentary I want to watch.
Whadda bunch of dopes.