Once upon a time the whole e-mail notification thing was really neat. I would place a bid, I would get an e-mail right then and there. If someone outbid me, I would also get e-mail immediately. Lately though, I've noticed that eBay isn't doing that anymore. Apparently since they came up with their "eBay notices" service which uses M$ Passport, sending e-mails right away isn't important.
I don't get it. An immediate e-mail notification worked fine for letting me know what was going on. If I have a particularly cool phone, PDA, or computer, I get a message telling me I have e-mail and the subject says "outbid..." I therefore have an option about what to do. No big deal. Why then do we need this new "service" that does what eBay was already doing?
In the last week or so, I've lost 2 auctions because I didn't get notified about an outbid a few hours before the auction ended. Heck, I don't even get the e-mail confirmation that I placed the bid promptly anymore. I've had people e-mail me to tell me I won before getting that (let alone the e-mail saying I won the auction).
This is one reason why I've never been big on really really new cutting edge things. Its one thing for a Beta product, or a prototype to have some really cool bells an whistles that are being tested out. Its another thing entirely to scrap one thing in favor of the "new & improved" (isn't that an oxymoron?) thing, or to make substantial changes "just because".
With products its annoying, but not that bad. If I bought a certain type of car, and then they stop producing it, or they radically change the design and I don't like it, well I can just keep my old car/computer/widget. I suspect this is part of my attraction to old/classic/antique stuff. There are some old things out there that are just made really really well.
When it comes to services though, I'm starting to get really pissed. My cable company adds 15 channels that I have absolutely no interest in and raises my bill by $5 a month and yet they can't guarantee me that out of 100 channels they will have a UPN affiliate (for Buffy, Enterprise, and Special Unit 2 viewing). The City decides that in order to get a certain type of permit, I have to do the paperwork (4th floor), then pay (cashier, 1st floor), then go back and let them photocopy the receipt because they're having problems with people not paying (ummm... Hello? Revoke the permit and do the 2x re-fee... The next time they try to do anything, they have to pay 2x before they are even allowed to do the paperwork)
grumble, grumble, grumble.....