Always look at the bright side



  • This is the second time I'm writing this, because stupid Mac OSX doesn't have home=beginning of line and end=end of line, and instead prefers cmd+left or cmd+right, which coincidentally happens to be the same as go back/forward in Firefox. Not my day...

    So, to the story. We're evaluating a couple of outsourcing partners in India. My key initial requirements was:

    a) First meeting will be a video conference
    and
    b) Audio only meetings should be with Skype or other VoIP; GSM is simply not acceptable

    So, the first company had a video conference on Skype, no problems, everyone happy. The other one... first, they had great trouble setting up a Skype call for the initial sales pitch. They ended up on speakerphone. Later, they admitted that they had a company wide policy prohibiting Skype. And basically any other electronic communication besides e-mail. We suggested Lync, GTalk, MSN, even IRC.. but it obviously was very difficult. It wasn't really a problem, they stressed, it was just that protocol had to be followed and that took a few days.

    So today, we had a kick-off meeting for the test project. On speakerphone, of course. No-one understood anything (wow, really?) and my colleague had to put the phone to her ear when presenting so that they could hear what she was saying. That particular company had a sales office in our area, so a sales guy from there was present at our meeting and actually worked as a translator between us and them (we all spoke English, mind you). We would say something, they would say "Sorry, can't hear", and the sales guy would pick up the phone and say "don't worry Marpasagarasamblam, it's ok, we'll take it later".

    Afterwards, when the call was done, he apologized for the lack of proper communication technology, saying it was "only a matter of time" and that it should be fixed until next meeting. I wasn't very impressed to put it mildly, but then my boss says: "I think this is great. This is an opportunity for us to work together on a problem and work out the best solution. We have an obstacle here and only together can we overcome it. I think this will work out great!"

    Why do I bother..



  • @arh said:

    Afterwards, when the call was done, he apologized for the lack of proper communication technology, saying it was "only a matter of time" and that it should be fixed until next meeting. I wasn't very impressed to put it mildly, but then my boss says: "I think this is great. This is an opportunity for us to work together on a problem and work out the best solution. We have an obstacle here and only together can we overcome it. I think this will work out great!"

    Is your boss a sarcastic bastard and/or skilled at deadpan humour? If so, you are TRWTF. Otherwise, he is.

    I'm guessing the latter.



  • @arh said:

    I wasn't very impressed to put it mildly, but then my boss says: "I think this is great. This is an opportunity for us to work together on a problem and work out the best solution. We have an obstacle here and only together can we overcome it. I think this will work out great!"

    I don't know about you, but this is why I got into software engineering: to help third worlders figure out how to use fucking video conferencing software. The big money isn't in quickly and competently designing and implementing a useful product, oh no; the big money is in shaving pennies here and there by outsourcing to incompetent shitheads who you have to babysit non-stop and who spend half the time doing the wrong fucking thing that you then have to clean up.

    Yeah, I work with some Nageshes, why do you ask?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @arh said:
    I wasn't very impressed to put it mildly, but then my boss says: "I think this is great. This is an opportunity for us to work together on a problem and work out the best solution. We have an obstacle here and only together can we overcome it. I think this will work out great!"

    I don't know about you, but this is why I got into software engineering: to help third worlders figure out how to use fucking video conferencing software. The big money isn't in quickly and competently designing and implementing a useful product, oh no; the big money is in shaving pennies here and there by outsourcing to incompetent shitheads who you have to babysit non-stop and who spend half the time doing the wrong fucking thing that you then have to clean up.

    Yeah, I work with some Nageshes, why do you ask?

     

     

    To be fair, when the video conferencing finally works I tend to discover that they are in fact humans just like you and me. However, when listening to someone talk through a straw with a 10 second lag, it's pretty impossible to come off sounding intelligent. Makes me wonder why so many have problems with things not going to spec, or why they thought you said "delete everything" instead of "repeat everything"..



  • Ugh.  No one should have any trouble with getting Skype to work.

    Just a few days ago I had a video chat with my brother, who's in Russia right now (long story), on Skype.  I'm in Seattle.  We had a lot to catch up on (it's been about 6 months since I've seen him) and we talked for about an hour.  The call was clean, both audio and video, with minimal lag, and the framerate was decent and consistent throughout.  If I hadn't known where he was, I'd have never guessed I was talking with someone literally halfway around the world.

    If Skype can do that, why would anyone want to prohibit it?



  • @arh said:

    To be fair, when the video conferencing finally works I tend to discover that they are in fact humans just like you and me.

    Of course they're humans. They're underskilled, underpaid, underqualified humans, but I know they're humans. I'm not saying they should be carted off to the gas chambers, I'm saying that "I know, instead of hiring 2 good programmers I'll hire 10 mediocre Indians for the salary of one good programmer, then hire one good programmer to babysit them," is an awful idea. I'm not even saying there aren't good programmers in India; for all I know, some of the best programmers in the world may be in India. But those aren't the guys you're hiring for $800 /month; no, you're getting Nagesh.

    Believe me, I've had plenty of experience dealing with this. I've spent hours cleaning up toxic code because somebody didn't bother to read the clear, detailed instructions I gave them. Or spending an hour explaining why it's not a good idea to concatenate GET vars into a query without using any escaping. Or trying to get them to understand that multiple requests are executed at the same time, so you can't just create a temp file like /tmp/mystuff.tmp in the web app because it will get corrupted. Or...



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    Ugh.  No one should have any trouble with getting Skype to work.

    Just a few days ago I had a video chat with my brother, who's in Russia right now (long story), on Skype.  I'm in Seattle.  We had a lot to catch up on (it's been about 6 months since I've seen him) and we talked for about an hour.  The call was clean, both audio and video, with minimal lag, and the framerate was decent and consistent throughout.  If I hadn't known where he was, I'd have never guessed I was talking with someone literally halfway around the world.

    If Skype can do that, why would anyone want to prohibit it?

    Well, I assume this is a big IT shop that doesn't want a bunch of their employees installing and running arbitrary IM clients on their desktop. And if they can convince IT to install it, it's got to be rolled out to the whole network. None of that seems WTFy to me. What does seem WTFy is that a large IT outsourcing shop has no videoconferencing installed at all.

    Edit: I should also point out that, AFAIK, Skype is a consumer-level program. So this stuff is running off Skype's public servers and there's no way for IT to log conversations. Each user has to create their own, personal account that isn't managed by IT. Most IT departments aren't going to be happy with that.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Edit: I should also point out that, AFAIK, Skype is a consumer-level program. So this stuff is running off Skype's public servers and there's no way for IT to log conversations. Each user has to create their own, personal account that isn't managed by IT. Most IT departments aren't going to be happy with that.

    There is also a flip-side that is potentially even more important...There is no real security on Skype (and many other IM type programs intended for consumers). For general conversations, who would want to listen anyway, and if someone doees, what are they going to do about it. On the otherhand, where significant business is going to be discussed (especially confidential intellectual property) the risk can be significant. This is especially true when the calls originate from a well known corporate IP address and occur at regularly scheduled times.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    There is also a flip-side that is potentially even more important...There is no real security on Skype (and many other IM type programs intended for consumers).

    Wrong. All Skype video, phone calls and IMs are encrypted with 256-bit AES. It may be possible for Skype itself to intercept certain communications, though. Also, the Skype program itself has several properties which make it questionable from a corporate network perspective (it's basically P2P and relays traffic for conversations the node is not involved in).



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Edit: I should also point out that, AFAIK, Skype is a consumer-level program. So this stuff is running off Skype's public servers and there's no way for IT to log conversations. Each user has to create their own, personal account that isn't managed by IT. Most IT departments aren't going to be happy with that.

    There is also a flip-side that is potentially even more important...There is no real security on Skype (and many other IM type programs intended for consumers). For general conversations, who would want to listen anyway, and if someone doees, what are they going to do about it. On the otherhand, where significant business is going to be discussed (especially confidential intellectual property) the risk can be significant. This is especially true when the calls originate from a well known corporate IP address and occur at regularly scheduled times.

    Yes, Skype has reputation of being one huge security hole. But they didn't limit the technology and there is a lot of VoIP software using SIP+SRTP where the call is encrypted and the company can install their own SIP server to do the relaying, so they can secure it and have control over it. Big company would probably use Microsoft Office Communicator (in my previous job, which was a huge company, we had that and in this job, which is small company, we use Skype for most, but also have Office Communicator, because it does better job sharing screen), but there are more clients, some even free that support encrypted audio/video using SRTP with SIP signalling.

    And Skype calls are in fact encrypted too and now that Microsoft bought it they won't want any big affairs, so it's probably as trustworthy as any other Microsoft software anyway.



  • Skype's a piece of shit
    When you look at it
    Skype's a laugh and IM's a joke, it's true.
    You'll see it's all a show
    Keep 'em laughing as you go
    Just remember that the last laugh is on you.

    And...



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    But those aren't the guys you're hiring for $800 /month; no, you're getting Nagesh
     

    Exactly, and this comes to show how STUPID a manager who proposes this kind of setup is. Good developers are hard to find anywhere, in India, China, etc. You get what you pay for.



  • @arh said:

    This is the second time I'm writing this, because stupid Mac OSX doesn't have home=beginning of line and end=end of line, and instead prefers cmd+left or cmd+right, which coincidentally happens to be the same as go back/forward in Firefox. Not my day...

    It may not be a huge help to you, but basic emacs keybindings work all over the place in OS X, so Ctrl-A and Ctrl-E move the cursor to the start and end of the line.

    @arh said:

    Later, they admitted that they had a company wide policy prohibiting Skype. And basically any other electronic communication besides e-mail. We suggested Lync, GTalk, MSN, even IRC.. but it obviously was very difficult. It wasn't really a problem, they stressed, it was just that protocol had to be followed and that took a few days.

    Oh fuck. I've played this game in various forms, and it never seems to work out well. I would definitely not work with the people you were talking to, because anyone worth shit would have worked around the policy by now.


    Companies with policies that restrictive either get fuck all done, or end up with clandestine networks set up by their employees so they can actually do some work.



  • @arh said:

    On speakerphone, of course.

    I have meetings with people on speakerphone all the time. Is the problem that phones suck in India? Phones suck wherever you are? Is there a problem with the signal between you (wherever you are) and India? Are they doing the call from the bathroom?



  • I suppose Cisco WebEx is out of the question for both your companies? Our company recently had a two-hour high-level pow-wow/demo from a Major Supplier of helpdesk software and all of us who might end up using it were sent a link to view and comment on the recorded shenanigans. I hadn't had any exposure to WebEx prior to this, but it looked pretty decent and was certainly capable of keeping up a three-way audio link without any lag etc., as well as live demos of their software. (Sorry if this post breaches TDWTF policy by mentioning some software that's Not Too Bad™!)



  • @boomzilla said:

    @arh said:
    On speakerphone, of course.

    I have meetings with people on speakerphone all the time. Is the problem that phones suck in India? Phones suck wherever you are? Is there a problem with the signal between you (wherever you are) and India? Are they doing the call from the bathroom?

     

     Speakerphone always suck. Maybe you use landlines or something, but no-one has fixed telephony anymore and even then it's pretty difficult to understand. Come on, it's 2012 and people are still using GSM? What a fail. If i pick up the phone and hold it to my ear or use handsfree, then maybe I can make some sense of them (as long as they do the same, of course). But when the phone is on the table and participants are 0.5-1m away, it's impossible.



  • @arh said:

    Speakerphone always suck.

    Yes, they're worse than holding a handset up to your head. Or wearing a headset. But, um, they generally work well enough so that you can understand the other people.

    @arh said:

    Maybe you use landlines or something, but no-one has fixed telephony anymore and even then it's pretty difficult to understand.

    Sorry, given that you were outsourcing to India, I assumed you weren't in an underdeveloped area.

    @arh said:

    Come on, it's 2012 and people are still using GSM?

    Pshaw. CDMA!

    @arh said:

    But when the phone is on the table and participants are 0.5-1m away, it's impossible.

    Or maybe you just need a reasonable phone?



  • @boomzilla said:

    @arh said:
    Speakerphone always suck.

    Yes, they're worse than holding a handset up to your head. Or wearing a headset. But, um, they generally work well enough so that you can understand the other people.

    Sure, to some extent.. as long as they speak clearly without too thick an accent. In which case, they probably work in your office.

    @boomzilla said:

    @arh said:
    Maybe you use landlines or something, but no-one has fixed telephony anymore and even then it's pretty difficult to understand.

    Sorry, given that you were outsourcing to India, I assumed you weren't in an underdeveloped area.

    Zing! Actually, it's more like overdeveloped. They're ramping down fixed services in favour of VoIP, especially in remote areas because of the high maintenance cost. Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    @boomzilla said:

    @arh said:
    But when the phone is on the table and participants are 0.5-1m away, it's impossible.

    Or maybe you just need a reasonable phone?

     

    iPhones are made of metal forged in the depths of Cybertron and thus eternally powerful (at least until the next model comes out), I thought that was an established fact?



  • @arh said:

    Zing! Actually, it's more like overdeveloped. They're ramping down fixed services in favour of VoIP, especially in remote areas because of the high maintenance cost. Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    A lot of US "fixed telephony" is mostly VOIP at this point, at least at the implementation level. To the user, it's just picking up a phone and dialing as normal. I don't think we can be held responsible for the shortcomings of your banking system.

    @arh said:

    iPhones are made of metal forged in the depths of Cybertron and thus eternally powerful (at least until the next model comes out), I thought that was an established fact?

    Yes, but that's not the same as being a good phone for having, y'know, phone conversations.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @arh said:

    Zing! Actually, it's more like overdeveloped. They're ramping down fixed services in favour of VoIP, especially in remote areas because of the high maintenance cost. Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    A lot of US "fixed telephony" is mostly VOIP at this point, at least at the implementation level. To the user, it's just picking up a phone and dialing as normal. I don't think we can be held responsible for the [b]shortcomings of your banking system[/b].

    .

     

     

    At this point it's kind of impossible not to start flaming.

     



  • @arh said:

    At this point it's kind of impossible not to start flaming.

    Yes, I find it difficult to change the past, too.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @arh said:
    At this point it's kind of impossible not to start flaming.

    Yes, I find it difficult to change the past, too.

     

    Your mother!



  • @arh said:

    Mac OSX doesn't have home=beginning of line and end=end of line, and instead prefers cmd+left or cmd+right, which coincidentally happens to be the same as go back/forward in Firefox
    That's a bigger WTF than the rest of your story.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    @arh said:

    Mac OSX doesn't have home=beginning of line and end=end of line, and instead prefers cmd+left or cmd+right, which coincidentally happens to be the same as go back/forward in Firefox

    That's a bigger WTF than the rest of your story.

    I never realized how often I use Home and End while coding, until I started using OSX and XCode and found that Home and End go to the beginning or end of the document instead of the line. I've deleted entire code files that way, just expecting to nuke the current line. They also don't seem to let you scroll past words using Ctrl-arrow keys like you can in Windows/Visual Studio. Taking my hand off the keyboard to use the mouse to change my cursor location is so much slower.



  • @mott555 said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @arh said:

    Mac OSX doesn't have home=beginning of line and end=end of line, and instead prefers cmd+left or cmd+right, which coincidentally happens to be the same as go back/forward in Firefox

    That's a bigger WTF than the rest of your story.

    I never realized how often I use Home and End while coding, until I started using OSX and XCode and found that Home and End go to the beginning or end of the document instead of the line. I've deleted entire code files that way, just expecting to nuke the current line. They also don't seem to let you scroll past words using Ctrl-arrow keys like you can in Windows/Visual Studio. Taking my hand off the keyboard to use the mouse to change my cursor location is so much slower.

     

     

    Oh my god, don't get me started. I take my hat off for anyone who actually manages to develop in XCode, especially when coming from Visual Studio. I used XCode about 10 minutes before deciding to continue with MonoTouch, and every time I try "going native" I end up with the same decision. AppCode is better, but still.. it's like going back in time and start waiting for the present.

     



  • @arh said:

    @mott555 said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @arh said:

    Mac OSX doesn't have home=beginning of line and end=end of line, and instead prefers cmd+left or cmd+right, which coincidentally happens to be the same as go back/forward in Firefox

    That's a bigger WTF than the rest of your story.

    I never realized how often I use Home and End while coding, until I started using OSX and XCode and found that Home and End go to the beginning or end of the document instead of the line. I've deleted entire code files that way, just expecting to nuke the current line. They also don't seem to let you scroll past words using Ctrl-arrow keys like you can in Windows/Visual Studio. Taking my hand off the keyboard to use the mouse to change my cursor location is so much slower.

     

     

    Oh my god, don't get me started. I take my hat off for anyone who actually manages to develop in XCode, especially when coming from Visual Studio. I used XCode about 10 minutes before deciding to continue with MonoTouch, and every time I try "going native" I end up with the same decision. AppCode is better, but still.. it's like going back in time and start waiting for the present.

     

    You can set up your own bindings, you know. It's in the prefs. All of the functionality you want is there, just take 5 minutes to set up your environment how you like it.



  • @dcardani said:

    You can set up your own bindings, you know. It's in the prefs. All of the functionality you want is there, just take 5 minutes to set up your environment how you like it.

    Yeah, but if you're overpaying for a computer you'd think they'd at least get the fucking keyboard to work properly without user intervention. Really, the keyboard fiasco is just the beginning of your woes; it's merely a concise example of what a clusterfuck of failure Apple is when it comes to building software. I'd be more angry except that I know Steve Jobs is spending the rest of eternity getting butt-raped by Satan, so that eases my pain.



  • @boomzilla said:

    A lot of US "fixed telephony" is mostly VOIP at this point, at least at the implementation level.

    My experiences with business VoIP were awful. We looked at service from the cable company, but their sales people didn't even know they sold VoIP, and when they finally found the pricing info it was $40 per-phone per-month.

    So we went with a hosted solution. The calls sounded like shit and dropped sporadically (maybe 1 drop per 10 hours of talk time). I later found out that almost all VoIP providers re-compress the streams, which is what causes the shitty-sounding calls.

    The other option was to run our own Asterisk box and buy a leased line. But if we're buying a leased line, we may as well go with real phones.

    And the Cisco phones themselves were a big pile of shit. We only had around a dozen but at least 2 needed to be rebooted a week. They'd simply stop working or the date and time would get wildly out-of-sync. And there were the times we had to reboot all the phones several times and spend hours on the phone with customer support, AKA "daylight savings time changes". The hilarious thing about those was that the phone wouldn't just stay with the old time, 1 hour out-of-sync. No, it would jump 12 hours ahead or behind for no discernible reason.

    After our CEO got a dropped call on a very expensive sales call, he demanded we go back to real phones with a leased line.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    t I know Steve Jobs is spending the rest of eternity getting butt-raped by Satan

    I thought that Steve Jobs was Satan :(



  • @arh said:

    Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    So how do you pay rent or make large purchases from an individual?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know about you, but this is why I got into software engineering: to help third worlders figure out how to use fucking video conferencing software. The big money isn't in quickly and competently designing and implementing a useful product, oh no; the big money is in shaving pennies here and there by outsourcing to incompetent shitheads who you have to babysit non-stop and who spend half the time doing the wrong fucking thing that you then have to clean up.

    Yeah, I work with some Nageshes, why do you ask?

    Must be some small setup. Video conf in existence in my company since 2005. No problem. What is matter with using skype? I am not understanding. Also if you feel outsourcing require baby-sitting, it is clear you are not giving clear instruction.

    Do you think we are mind-reader people? I know we are land of mystical being and all that cartoon stuff you see in Hollywood, but nobody can read mind. Now face reading is different matter. We can read face, but I need to take clear look at your face from HiDef television. Any smallish twitch and I can see what you are real and what you are projecting. So stop blaming your poor communication issues on Nageshes of this universe. If you don't want to do any baby sitting, make sure you send clear instruction in mail.

    Also if you are finding trouble understand accent, then ask twice what is being said. I don't stop asking my client, so you should not be feeling shameful in asking either.



  • @Nagesh said:

    Also if you feel outsourcing require baby-sitting, it is clear you are not giving clear instruction.

    Overseeing any sort of development requires baby-sitting. It's just a lot harder when you're many time zones away.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Edit: I should also point out that, AFAIK, Skype is a consumer-level program. So this stuff is running off Skype's public servers and there's no way for IT to log conversations. Each user has to create their own, personal account that isn't managed by IT. Most IT departments aren't going to be happy with that.

    Speaking ex cathedra from 11 years in an IT department, the other problem with Skype is that it's peer-to-peer, so you're an idiot if you're using it in any situation where you need any assurance of quality of service (business calls, college admissions interviews, etc.). You might as well flip a coin to see whether you want to be able to see and hear the other party that day.



  • @Nagesh said:

    Now face reading is different matter. We can read face, but I need to take clear look at your face from HiDef television. Any smallish twitch and I can see what you are real and what you are projecting.

    Oh my God. Nagesh, you owe me a new monitor now. xD

    Bonus quote: @Nagesh said:

    Filed under: blame go both ways.

    Extra hilarity.



  • @heterodox said:

    Speaking ex cathedra from 11 years in an IT department, the other problem with Skype is that it's peer-to-peer, so you're an idiot if you're using it in any situation where you need any assurance of quality of service (business calls, college admissions interviews, etc.). You might as well flip a coin to see whether you want to be able to see and hear the other party that day.

    Microsoft's added a ton of permanent servers since the acquisition. It's still peer-to-peer, but (supposedly) the big disastrous collapses of the Skype network can't happen anymore, because there's enough permanent server power in reserve to keep the system running even if all the peers reboot simultaneously.

    It just occurred to me as I was typing that that Skype's peer-to-peer system needs a certain amount "base load" to stay running just like a power grid. Huh.



  • I feel lucky, only our hosting provider is outsourced to India. So, when (not if) they fuck up, it's only our production servers affected. We don't have to deal with the 18-hour latency except when our clients are losing money hand over fist.

    Regarding speakerphones, it sounds as if either you or they need better phones. We use speaker phone all the time (over our VoIP system, even), without having any trouble. Of course, both parties generally speak English (except when dealing with the aforementioned hosting provider), so that has something to do with it?.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @arh said:
    Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    So how do you pay rent or make large purchases from an individual?

     

    I log in at my bank. Most of my bills get delivered online so I just press "ok" on those I want to pay, or they get deducted automatically if I choose so. If I were to get a paper invoice I just enter the details and pay it. If I buy something from an individual he gives me his account number and I transfer the required amount. I was under the impression that you also have online banking in the states, I don't think it's that much different, except that it's much more embraced here. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    So how do you pay rent or make large purchases from an individual?
    Usually by bank transfer (which you can even set so it's done [gasp!] automatically), or if you're old-fashioned, with cash. I haven't seen a cheque for at least 15 years, probably more (not counting the few unused cheques my sister brought with her after studying in the US last year).



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    So how do you pay rent or make large purchases from an individual?

    Goats?



  • @Nagesh said:

    Also if you feel outsourcing require baby-sitting, it is clear you are not giving clear instruction.

    Do you think we are mind-reader people?

    I didn't ask for mind-reading, I asked for someone who has a very basic competency at programming and who understands "complex" topics like, you know, SQL injection and XSS. This is the kind of stuff the Nageshes of the universe don't understand and it's why I have to babysit them, watching check-ins like a hawk to make sure they didn't fuck up again.



  • @arh said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @arh said:
    Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    So how do you pay rent or make large purchases from an individual?

     

    I log in at my bank. Most of my bills get delivered online so I just press "ok" on those I want to pay, or they get deducted automatically if I choose so. If I were to get a paper invoice I just enter the details and pay it. If I buy something from an individual he gives me his account number and I transfer the required amount. I was under the impression that you also have online banking in the states, I don't think it's that much different, except that it's much more embraced here. 

    The only thing I pay for by cheque (here in Canada) is my rent, since Joe Q. Landlord is not going to register to receive online payments. My phone and cable bills are done online. Also, we're not too big on sharing account numbers with other people here.



  • @arh said:

    Most of my bills get delivered online so I just press "ok" on those I want to pay, or they get deducted automatically if I choose so.

    Wow, I do that, too.

    @arh said:

    If I buy something from an individual he gives me his account number and I transfer the required amount.

    Soo.. people just hand you their routing and account numbers? And they trust that you are going to transfer the money after you take the purchase? Wow, which country do you live in, again? I bet I could really clean up with all the suckers there.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @arh said:
    If I buy something from an individual he gives me his account number and I transfer the required amount.

    Soo.. people just hand you their routing and account numbers? And they trust that you are going to transfer the money after you take the purchase? Wow, which country do you live in, again? I bet I could really clean up with all the suckers there.

    To be fair, these are the exact same problems you have with personal cheques.



  • @ender said:

    Usually by bank transfer (which you can even set so it's done [gasp!] automatically), or if you're old-fashioned, with cash.

    Cash? What fucking century are you living in that you sincerely think paying cash is better than check?



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    My phone and cable bills are done online.

    Yeah, that's pretty normal. We're not talking about e-bills, though. As for rent, my online banking had some sort of "send a payment" thing which I could set up to automatically deduct each month. I'm not sure of the mechanism, but I think they just printed a check and sent it to the landlord.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    @arh said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @arh said:
    Fixed telephony is almost like paying with a checkbook, except that the latter hasn't been possible here since the mid 90s (back at you, US citizens).

    So how do you pay rent or make large purchases from an individual?

     

    I log in at my bank. Most of my bills get delivered online so I just press "ok" on those I want to pay, or they get deducted automatically if I choose so. If I were to get a paper invoice I just enter the details and pay it. If I buy something from an individual he gives me his account number and I transfer the required amount. I was under the impression that you also have online banking in the states, I don't think it's that much different, except that it's much more embraced here.

    The only thing I pay for by cheque (here in Canada) is my rent, since Joe Q. Landlord is not going to register to receive online payments. My phone and cable bills are done online. Also, we're not too big on sharing account numbers with other people here.

     

    My landlord actually accepts online payments. :P

     



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    To be fair, these are the exact same problems you have with personal cheques.

    But not a cashier's check. And it's pretty hard to defraud someone with a personal check (although it can happen). What's to stop me from "buying" something from someone, asking for their bank details and then never sending payment? I can write a bad check, but: 1) I'm (likely) giving the seller my info; 2) the checks themselves give some level of authenticity; 3) check fraud is a felony and it's a lot easier to prove with a bad check--proving that someone said they'd transfer money when they didn't is difficult; 4) the seller can call the bank to confirm the account before giving me my purchase; 5) the seller can insist on a cashier's check (which is pretty standard for any large purchase).



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @arh said:
    If I buy something from an individual he gives me his account number and I transfer the required amount.

    Soo.. people just hand you their routing and account numbers? And they trust that you are going to transfer the money after you take the purchase? Wow, which country do you live in, again? I bet I could really clean up with all the suckers there.

    To be fair, these are the exact same problems you have with personal cheques.

     

     No, when you make the transfer it takes max an hour before it's on the other person's account; if you have the same bank it happens instantly. Checques require paper and going to the bank and stuff, seriously, that's too much hassle for my generation. Besides, you don't know if it will bounce or whatever.

    Trust usually isn't any problem, if it's an online marketplace then they have their methods, like eBay. And if it's in person, then they see you do the transfer and you get the money. The whole point is doing stuff with paper is very tedious and if you ever tried writing a cheque to anyone, private or business, they probably wouldn't accept it.

    Someone talked about routing numbers.. We don't have that stuff here, just account numbers. All banks are centralized which is why e-bills will come to you regardless of what bank you're using. Same with login - if you use these things where you press a button and get a number (what's it called?) you can login to any bank you're a member of.

     And if you have another person's bank account number, so what? The worst thing you can do is deposit money :)

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @pkmnfrk said:
    To be fair, these are the exact same problems you have with personal cheques.

    But not a cashier's check. And it's pretty hard to defraud someone with a personal check (although it can happen). What's to stop me from "buying" something from someone, asking for their bank details and then never sending payment? I can write a bad check, but: 1) I'm (likely) giving the seller my info; 2) the checks themselves give some level of authenticity; 3) check fraud is a felony and it's a lot easier to prove with a bad check--proving that someone said they'd transfer money when they didn't is difficult; 4) the seller can call the bank to confirm the account before giving me my purchase; 5) the seller can insist on a cashier's check (which is pretty standard for any large purchase).

     

     

    Fraud? Over here, that's usually only done by gypsies from eastern europe. We're working on it.



  • @pkmnfrk said:

    The only thing I pay for by cheque (here in Canada) is my rent, since Joe Q. Landlord is not going to register to receive online payments.
    Here if you have a bank account, you can receive payments.
    @morbiuswilters said:
    Soo.. people just hand you their routing and account numbers?
    Since we moved to IBAN, the routing and account number difference have been pretty much forgotten - you just give an IBAN number (which does contain both of those, but nobody cares - even before IBAN you always needed both to make transfers anyway).
    @morbiuswilters said:
    And they trust that you are going to transfer the money after you take the purchase?
    ...or before - or you do it in front of them, and they check that the money has arrived immediately.


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