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Why Plaxo is a huge pile of poo
by Bruce Ure at 11:36 17/08/11 (Blogs::Bruce)
Been trying their 'Platinum' service to keep iPhone, iPad, GMail, Google Apps Mail, and a number of Macs' address books all in sync.

Turns out it's a huge pile of poo, partly because their own contacts interface is of piss-poor design, full of bugs and runs like treacle, but mainly because the inter-device sync itself is very far from the claimed "live" or "instant".

Here is my support chat log, if you can be arsed:

11:00:28 System says, Connected to cschat.plaxo.com
11:00:28 System says, Session ID: 41660
11:00:28 bruce says, Initial Question/Comment: Speed of sync
11:00:39 System says, Plaxo Support - Roy has joined this session!
11:00:39 System says, Connected with Plaxo Support - Roy

11:00:54 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Hello Bruce,
11:00:54 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Thank you for using Plaxo Customer Care LiveChat. How may I help you today?

11:01:55 bruce says, Hi Roy. How quickly should I expect Plaxo to sync to my google apps email account? I added a contact via the Plaxo address book about 10 minutes ago, and it's still not in my google apps mail account. I thought it was a push system, that was ...
11:02:03 bruce says, effectively instant?

11:02:46 Plaxo Support - Roy says, I will surely assist you with this.
11:02:46 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Before we continue, may I have the email address registered with Plaxo?

11:02:57 bruce says, [my email address]

11:03:31 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Thank you.
11:03:46 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Please give me two to three minutes while I check the records.

11:03:52 bruce says, ok thanks

11:08:56 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Thank you for your patience.

11:09:04 bruce says, no prob

11:10:01 Plaxo Support - Roy says, May I know the number of contacts in your Google account?

11:11:13 bruce says, The "My Contacts" group contains 680. There are about 1800 more but they are not in that group and Plaxo ignores them (as intended)

11:11:31 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Okay.
11:12:01 Plaxo Support - Roy says, The sync process does take some time depending on the server time between Google and Plaxo.
11:12:51 Plaxo Support - Roy says, I would request you to give the sync process some time and check again if the sync is completed.

11:13:17 bruce says, So it's not supposed to be instant then? How long? 30 minutes?

11:13:56 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Sometimes it may take longer than 30 mins as well.
11:14:16 Plaxo Support - Roy says, You can also delete and recreate the Google sync point, as this refreshes the sync info.

11:14:42 bruce says, Er... your web site says "With live 2-way synchronization, the updates you make at any sync point are instantly available from all sync points"

11:16:52 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Yes, I understand. However, since the sync process itself is time variable, it is not always possible for the sync to complete instantly.
11:17:28 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Instant updates occur mainly when you add/delete/edit certain contacts or events.
11:17:46 Plaxo Support - Roy says, In which case only a small amount of data has to be synced
11:17:58 Plaxo Support - Roy says, which results in instantaneous sync.

11:18:54 bruce says, Yes but I only added one contact, and you're saying it could be more than 30 minutes -- how is that "instantly available from all sync points"?

11:20:11 Plaxo Support - Roy says, I'm sorry Bruce. What I meant is, the sync process can take more than 30 mins, but that depends on the server time between Google and Plaxo.

11:21:15 bruce says, So it's kicked off the sync operation immediately, but it could take 30 minutes -- is that correct?

11:21:52 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Yes, that is correct.
11:22:05 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Is there anything else I may assist you with?

11:23:27 bruce says, I don't understand why that would be, as it's not a difficult task... not much data transferring, and not much processor needed. However if that is the way..
11:24:03 bruce says, it is, then Plaxo is not going to work for me. Also I find the text on the web site to be very misleading.
11:24:25 bruce says, Anyway thanks for your time.

11:24:42 Plaxo Support - Roy says, I understand Bruce, and I apologize for the inconvenience.
11:25:02 Plaxo Support - Roy says, I will forward this as a feedback to our product development team.

11:25:12 bruce says, Thanks. Bye for now.

11:25:22 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Thank you for using Plaxo Customer Care Live Chat.
11:25:34 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Have a great day!
11:25:34 Plaxo Support - Roy says, Bye.

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Why Plaxo is a huge pile of poo Bruce Ure - 11:36 17/08/11
Re: Why Plaxo is a huge pile of poo Julian Freeman - 15:38 18/08/11
I gave up on Plaxo ages ago.


Re: Why Plaxo is a huge pile of poo Steve - 17:23 18/08/11
I use Listerine instead.


- Deleted User Account - 19:12 18/08/11
Re: Why Plaxo is a huge pile of poo Bruce Ure - 20:28 18/08/11
Yes, Clifford.

"Hellooooooh.... --- poooffff"

Excellent ad.


Re: Why Plaxo is a huge pile of poo Bruce Ure - 20:38 18/08/11
Do you use something else instead? I've started trying Soocial and despite several reviews saying it's the poor cousin of Plaxo, I think it's immediately far better.

I am wondering, though, whether it will work having the iPhone sync contacts with gmail (via an iphone exchange account) and then gmail with Soocial, or use the clunky (non-integrated) App, the same approach as Plaxo used, to sync gmail direct to soocial. Any useful input on that?

I am trying to sync 2 gmail accounts (one gmail and one google apps mail) , iPhone, iPad, and numerous macs.

If I edit on the phone, it updates gmail via exchange, gmail updates soocial, which updates everything else.

OR, update on iPhone via soocial, and it updates everything else. Sounds simpler, and it's push rather than scheduled for the gmail updates, but the iPhone soocial app is such a PITA.

Maybe I'm thinking too hard about this.


- Deleted User Account - 20:42 18/08/11