Bonum Certa Men Certa

Hiding Behind Call Centre Staff and Contradictions/Lies (Lying to the Customers) to Protect Microsoft From 'Embarrassment'?

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Mar 22, 2024,
updated Mar 22, 2024

90 hours later... no callback (Monday 8AM to Friday 2AM)

It's been an amazing couple of days running our third Hackathon event, in collaboration with Microsoft and Tata Consultancy Services. We saw more than 100 colleagues brainstorm, plan and create 15 amazing tech solutions addressing key challenges to our organisation right now and the future of retail. This year, we hacked three themes: 👾 Artificial Intelligence 💼 Careers 🔮 Future of Sainsbury’s Our hackathons offer the opportunity for our colleagues to take the best ideas and thinking from conception through to full solution, delivering innovative ways we can improve the retail experience in real-world applications, for our stores and our business. And finally, a huge congratulations to the winning team:

TODAY or tomorrow I'll publish a video that includes 3 recordings about what we believe to be Microsoft Windows TCO, or conversations regarding Sainsbury's and Sainsbury's To You [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] going 'offline' last weekend. I've been careful to document any speculation made in calls or posts, as I heard many contradictory statements from them. They told me they'd get back to me but didn't... then they said it can take up to 42 hours, then they said 72 hours. They keep giving totally contradictory statements of policy.

Very unprofessional.

I phoned to ask: 1) why no phoneback; 2) any NDA/Windows issues; 3) GDPR (UK) issues. So it was about quality of service, privacy, security, NDAs etc. There is overlap here with the Windows coverups, someone has said, as ransomware would not be an issue if they ran GNU/Linux at least not in its current state and even a few years of breathing room would save billions at least.

We ended up checking some details and it looks likely Microsoft works via TCS there (see screenshot at the top). Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) included? "All the articles at that link seem pro-Microsoft," an associate rightly noted (I had noticed the same thing), and TCS is probably a Microsoft reseller in this case. "Interesting," moreover is that "they actively block Tor Browser Bundle (TBB). Yep, TBB is blocked by Sainsbury's."

To me, the NDAs part is the most interesting. We want to see the nature of Microsoft NDAs and whether they're legal at all.

Secrecy has no place in a democratic society.

To take an example, Gitlab and GitHub both have financial issues (shares of Gitlab Inc fell 51.97% since the company started as "public"). According to Indian press, the staff at GitHub that Microsoft is getting rid of is made to sign Non-Disparagement Agreements (another kind of NDAs) on the way out.

While we could never find out relative (%) share of Gitlab and GitHub, it's not hard to see they don't do well financially and when staff is laid off they compel the staff to keep quiet or face unpleasant consequences.

"Non-Disparagement Agreements in exchange for severance is illegal in the US," Ryan has told me. "Plenty of employers still do it though because they're hoping the employee doesn't know that and keeps their mouth shut."

"Non-Disclosure Agreements are another matter though," an associate says. "And though non-disparagement clauses are illegal, they are still very, very common and keep people cowed."

We have reasons to suspect that Sainsbury's had an incident far more severe than the media is reporting. We'll cover the details in the next post on this topic.

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