Saturday, July 08, 2006

Information technology "applied"

I have to say that information technology "applied" in England disappointed me so far.
I had three experience that may me thought so:
1) NTL network (for internet). The technician came on Saturday early morning, giving me the modem.
I was supposed to set up the account by installing their software (which comes for windows and Mac, but not for Linux, so I was already discriminated... I had to use my wife's laptop). Anyway the pin code given to me looked to be wrong so I had to call the customer service. After several calls they told me that I need a new pin but I had to call the day after (Sunday) because that day the authentication server for generating pin codes was down. On Sunday I called again asking for a new pin and after a long call they told me my pin was right and it must work. It didn't so they pretend to go through the authentication procedure by phone and we did. We close the call and they said "in ten minutes it will work". It didn't. I called again. They told me a need a new pin (really?) but that is given by customer care and not by technical support. I have to call on Monday.
On Monday (I was at work) they told me that my pin was fine, they didn't believe me when I said it didn't, and they asked me to call them when I was sitting in front of the pc (I was at work at that time), since my pin MUST work. I was really disappointed so when I went home in the evening I've tried again the pin, which - surprise surprise - was not working.
Then I called the customer care and said: "I don't care what you think about my pin: it is not working and now I am really tired of calling you several times a day. Please give me back my money and come to pick up your modem".
Answer: "wait, we will give you a new pin". WHAT A GREAT IDEA!
It worked obviously....
I had to make all the phone calls using my mobile (I had just that) and it turned to be very very very expensive, considering that for every call I had to wait in a queue...

2) Internet banking (barcklays).
The authentication parameters worked the first time, then they didn't work anymore.
I called them and they sent me a new pin (new? was the same than before!)... which didn't work.
I went to the bank and the employee there called the technical support and that man asked me to follow every step for proper authentication in front of the bank employee, so to be sure that I was following the procedure properly.
I was amazed to be threaten as one who uses internet for the first time!
I followed their will. And it turned out that there was some problem with my pin code: really??? what a surprise!
They set for me new parameters and it worked.

3) Vodafone on-line billing.
I wanted to open this online service to monitor my billing and my current expenses.
By following the procedure online it didn't work.
First call proposal: recreate a new account, "it will work in 10 minutes". It didn't.
Second call: "now it will work, with this new pin". It didn't.
Third call: "bla.. bla...." I said: "wait a minute, is it possible that it doesn't work with other browser than Internet explorer?".
Answer: "of course not, our programs work with all browser!". Then I got suspicious. They didn't solve the problem.
Then, I closed the phone and I tried with Internet explorer, which worked...

Perhaps these problems happen to everyone in a normal day life.... but coming from Finland, where it is possible to purchase a tram ticket by sending an SMS, it looks to me that IT applied is not so efficient here... or not in all cases.

In the picture: a piece of technology that works in the same way wherever in the world.

No comments: