I sometimes wonder why businesses bother investing in technology since they are still so hopelessly inefficient. Take Ford for instance. I had a letter from them last week telling me that there might be a problem of water getting into the motor of my rear wiper and would I mind awfully taking it into a dealer to be checked out.
So far, so good. They knew I had one of their cars, they knew where I lived and they let me know I might have a problem. So I phoned the dealer where I bought the car, explained about the letter and asked when I could bring it in.
“Hmmm, let me see,” he said, a keyboard tapping in the background, “Tuesday 3.15 is the next available slot,” and I agreed to take it. The point to bear in mind is the keyboard – he was doing this on a computer screen. He hadn’t reached for his Lett’s desk diary to literally pencil me in. He had used technology.
Anyway, I arrived at the appointed hour and waved the letter under the receptionist’s nose. “Were we expecting you?” she asked and I told her about making the appointment by phone the previous Saturday.
“Ah!” she said as if that explained everything. “If you only booked it on Saturday it wouldn’t have reached our system yet.” What? Does that mean that the bloke who gave me such a precise appointment time had put my details into a computer, printed them off and then posted them to his own service department? What was the point of the technology?
The upshot is that I’d left work early for nothing (not in itself a bad thing) and have to go through the whole rigmarole again a week on Saturday. Somehow the receptionist’s apology wasn’t nearly enough.