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I LOVE technology…BUT… (Part 1)

As a fairly slow adopter of “new technologies” in the early nineties in the last 20 years I have embraced it fully – even if some of it still seems like “magic” to me.

About 3-4 years ago my IT guy took my phone, loaded an app and then tapped our phones together and a photo from his phone was suddenly on MY phone. I’m like WOW!!!

And the vast majority of said technology improves efficiency and (should) add to the customer service experience.

BUT…sometimes all it does is create WHAT…???…!!! moments…

So, to todays rant…

I took my little girl last week to see the new movie “Sing” (recommended by the way – much better than the reviews I saw!) and booked and paid for the tickets on line. Basically I do all the work, saving the cinema time and, presumably, wages in the process. I don’t mind – it means I don’t have to wait in a queue.

BUT…having saved the company money I REALLY object to having to pay a “Booking fee”!!!

I checked some other cinemas and the booking fee isn’t even a standard amount – it ranges from 30c ticket to 90c per ticket. At the higher end that means, effectively, a “tax” on me doing all the work of 5%.

If this is UNavoidable, like our good friend GST, then build it into the goddam price!!!

Now whilst I appreciate that there is an upfront cost to the company of setting the whole thing up – that IS a one-off cost and my IT contacts tell that this cost, for a small independent cinema could be anywhere between $2000-4000.

So, based on an average of $3000 set-up and average booking fee of 60c then the first 5000 customers have paid for the system – ANYONE after that is just profit (minus the minimal cost of maintenance)

At the risk of repeating myself – if this is UNavoidable then build it into the goddam price!!!

Then, the very next day, I’m trying to book a Ghost Tour, again for my little girl, (who is desperately hoping to see zombies in Toowong Cemetery!). The tour in question, promoted on the Brisbane City website, is not showing on the company’s hyperlinked website, so I call and leave the traditional voice mail.

I get a call back while I’m out-and-about and the very nice guy does all the booking for me over the phone.

So far, so good – until we come to paying!

I can pay online if I’m in front of my computer – which I’m not – at no extra cost.

OR – I can pay by credit card – BUT…that will cost be $3.50 on a purchase valued at $34.00

When I challenged why I was being charged more than 10% just to pay by credit card (NOT Amex or Diners, by the way) I was told, and I quote, “That’s what the credit card company charges us”

Now that’s just a blatant lie isn’t it…???…!!!

Depending on volume, most credit card providers charge retailers 1.5-2.0% – and, by the way, we, as consumers NEVER had to pay that prior the GFC. Certainly not as a separate charge. But then suddenly everyone was charging everyone for everything.

But 10%REALLY…???

I can only assume (dangerous, I know) that this is because I’m not doing ALL the work by paying online and actually asking the company to do some work by accepting my payment by phone.

Don’t you just love technology…???…!!!

(Part 2 on its way later this week…I just need to calm down first)

ALAN

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