Why Won’t You Let Me Do What I Want To Do?
(In which I whine about my online user experience with various service providers).
The other day I attempted to top my mothers phone up with Meteor credit. A simple endeavor one would suppose? To be completely honest I was warm and comfortable and didn’t want to move or speak to anyone. I wanted to use the credit card in my hand to put credit on the phone. That was all I wanted.
Meteor offers various ways of adding credit to your phone. Buy it in a shop, buy it online, text a number or top up through Facebook. I wasn’t near a shop and didn’t have the phone to hand so I went to their website and tried to top up using the “Top Up Online” feature. However before I could use this I had to get a top up code, for which I had to call 1740. I went to the Facebook page but the advertised “Top Me Up” tab was either not there or cunningly disguised. So in defeat, I went and got the offending phone, walked until I found a quiet area and called 1740 and got a top up code. I was then prompted to speak to an operator, gave her my credit card details and asked for 20E top up. At the end of the call she asked if there was anything else she could help me with.
“Oh yeah, while I have you here, my Mum mentioned that she was being charged for data usage but she doesn’t have internet access on her phone so I don’t see how she could be accessing the internet,” I mentioned. I was given another number which I could call to complain about this. “Can’t you just look into it now?” I asked. No, no this lady was only available for topping up phones. Nothing more. “Could you just get someone to call me back about it?” I asked. This suggestion was treated with incredulous silence before a rather puzzled sounding “no, we don’t…do that”. Granted I was just being lazy but surely that is part of customer service?
An hour later the 20E credit still wasn’t on the phone. So eventually I just went to AIB online and topped up through my bank account. Which took me all of a minute.
(In Meteors defense I sent an irritated tweet while on hold to 1740 which was picked up on by a social media customer care team member called Bobby who provided as much help as he could with 140 characters).
From a user experience point of view I couldn’t understand why this had to be so convoluted. Vodafone and O2 allow you to top up using a credit card online so it can’t be a security feature. If phone companies are pushing their online side to encourage sales then why are they not rigorous testing the user experience? Who was in charge of testing the site and ensuring the customer had the quickest and easiest visit ever?
A constant bug bear of mine is the new leapcard for the Dublin tram system. It is cheaper than paying cash and means I can forgo my morning ritual of foraging for change behind the couch to rustle up bus fare. However I can only top it up by going into a shop and buying the credit. I could top up online but would need to go at least a half hour out of my way in order to activate said credit at either a tram or train station.
Again, why are you making it harder for me to do what I want to do? I’m online all the time and prefer paying bills, topping up accounts and doing other general household tasks online first thing in the morning so they are out of my way. Why can’t I just do that??
Have you had any similar experiences recently? I’m genuinely interested so please let me know!