Systems for people

people systems

Like millions of people I am often frustrated by badly constructed computer systems. To be fair most of the apps I use are brilliant (WordPress included) and have intuitive user interfaces. But occasionally you run into a piece of crap that does your head in.

I recently tried to buy tickets for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The opening selection pages were fine, I picked rugby sevens final day and opted for two tickets. The message telling me that there were no two consecutive seats available was repeated even for an unreserved standing area. I was advised to ring their Sales team. The guy on the phone was enthusiastically helpful until he tried to get me any tickets, then he and I both lost the will to live – no sale.

At Christmas I used the GAME website to buy a PS3 and GTA bundle. It kept asking for bank details at the end of my purchase selection, but my order was not showing. I contacted their Helpdesk who told me that the order hadn’t gone through because I hadn’t told them my date of birth, and the game was for over 18s. This didn’t stop them taking £600 of me (3 times the price) and delaying my refund for over a month – at Christmas! Repeated emails were necessary to get anything done and needless to say I won’t be doing business with them again.

On a positive note, the Keepod, based on the Android operating system, is being used to help schools in Africa go online. The USB flash drive priced at under £5 will make a real difference to the lives of thousands of schoolchildren by linking unwanted computer hardware to the Internet and opening up a world of information.

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