When it comes to our inevitable arrival at a paperless, all-digital world, I'm a big supporter. I really hate having to cart around a stack of cards and bits of paper when traveling, because it's entirely too easy to forget something or, even worse, lose something important.
The problem is that I'm constantly being met with failure in my attempts to "go digital."
Like today, for instance, as I attempt to fly to Boston.
First I go to reserve parking. The place I like best, SeaTac Park, has long had online reservations that can be verified with your email address instead of having to print out a confirmation. It's a great system. When it works...
This really sucks, because you can't get the best rate unless you pre-book online. I've brought it up the last three times I've parked there, but it never gets fixed. I always have to remind them again when I leave so I can get the discount and, if I forget, then I'm shit-out-of-luck.
But the problems don't stop there.
When I go to use Alaska Airlines' new "Passbook" feature on their iPhone app because Passbook is a really great iPhone feature, it won't let me...
This pisses me off because not only do I already have a Mileage Plan number on my account... but I also think it's fucking stupid that you're required to have one in the first place. What the hell does a mileage plan have to do with checking in for a flight? People fly without mileage plans every damn day.
So off I go to Alaska Airlines' website so I can add my mileage number back on my account. Except, when I get there, it won't let me. Apparently my account is invalid...
And so I'm forced to call customer service.
Only to find out that my mileage plan expired due to inactivity. "Well, can you reactivate it? I ask. "Only if you want to pay $75!" the customer service agent replies. "My miles are on Delta... why in the heck would I want to pay $75 to reactivate an account I don't use?" I ask, ready to explode. "If you don't, then you'll have to sign up for a new account." she says. Apparently miles don't expire... only the account which holds them, which makes perfect fucking sense!
So much for convenience in this wonderful digital age.
Because more often than not, the shit doesn't work. And the steps towards making it work are more complicated and time consuming than carrying cards and bits of paper.
I thought it would be easier than this.
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I’m with you Dave.
Paper receipts: throughout the day during my various retail transactions I feel as if I’m in a constant defensive posture… “no thank you, I don’t need a receipt… can you email me the receipt?… oh great you can email me the receipt thanks, let me use this 1995 era display to enter in my email… oh and I get a paper receipt in addition to the emailed one?, no thanks… are you able to recycle that for me?… “
And on and on it goes…
Looking forward to a truly digital world…
It’s marketing driven. I think lost companies don’t really care about customer convenience or going paperless unless they can glean more marketing targeted information from you in the process.