You see I prefer to book flights and pay for stuff online. Probably because I hate standing in lines, are too lazy to drive to certain places, having to first look for parking and then search for the company and/or shop I need to be at. Once you finally arrived at the place, you have to stand in a queue for a further 20 minutes, then when you finally reach the front of the queue you also have to deal with the sales person’s personality and whatever their mood is like that day. Dealing with websites seems faster, easier and far less frustrating. Websites don’t have queues, don’t have moods, don’t have an attitude problem and they hardly ever bring out the bitch in me. Well, that is until something goes wrong!
Quite irate at that point I decided it was time to deal with a call centre, so I dialled the number and an automated voice advised me they were closed and I should try again during business hours the next day. After consulting with my sister-in-law who’s a travel agent (which a whole blog post on its own) I contacted the call centre the next morning. “Kenyan Airways, Orbit speaking, how may I help you?” the voice said (I kid you not the guy’s name was really Orbit!) “Orbit, your website is broken! I tried to pay for my flights and your website declined my VISA! Declinnned it!!!” Orbit told me to call the airline’s website’s office, but the catch was it was in Nairobi “The call could be quite expensive if you call from South Africa” Orbit added. “Duh dude!” I thought as I vividly remember the nasty surprises I received in the mail, from my service provider, after my trips to Egypt, Madagascar and Luxembourg. So clearly phoning the “website fucker uppers” was out of the question.
Yes, in many ways technology, computers and websites have made our lives easier, more convenient and save us from dealing with rude people even though we can be quite rude ourselves. But sometimes technology fails us, declines us and all round just frustrates us. With my experience today, dealing with an actual human with a strangely appropriate name for his profession, I must say dealing with people isn’t always that bad. Sometimes you are lucky and they are friendly, helpful and competent. Kudos to you Kenya Airways for training your call centre staff well, and at the same time, shame on you for having a broken VISA payment page on your website – DECLINED, I mean really?
SHERRY VINE! - Forbidden Love