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Monday, March 26, 2012

Can't You Please Just Make It Simple?

Spitzer - base do telescopioSpitzer - base do telescopio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

           Maybe it has something to do with Amazon wanting to keep you on their site longer.  And of course Amazon's not the only one.    A lot of web sites seem to want to make you jump through hoops to find things or do things on their sites.  Internet hell is what I've found sometimes.  It's like being locked inside a store until you buy something.

         On the blog site bridgetstraub this question was raised in relation to finding a particular book on Amazon.  She related some of the problems she ran into finding a particular book and wanting to leave a review.  As she admits, her techie skills might not be the best, but I can certainly relate to that.  However the point she raised made me start contemplating some of the internet hassles I've dealt with and so have many of you I would guess.

           Fortunately, I've learned to navigate Amazon and some of those sites pretty well, but now and then I still get caught in a frustrating quagmire.  I've even managed to get pretty adept at leaving comments on WordPress and the annoying systems like CommentLuv, Intense Debate, and Disqus and the like.  Oh sure I'm a big blog baby some of you may say.   Well, that's what I think when I hear complaints about commenting on Blogspot sites. What's so difficult about leaving a comment on a Blogger site?

          I guess it's a matter of what we're used to.  I'd be fine if Blogger stopped changing stuff so I didn't have to stop and think and relearn new processes.    It's like the automated phone systems that keep asking you to press this button or that and then keep you on line waiting for a long time.

        And then there's those automated phone systems that say, "Please listen closely as some of our options have changed."   My health care provider has had that message on their system for like seven years now.  Can you please stop changing the options already people?  Either that or change the message.

         Don't even get me started on the crazy lady giving directions on those navigation systems.   Have you ever driven in circles with that lady scolding you about missing your turn and telling you to go back.  

        Time-saving technology sure seems to waste a lot of time.

        What website loop-de-loops particularly annoy you?   What about those automated phone systems?   How often do you actually talk to real people anymore?  I mean people that are actually helpful?




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41 comments:

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

The thing that still really annoys me is word verification!

http://duncaninkuantan.blogspot.com/2012/03/z-fever-hits-our-home-called-kuantan.html

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee - I still can't comment via Chrome on embedded comments, but now can as long as I use the IE plug in within Chrome.

I don't get comments from others blogs eg this one .. and that's a little frustrating ..

At least I can comment for the A - Z .. and like you I've found my way round ..

Cheers everyone - hate telephone systems!! and complicated websites - I escape ... and have been known to switch off .. looking forward to seeing you all next Sunday onwards - Hilary

YeamieWaffles said...

I'm with you completely on this Lee. Just like you I find it disconcerting some of these comment systems that we see on various people's Wordpresses and such. I also believe in the old adage that if it's not broken then don't fix it. As we know Blogger is one of the world's most popular websites and I just can't understand why the people in charge believe messing around with it and changing things can benefit such an awesome website though I guess I've been privileged to do this blogging thing for free so I can't and shall not complain!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I tried chrome but gave up, yet chrome is the only explorer i can use on Face Book without getting it freezing up.

Yvonne.

Jarmara Falconer said...

I wasn't aware anything had changed on my blog until someone told me in strong words. Then I had to check to see if my chosen setting had been change and low and behold Google/Blogger had change my setting without me knowing.

A quiet, gentle word in my ear would have made me check. I hope I've made it easier for others to leave comments on my blog, but who know Google/Blogger may have change things again

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

voice recognition systems give me the willies

Loopyloo said...

I agree with you on the Satnav part, I always get "Make a U-turn when possible" even though most of the time I'm in a place where it would be impossible to do a U-turn. Either that or the voice would tell me to turn into a road that doesn't exist, that's happened to me quite a lot.

SA Larsenッ said...

I'd have to say for me it's the variety of devices to leave comments. I upload a few different ones over the past two years, but eventually returned to the simplicity of Blogger commenting--well, before they just messed it up again. lol

I would love it if Blogger had a feature where a blogger replies directly from the blog comments to a follower. That would be cool.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I got frustrated a few weeks ago at the ...PHONE compnay. I could not beleive the amount of hoops I had to jump through to finally get to talk to someone only to then WAIT.

Anna Smith said...

I used to work in a call centre, it's all a total scam. Most of the time the callers would come through to the same centre regardless of the options they had pressed, then we would pass them on to the correct place! :)

Eliza Wynn said...

I'm tired of the current trend that has patients jumping through hoops to get a message to the doctor. It has been going on for years but is becoming more prevalent. When I call my doctor's office and can't leave voicemail for the nurse anymore because the new system makes me go through someone who is unlikely to relay the message properly, that gets on my last nerve.

Ellie

Karen Walker said...

Automated phone systems make me crazy. Where are the real people, people? But I have to say I love my navigation system in my car. I have the world's worst sense of direction, so "Millie" is a Godsend. However she does, occasionally, tell me to make a legal u-turn when it's not called for.
Karen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think they ever change those prompts - they're just forcing you to listen to everything so it takes you longer to reach the right option.
I'm good with Disqus. It's the best embedded comment box I've seen.

cleemckenzie said...

There are EPs (EVIL PROGRAMMERS) that have been unleashed into this cyberworld and their sole purpose is to keep the bloggers busy figuring out how to post, how to find information and how to read those #!@%!!! word verifications. Then when bloggers figure it all out, the EPs change the way to do it! Very simple. There is a conspiracy afloat.

Retro-Zombie said...

so true... i am one of those guys who thinks he knows computer stuff, amazon i really only check a few things, so i know what i am doing. i am afraid to anything on the phone with all the internet options, i am lost... my problem is my computer is protected by programs to prevent crud getting onto my computer. what about the phone, what protects my data or who is following me. if you all before downloading an app, read what info you are giving out... what the app makers are taking from you.

sorry i steered off course again, but in my defense the navigation lady told me to go this way.

Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
Visit The Madness:
iZOMBIE

Arlee Bird said...

Duncan --Keep spreading the word and we may continue to see less WV.

Hilary -- There seems to be a definite inconsistency among different users. I try to leave responses to comments but you not being notified is disappointing. I leave my comments on the pop-out boxes but I usually forget to go back to see if there was a response. I still don't know how to approach this.

Matthew YW-- It's frustrating for sure, but like you say it's free.

Yvonne -- Wish I could help. Chrome works very well for me.

Jamara -- I'm sure Google will keep changing things if for no other reason than to annoy us.

Delores -- Voice recognition is strange, but when it works it's kind of cool. It's another job for people companies can scrap.

Loopyloo -- More than once have I dead-ended at a road and looked across a freeway at my destination.

S.A.L.-- Anything that would save time and be more effective would be nice.

Jennifer -- I've been there too. What a waste of our time.

Anna -- It's a labyrinth callers need to navigate through to sometimes get nowhere.

Ellie -- Our doctors' network would prefer that we use email, but it doesn't seem that effective when there are questions and answers involved.

Karen -- The real people are home unemployed. They should ban the automated systems and give more people jobs.

Alex -- I seem to get through Disqus now, but I still find it to be a hassle.

Lee

Arlee Bird said...

C.Lee-- I think it's mostly a case of programmer's who are bored and just want to watch users squirm. They are definitely masochists.

Jeremy -- I'm not sure why I even have a cell phone. I only use it for phone calls. Not even sure about apps or texting.

Lee

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Not too long ago, I was somehow getting add-ons that stole my browser and that really irritated me. I don't remember how I got rid of all that, but am glad that I did.

I don't really buy much online, so my biggest complaint now is easily leaving comments.

As for the phone stuff, I try to out-wait those messages to get to a real person. Sometimes if they cycle through twice that will get you over to somebody live, because they think you might be a dinosaur without a touch tone.

Looking forward to A-Z ... I've been prepping my posts and am so excited.

Kathy M.

Geoff Maritz said...

Hello Lee.
The only thing I've had to struggle with on Blogger is scheduling my blog posts. I spent the whole day with someone from England trying to sort it out. We did eventually but it still took hours of back and forth.
The other thing that I have difficulty with is word verification, I can't read the words, if that's what they are, and find when having to struggle for too long I will give up and just move on.
I'll have to see about the A-z, last year all hell broke out with my computer when I did take part. We'll see.
Blessings, Geoff.

Andrew Leon said...

The automated phone systems I hate are the ones that call me.

Arlee Bird said...

Kathy -- I've found that on those phone systems usually if I just press "0" I'll get a person, but not always.

Geoff -- With practice I've gotten pretty at those Word Verifications. Actually I'm thinking that if you get close it will sometimes accept whatever you put in--I'm pretty sure I don't always get it right and it usually goes through.

Andrew -- At least I know if an automated phone service calls me it's probably not important and I can hang up on them.

Lee

Beverly Diehl said...

Blogger works fine if the person leaving the comment is logged into their own Blogger or gmail account. For those outside that system, seems to be problematic.

Auto-phone systems are the worst, IMO. When I have to make "those kinds of calls," at work (Several every week), I line up some other project I can work on while on hold and passing through.

Thanks for sharing your pain in a funny way. :-)

Jemi Fraser said...

The phone loops drive me the nuttiest! I looped myself right out of the system twice last week trying to contact someone in an organization!

Ciara said...

I have a difficult time trying to find where to comment sometimes. Do the options ever really change? I think it is a conspiracy.

Nicole said...

You pretty much hit it on target when you mentioned it all being a matter of what we're accustomed to using. Me personally, I happen to like CommentLUV, Intense Debate and Disqus but not necessarily in that order, yet, there are many other bloggers who loathe those services with regards to comments.

Commenting on Blogger blogs are relatively simple but I've noticed that it can be a challenge for people who may not have a Google account or any of the other comment options....especially if the blogger has disabled the Anonymous or the Name/URL options.

The Home Depot and Kmart websites annoy me as well as the websites for wireless carriers and cable TV companies....yeah, any on of them, you name it, I've had issues with their site. I mean, really, it shouldn't be that difficult to shop for a phone or wireless service or upgrade my plans and I find myself in a web of frustration every time I shop through those websites.

Thanks for bringing up the hell that is those automated phone systems. I know you mentioned "internet hell" in this post but I'd say it would be fair to just lump the websites in with the automated phone systems and call it all Telecommunications Hell!

I rarely get to talk to real people unless I'm seeking customer service in person, at a brick and mortar location. Otherwise, I'm on hold with bad elevator music and sporadic check-ins from computer systems that claim "someone will be with you shortly."

Yeah, gotta love it.

Oh and "People that are actually helpful," you ask? You're kidding right? I think the human helpful service reps went the way of beepers/pagers, VHS tapes and Britney Spears' teenybopper stardom! ;)

~Nicole
Blog: The Madlab Post
@MadlabPost on Twitter

Nicole said...

I left a long comment on this post earlier this evening and now it's missing. Strange. Anydoodle....I like Disqus and CommentLUV but those automated phone systems are annoying with a capital 'A' for sure.

The cell phone and cable companies have difficult websites that are not easy to navigate and Home Depot and Kmart are both up there in the annoying category as well.

~Nicole
Blog: The Madlab Post
@MadlabPost on Twitter

michelle said...

I'm a techno-phobe... not by choice though...
CommentLuv? Intense Debate? Disqus? Phew... sonds Greek to me LOL!
But I'll get there...
I actually came face-to-face with an iPad for the FIRST time, about 2 weeks ago - and you know what? It seemed simple enough... my hubby said he's going to get one for me!
Imagine that? So there is hope after all...

NellieVaughn said...

I just started using ebay. I am way behind on the times. The ebay craze is over, I know that. It will be years before I get to Amazon.

Brinda said...

Nothing aggravates me as much as an automated phone system with no option to speak with a living, breathing person.

Ella said...

It is the face of the future...being annoyed! I miss real people ;D
Word verification and automated calls are the worst, so far...for me.
The military pharmacy is a real hoot!
You have to keep entering the last 4 of your social security number followed by the # or nothing happens.
Then the locations for pick up are numbered...mine is the last number. It is an annoying MALE voice, drone robotic like. Great post Lee!
I do have to say, when I get real person, it isn't always better. It is if they can answer your question. Most of the time I am tossed into another automated list ;D

Southpaw said...

A new one I've encountered for customer support/service is "leave your number an we will call you back". The automated service calls you back and then hangs up on you.

Karen Peterson said...

I used to work in customer service for a company that also had an automated line for quick issues. It used to frustrate me when people would refuse to use the automated system and opt to talk to a live person instead. Our automated system was so easy! But I realize that it really is what you're used to and some people just like to do things in whatever way they feel is easiest.

Amazon is one of the most confusing sites ever.

Arlee Bird said...

Beverly --I always try to keep reading material or some activity to keep me busy when I'm waiting for the phone systems or for my computer to do something.

Jemi -- The phone systems can become a vicious circle.

Ciara -- Comments can be tricky sometimes and then other times there really isn't a place to leave comments. I guess they're not interested in interaction.

Nicole -- I hate that you would have spent time on a comment that disappeared. I've had that happen too. Just another part of the problem.

Michelle -- Once you get used to something it can be okay, but it's that initial breaking in period that is troubling.

Nellie -- I've been thinking about getting onto EBay. It's seems like some things would be easier to sell there than on Craig's List. Don't tell be the craze is over.

Brinda -- Usually if I do get somebody they aren't of much help. Quality customer service has become a problem.

Ella -- That's funny--the face of the future is being annoyed. Well, maybe not funny, but it sounds funny.

Southpaw -- Maybe nobody really wants to talk to us anymore.

Lee

Arlee Bird said...

Karen -- Some automated sites are easy and I'd rather deal with them than a real person, but sometimes more explanation is involved and you can get into a lot of frustrating back and forth that makes little progress.

Lee

Paula Slade said...

Banking on the phone drives me crazy with the press this, now press that, now remember this etc..

And, social media sites that are ever-evolving, changing formats and privacy rules - all to justify (IMHO) some tech's reason for existence.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

You caught me in just the right mood. I have been dealing with Verizon for the last 36 hours. I've called them four times and each time I have to answer a computer by keying in numbers 12 times before I can go on hold to speak to a person. Grrrrr

Anita said...

You have definitely hit a nerve here. I'm learning the ropes with the automated phone situation, how to get around it, but it's an ongoing education.

My latest issue is with blogger messing up the option for follow-up comments. (I think we've discussed this before.) Where is it!!!

Example: The only way that I NOW can see if you respond to me is to come back to the post. I'm not a consistent blogger, so if I don't note somewhere that I commented on this post, I won't remember to come back to see if you responded, or to hear what others are saying. It totally messes up the conversation to not have that "follow-up comments" option.

I've googled and read that there is something to do to get it, but I'm afraid I'll mess up something else if I try it. Can you tell I'm urked?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BOIDMAN ~
Have you seen Blogger's new message on your Dashboard? It says words to the effect of:

Blogger is getting a makeover in April. Upgrade now by clicking here.

Uh-Oh! You know what that means! The website programmers have felt a need to justify their jobs again, and so they are about to fix the unbroken and in the process, break things that are currently working just fine.

Wait for it... Wait for it, people... New Blogger bugs are being created for us as we speak...

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Rachel Morgan said...

I sometimes struggle just to find the "X comments" button! Sometimes it's in a really small font, hidden amongst a whole lot of other really small words at the bottom of someone's post. I have to search for a while before I find it!

Anita said...

After some relentless research, I have figured out my inability to receive follow-up comments from your posts and those of others.

There are 3 options for the way that comment screens are displayed. Yours is a pop-up. Mine was a full screen. These 2 options do not have a phrase "subscribe by email" in the comment area.

If you change your comment screen to be displayed under the comments (the Embedded format), there will be the option to "subscribe by email."

I would be able to click on it and therefore, all future comments on the post will be sent to my email inbox. I changed mine, and I hope not to have any issues.

To do so, you go to dashboard, then settings, then comments, and you'll see the 3 options. Don't forget to click "Save settings" at the bottom.

I wondered why some people have "reply" options under each comment on their post.

Of course, this is your decision. However, I'm pushing, because I like to hear what your readers respond back to your posts. :)

Paul Hafalla said...

cool ill await for your a-z hope you visit mine too here http://pa-ul.blogspot.com/2012/03/z-artists.html