Am I going mad?

February 3, 2010 · Posted in Rants . . . 

I’ve just finished what should have been the answer to a simple question directed at thetrainline.com website

I have their free iPhone application installed which allows you to download a 7 day timetable for a specific journey so that you can access it when you’re out of coverage (say underground?). The problem I have is that I can find no way of updating the timetable, despite the app continually reminding me that it was downloaded on November the 19th.

After several minutes of frustrated clicking around their website I hit the ‘Contact Us’ link and filled out the form to send them an email asking them. On the last page of this process I was given a message saying why not try out Live Chat. That sounded like a good idea as I felt it was a simple question that I could get resolved quickly.

It took me another few minutes to actually find the link for their online chat and once I did this happened . . . tell me, was I going mad, talking to someone who’s first language may not have been English or just expecting way too much???

(the names have been removed to protect the innocent 😉

Operator: Hi, my name is XXXX. How may I help you?
Me: Hi, I have a question about your iPhone app
Me: I have a couple of journeys 7 day timetables saved on the phone
Me: how do I update them?
Operator: I am afraid, we do not have any update in regard to Iphone application.
Operator: I would request you to contact your service provider for further assistance.
Me: are you a bot?
Operator: My apologise I am unable to understand “bot”. Could you please elaborate it.
Me: this isn’t actually a live chat is it?
Operator: It is a live chat and you are chatting with a human.
Me: Really? Did you not understand my initial question then?
Operator: I understood that, however we do not have any update on that. Therefore, I am unable to assist you.
Me: I’m not asking for an updated iPhone app, I’m asking for information on how to use it?
Operator: That is what we do not have at our end. I can only assist you if you are facing any issue related to website booking on your Personal Computer.
Me: are you telling me you don’t know how to use your companies own application?
Operator: I am afraid, but we do not have any update on using the application on Iphones. Else, I would have been glad to assist you with your query.
Me: where can I find information about how to use the iphone app?
Operator: You would require to contact the service provider.
Me: it’s your application, you are the service provider!
Operator: I mean to say your telephone service provider.
Me: how can they help, it’s got nothing to do with them
Me: I’ve downloaded your application and want information about how to use it
Operator: As already mentioned we are unaware of the usage of our website on Iphones. The method to use the websites on Iphones vary from one service provider (telephone) to other.
Operator: That is why I requested to contact them directly.
Me: I’m not using the website!
Me: I’m using an application I downloaded for my iPhone, written by your company
Me: is there a supervisor there I can speak to?
Me: you clearly have no idea what I’m talking about
Operator: Hi Adam, this is XXXX’s manager. Please give me a minute while I go through the contact.
Me: thank you
Operator: Thank you for your patience.
Operator: I am afraid, that we do not have any update on any application which are available for download of for usage on Iphone.
Operator: That is why the agent have requested you to contact the service provider of your telephone.
Operator: Or you can also contact the point of purchase of the Iphone. One of these two will only be able to assist you with your query.
Me: you do know how an iPhone works right?
Me: I’ve downloaded thetrainline application from iTunes
Me: inside that application it allows me to download 7 day timetables to view when I don’t have a connection
Me: I did that on the 19th of November and want to find out how I update the timetables, within thetrainline application
Me: Apple, iTunes and O2 will not be able to help
Operator: I am sorry we are not aware of the functionality of Iphones.
Me: it’s not their application
Me: ah, finally, honesty!
Me: do you know where I can find information about thetrainline iPhone app?
Operator: In that case, please contact our Customer Relations Team at customer.relations@info.thetrainline.com.
Operator: If they have any information, they will be glad to assist you.
Me: OK, thank you for you help
Operator: You are welcome.
Operator: Is there anything else I may help you with?
Me: no, thanks again
Operator: Thank you for contacting thetrainline.com. Have a good day.
You have disconnected.

Edit: I’ve just been emailed a survey asking me what I thought of the service . . . this is going to be fun 🙂

Comments

2 Responses to “Am I going mad?”

  1. James Whatley on February 6th, 2010 13:28

    Heh. Love it.

  2. Tom on February 26th, 2010 17:58

    Hi Adam,

    My name is Tom and I am the iPhone app product manager at thetrainline.com. We picked up on your post and although a bit late we wanted to first, apologise for poor customer experience you had using our chat service and second, explain how to update the 7 day timetables in the app.

    Since reading your post we have re-briefed our staff on the iPhone and because it is such a unique product we have asked them to direct iPhone related questions to iphone@thetrainline.com which is the email address I have used to register this post and the email address that feedback made through the application is directed to.

    Now for how to fix the timetables. Unfortunately at present there is no auto refresh functionality (although it is a planned feature in our next big release) so you will have to do a bit of a manual work around.
    1. Go into the timetables screen and use the Edit functionality to delete the current timetables.
    2. Go back to the home screen and plan a journey for the route you wish to produce a timetable for.
    3. Click the download timetable button in the footer and wait for the timetable to download.

    Not the greatest process but we are looking to improve. And a bit of info about timetable in general, they update twice a year usually around early December and early May (although some years its only in December).

    We will use the Notices functionality to keep people posted on when the next timetable change will occur.

    Feel free to contact us on that email for anything related to the app and we will do our best to assist.

    Cheers and apologies for taking up a large amount of your wall space,
    Tom

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