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15 Apr 2009 / Julie

a word about doing things online (or If i can’t pay online, you’re saying you dont want your $)

I frequently take issue when i can’t do the self service things i feel i should be able to online.

AAA caused me grief when i tried to update my account online and it sent me into a log-in loop i couldn’t get out of. It wasn’t until 10 minutes later that the emails came in saying my account had been upgraded and “please log in now.”

Lesson: If you can’t make it instantaneous, don’t bother.

Now i’m trying to pay my Taylor and Francis bill (personal subscription of The Reference Librarian) and i can’t do so online. The (paper) bill i received (incorrectly) tells me “renewing your subscription is easy!” I can:

  1. “Pay by cheque: Please return this form and your cheque to the address listed overleaf”
  2. “You can pay by credit card by returning the completed form to the address listed overleaf or by telephone”
  3. “Pay by bank transfer”

Where’s my online option? I have online access to the journal itself and all the articles, why can’t i also pay my subcription online?

Lesson: If I can’t manage, update, interact with, and pay my account online, you clearly aren’t serious about getting paid.

The library system which i patron has the same attitude and doesn’t let me do what i need to do online. I can’t hold more than one book at a time. I can’t update my account information online (which is why my old address is still the one that’s listed for my card). I can’t do what i need to do online. There’s no need for me to waste your time and mine by taking up human time doing these easy self service things. Your staff have better things to do with their time then update the address on my library card.

Lesson: If you’re serious about helping your customers and serving them the best way possible, they need the option to do the basics online. Paying your account online is so 5 years ago. Get on the ball, folks.

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