Friday, June 26, 2015

And now MORE about Tuesday's 5:20 LSE

And here I was, ready to pull out my board game of Clue and toss the candlestick into the library with Colonel Mustard to figure out why Tuesday's evening rush for the LSE became a gong show (I had the email to my contacts at GO Transit all drafted up) when this email came in:

What is a "temporary technology blip"?

Good christ. Did someone in Customer Relations phone down to I.T. mentioning he or she was drafting an apology to customers and needed an explanation and some clown in I.T. barked out "temporary technology blip"? What is this? 2001?

There is absolutely no need or this kind of vague jargon in 2015. We're all smart these days. Computer databases run about 85% of our daily lives. And we know they can fail.

How about you try some transparency, my friends in I.T.? I worked in your industry for 13 years and fought against this crap. I believe in telling clients the truth.

Someone screwed up. If not someone, then the software failed. Full stop.

In this case, what the email could have said is, "The software GO Transit relies on to feed information about train schedules such as their departure times and platform numbers failed to function properly during the period of 5:15 pm and 6:15 pm on Tuesday, June 23. We have taken measures to correct the problem and we do not anticipate this will happen again. We profusely apologize for the confusion this caused, as well as the inconvenience."

And even if I.T. doesn't know what the problem was, then say that. Then conclude with it appears to have been resolved but the situation is being further investigated. It's not hard.

Don't write to us about "blips". We deserve better than that.


Squiggles said...

I am confused. I received this yesterday. I thought it was for issues on Wednesday. Mainly from the title of "Yesterday's ...".

They need to get their act together. Too many things are breaking, all over the place.

And they think they are ready for the Pan Am Games.

Error said...

Agreed, they either used the term because they thought riders are too stupid to understand or too stupid to see that the term was a means to mask the truth.
Either way, not a great approach for a government agency that throws around the transparency label all the time.

Anonymous said...

It shouldn't happen again

But it will. Who are they trying to kid?

TomW said...

On a similar vein, I do wish GO wouldn't describe any bus-related problems as a "vehicle malfunction". Specific details make it easier for customers to relate to the problem, and make it sound much more belivable. ("Blown tire? Well, it could happen to anyone")

Tal Hartsfeld said...

Those in charge always seem to think those who are dependent on them as being on the same level as little kids who need to be coddled and pacified, as opposed to being smart and knowledgeable like they are.

Warren Downe said...

Tom, some bus issues are deemed “operational errors”, which means GO Transit personnel somewhere made a mistake. Yesterday afternoon’s “mechanical breakdown” @ 420 & Stanley was due to the double-decker not being able to take the punishment meted out by the condition of Stanley Ave. in Niagara Falls.

TomW said...

Warren: so what happened? Suspension broke? Wheel came off? Why couldn't GO just say "the suspension was damaged after hitting a pothole"?

mark p said...

TTC uses the same lingo, "delay caused by mechanical problem on the train) if its on the yonge line that can mean anything, the new ones are finicky... especially with doors....

Warren Downe said...

Tom, the best I could ascertain is that all the pounding along Stanley Ave. caused the rear suspension to lose air. Perhaps a driver or mechanic can clarify. Stanley Ave. is so bad, the stop has been relocated to Falls Ave. east of the regular stop, as a precautionary measure.

Anonymous said...

404 Error: The transparency you are looking for cannot be found. Please try again later.

Mark said...

The email annoyed me as did the defensive tone the Customer Rep took on Twitter when it was pointed out the email was a bit insulting.

The tech 'blipped' yesterday much for it will never happen again.