Archive for February 26th, 2009

26
Feb
09

Roe versus the Volcano

With the media’s constant attempt to makes us feel miserable these days (discussed here, which in turn produced this. I always thought of myself as something of a muse), it’s good to see there’s still room for this kind of story. Blogger Jason Roe posted about a glitch he found with Ryanair’s website, which produced a spate of offensive and highly personal responses (accusations of a “pathetic life”, etc) from individuals within Ryanair’s HQ. (link and linker)

I still don’t understand how exactly the glitch Jason found works, and as I wouldn’t fly Ryanair even if they paid me I don’t really care. What interested me was the vindictive nature of the responses left by the staff. The rudeness of Ryanair’s frontline service has long been established, so it’s somewhat refreshing to know they share this attitude within the inner-workings of the company. Even so, the explosion of anger over someone doing nothing more than highlighting a bug on your site is baffling. Choice quotes for me are: “Keep working on yourself and don’t post bollocks,” “It’s not a threat, its advice for you to present yourself better… but of course you think of threat straightaway, because that fits you better,” and my favourite, “Offensive aggression of customers depends on customer’s ignorance.”

Even their PR guy was snotty about it when discussing the matter. “It is Ryanair policy not to waste time and energy corresponding with idiot bloggers,” he was quoted in the IT, adding, “lunatic bloggers can have the blogosphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.” Of course he also admitted the offending posts did come from staff. So we have two conflicting pieces of information within the same head with both being accepted as true, not terribly unlike the difference between the prices they think they charge and what they actually charge. Orwell would have had a field-day with this. Presumably the cost of air travel went up a little when their people were wasting time and energy with Jason’s blog.

When RTÉ reported it a spokesman tried to suggest it was the work of just one member of staff “when they should have been working”. I call bullshit on that one. This to me sounds like the kind of thing that spreads around the office like wildfire, and in a mob-mentality sort of way they lost the run of themselves. As for their repeated degrading language regarding bloggers, I would suggest a blogosphere boycott, except I’m not that organised and I really don’t care enough.

Anyway, the relevant blog is here, but yoze have probably found it already.

26
Feb
09

As if I needed more reasons to dislike bankers

I was trying to get some cash to pay for my lunch today when my ATM card feel victim to the hunger of an AIB cashpoint. As soon as entered in the amount of money I wanted the screen flashed like a mad thing and a reboot thingy kicked it. Now as annoying as this is, it happens all the time and there’s no point in getting upset about it. What’s pissing me off, however, is the attitude of the woman in my local AIB branch in response to this incident.

I went to the nearest branch to ask if there’s any chance of me getting my card back. It didn’t seem to me to be too ridiculous to think somebody in AIB would have control over AIB ATMs, but it appears I was wrong. “We don’t have access to those machines,” she snapped. “It’s Securicor that’s does all that.” Fair enough, except I could have been told this without the What do you expect me to do about it attitude.

She then asked if I’m an AIB customer. When I said I’m not her eyes flashed and roll upwards slightly. She seemed to be thinking So you use our machines on us an then complain that they don’t work. This of course isn’t the first time I’ve experienced such insolence from bank staff (though it might be the worst). I accept it must be difficult listening to complaints every hour of every day (though I was perfectly polite and did nothing to agitate her). It wasn’t her fault a machine ate my card, it might not even be an AIB issue, but it certain wasn’t my fault. And I don’t appreciate attitude when at the very least I’m due an apology.

When I went to report the card missing at my bank (Bank of Ireland) the woman who dealt with me was in comparison highly pleasant and went to great lengths to ensure I wasn’t unduly affected by this. Still, I have to wait until Monday before I get a new card, and I’ll have to pay a fee for it. Ok, it’s only a fiver, but it’s my fiver and this wasn’t my fuck up.