Travel plans sometimes come together at the last minute. I went to the green company’s web site to rent a car, and got a message saying the site was down for maintenance.
It said to please call the 800 number if I wanted to make a reservation.
I called the number.
The nice person on the phone asked if I wanted to make a new reservation or discuss a current one.
I said new reservation.
“Oh, our system is down for maintenance. Can you try again in a few hours?”
It was already midnight, so I really didn’t want to do that.
“That’s OK, I’ll just call Hertz.”
Which I did.
I encountered two problems here.
First was the message that implied that a human could make a reservation while the system was down. The accurate message would have been “Our system is down for maintenance. If you want to make a reservation, please try again in a few hours.”
And, since this is the de-facto process, I have to assume that the company is doing it this way on purpose.
Do their executives rent cars through the online system? Do they experience what their customers do? Do they see the “we’re closed, please go away” sign that is part of their normal process every Saturday night?
Another company once put me on hold. The system kicked to a local radio station rather than silence. And so I was waiting for a customer service response while listening to Mick Jagger “I don’t get no… sat is fact ion…”