Thus far today has been very frustrating.
It began with a power cut that lasted for an hour and a half, which was irksome enough, but then the real fun began.
I have just spent the best part of two hours trying to place an on-line order with Boots.com - and have failed miserably.
Actually it began yesterday when I tried and it rejected two credit cards. However, I was using Opera and I know that sometimes this can cause a problem, so I thought I'd wait until today and try again with IE.
So I did.
I even got J to read out the number on the card - I was getting paranoid - but no, it rejected it. So I resort to the phone!
And I discover that Boots have this brand, spanking new system that has been introduced to help prevent fraud and has all the latest bells and whistles to do this. Great. Fine. Wonderful.
An hour and three quarters later 'great, fine and wonderful' were not words that I used.
The Bank is telling me that they have approved the transaction. Boots are telling me that my Bank is rejecting it. Someone is wrong. Although, actually, when it comes down to it, strictly speaking, both are correct!
The problem is really simple, we have a house name, not a number! Well actually we do have a number, but the name is the thing that is used, including on at least half of our official documents; it's what the Bank has, what our credit cards have, what the Local Authorities have, what is on the house deeds, etc. etc. etc.
However, Boots new system has clearly bought the database that has our number. But because our Bank doesn't have the number, although the Bank has authorised payment no less than twenty times, Boots system immediately rejects it, because they can't tie in our postcode and address with the house name. And when they try to put in the number, it rejects because the Bank don't have the house number, thus the two pieces of information do not tally.
Not a problem says my Bank, who fortunately are also the providers of the credit card I was using, this happens. We'll just ring them up and give them verbal authorisation that you are who you say you are; that you live where you say you live; that there are funds, etc. etc. etc., we can even fax this proof through to them. Then they can manually over-ride the system and all will be well. Good says I. Thank you so much.
Guess what? The brand, spanking new system is so new that . . . At the moment there is no way to over-ride it. They are hoping that by this time next week they'll have been given updates so that they are able to do this kind of thing, as it is already causing them tremendous problems.
I bet it is. And who is going to have to deal with all these problems and unhappy customers? The poor people at the end of the phone, who aren't the ones who made the decision to put in the new system. I didn't get irate, I got a tad frustrated because one side was telling me one thing and the other another, but at the end of the day, I knew that ultimately it wasn't the fault of the person to whom I was speaking.
So well done Boots. Great new system. So safe . . . Your customers can't buy anything.
Off to finally check my f-list and email.
And also on the look out for the third thing that can go wrong today, because these things always happen in threes.