Thursday 4 January 2007

Always include a number to call

No stop - Go direct

Homeward bound, one needs to rethink this whole pleasure of riding the seeming comfort of the German InterCityExpress (ICE) trains with a stop-over at Duisburg between Amsterdam and Berlin for the direct but less comfortable InterCity (IC) trains.

On my way to Berlin it was just a 20 minute stop-over but on the return, I did not realise the wait would be 73 minutes. So, one has to kill time somehow.

The need to get online is compelling though Duisburg unlike Cologne does not have the DB Lounge facility which First Class passengers can access for free beverages, comfortable seats and Internet access.

The Spartan waiting rooms in Duisburg however do have stickers indicating T-Mobile Hotspots are available for wireless internet connectivity.

I prefer blackberry muffins

I do however, have to travel with my laptop most of the time because I am still blowing raspberries at Blackberries, I prefer to determine when I am online and when I want to be contacted and if I want to be connected rather than having a device that syncopates with my breathing that being alive means one is available.

For years, I have refused to accept business phones, bleepers and alert systems because they unconscionably encroach on your private time as some people might tend to take liberties because of this.

No number? Oh! Bummer

So, to kill time at Duisburg, I put my laptop on, engaged a wireless access point but could not get an IP address, there was something wrong with the service in the station.

Some, one would expect a phone number would appear on the T-Mobile Hotspot sticker, just in case one has enquiries or something goes wrong – Zilch!

You cannot be serious (With McEnroe disdain), how do they get informed of service failure if there is no way to contact them?

It smacks of technological hubris which imagines their systems would never fail such that no one would ever have to call for anything.

The absence of a contact number is to my mind a failure of the service even if it is working and if the station information desk of personnel who never learnt English - that we were communicating with Annoying Sign Language - do not have any information about T-Mobile services in their station, the cretin who came up with this idea is deserving of a payslip without the figures.

73 minutes of being rather cross and suitably not amused, one should learn to, as they say in common parlance – chill.

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