United Excruciating Update

By | October 8, 2008

I got an outbound notification call from United this morning about a change to an upcoming flight. When United introduced Easy Update years ago, I was a big fan. I even sent email to United customer service to find out which vendor implemented it for them.

Today’s call was more like Excruciating Update, though. The call started off on a bad note when it didn’t detect me pressing 1 to indicate that I was a human, as opposed to an answering machine. The first couple of prompts were okay, but then the gaps between the prompts .. got …. longer …….. and ………………. longer. Nearing the end of the details for the second flight, each prompt was spaced out by at least 10 seconds. That is pretty painful, since each digit in the flight number is read as a separate prompt.

Most people would have hung up by then, but I work in the business, so I wanted to listen in to the bitter end. Which happened during the second flight details.

Halfway through playing the arrival time, the notification app either crashed or bailed out and switched to a message informing me that they were having technical difficulties and I should call a toll free number to speak to a person. The third party provider for this service (West bought Centerpost) was presumably having serious load issues that slowed down their servers dramatically.

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