Stick your app, I want real people

ALTHOUGH I was born in the early 80s, I'm pretty sure I missed the Generation Y train, because when it comes to dealing with Government agencies, bank transactions or just people in general, I'm still a big advocate for face-to-face contact.

Nothing annoys me more than having a person, supposedly employed for the purpose of serving customers, clients or general bums off the street, tell me that I would be better off dragging my sorry backside to where I came from and logging onto the latest mobile phone third party software.

I most recently encountered this at Medicare, where the young man who served me asked if I carried a "smart phone".

"Well it's a Sony," I replied as I took it out of my pocket, "but I'm not sure how smart it is."

"Does it have windows?" he asked.

"Just the one," I said.

"Just log on to the app," he said, "it will save you having to come in here."

I'm not sure if I'm the only one thinking that Medicare, Centrelink, my health insurance provider, along with certain banks, can shove their apps where the sun don't shine.

The Express Plus Medicare application doesn't seem to be winning too many fans, even amongst the techno-friendly types.

Reviews posted on the iChoooons site have rated it as "useless" and "horrible", according to a story in The Canberra Times.

If that's what the techno-savvy kids are saying, I'm glad I steered clear of it.

For someone still living in the dark ages, when people didn't walk down the street with their face buried in a phone, I take exception to being told that it is no longer the done thing to go into an actual place of business and speak to a genuine human person.

I have a sneaking suspicion that it is in the best interests of saving money - rather than the convenience of us average Joes - to replace human employees with a small gang of geeks who will charge large sums of money to produce software that never seems to iron out its teething problems.

How many people will end up at home on the couch - unemployed because a computer took their job - logging onto the Centrelink "Job Seeker App", only to find that the stupid thing is experiencing technical issues?

Heaven forbid that looking for a job might involve getting off one's couch and approaching people in that big, scary world that you've read about on Intergoogles.

Many parts of the human brain are supposedly developed around human interaction.

For the record, I tried making a Medicare claim online last weekend, only to find that the claim number couldn't be accepted over the Interwebs.

I rang the Medicare phone number and spoke to a real person on the other end of the line, who informed me that I would have to lodge the claim in person.

Humans 1 - Interwebs 0.



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