It seems my browser was having one of those days, and upon return to the website, the booking system was clearly presented. It still doesnt excuse the poor customer service though. :-(
## end retraction ##
I make bus bookings very often. I always used to use Intercitys website, and pay via credit card, and not interact with humans. It was great.
Today I find they have changed their website. I spent 15 minutes trawling around in circles, unable to find a way to book between the destinations I needed.
I call their 0800 number, and ask how can I book online.
"I take book, sir"
"I take book, sir"
She refused to answer me when I asked if I could book online, spoke VERY bad English. And no, it wasnt a bad accent with good/ok/mediocre English, it was a good accent (albeit foreign), with TERRIBLE English. Missing words, complete nonsense sentences, and an inability to listen to what the customer is saying.
I finally got booked over the phone, and am left feeling very unimpressed, and after asking no less than SIX times, was simply not given an answer at all as to whether I could still book online for a trip between Gisborne & Napier.
Next week I will be looking for an alternative provider, though I dont hold out much hope for that particular route.
Whats the moral of the story?
If you have a good system, thats working, dont change it, then hide it from your customers. It doesnt make good business sense.
Also, when hiring staff to deal directly with customers MAKE SURE THEY CAN SPEAK THE LANGUAGE PROPERLY!
Im not some racist bigot, and I can handle the odd malformed word or sentence, and heavy accents are no problem, but when they simply dont KNOW the language well enough to understand basic requests, then there is obviously a problem.
Other related posts:
How to move your Drupal 7 site to a different folder on your domain...
HOWTO: Install Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS and get working mailserver
I want broadband, why do I have to wait 3 days to even know if its POSSIBLE?
Comment by chiefie, on 3-Aug-2006 15:46
Hmm... I managed to "book" for Gisborne to Napier just fine. The online booking is available from the frontpage of the website. Look and feels similar to AirNZ's.
Comment by chiefie, on 3-Aug-2006 16:30
hehee... Tony, time to see optometrist! hehehe
*run and hide*
Comment by cokemaster, on 3-Aug-2006 16:53
I've booked using their website before but gave up, when their website did a really stupid thing. The stupid thing was when selecting a trip from Palmerston North to Waipawa (or any of the smaller towns, excluding Hastings/Napier), the website would try and book me on a trip up to Auckland first, then from Auckland to Waipawa. I've used the call center number before and haven't had many problems, admittely I called the Wellington one rather than the Auckland one (IQ drops talking to them) or the South Island (I think) one (they're too busy with their sheep)...
Comment by bradstewart, on 3-Aug-2006 17:21
Why cokemaster, why? Really offeneded.....
We aren't always busy with the sheep down here, we do others things as well...
Comment by mike, on 3-Aug-2006 19:01
I took this route with Intercity last weekend, horrible horrible trip. Definitely a last resort. Turned up at the bus stop five minutes before departure, paid and got on the bus, none of this Internet online booking mumbo jumbo. No problem checking fares/schedules online, they really need to get the intercity.co.nz domain though.
Comment by Hamish Nuttall, on 2-Oct-2006 00:03
This is a **shameless plug** We have just launched a new city to city bus service with fares from one dollar. All booking is online and we have tried to make it as simple as possible. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think... and yes those $1 fares are permanent - there will be $1 fares on every trip - not all fares will be $1 but the earlier you book, the less you pay. North Island only at the moment.