Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Customer Service

Warning - this is a rant!

Back in January, I got a couple of mykis.  What's a myki?  "myki is a reusable plastic smart card that you store value on to pay for your fare on public transport." You know, like they have in Delhi, and lots of other cities around the world.

A couple of weeks ago, I was about to run out of the paper tickets myki is meant to replace. So I went to my nearest Premium Station to put money on the myki. Premium Stations are the ones where there are staff, and customer service, and nice things like that. Hey, they've even got a Wikipedia page! At my local Premium Station, the staff consisted of a woman who was conducting a personal phone call behind the counter. Although she was looking in my direction, she wouldn't make eye contact, and didn't interrupt her phone call. I learnt more than I needed to know about the problems in her life before it was all too much for me and I left.

Two days ago, having run out of paper tickets, I went back to the Premium Station. This time the staff was a man who gave me attention straight away.
Me: How can I put money on a myki?
Helpful Staff: You have to use a machine.
Me: Where is the machine?
Helpful Staff: We haven't got one.
Pause. I blink a couple of times.
Me: When I find a machine, are they fairly self-explanatory?
Helpful Staff: Don't know, I've never used one.
That's premium quality, right there!

Today, I went to a different (non-premium) station where I knew there was a machine:

I've cut off part of it, I just realised. The top section with the keypad is labelled that it is for credit card or EFTPOS payments.

So, looking at the machine, do you think it is self explanatory? How would you use it?

I tried putting the card where it says to, touching the screen, kicking the machine, but nothing happened. (Actually I didn't really kick it, just took its photo.)

It turns out that this machine is broken. At another station I found another machine, and discovered that on a working machine there is actually a display on the screen which asks what you want to do, then gives instructions. So now I have money on my card, and can go to a movie tonight (by tram).

Hooray for customer service!

1 comment:

  1. Quite some time ago I visited the Myki setup at Southern Cross to put some money on mine (they have been using them satisfactorily on buses here for more than a year). Just as well I had a long time. In the end, I put a $20 note in and the man assured me that I then had something in excess of $20 credit. I've taken his word for it... I haven't had the time to think of trying to check my balance on line..... ;)