Let me re-repeat

[Note: Jump to the bottom first, to see how this went... and may keep going.]

So I called SuperShuttle to book a ride to the airport in Denver. The first thing the robot voice said was that I could also book this on the Web. So I thought, cool, I’ll do that. It’ll probably go faster, and I can copy the confirmation information directly onto my calendar.

No luck there. I had to register, and the registration never went through. I’d fill out the form, click to make it go, and my browser window would say, “https://www.supershuttle.com/Membership.aspx?content=AccountSettings”, completed 29 of 31 items… and then raise the __ of __ items gradually over time until it said no more and I wasn’t registered. It just sat there with a completed form that had no use. It also annoyed me that I had to opt out of their promotional email newsletter.

So I called their 800 number again. The following isn’t far from verbatim. I’ve done my best to preserve the surreality of it.

Hello SuperShuttle.
I’d like a ride to the airport.
What would you like?
I’d like a ride to the airport here in Denver. I’m in the Hyatt Regency downtown.
Which airport are you flying from?
Denver International. DEN.
When does your plane depart?
Eight twelve AM. It’s a United flight.
Where will you be coming from?
The Hyatt Regency.
What is the address?
650 15th Street in Denver.
Which airline will you be flying?
United.
What is your hotel’s address?
650 15th Street. In Denver. Colorado.
When is your flight time?
Eight twelve AM.
What is your airline?
United.
Your pick-up time is 5:30am.
Can you make it 5:00am? I like to be early.
5:00am. Will you be paying by credit card?
Yes.
What kind of card?
Visa.
What is your card number?

I gave her my number. Slowly. She got it wrong. I corrected it. She asked for my expiration date. She said the card was expired. I said no, the expiration date was in 2011. She finally gave up on the card, and went back to completing the rest of the surreal dialogue.

What is your name?
David Searls. S E A R L S.
S E R L E S?
No, S E A R L S. Like PEARLS, only with an S instead of a P.
S E A R L E S?
No, just S E A R L S.
S E A R L … S?
Yes.
Okay. Here is your confirmation number…
Thanks.
Your pick-up time is 5:30.
I thought we said 5:00am.
Your pick-up time is 5:30.
Can we make it earlier?
Your pick up time is 5:15am.
Five-fifteen.
Five-fifteen.
Okay, thank you.
I am sorry, sir, but our equipment isn’t working well. That’s why I’m having trouble.
Sorry to hear that. Thanks for your help.
Thank you. Good bye.
Bye.

There’s gotta be a better way.

[Later...] And there is. I just got a call from SuperShuttle’s Senior VP of Global Marketing, looking to debug what went wrong here. It was a helpful conversation for both of us. Naturally, I suggested he take a look at what we’re doing with ProjectVRM. Once it’s ready for prime time, what VRM developers are doing can help improve what’s happening on the CRM side of markets such as SuperShuttle’s.

Tags: , ,

4 comments

  1. Flip’s avatar

    I’m surprised that you stuck with them.

    I would have called someone else.

  2. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Well, it was past midnight, I was wasted, and didn’t want to go with anything less familiar. SuperShuttle is the devil I know, I guess.

    Next time, somebody else.

  3. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Doc, if you called, we might have been able to give you a lift to the airport. We were down in Denver on a parts run.

Comments are now closed.