Do you think we are becoming over dependence on technology? Technology brought us numerous conveniences and substantial cost saving (although such savings are not always necessary pass onto the customer). Just think about web based flight check-in services, on-line bills payment, even tax returns. But is the push for technology truly matched by increased reliability and usability or are we just rushing to push everything online?
I was reading “TurboTax e-filing woes draw customer ire” (News.com), one sentence in the article really stood out for me.
What the outage does highlight is the risk of relying on a system that has a single point of failure: With paper-based filing, if one post office is closed or is jammed with a long line, another one likely will do the trick.
Seriously, reliability and usability are paramount in a self service world we now live in.
Last year I tried to do my tax return on-line with e-tax, I hate it. I went through the entire application, anyone can tell you the tax regime in AU is way too complicated! I found my submission only to be denied because the name I provided differs from the name registered against my tax file number. I entered my name exactly in the same format as a letter from the tax office. I gave up trying to represent my full name (as appeared in my passport) here in Aus.
My point is technology is only really useful if reliability ( at the software and network layer) and usability considerations are part in it.