Human/Technology interface....pending danger?
Here are two recently true stories involving human and technology and it not ending well for a human.
First story has to do with 2 people...a son and a father with two different first names and both of them have cable tv from the same provider. The employees plug in the payment received data in the wrong account where the son for a period of time is being credited with his father's payments until the father begins getting bills in amounts that are double the usual.
The father calls the cable company and they spot the error and it is quickly fixed for the father. However, the cable company's computer system that generates the billing statements does not provide the son who has been incorrectly being credited with his monthly bill for two months. The son being a busy guy only recognizes he never got a bill for one month and figures he will pay next month when the current bill comes in. It does not work that way. By the time the next month rolls around, the son's cable has been turned off by the the cable company's computer system. In addition, his account has been hammered with late fees and rehook-up fees. A bill that was suppose to be a little over $200 is now nearly $600 and if he wants his tv back on, he is to pay that amount. The son paid that and now his tv only works half of the time. Now that the son understands what is going on...he is in the process of getting things straightened out. He has been on the phone for hours and all of the cable company's employees are not sure how to fix the problem yet. Who knows how it will all end...but nearly a week without tv and possibly out about $350.
Second story. A huge online company allows people to sell on their venue. Everything that happens on their site is part of a computer system. In this case, a recent seller was penalized an increase in seller fees of 40% that could lead to expenses for the seller raising over $10,000 per year. This selling venue allows returns to be freely done and unquestioned. In many cases, the seller that would get a refund would relist the item exactly as previously described and as pictured...nothing changed. The new buyer would leave a positive feedback and very pleased with the purchase. However, the selling venue's computer system only weighs in on the fact the item was returned for a refund. When the seller contacts the venue and asks the question...who is right here...the first buyer returning it for a refund and blaming it on the seller for them returning it....or the second buyer who buys it exactly as it was sold the first time around and is very satisfied with their purchase. No real answer becomes of that question. Because...there is nothing they can do, the computer system recognizes what is was designed to do. The seller is left with an increased expense of $10,000.
A friend once said....sometimes you can be the dolphin that gets caught in the tuna net.
...lets hope as we become more and more technology dependent and driven...not too many dolphins get caught in the net.