The Obvious is Not Always Obvious

April 10th, 2021

Received this from a friend and thought it worth sharing:

My mobile phone bills keep getting sent to my old address, forwarded by the post office service we have in place.

I have told the mobile provider that I have moved and given them the new address, however the bills keep going to the old address.

I rang the provider, a mission in its own right. Asked them why bills were sent to the old address.

They looked on their system and said:

“You have 2 addresses on your account, the old and the new”

“Yes”, I said, “I have moved and the bills should be coming to the new address, I no longer live at the old address.”

“That is correct” they replied.

“Then why do the bills keep going to the old address?”

“Have you asked for the old address to be removed from the system?” they replied.

“No”, I said, “I just told you I had moved and gave you the new address”.

“That’s the problem” they replied.

“You have given us your new address but have not asked for the correspondence to be sent to it or for the old address to be deleted.”

Intelligent Organisation……   How stupid am I?

Digital systems exhibit only the inevitable simplifications of their designers, lacking nuance and subtlety of realisation in their yes/no, on/off, in/out bifurcations of the world.

As organisations increasingly develop digital systems to reduce the cost and increase the availability of their products and services, they need to invest equally in developing the common sense of their staff in their design and operation.

In service provision in particular, no matter how long you make the procedure chart you never quite reach the customer – only skilled and thoughtful people can close the gap.