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The Robot Dialer is sent by the Robot Devil. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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The Robot Dialer is sent by the Robot Devil. [May. 17th, 2010|08:25 am]
Marissa Lingen

Orbitz fail fail fail with fail sauce: without asking markgritter whether he wanted it, they automatically placed an auto-dialer call to remind him of the flight he'd booked through them. Their auto-dialer apparently automatically calls three hours before the flight is scheduled to take off, which does give most people enough time to pack and get to the airport if they'd forgotten. Unfortunately, in this case that made it 4:30 a.m. It turns out that while having the alarm go off at 5:30 is no fun, that last hour of uninterrupted sleep is really rather crucial. Particularly as I knew markgritter had set his cell phone as a backup alarm, and I am not at my mental best at 4:30 a.m. for some reason, so I was not at all sure why markgritter was not getting up. The phone rang, it was time to get up. That was what I knew. And yet I also knew that there was some reason beyond the usual selfishly wanting to keep him that I was not poking him to get out of bed. I just couldn't put my finger on what that reason might be.

I have some things I'd like to get done today. I just don't know how that's going to go with the crazy-tired-brain. If only I could nap well. Blarg.

[User Picture]From: wshaffer
2010-05-17 02:24 pm (UTC)
Argh. Yeah, I think Orbitz changed it recently so that instead of asking you on a booking-by-booking basis whether you want phone alerts, they have it set to "yes" by default. For bonus fun, mine are sent by text message - I can turn the phone call ringer on my phone off, but there is no way to turn off the "You have a text message" sound. Nothing quite like being awakened at 3:00 in the morning by a text telling you your flight has been delayed by 4 minutes.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-05-17 03:44 pm (UTC)
Well, and I can see where "it's noon, and your 5:00 flight has been pushed back to 6:30," would be useful information for which one would want the update. So I can see where they got to the idea that sending out updates on flight time would be a useful thing. It's just that the execution leaves a bit to be desired.
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[User Picture]From: redbird
2010-05-17 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the warning. (Doing the math, they'll be robo-calling me for my Wiscon flight a bit after I should be up for it anyhow, but only a bit.)
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[User Picture]From: arkuat
2010-05-18 09:25 am (UTC)
Back when I was more actively involved in implementing software, I worked with a wise not-very-old sysadmin who always followed an iron rule: the only person whose cellphone or pager should ever be set off by software is the person who wrote that software. (This was obviously never intended to include the sort of software that such devices require to work at all.)

I guess standards have grown lax in these latter days.
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[User Picture]From: mycroftw
2010-06-08 09:30 pm (UTC)
An old, old support story:

N. Getting my system to page me on drop to UPS is a good idea. Getting all my clients' systems to page not so much, after city-wide power outage.

My favourite out of that list:

Q: What's the difference between a belt-driven vacuum and a Van de Graaf Generator?
A: Not much. Don't use a vacuum to clean your computer.
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