Wednesday, 20 July 2016 08:10

Bad app-titude

There's an app for it There's an app for it

“There’s an app,” seems to be the answer for almost everything these days. But what if I don’t want any apps? What if I don’t want to be constantly staring at my phone, no matter how useful the information provided may be. I happen to like looking at people, having ‘real conversations’ to find things out.

Often it’s quite funny to be a bit technically challenged, or shall we say ‘technology resistant’ – the friend who had sent me a voice message on Facebook was in hysterics over my excitement at this discovery – but usually I wish ‘they’ would just let me be slow and adapt to things at my own pace, with some help if needed.

I don’t want apps to help me out. I like receiving e-mails with real info from actual people, so what really gets to me are those ‘no-reply’ e-mails. What is your point then? Why are you ‘talking’ to me if I cannot reply?

One of them had me insulting my poor computer screen the other day. I had finally got lured into booking a room with one of those many booking websites that keep you from getting to the actual hotel’s page unless you want to go to about page 35 in your Google search.  I dug my way through offers to download all sorts of ‘stuff’ onto my computer or phone. ‘Free reservations, no credit card needed!’ sounded safe enough to secure an acceptable option while looking for that perfect room. It presented itself the same day when I managed to find the actual contact details for a suitable hotel.

I booked my room with a ‘real receptionist’ via a ‘real e-mail’ and scanned credit card details. It felt wonderfully old fashioned and personal. And the receptionist did not even mention any apps I could download to get info and maps of her city. She probably knew I’d be that weird one, walking the streets with a paper map – imagine!

For the online reservation I just pressed ‘cancel booking’ which seemed easy enough. Well no. Minutes later I found an e-mail explaining that the hotel I had ‘booked’ did not have a free cancellation policy and would I kindly transfer the full amount for the two nights to the indicated bank account.

As the reservation (suddenly called ‘booking’) period was still six weeks away, I replied that I would certainly do no such thing. Their answer then came via my favourite ‘no-reply’ address. I Googled the issue to find out hundreds of room searchers had encountered the same problem.

Being a responsible citizen, I did phone the hotel to make sure they did not have me booked in, but all I got was an exhausted sigh from a receptionist who was most probably answering similar phone calls all day. I am wondering if he, too, wishes for an app-free life and old fashioned e-mails.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of July 15th 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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