Save Time or Waste Time?

One of the things I love about customer service is that there is always a new way of getting a hold of someone.  When online ordering became the big thing, I was very excited. Is there anything better than not having to pick up the phone and order a pizza? I hate calling restaurants. I hate speaking to airline customer service – nothing against them; I’m just a very flustered customer. It’s easier for me to do things online and I’m more comfortable with that. The more I order services and food online, the more I have different experiences.

Last Thursday, the office ordered lunch from a very popular sandwich joint here in the area. We eat early when we order as an office, so I went online, put in everyone’s order and selected a delivery time between 11 and 11:30. It was about 10:20 AM, so I figured that was at least an hour, it had to be plenty of time. I was wrong. Not too long after that I got a call from them, letting me know that it would actually be closer to 12:30. Two hours later. She said they were behind in deliveries. My question? Why could I place an online order for that time period? Should that be changed when that delivery time is no longer available? I think so.

This morning, I was ordering an airline ticket and this little message popped up asking me if I wanted to talk to a live person. No. No I don’t, I’m handling my purchase online. If I wanted to talk to someone I would have. If I need help, I promise I’ll call you.  I think I’m more bugged by this because it implies that if you spend a certain amount of time on the site, you must be stuck. For me, I was trying to do a million things at once and I had something else to handle before I could finish my purchase. I don’t need you to tell me I need help; I’ll tell you when I need your assistance.

On a side note, my plane ticket purchase was made successfully, without the need for the airline rep to call me.

What about online ordering has made your life easier? Have you had an experience like above or do you simply skip ordering online a go to the real person?