Author Topic: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible  (Read 9351 times)

amha

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The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« on: November 21, 2014, 12:03:27 PM »
With apologies for maybe posting too many things from The Billfold, the pessimistic personal-finance-for-millennials site. But there was another wonderful piece yesterday. Writer Nicole Dieker really dislikes smartphone check deposit:

Quote
All in all, I should be happy that I don’t have to, you know, put on shoes, walk to the bank, and stand in line. But I’m not, and it bothers me. Every time I get out my dark paper and my stack of checks, and I have to set aside at least 45 minutes twice a month to do this, I think “This is not my job. This was a job, a real job, and now it’s my job.”

It's not just check deposits that she's frustrated that she has to do herself. What about automated grocery check-out machines?

Quote
I was at the grocery store recently, doing the self-checkout, and the clerk said “wow, you are really good at bagging your groceries!”

Yeah, I thought, I’ve had this job for something like six years.

And, someday, they’re going to change the self-checkout machines. Then we’ll all be kicked back to the beginning of the learning curve again, asked to master a new job.

It's "not her job" to take pictures of checks or to bag her own groceries. How deeply frustrating.

http://thebillfold.com/2014/11/on-checks-and-checkouts/

jinga nation

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 12:13:05 PM »
Everyone wants to place their pity party details on the web.

Adapt, fools!

projekt

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 02:36:06 PM »
There is the promise, of course, vs. the reality. The promise is that you're able to quickly snap photos of your checks and avoid a trip through traffic to the bank. The reality is that it takes forever the app to load, snap pictures, and crash.

The promise (remember the ad?) is that you'll be able to walk through the grocery store, put everything in your pocket, walk out, while all the payment is calculated for you as you walk through the magic scanner. The reality is a machine barking at you to put something back because you tried to scan it too early, and the line for the cashier is now the line for self service. Do anything out of order and you have to wait for a human to fix it. At Home Depot, there is often no full service line open.

sheepstache

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 03:18:49 PM »
It appears from the comments that she couldn't even go to a bank because she's with Capital One 360. She chose a low-cost bank and now complains that they don't offer full services.

Someone in the comments fairly points out that plenty of full-service banks have shitty service too. And I take the point that if every bank, grocery store, etc., within the category, introduces some new technology, the market doesn't really have a chance to decide. Even within a small area, if none of the grocery stores offer regular check-out, you're not going to go out of your way just for that. So the grocery stores with automated check-out don't have to offer you shit in terms of savings; it just goes to their bottom line. (Which, I understand all the companies need to maximize their margin so they can open more stores or be smothered themselves.)

I also take the point that when it comes to apps and other electronic aspects of services, it's a lot easier for companies to decide it needs to be "improved" or "revamped." A mental tax on all the consumers who need to re-learn how to do something but no cost to the company.

And it reeeally annoys me when some fellow consumer is really fucking proud of their mastery of some new bullshit. Like, oh, you're a foursquare super user? Good for you. Ass clown.

I can totally see why people in their 80s and 90s are out of touch with technology. I'm progressively checking out of stuff like this because it's not worth it to learn or I can find some workaround to do it how I'm used to. I could follow the step-by-step evolution of the UIs but if I don't, in 20 years it'll be impossible to catch up.

So, yes, I agree this is complainy-pantsing where I would like some good, firm dyspepsia.

jordanread

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 03:23:32 PM »
There is the promise, of course, vs. the reality. The promise is that you're able to quickly snap photos of your checks and avoid a trip through traffic to the bank. The reality is that it takes forever the app to load, snap pictures, and crash.
Who the fuck gets checks?
The promise (remember the ad?)
Nope.
is that you'll be able to walk through the grocery store, put everything in your pocket, walk out, while all the payment is calculated for you as you walk through the magic scanner. The reality is a machine barking at you to put something back because you tried to scan it too early, and the line for the cashier is now the line for self service. Do anything out of order and you have to wait for a human to fix it. At Home Depot, there is often no full service line open.
First off: what non-single person actually believes women's pockets are designed for or used for anything? And who the hell thinks that we have mastered the needs of the body so well that we can fit all the stuff we need in a pocket?
I think this woman is...um...unwilling to figure out how things work. I personally get through the self-checkout way faster that the person behind the register. That being said, my GF takes almost twice as long. I don't say it's because the user is an idiot, but I'm beginning to think that it's because my GF is a user, and calling her an idiot is bad for my sex life.
Quote from: whoever wrote that article
Today, every family who can afford it orders out for pizza, buys lunch at the office, or stops by Applebee’s Carside To Go.

Idiot.

gimp

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 05:02:02 PM »
Two choices:

- Do things yourself to get back control over how it's done (don't put the potatoes on top of the bread, moron)

- Go somewhere to have someone do things for you for convenience (scan groceries five times faster than you can)

Both options exist. Christ on a pogo stick.

LalsConstant

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 08:56:38 PM »
This is some Grade A nonsense.

I'm a Cap1-360 customer from back when it was ING Direct, and their check deposits via their app is ridiculously easy to use.  It's so good now, you don't even have to snap the picture you just position the phone and it takes the picture for you, good grief that's so lazy.  And no, I don't use a special piece of paper either, my desk works just fine.  I WISH I had to spend an hour and a half every month depositing checks with it, I'd be rich as all get out!  It takes longer to fill out a paper and ink deposit slip than it does to use this thing.  She is full of beans.

I'm a little more sympathetic to the self checkout lane.  My career in retail was partially spent monitoring and running these things and the technology is just... not quite there yet.  I know their nuances very well having been a big box retail employee, so I can "massage" these machines to make them do what I want.  But I know certain items (like produce that doesn't have a simple code on it in some stores, or anything that's going to flag an age restriction) are just better to take to the human cashier because otherwise you'll just be waiting forever for an override.

They do seem to be getting better though, I've noticed the ones at Wal-Mart now aren't so temperamental about tendering payment in a very specific sequence like they used to be, and just little improvements like that.  Not to mention they seem to have gotten the scanners and card readers to work much better.  I used to confound people trying to use the machine by taking the item and scanning it after they'd tried half a dozen times.

Bizarrely enough, monitoring self checkouts was one of my preferred duties because it's like playing a three dimensional video game.  Keeping all lanes moving and doing your best to greet and thank each customer between four stations (five technically) is a challenge, and before you know it, hours have passed.

Squashy

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 10:47:03 PM »
I believe the author of the Billfold article makes a living as a freelance writer and writes lots of copy for lots of clients, so that's probably why she has to deposit so many checks. I still don't see what there is to complain about though, since if she really doesn't like the app she can open a free checking account at a local bank/credit union pretty easily and use the branch office---a nice perk of setting your own hours means you can visit the bank when it's open.

BlueMR2

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2014, 10:14:09 AM »
Who the fuck gets checks?

Me.  Probably one every other month or so.  Not a big deal to walk down to the bank with it.  My bank offers the picture taking thing, but I don't use it, since having the check is a good opportunity to just replenish my cash on hand.

I also write 3-4 checks every month.  Local utilities have a surcharge for electronic payment.  It's cheaper to write a check and mail it than to pay online!

jordanread

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 10:31:55 AM »
Who the fuck gets checks?

Me.  Probably one every other month or so.  Not a big deal to walk down to the bank with it.  My bank offers the picture taking thing, but I don't use it, since having the check is a good opportunity to just replenish my cash on hand.

I also write 3-4 checks every month.  Local utilities have a surcharge for electronic payment.  It's cheaper to write a check and mail it than to pay online!
That is crazy. My online bill pay through my bank will either transfer the money, or print and mail a check on my behalf if they ding have an arrangement. I understand what you mean though. Utilities are like that here, too. Charge to pay online, but since it's a check from my bank they get, I don't get a surcharge, plus my bank takes care of postage.

Artemis67

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 12:55:50 PM »
I'm self-employed, and clients still pay me by check.

The most convenient ATM for my credit union is near my Wednesday volunteer gig, so once a week I stop in, feed my checks into the ATM (which scans them), take out my cash allowance for the following week, and I'm done. It takes less than 10 minutes to deposit a stack of checks and be on my way. If there's a line at the ATMs, I can fill out a paper deposit slip, put them in an envelope, and slip them in the drop box--just like we did in the old days. No big deal.

On weeks when I still have left-over cash, and don't need to use an ATM, I deposit the checks using the phone app. I don't even have to put on pants, much less shoes! It takes me about as long to do them as it does to use the ATM, because I'm slow, but that's okay! Pantsless check deposits FTW! \o/

She chose a low-fee bank, and is bitching about having to do some things herself, and constantly having to re-learn the technology. Oh, honey--get fucking used to it, because this has been the way things work for almost as long as I can remember.

I remember when there were no ATMs, and if you wanted to make an after-hours deposit you went to the bank and used the night drop box. if you made a deposit during business hours, you had to go to the bank and stand in line to wait for a teller. I remember when ATMs first came on the scene--but banks charged fees to use them, and you could only use your ATM card at an ATM, and you could only withdraw so much cash at once. And you had to withdraw cash because there were no debit point-of-sale terminals, and retail transactions were all done by cash, check, or credit card (and credit cards were much harder to get).

I remember when banks were open from 9-6 on weekdays. Eventually, some were open for limited (say, 10-3) hours on Saturdays. They were all closed on Sundays. So spending your lunch break standing in line at the bank, or rushing out the door after work to get to your bank before it closed, were part of life.

We wrote lots of checks back then, too--which meant keeping track of your bank balance using a check register and deposit/withdrawal receipts. You couldn't just log on with an app to check your balance 24 hours a day; you had to keep track of it yourself.

So I have no sympathy for her. That we can use our phones to deposit checks at any time of day, no matter where we are, is a good thing. No--scratch that--it's a fucking marvel. And she's whining about having to constantly re-learn the same technology that allows her a level of convenience and time-savings she can't even begin to comprehend because she doesn't remember how much things sucked in the past.

BlueHouse

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 04:42:14 PM »
Who the fuck gets checks?
Me.  Probably one every other month or so.
Me too.  My clients pay me by check.
My limit for mobile deposits is $20K/month, so I have to deposit at an ATM.  I can't really complain about that though. 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2014, 04:45:28 PM by BlueHouse »

jordanread

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 05:27:36 PM »
Who the fuck gets checks?
Me.  Probably one every other month or so.
Me too.  My clients pay me by check.
My limit for mobile deposits is $20K/month, so I have to deposit at an ATM.  I can't really complain about that though.
Mustachian problems.

RetiredAt63

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2014, 01:46:36 PM »
Yes, all that - and no direct deposit for your job either.  And wondering where that missing $0.04 was in the cheque register.  And no hand calculators to make the arithmetic easy.

And you had it soft - our bank hours were 10-3, except Friday, when some branches were open to 5 or 6. 

And still down memory lane, remember when a really good mortgage rate was 7 -9%?  I remember a friend watching her mortgage jump to 19%.

Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur.  But I sure do love modern technology.

I remember when banks were open from 9-6 on weekdays. Eventually, some were open for limited (say, 10-3) hours on Saturdays. They were all closed on Sundays. So spending your lunch break standing in line at the bank, or rushing out the door after work to get to your bank before it closed, were part of life.
We wrote lots of checks back then, too--which meant keeping track of your bank balance using a check register and deposit/withdrawal receipts. You couldn't just log on with an app to check your balance 24 hours a day; you had to keep track of it yourself.


MrsPete

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2014, 04:50:19 PM »
I don't deposit check by phone.
I don't check out my own groceries.
And I'm still alive to tell the tale. 

Yeah, I agree that if these are problems worthy of an internet-whine, her life is pretty good. 

Bob W

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2014, 09:33:55 AM »
As a 55 year old I laugh at the issues of the young.  The shit they carry in their pockets today are the most fantastic things ever invented.   Too bad none of them can read a fricking map or listen long enough to take directions. 

jordanread

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2014, 12:45:40 PM »
As a 55 year old I laugh at the issues of the young.  The shit they carry in their pockets today are the most fantastic things ever invented.   Too bad none of them can read a fricking map or listen long enough to take directions.

I can read a map, I just wish old people knew the names of streets when giving directions. :P

Edited because shortly after hitting reply, I remembered this:

« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 12:51:51 PM by jordanread »

dragoncar

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2014, 10:06:01 AM »
And what's with pumping my own gas?  That's not my job.  That used to be someone else's job. 

And typing my own articles?  Psh.  Where have all the professional typists gone?

Hey It's Me

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2014, 07:10:16 AM »
This article might be the definition of complainy-pants.

MayDay

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2014, 10:15:58 AM »
I do fucking hate self checkout and will wait in an infinitely long line on principle, in order to have a human check me out.

ketchup

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2014, 10:34:21 AM »
I always pick the most attractive check-out person, so I always do self-checkout.

Seriously though, it ends up faster for me 99% of the time, and I just like doing things myself and not bagging my groceries in a stupid way (yes, let's put all the canned tomatoes on top of the grapes, great idea guys).

Hey It's Me

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2014, 07:10:49 PM »
I always pick the most attractive check-out person, so I always do self-checkout.

Lol

inSecurity

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2014, 09:22:43 PM »
The only point I can agree with her on is that it is a bit annoying to see only self checkout lines open.  I'm fine most of the time, but if everything I have is self bagged vegetables (so I have to look up the code for each item), I really wish I could find an employee run line.

But it's still faster than waiting in the one open line while someone uses dozens of coupons and pays with a check, so I think I'll live.

BlueMR2

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2014, 07:50:08 AM »
I've just had too much bad luck with those self-checkouts.  I've never had a problem getting stuck behind slow people in a regular checkout line.  However, in my few occasions of trying the self-checkout I've had numerous computer problems with it that required assistance.  Getting assistance can take quite awhile as they only have 1 person to help all the self-checkout kiosks.

dandarc

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2014, 11:30:45 AM »
As a 55 year old I laugh at the issues of the young.  The shit they carry in their pockets today are the most fantastic things ever invented.   Too bad none of them can read a fricking map or listen long enough to take directions.

I can read a map, I just wish old people knew the names of streets when giving directions. :P

Edited because shortly after hitting reply, I remembered this:


I did this when I had first moved to Tallahassee to get across town to the other office.  Should have listened to the directions - there are certain roads in Tallahassee that you just don't want to be on during the day, but you will be routed on if going by GPS or Google directions.  45 minutes vs 20 if I had listened.  At least I know a lot of this now.

babysnowbyrd

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Re: The Billfold: Automated technology is horrible
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2014, 05:46:48 PM »

I can read a map, I just wish old people knew the names of streets when giving directions. :P

Edited because shortly after hitting reply, I remembered this:


^^^ lol. Actually I live in a mobile home park where the lot numbers hardly make any sense. (I'm in 2 a few doors down from 145 and across from 77. Oh, and don't get 2 confused with A2, B2, D2, or E2. It's just 2.) I'm the other person on the line giving directions (they're really simple! An exit and two turns is all!) and they're the ones saying "I have GPS." Sorry. Your GPS isn't going to get you here, honey. You gotta listen to my instructions!