Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Does it make you crazy when a business doesn't take advantage of the available technology?

Asked by Dutchess_III (27244 points ) March 25th, 2012

For example, when I request a student’s transcript I have to go find the contact information on the school’s website. Those sites almost never, NEVER have any email contact information. It makes it difficult for me because I don’t have a phone or a fax at the lab where I work. So at lunch I have to get to a phone, call them, and ask them for their email addresses.

Often when I ask them to email the transcript to me it’s like I’m talking in Greek. It’s like, “Well, uh. I’ve never done that but…I guess I can….?” The technology has only been around for 20 years.

I had one gal tell me that they can’t do email, they can only do fax, so that it is “official.” Say whaaaaaa?

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22 Answers

filmfann's avatar

I work for AT&T. We constantly install the latest equipment to business who want to stay cutting edge, yet when I go into our building for Voice Mail, I find the most useless, out of date equipment. We constantly have to repair it. Why is it we give ourselves the worst grade of service?

gailcalled's avatar

My dentist, being a cheap sob, gives a 5% discount only if I pay by check, which is really annoying.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@filmfann Don’t feel all alone. ATT gives the WORST customer service service too! And their website totally sucks.

@gailcalled Why in the world does he do that? I can understand not wanting to run a debit or credit card, but why not give a discount for cash?

gailcalled's avatar

He will do that also, but who carries around that kind of cash? A crown can cost $800 and up, on a good day.

I suppose I could get organized, but it’s another PITA housekeeping chore, of which I have already too many.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gailcalled I’m thinking of the smaller, more common work he does.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It doesn’t really bother me. I guess I just don’t feel anyone should do things any one way or another. The cafeteria at my work only accepts cash. I know this and make a point to have cash with me (or go to the ATM) on the days I’m buying lunch.

As for the transcripts, I can understand their need for making sure things are marked official. My colleges won’t e-mail them either. I don’t believe they will fax either. Instead, they mail them in an envelope with a seal imprinted on it to show that it has not been opened. The envelope says not to accept it if it is opened and the previously opened transcripts are no longer considered “official”. They will send unofficial transcripts by other means, but those aren’t suppose to be used for official purposes.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dutchess_III: It’s hard to get out of his office with a bill for less than $125 (and that’s with the 5% discount.) I go for regular check-ups three times a year and rarely have an emergency that will cost chump change.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seaofclouds A fax is no more “official” than an email. In fact, an email actually looks like the original whereas a fax is smudgy and messy. And these are high school transcripts we’re talking about. The students just sign a form authorizing the school to release them to us. We don’t need anything more official. I scan and email that request, and with a good school I’ll have the email of their transcript back within 30 minutes.

@gailcalled In that case, he’s crazy! I mean, how many bad checks has he had to deal with??

gailcalled's avatar

@Dutchess_III: It’s a really small community where “everyone knows your name.” Thus there would have been few to no problems.

I see the receptionist at my small post office, I see the dentist having lunch at Ralph’s Pretty Good Café (seating capacity 35) and I see the patients, many of whom are my friends, everywhere.

jaytkay's avatar

I don’t have a phone…where I work

Speaking of not taking advantage of technology…

But yes, it’s maddening. I’ve worked with people who print out every email they receive. Because using the computer to find an old email “is too hard”.

RE: Scan & email

Lately I have had good luck, when people can’t scan a document, asking them to photograph it with their smartphone. About 50% of the time they can handle that and the results are good enough.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jaytkay I teach at a jail. They have phones and faxes out in the booking area right outside of my classroom door, but I hesitate to use them for business as I don’t work for the jail. I work for a school district. They aren’t about to put an open phone line in my classroom!

I’ll remember that about the phones…but I imagine I’d have to “teach” many of them how to take a picture, then teach them how to email it to me!

jaytkay's avatar

@Dutchess_III At the suggestion of using their phone camera, if they don’t immediately say “OK, I can do that” then I just say nevermind, please mail/fax/whatever is easiest and fastest.

Another idea – when people insist on faxing, a fax via email account is much better than a fax machine. I have a free personal efax.com account, but it’s limited to 10 incoming pages per month, probably not enough for your work.

At work we use MyFax.com for sending and receiving via email, $10/month. The limit is 500 pages (I think? I don’t know because we never hit it).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Explain how that works, please. Do they fax it to your fax number (provided by efax or whomever) and it actually gets sent electronically in the form of an email? If so, then I offer you ten thousand thanks and I’ll talk to my boss!!

linguaphile's avatar

I just applied to several universities and had to get transcripts from the 5 universities I attended… they seem to be in collective agreement because none of them do transcripts by email. Apparently faxing it is more authentic, safer and less likely to be falsified than scanning.

I’d much prefer to scan and email, so I know my transcript request with my SSN got to one person, not faxed into a basket in a public room.

I agree, @Dutchess_III, I get frustrated with the same thing—but even more so with web sites that won’t give you any contact information, but force you to go through their drop down menu of limited options on an online form.

jaytkay's avatar

eFax/MyFax Receiving
1) eFax/MyFax assigns you a phone number
2) People fax to that number
3) You receive the fax as a scanned document in your email

eFax/MyFax Sending
1) To send a fax to 1–312-555–1212 you send an email to 13125551212@myfax.com
2) They receive a fax, just as if you had used an actual fax machine
3) The best part – any attachment in your email (Word, PDF, Excel, JPG, etc.) prints out on the receiving fax, too.

I am so happy I might have helped you at work, I am very impressed by teachers at regular schools, and you have taken on an even harder job!

dappled_leaves's avatar

The “fax not email” thing drives me crazy, too. It’s every bit as easy to fake a faxed signature as a scanned one, so it isn’t a security issue. It’s ridiculously inconvenient to find a place that sends faxes, and then hang around hoping for a confirmation that it was sent. And then good luck trying to trace a sent fax on the other end. Nightmare.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jaytkay Except… who the heck is “myfax.com”? And do I particularly want to be sending them copies of my private documents?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@linguaphile don’t you want to just shake them?? I mean, it would be easier to falsify something you’re faxing because it comes out so messy!
w hat @dappled_leaves said. And I’m thinking myfax.com just assigns you a phone number, like the phone company does for a fax.

jaytkay's avatar

@dappled_leaves myfax.com is a company which provides fax-via-email service.

It’s part of a public company, j2 Global Communications, Inc., so they are not a fly-by-night.

I never worried about security. In my mind it’s as safe as entrusting my documents to email.

RE: I’m thinking myfax.com just assigns you a phone number, like the phone company does for a fax.
Correct

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh and thanks for the pub, @jaytkay. I have to be honest though…teaching my guys is MUCH easier than teaching on the outside. You have to put up with so much crap outside and you don’t have a choice. I can just kick somebody out of the program if they give me trouble. (In the year that I’ve been there I only had to kick two guys out forEVA.)

john65pennington's avatar

In defense, I will have to say this about T-Mobile. Just about every suggestion I have made to them, has been iniated in one form or another.

Placement of communication towers, for example. I have suggested three different locations that really needed one of their towers, for the safety sake of their customers. In about eight months, most of my suggested locations were up and running. This is why I have stayed with T-Mobile for almost 12 years. They listen to their customers and always have the latest in communication technology.

I would say that T-Mobile does not fit into your category question.

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