Waiting times

This is not a primarily business related post. I know that because of depression, anxiety and unrelated problems with executive functioning I have sometimes problems meeting my goals. But I don’t have problems keeping with agreed frequency of communication. And of course I do my best to choose what promises I can keep before I make them.

Canadian eTA

When I applied for Canadian electronic Travel Authorization, eTA, I expected that they will be able to keep their promise to contact me within 72 hours after I submit my application. It has been 73 hours and I heard nothing from them. My anxiety has fallen to manageable levels during last day.

There is no excuse for this. There could have been at least an automated robot telling me to be patient and give them another 72 hours. I would have complied but only for those 72 hours. I would also have to fight some mild rage inside me because they didn’t keep their promise.

Also a tip: Proofread what you post. Typing mistakes can be somewhat acceptable but if I check status and see text for work permit instead of eTA, there’s something wrong. Forms said eTA and help bubble talks about work permit. I wasn’t on a wrong page.

Phone call required

One other waiting time problem I have experience in last month was related to eCommerce. I have moved my furniture, books, fridge, etc. in to a storage. I needed something to wrap it with.

One of the Czech eCommerce websites calling itself ‘Wrapping materials’ has a nice looking, structured website. What they don’t tell you upfront is that they need to call you to confirm the order.

Expected behavior:

  1. I place an order
  2. They send me a confirmation of the order
  3. They inform me that the package is on the way

Unexpected, real, behavior:

  1. I place an order
  2. They inform me that they received an order and tell me that I should wait for a phone call
  3. I inform them that I am cancelling the order
  4. Two days later they call me because they didn’t read my cancellation e-mail

There is a good way how to do this when you really need to confirm an order and your eCommerce platform doesn’t provide you proper tools.

  1. You need to inform your customers that such phone call will be required before they hit the order button
    • Yes, I am aware that it might be cause for an abandonment. But as you could see in my case it has caused an order cancellation. What is better is up to you.
  2. It should be visible when you are going to make a phone call, i.e. business hours and your timezone (when necessary)
  3. There are other people than those who are Deaf who have difficulties using phone. Offer alternative ways to communicate with your customers, i.e. skype, e-mail, etc.

Lessons

  1. When you promise to contact someone within a time period, do it
  2. Choose your promises wisely
  3. Be clear
  4. Offer alternative communication channels