In a quest for profit and automation, big tech companies are making mistakes that matter to people using their services. Some are small and annoying; others are more significant.
Turn on the Weather Channel in Brattleboro and you’ll be welcomed to Putney. Yes, Putney. The Weather Channel made a switch a year or so ago and decided that the big city in our region, right up there with Albany and Burlington, is Putney.
LinkedIn makes sure to tell everyone that employees in Brattleboro work in the Springfield area. Springfield, MA, that is. So helpful!
Google lists a number of local businesses correctly on their maps, but display results that say we’re in Guilford, VT. This is especially stupid, since Google demands businesses confirm their address before accepting, and businesses type in their information into Goggle’s forms. Despite repeated “suggested corrections” and “correction accepted!” messages, the Google’s choice that we’re in Guilford remains active.
They are also using out of date date for some listings, and showing Guilford, VT businesses as being in Brattleboro. This, again, after having the correct info given to them.
Yahoo got hacked (again). They sent out an important announcement with critical information. The link in it goes to a page not found” and a visit to their “Safety Center” with information about security has no information whatsoever. Their news page doesn’t even feature the story.
Uber launched self driving cars in California, and they promptly ran red lights, threatening people in crosswalks. Uber blamed human error for their machine errors.
I’m sure you could add to the list.
One mistake is annoying. This many is sloppy and of concern, especially since these companies are notoriously hard to reach. Many use automated systems, and one can get caught in a loop trying to point out their errors (another error – customer service!).
All of this is a reminder that the promises of technology are only as good as the people putting it together.
The hype is that we can use these services to have a better life and career, but if my local weather shows me another town, my job is listed in the wrong place, my business is incorrect on the map, cars are driving themselves into pedestrians, and systems used to publicize businesses are hacked, how is this helping?