Speaking of how incredibly dumb the lack of customer service is:
I went to book some tickets for my holiday to Waitara. Go to the Intercity site, look for seats on the particular days. You used to be able to grab a booking number, then go to the retail office and pay for it.
Not anymore. Instead, you have two options. Credit card or POLi.
What's POLi you ask?
POLi stands for "Pay ONLIne". It's an Australian company. How does it work? They require you to download something, install it on your Windows operating system and then you can make the payment. It's 2011 (A couple of weeks away from 2012) people! The world is becoming more and more browser agnostic (although, it should be noted that Google services seems to complain if you're not using Google Chrome). It should already be OS agnostic where online services are concerned. What the "fornication"?!?
As a consumer, I'm more likely to trust to the standards (SSL) rather than trusting some random software which some hedge company, such as POLi, wants to install on my computer.
The really amazingly stupid bit is that companies such as "Intercity Coachlines" are using this service. I reckon there should be a list of shame for all the customers of POLi. This is not how you treat your customers.
Hint - if the front page of your site says something like "Pay with POLi in 5 Simple Steps", it doesn't matter how easy those steps are... there's "fornicat"ing 5 of 'em!
The interesting bit is this is what I've been on my high horse about. What is the aim of the site? It's to make it easy for their customers to make bookings for their services. Meanwhile, they've somehow been convinced that they need POLi's way of doing things for things to be "secure". Never mind the fact that the rest of the world doesn't require such silly practices. But more importantly, it's at a point where it's no longer easier for the customer. It's decidedly difficult. That is a classic fail. Get rid of the damn nerds! Work with the nerds who work to your aims. Period.
Oh and geeks - work with people. Try and get out of your geeky shoes and think about it from the perspective of your audience.