What’s fair for customers is fair for those who bill us

March 17, 2023
by Ivan Raconteur

I think the time has come for us to rise up against online irritation.

The thought came to me recently when  I was completing the seemingly simple task of paying my city utility bill.

The city, like many companies, apparently thinks it’s fun to make customers jump through hoops.

In the case of my city utility bill, I first have to enter my username and password to log in to my account. Then, I have to take my bill and put it in a shopping cart. Then, I have to go to check out, but here is my favorite part.

Before I can check out, I am subjected to one of those idiotic exercises in which I am presented with a group of photographs, and I have to select all of the photos that include a certain characteristic “in order to prove that I am not a robot.”

My first thought is that if there are really a bunch of robots eagerly trying to pay my utility bill, let them. I would have no objection to that.

My other problem with this absurd exercise is that the photos are tiny and difficult for my old eyes to see.

In order for me to identify which of the photos includes a piece of a bridge, a traffic light, or whatever the current puzzle is, I need to either guess or get out my Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass and study the photos under a strong light.

It seems like a lot of bothers just for the pleasure of paying a bill.

What I am proposing is that we, as consumers, turn the tables on these companies and cities.

We should create a system under which, before they can present us with a bill, they have to jump through some hoops to prove to us that they are not robots. This could involve giving them some stupid little puzzle that they have to solve before we consider paying the obligation.

I suspect it wouldn’t take long for them to reconsider their ideas about customer service.

From a purely practical perspective, it seems to me that if you want someone to pay you, it will make sense to make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible.

I believe implementing this proposal would give me some satisfaction, but I have noticed that practical ideas are often not adopted in this world.

Advertise in over
250+ MN newspapers