Thursday, October 06, 2005

Aargh!! Movie-dispensing robot box is broken!

I went to return The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy DVD to the red robot box that rents movies.

Unfortunately, there was a sorry screen displaying: "Sorry, machine is broken. Call 800 number for rental return instructions. "

You have to understand, when I rent movies from a robotic box, there's an implied contract between the box and I. The machine broke that contract. I paid a dollar a day, plus tax, to rent a movie WITHOUT talking to another human being.

I'm not just paying a dollar for the convenience of renting whatever movie is in the innards of a robotic box. I'm paying money to obviate the human presence. When I press a button, it is genocide, writ small. Die, humans!

Sooo, I dialed the 800 number, pressed one for English, did not marque dos para Espanol, and wandered around phone hell. I tried to talk to a human being, and ended up leaving a message: "Okay, you guys! It's on now! This is totally going on my blog!" The message told me their hours were 8 am to midnight (it's before midnight).

I called back again, navigated phone hell again, got a customer service guy who told me to write a code on a piece of paper, and stuff the DVD and paper into a lockbox strapped to the back of the red robot. That lockbox is small, and probably won't fit all the rented DVDs in it. Fortunately, mine did fit, so I could go buy paper towels and fudge-coated graham crackers for a certain ladyfriend with a cravin'.

It's been said before: Don't Make Me Think!

What went wrong:

1. Machine was broken.
2. Had to call 800 number (duh, not everyone has a phone).
3. Wasn't clear how to get to the customer service person.
4. Wasn't clear I needed to get to a customer service person. I was expecting a menu option like "Oh, machine is broken. We love you long time."
5. I had to write down a code.
6. That little lock-box might have been full.
7. I got a message telling me their operating hours, then left a message, and was immediately disconnected, forcing me to call back.
8. Had to talk to a human being.
9. Couldn't rent another movie immediately.
10. Now have to wonder whether they've gotten machine fixed or not, so I can go rent another movie.

What went right:

1. This rental was free.
2. Guy on phone didn't suck at all. Repeat: guy on phone did not suck AT ALL.


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