Monday, December 10, 2012

New and NOT So Improved

You now what is my least favorite phrase in the English language (after "New government program" of course)?  "New and Improved!"  Because as things become "newer" they usually fail to be "improved".  In fact, I find that usually the product or service is worse than it was before.

Such is the case with the "New and Improved" ITunes program from Apple.  First, downloading the new program only crashed my computer three times this weekend as I tried to update it.  Then, it wouldn't allow me to sync my IPhone for a couple of hours, until I went to a non-Apple site to find the actual fix to the problem.  (Apple is under the belief that my problem doesn't exist because ITunes is "New and Improved!!"). 

And once you finally get into the program you find that it is certainly easier to find ads for songs and artists that I would never download for free in a million years--much less pay to have that crap infect my IPhone.  However, finding all of the features I actually need has become much more difficult.  Of course, I could always sit through the Kindergarten-teacher-type "Tutorial" to find out how "easy" the new ITunes is to use.  Um...If it's that easy, you wouldn't have to show me how to do it, would you?

I do my banking with a financial institution here in town that has gone to a "New and Improved" form of customer service.  Gone are the counters behind which tellers would stand waiting for your deposit or withdrawal.  That has been replaced with a bunch of small tables spread out haphazardly throughout the lobby.  Since there is no nice organized line to stand in, you are forced to kind of wander in the midst of the "teller stands" waiting for someone to call you over to help you.  In the meantime, you wonder if you are entitled to be the next person to step up, or if the lady over by the TV was here before you and should be the one to be served next.  My only guess to the advantage of this layout is that it confuses would-be bank robbers who have absolutely no idea where they have to go to hand over their threatening note.

Said financial institution has also done away with deposit and withdrawal slips as well--meaning you have to explain the sometimes complex distribution of multiple checks being deposited into multiple accounts--or multiple withdrawals from multiple accounts.  I'm guessing the incredibly poor math skills of today's American led to errors at the teller window as the numbers customers added up on the slips never matched up with the totals of the checks or cash presented with them.  Must be the result of "New and Improved" teaching techniques in the classroom.

I certainly don't want to quash innovation in the world of business and technology--just don't tell me something with more bells and whistles--but less functionality--is "improved".

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