Archive for October 17th, 2006

Dealing with the ACT Government online.

Here is a copy of an email I sent to Canberra Connect via their feedback form, after ten minutes of trying to find the operating hours of their shopfronts.

Email address:
Topic: Our Service To You –> Website Matters – Insert The Webpage
Comment Category: Suggestion
Details:Dear sir/madam,

I am writing to you after spending ten minutes wandering around your website in an attempt to find the trading hours of your shopfronts. I do not wish to complain, as I eventually found what I was looking for via a link to the shopfronts from a service I was not interested in, and I then subsequently found a link on your homepage.

It is the link on the homepage which I wish to make a suggestion about. Currently, the link to the shopfronts is in the footer of each page, along with the Canberra Connect phone number, this is in many ways a good thing, but it isn’t particularly obvious. In my opinion, it would be wise, on the homepage, to have a large direct link to the shopfront page, with a title along the lines of “Shopfront trading hours”. I also think that it would be a good idea to have the Canberra Connect phone number near the top of the homepage.

Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestion, I hope and trust that it will not fall on deaf ears.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

After submitting that I was presented with a page which informed me that I have to register to send them an email…it’s infuriating to have to register to send a suggestion, but I suppose it helps to cut down on the form spamming, and I registered anyway. Then, in a further bid to prevent people from sending the government things they might have to read, it tried to fob me off with some articles it thought might solve my problem…the pages were:

  • “What is this service?” — A page telling me all about how wonderful the department of Territory and Municipal Services are for setting up this wonderful helpful website.
  • “Directories and Maps” — A page with links to a lot of other websites filled with directories and maps…even less relevant than the last link.
  • “Paying Bills On-Line” — It’s fairly obvious what that page is for…I can see the relevance, but I have a reason for visiting Canberra Connect in person…I would avoid the queues if I could, but I want to talk to a human about my particular issue.
  • “Justice of the Peace” — A page which links to a directory of JPs, and a page about becoming a JP…I’m getting the feeling that it is just showing me random gibberish now.
  • “Magpies” — Filled with information about Magpies…it looks like an ACT Government attempt to stop people thinking that magpies are evil…and it has absolutely nothing to do with my comments about the Canberra Connect shopfront operating hours.

After that bizarre and eclectic collection of random nonsense, I clicked on the “Finish Submitting Question” button, which submitted my feedback to Canberra Connect, and gave me reference number “061017-002161”. It also told me that I should receive a reply within five working days. A few seconds later it emailed a copy of my query to me.

I must say that, so far, I’m not overly impressed with the time it takes to submit feedback, or the horrid collection of irrelevant articles it showed me…but I can see a benefit in registering…I am able to modify or retract my suggestion if need be, which may be helpful in some circumstances.

I did learn something though, the shopfront page says that they have a shopfront in Dickson at the Motor Registry…it’s no help to me, because I wanted to know about the shopfront in Belconnen, but it is interesting anyway.


1 comment October 17th, 2006 at 10:30pm

Opinions? What Opinions?

“Bob” from “Not Where You Tink” (hmmm, think perhaps…well not Bob) sent me one of those long rambling emails yesterday that people seem to enjoy sending me. I would love to quote bits of it, it’s just that I would have to give you ten minutes worth of reading material for any of his points to be made.

So, allow me to summarise. Bob is disappointed, you see, according to him all blogs are supposed to contains nothing but opinions, they are supposed to be online editorials about politics, and we all have to either extreme left wing people or extreme right wing people. Bob is very disappointed that I don’t share my opinion on “newsworthy” (I counted that word at least 50 times in his email) issues more often, or to be more precise, every moment that I’m awake. I’m supposed to be very disappointed with myself, see the error of my ways, and instantly correct my errors.

I’m not going to address the majority of Bob’s email, as it is pure nonsense…I will address the issue of why I don’t have my opinion on newsworthy issues clogging up every single post…I don’t have time! If I raise newsworthy issues and offer my opinion, I need to have time to back up my opinion when somebody disputes it…unfortunately I don’t really have enough time to sit at a computer and have debates with people all day.

I hope you all understand and aren’t as disappointed as poor Bob seems to be…I wonder if Bob has a blog?


4 comments October 17th, 2006 at 08:09am


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