App Musings

The following were my experiences with 2 different apps over this weekend. First, TripAdvisor. I have contributed there for several years, and had racked up over 650 reviews. When I disabled my FB account, it was during a time when we didn’t happen to travel or visit new places, and hence I was not generating new reviews. When I next tried to access TA, I discovered that the acocunt had been originated in conjunction with my FB account, which now no longer existed… I initially just created a new TA account and moved on. However, it bugged me that all my prior reviews were now cut off in the old account. I set about trying to get the accounts merged. There were a lot of roadblocks to this (no obvious way to have technical support discussions with TA, etc.). I eventually did manage to get in email contact with them, and over a period of around 3 weeks of back-and-forth chats, they finally did a manual merge when their automated process failed to execute. As of now, the accounts are finally merged. This has no tangible benefit for me, but it was satisfying to see it through to completion, somehow. I appreciate TA’s assistance with this (as I don’t think it is something that they want to have to do regularly).

The other app in quesiton is Waze. I generally have had good experiences with it. However, on Friday, it really missed the mark. There was an ‘all lanes blocked’ condition on a local interstate, which I happened to be taking to get home. Part of the problem may have been bad timing, but it seemed like the app knew the basic info on the accident and began trying to route me around it. However, in the end, it only succeeded in routing me close behind it, such that I ended up parked on the interstate (along with thousands of others) for at least 90 minutes. The key dissatisfier, though, was that one of Waze’s re-routes involved getting off a spur highway, making a U-turn via a local road that bridged the highway, and then returning to the highway to rejoin said interstate. However, the local road, if followed, would *actually* have allowed us to parallel the interstate further and completely bypass the accident. I’m at a complete loss as to why this wasn’t Waze’s recommendation at that point… Also, someone commented that Waze is owned by Google, which if true is yet another reason for me to stop using it.

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