There's an app for that

The gradual encroachment of Artificial Intelligence on our everyday lives seems to be the inevitable rush to turn us all into robotic beings that have no option but to relate to other robots to accomplish what used to be simple straightforward functions.

From paying for our ticket for parking our cars which require us to pay on a mobile phone, to submitting our gas and electric readings to our energy suppliers which require the use of a computer device.

All well and good, and although in the back of our minds we sympathise with the humans that used to provide these services (remember when we were able to actually speak to someone on a telephone to get these tasks done?) and they have now lost their jobs, we recognise that progress is inevitable.

All of the apps and websites that allow us to accomplish these tasks can work just fine if they have been designed to help us. But there's the rub.

Companies or businesses that outsource their requirements regarding setting up websites to provide a technological solution for dealing with customers, don't seem to understand that they are implementing a problem rather than a 'solution'. One example in question is the website employed by Swindon Town FC regarding the viewing of home matches, now that supporters are not yet allowed in the ground due to the current Pandemic.

As a long time season ticket holder, I followed the instructions given to me by email that would allow me to view the game against Rochdale remotely on a computer device, and therefore continue my support on the season ticket that I had purchased before the pandemic. To do this I would have to use an app called 'iFollow' that would allow me to access the game on my device.

Sounds simple, eh? Not a bit of it! I had been told in advance that I needed to open an account at least the day before the game, and to enter the code that I had been provided with in plenty of time before the match began so as to avoid any problems.

This I duly did, but wouldn't you know it, it didn't work! A live chat line had been set up to deal with any hitches, but no-one was manning the chat line, so no help was available. As I have said, because I had paid for my season ticket in advance, I was entitled to watch this game on the day for free, so I was somewhat disappointed to say the least.

Like a lot of companies that outsource these apps and websites to so-called 'computer experts', it is the businesses themselves that will reap the whirlwind when it goes wrong.

Yes, I am supporter of a certain age that may struggle with certain types of technology from time to time, and may not be able to engage a five-year old to do it for me, but perhaps, Swindon Town FC, I'll think twice about giving you my hard-earned money to you in the future.

John Beale

Wigmore Avenue

Why did PM sell us a 'flawed' deal?

Let’s for one moment take Boris Johnson at his word and it is true that the European Union bullish threats over on customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are a threat to the union, and to avoid this they need the powers to break International Law.

No one has said that the EU’s action is a breach of the Withdrawal Agreement, or that they are themselves breaking International Law! So, the question the Prime Minister needs to answer is? If the EU’s actions are permissible under the Withdrawal Agreement, why, if it is so flawed, did Boris Johnson sign the up to it in the first place, and say it was a great deal, when selling it to Parliament and the British people?

Kevin Small

Jennings Street