30 October 2010

Online library services and other pitfalls in cyberspace

Online library services are very useful. I often look up books in the university library catalogue from home when I want to check a bibliography, or see if a certain book I have read about is available.

But sometimes they can also be frustrating.

Today I got 40 (yes, 40) letters from Unisa, reminding me to renew my library books or return them.

Well, I tried to renew them using their electronic system, but it no longer seemed to recognise my password. I looked up the help file to see what I could do about getting a new password, but the things that the help file said were on the web site were not there -- or at least I couldn't find them.

I thought perhaps there might be a glitch in the system so I waited a few days and tried again. Same result -- or rather non-result.

But then there is a last chance emergency procedure -- e-mail them for a new PIN to be sent. I tried that. It bounced, rejected as spam. If you want to query that, write to the postmaster. I wrote to the postmaster. That also bounced, rejected as spam.

Ah, but there is a final last resort -- you can write a letter by snail mail, asking them to renew. So I did that, attaching the bounced e-mail rejecting my attempts to contact them electronically as spam.

And now I receive 40 re-reminders in the mail. I just hope they crossed in the post with my letter requesting renewal. I really, really hope they haven't bounced my snail mail request as spam!

Computers are extremely useful tools, and sometimes they save a lot of time and effort. At other times, however, they can be extremely frustrating.

1 comment:

James Higham said...

However did you manage 40 letters?


Related Posts with Thumbnails