For your convenience…

Isn’t the phrase “for your convenience” the biggest lie in today’s world? It always seems to accompany some reduction in service. As in “we’ve implemented this phone tree [and made it impossible to talk to a Real Person] for your convenience“. Or “we’ve switched from Coke to Pepsi for your convenience“.

This week, my company rolled out the new ResX travel system for your convenience. Now, all travel must be booked on the ResX online travel site. I know that it is designed to save the company money by reducing the travel agency costs and forcing employees to take the cheapest fares. But after playing with it for 30 minutes, I found that it doesn’t find the cheapest fares. Rather, it searches for what it thinks is a good combination of convenience and fare. The problem is, what I think is convenient is to Fly the Friendly Skies and get priority treatment and upgrades thanks to my frequent flier status. What it thinks is convenient is to put me on Air France — at a higher price — where I have a good chance of getting stranded due to strike or the wrong phase of the moon or whatever. Worse, I haven’t figured out how to purchase an upgradeable fare through the system.

Whose convenience are we really talking about? That’s a simple question.

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