End User fun stuff

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah @ the #dentist

areas of life that need technologyI am currently on hold to the dentist trying to rearrange a dental appointment for one of the kids. This is with a national chain. What I really want to be able to do is go online and alter the date to an available slot earlier in the same day.

As it is I am now three minutes into the call listening to some bland violin music with occasional platitudes apologising for the delay.

The last time I took the kid there we arrived ten minutes early only to be told that we were actually forty minutes early. Whoever had written the letter for the appointment had made a mistake including calling him Miss J Davies. Harrumph. The dentist  was also running late so we were in that waiting room for an hour looking at magnolia paint, posters selling toothbrushes and flicking through copies of “Country Homes”1 from 2009.

Had I had access to an online booking system this would not have happened.

Now it may sound like it but I’m not having a go at my dentist. He is a pal of mine and lives around the corner. Also whilst in theory a dentist’s practice runs to a timetable it is also subject to a degree of subjectivity that sometimes requires a manual element in booking appointments.

8 minutes later I have  finished talking to the receptionist who will call back once she has consulted the man himself. There must be many areas of our every day life where technology should be able to make a difference to our experience as customers.

I would be very interested to hear comments regarding areas of everyday life where there is an obvious application or need for technology2. Who knows where it might get us. Comments in the usual way…

1 I can’t remember what the mags really were but you get my drift. Having exhausted a game of I Spy With My Little Eye I spent most of the time on my Samsung Galaxy S2. They seem to have got rid of the poster banning the use of mobile phones whist in the waiting room. Tweet on!

2 No definition is offered here as to what we mean by technology – that is up to you.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

10 replies on “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah @ the #dentist”

You won’t thank me for this 😉

This reminded me of your ‘Service Now’ post:

How are Timico getting on with their Service Status page?

Did you see @CharlesArthur on Twitter having all sorts of problems as he couldn’t find out what was going on with his broadband recently? Alerts and calls can be ok – but you always need a current Service Status page for people to visit!

If I was your dentist I would expect Timico to provide this online service before they put their dentistry stuff online 🙂

*Open Wide*

EDIT: If it’s not clear @CharlesArthur isn’t a Timico customer…!

His provider let him down by having constantly engaged lines etc.
Their Status page for Business customers had been left to die – I was able to point him to a non-Business Status page where his issue was covered.

You can’t beat information 🙂

Weeel actually the service status page is done and it is looking great. We haven’t publicised it yet as we are bedding it in internally and need to add another feature or two before launching it to the world.

Won’t be long now.

No matter which stage of dentist you are in there is pain – getting an appointment (as you pointed out above), having to wait as they never run on time (even if you are the first appointment of the day), having the work done (they never have a gentle touch) and finally paying – aksing “Can i pay in instalments or why do not just hold a gun to my head” does not go down well!
I also agree never have i sat in a dentist waiting room and read a magazine that was published in that year. Last one i picked up was a “Readers Digest – Why Hilter invaded Poland”. Now i take my own book – and read the joys of routing/switching etc. My dentist does send a text message on the day so you do not miss your appointment.

Ok – here is a few i can think of that cannot be done online –

Booking a car’s MOT
Hiring an assassin
Getting rid of my mother in law (not linked to the above – honest)


You need to change dentists then.

I never wait more than a couple of minutes at mine and getting through on the phone is usually instant – J R Hill, 19 The Avenue, Lincoln.

I would really benefit from my dentist having this service as I never get round to ringing them and would find it easier to book online!

When I recently rang the doctors to make an appointment for the next available date, I was asked if I had registered for the online booking system. When I said no, the receptionist advised that I would have to go in to the surgery to get my activation details and if I booked online the next avialble date would be the 1st November but if I wanted to book over the phone they couldn’t fit me in until the 7th??

This is good news for me – not so sure how that is fair on the older generation who perhaps do not want to book online.

Ok this is quite amusing – Tref please let me know if I’m being too critical!

This post is discussing ‘online services’ – I’ve just looked at how Timico manages domain registrations after seeing a link.

As far as I can tell (I might be being very dim here!) after checking your chosen domain name is available you are presented with a contact form rather than the expected online purchase process!?

This is the first non-online domain registration system I’ve seen.
I’ll phone the dentist…

You are quite right though feel free to not be quite so critical :). The whole company system is being redone – it’s what happens when you go from a single small ISP to a bigger one incorporating lots of small ISPs. Not sure when the domain ordering will be automated though as this isn’t really core stuff to us – not like a godaddy or 123reg etc.

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