Tag Archives: Digital Convenience

If Your iPhone Dies, Does That Make You a Criminal?

No, this is not an Apple-bashing post, just coincidence.  The problem could just as easily happen to an Android user.

The short answer to the question in the subject of this post is, apparently, at least according to the courts in London.

Here is the story.

Jemima is a digital convert.  She is a resident of London and is dedicated to her iPhone.  She uses Apple pay. After all, what could go wrong?

The story starts with her getting on a bus in London and using Apple pay to pay the fare.  Then her iPhone’s battery died.

The bad news is that the fare inspector came by and she couldn’t prove that she had paid the fare.  She gave the fare inspector her information figuring that bus company should be able to verify that she paid.

But she was charged with a CRIME –  not being able to PROVE that she paid the fare and had to go to court and plead guilty or not guilty.

When she went to court she  produced a bank statement showing that she paid the fare, but they said that wasn’t enough.

But apparently she had failed to “register” her Apple Pay with Transport For London.  Which, they said, is actually not required.

But since she had not done that and the digital world doesn’t print you a paper receipt, you get to deal with the mess.

She was found guilty and  fined $592.  For not paying for the bus.  Which she had paid for.

Being a convicted criminal, she was turned down for a U.S. Visa.

MONTHS later, she was able to convince a judge that this was not right and finally overturned her conviction.

So ponder this when you do things the “convenient” (AKA digital) way.  It can come back to bite you in the ….

Recently, I had a somewhat similar situation but luckily it didn’t turn me into a criminal.

I went to check in for a flight and the airline said I didn’t have a reservation.  But I had the confirmation number.  Of course, no officially issued ticket.  I wound up having to pay a ridiculous amount for a last minute ticket.  Ultimately, we were able to trace down the problem, but it took quite a while.

Bottom line, understand the risks when you opt for convenience.

And understand the arcane rules that the business you are using has like requiring you to “register” your phone while not really requiring you to register your phone.

And maybe, get a paper receipt.

Oh, Jemima bought an external battery for her phone.

Of course, the challenge is that businesses are “out over their skis” as the expression goes.  They are moving so fast into the digital world, they are not ready to deal with what happens when things go sideways.

If you are responsible for a business, consider that.  What failure modes do you need to be ready to handle.  Don’t make it your customer’s problem.  Plan for it because, well, poo-poo happens.

Source: ZDNet

 

 

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