Feature removal

For a while we were using a charging brick from Fortum as a backup in case we needed to charge the car anywhere. That rarely happened, but when it happened in the beginning, it was very useful to have it. Just hold the RFID tag in front of the charging station and you could charge. The invoice came later.

Then we stopped using it for a while, but had it in the car. The day came where this option was interesting again, but the tag stopped working.

A couple of days into investigation, reading error message on charging stations and having contact with the support, I got informed that the billing information was missing. The website does not give any possibility to add this information. According to the support, you need to put this into the app on your phone.

That’s the situation.

I wonder: what happened a) to my billing information and why did the solution stop working and b) why do I have to use an app to interact with the service and have no way doing that on the website?

If I had the app (if I wanted that), I could control and start the charging using the app itself. What would be the point then of having the tag? A tag, that simply lies in the car and could be used by anyone driving it. That’s more useful than an app that somebody has to have installed.

For me it feels like a situation of a feature removal. A platform where you could interact with the interface of your choice (phone or computer), has been reduced to only allow a phone from now on. The billing information once added, is missing or has been removed or not migrated when changing the platform. No problem. The customer can just put it in again. Yes, after he discovered it has been removed or not migrated and the charging process failed at least once.

Why is there a trend to move everything into a separate app. Not one interface for all, no, we need an app for every, little thing we’d like to do.

And we put them all on our phone. One single phone, that we can loose, break and that can run out of power any time. With no backup.

Limiting the access to an app only is not an improvement, it is a down-provement (if there is such a thing). And I am not having it.

There is a German term for this: Verschlimmbessern or to disimprove.