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UA Tech - Why Am I an Unpaid Beta-Tester?

UA Tech - Why Am I an Unpaid Beta-Tester?

Old Sep 21, 2018, 7:48 am
  #1  
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UA Tech - Why Am I an Unpaid Beta-Tester?

The customer-facing technology portals at United are increasingly problematic and even the 1K Desk and other UA executives have gone underground about the issues.

1. The UA app (iPhone) is almost now unusable. "Upgrades" to the app over the last few months mean the app now doesn't stay logged-in. The login process now shows the key login button blocked by the keyboard. It continually asks if you want to use touch-ID (which worked reliably for over a year), and now it never remembers to do so. Then after managing to login, all my reservations are missing. "United Cares"?

These are just the lowlights. Many many more problems have been introduced. Doesn't anyone at United test this s***?

2. The on-plane wifi systems (especially the ones provided by vendor Thales) are useless junk. On my last nine flights, the system only worked reliably on ONE. FA's apologize, reboot the system multiple times, and then point you to a website called "United Cares". You MUST be kidding. Given that the in-flight systems seem to work well on other domestic airlines (and I had a great experience on four SAS flights this year), UA passengers are anchored to frustrating and annoying systems by their mismangement. "United Cares"?

3. Purchased one of the new "subscriptions" for wifi service. I have yet to find a UA system that will recognize it - so now I have useless subscription I've paid for and STILL continue to try and pay for the individual flights.

4. Want to report a problem with the website (also now a big problem), app, or wifi? Good luck. The only "support desk" is in the Philippines. They're useless. "United Cares"?

3. I note an article in the Chicago press from earlier this week which begins "A new system United flight attendants were counting on to organize their monthly schedules disappointed in its first big test." Because even for the staff, the "first big test" seems to be a BETA test instead of the rollout of reliable, customer-facing software. "United Cares"?

My biggest concern is these same people putting these failed initiatives forward also are responsible for software systems needed by maintenance and pilots.

So with emails to any management at United being ignored, what's an almost 3MM passenger to do?

Last edited by jimmc66; Sep 21, 2018 at 11:02 am
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Old Sep 21, 2018, 7:52 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Originally Posted by jimmc66
The customer-facing technology portals at United are increasingly problematic and even the 1K Desk and other UA executives have gone underground about the issues.

1. The UA app (iPhone) is almost now unusable. "Upgrades" to the app over the last few months mean the app now doesn't stay logged-in. The login process now sees the key login button blocked by the keyboard. It continually asks if you want to use touch-ID (which worked reliable for over a year), and now it never remembers to do so. Then after managing to login, all my reservations are missing. "United Cares"?

These are just the lowlights. Many many more problems have been introduced. Doesn't anyone at United test this s***?

2. The on-plane wifi systems (especially the ones provided by vendor Thales) are useless junk. On my last nine flights, the system only worked reliably on ONE. FA's apologize, reboot the system multiple times, and then point you to a website called "United Cares". You MUST be kidding. Given that the in-flight systems seem to work well on other domestic airlines (and I had a great experience on four SAS flights this year), UA passengers are anchored to frustrating and annoying systems by their mismangement. "United Cares"?

3. Purchased one of the new "subscriptions" for wifi service. I have yet to find a UA system that will recognize it - so now I have useless subscription I've paid for and STILL continue to try and pay for the individual flights.

4. Want to report a problem with the website (also now a big problem), app, or wifi? Good luck. The only "support desk" is in the Philippines. They're useless. "United Cares"?

3. I note an article in the Chicago press from earlier this week which begins "A new system United flight attendants were counting on to organize their monthly schedules disappointed in its first big test." Because even for the staff, the "first big test" seems to be a BETA test instead of the rollout of reliable, customer-facing software. "United Cares"?

My biggest concern is these same people putting these failed initiatives forward also are responsible for software systems needed by maintenance and pilots.

So with emails to any management at United being ignored, what's an almost 3MM passenger to do?
The ios app logs me out all the time as well, I'm not too sure what update that stemmed from but i'm sure they are aware. As for everything else, just plain bad tech support on their part.
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Old Sep 21, 2018, 9:23 am
  #3  
 
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Just bought the wifi subscription yesterday and it was 2/2 on my flights.
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Old Sep 21, 2018, 9:48 am
  #4  
 
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Crowdsourcing free beta testing has been a thing for a while now. I don't know their setup, but I wouldn't be surprised if they contract out a lot of their development work, and then don't keep the contract going long enough to get through the needed patches and updates
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Old Sep 21, 2018, 10:51 am
  #5  
 
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On a ORD - SJC flight right now, WiFi works, but movies won't stream
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Old Sep 21, 2018, 11:50 am
  #6  
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I haven't had a problem with the app and have been on iOS12 for over a week now ("beta" tester)
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Old Sep 21, 2018, 11:56 am
  #7  
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UA Tech - Why Am I an Unpaid Beta-Tester?
We all are
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Old Sep 22, 2018, 3:25 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by zymm
Crowdsourcing free beta testing has been a thing for a while now. I don't know their setup, but I wouldn't be surprised if they contract out a lot of their development work, and then don't keep the contract going long enough to get through the needed patches and updates
Hard to say who's actually doing this work. I DO know that in Chicago, the demand for computer programmers for customer-facing portals is extremely high. Espcially since the Motorola split. The handset company was absorbed by Google and moved to the Merchandise Mart, and the police radio company moved from their huge campus in Palatine to another downtown building, just across from Union Station. The West Loop is chock full of these 20 to 30ish engineering geeks making umpteen squillions for these two companies alone.
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Old Sep 22, 2018, 3:57 pm
  #9  
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This is an undocumented benefit of MileagePlus

It is sad to say but with technology changing and companies cutting costs/quality, we are all beta testers. Just be glad that we are not beta testers for Boeing, AIrbus, Bombardier, Embraer, GE, P&W...

I upgraded to IOS 12 the day before a big trip. I had minor troubles with IOS12 but no problem with the UA App. However, last night US time, it logged me out and lost my Favored future bookings (those I want to keep checking the prices). I also could not cancel award flights. Neither problem has been fixed. I don't think there was an App update since the IOS 12 upgrade.
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Old Sep 22, 2018, 5:34 pm
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Works great on my android devices... even in Chicago, despite the apparently questionable quality of our programmer community :
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Old Sep 22, 2018, 6:05 pm
  #11  
 
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iphone X, 256G - UA app working fine for me on iOS 12
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Old Sep 23, 2018, 12:23 am
  #12  
 
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My iPhone 6 died a couple of weeks ago so got an iPhone X. Dont know the OS (better check that) but I have no problems with the App. It logs me into my account with FaceID no problem.

Onboard WiFi is unreliable, so I dont bother anymore, and Id never buy a subscription. I download all I need for work to my laptop before the flight and queue emails for when I arrive.
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Old Sep 23, 2018, 10:20 am
  #13  
 
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I have a Samsung S9 which is an Android device obviously and it has always worked fine. No tech problems at present or with my prior phones either.

Last month flying to IAH and back the wi-fi was spotty and froze in areas, but that's not a device problem. Never had that happen before.
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Old Sep 24, 2018, 4:26 pm
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Originally Posted by KDS777
I have a Samsung S9 which is an Android device obviously and it has always worked fine. No tech problems at present or with my prior phones either.

Last month flying to IAH and back the wi-fi was spotty and froze in areas, but that's not a device problem. Never had that happen before.
Well I have had issues with the WiFi on every flight except SAN-LAX. The FAs tell me it is because I have an android device. I just upgraded to the S9 (from an S5) so will see if I will be able to get WiFI. Have given up on steaming movies and hope it is a flight with Direct TV (and bring a book).
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Old Sep 25, 2018, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle
Well I have had issues with the WiFi on every flight except SAN-LAX. The FAs tell me it is because I have an android device. I just upgraded to the S9 (from an S5) so will see if I will be able to get WiFI. Have given up on steaming movies and hope it is a flight with Direct TV (and bring a book).
Android device per se has nothing to do with it. If the type of problem you are having is that your device won't stay connected to the on-board WiFi itself, go into your android settings, Backup & Reset, and do Network Settings Reset.
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