Wednesday 5 October 2016

APPalling ; The Only Word (1)

Stagecoach's New Bus App
He only wanted a bus timetable!

So fbb took a butchers at the latest offering from the Stagecoach technical wizards.
Simple to install via the Google Playstore and simple to start. Firstly, up comes a pretty blue screen. As the technical team from GoTimetable know only too well, this is to keep the user interested until the gubbins is properly wurgled; with profuse apologies from the technobabble!
Then this:-

He only wanted a bus timetable!

First you need an email address. Easy?

Not easy. fbb's real live (after a fashion) persona uses CAPITAL initial letters in his address. But Stagecoach rejects ANY entry with a capital letter. "You have entered an invalid email address."

Invalid? Bur it is CORRECT according to fbb.

But the password must have at least eight characters of which at least one must be a capital and at least one must be a number.

He only wanted a bus timetable!

At this point, your elderly blogger got in a right fankle. Such a bonny stramash that he cannot actually remember in what order the disaster appeared.

It seemed he had typed something incorrectly.
Names etc have been redacted to protect the guilty.

He only wanted a bus timetable!

Hey ho! It's "forgot my password" - AGAIN
But fbb has to use his registered email address which he hasn't registered yet.

He only wanted a bus timetable!

By some prestidigitation, fbb eventually got one of these:-
More redaction!

But a new password is created and entered AND IT STILL WON'T WORK!

He only wanted a bus timetable!

The problem appeared to be that fbb ...
... had not VERIFIED his email.

He only wanted a bus timetable!

By now the old man had assumed the foetal position in the cupboard under the stairs and was snivelling gently. "Pull yourself together, fbb. You have an agile brain (snigger snigger), a University degree (poor grade); you can do this."

And he did. By downloading a second copy of the App and creating a completely fake persona, email and password.

He only wanted a bus timetable!

But it gets worse. Remember fbb's problem with screen shots. After spending HOURS wrestling with technology, fbb decided to try using Mrs fbb's phone to snap pictures of the App in (in)action. "Blow me down with rotting haddock!", said fbb, descending into unaccustomed but vehement asperity, "Mrs fbb's phone is full as well."

At this stage the chubby one did not smell a rat; a rat called Stagecoach.

So number 3 son set about some complex and clever investigations by logging in to fbb's confuser remotely. It is very disconcerting watching your own mouse pointer zooming about the screen without your touching it. Rather spooky.

He checked the memory.
And there was, indeed, no storage problem

No 3 son tried two other screenshot programs. Any attempt to get a picture of this screen ...
... produced the same non result.

Ditto Mrs fbb's phone.
Weird is NOT the word!

He only wanted
to blog about
a bus timetable!

Eventually No 3 son sorted out the problem.

There was NOTHING wrong with fbb's phone.

There was NOTHING wrong with Mrs fbb's phone.

The Stagecoach App 



He only wanted a bus timetable!

But fbb, after he recovered his sang froid, was made of sterner stuff. If he cannot take screenshots he will have to photograph the screen with Mrs fbb's phone.

So he did.

 Next Brian and Ben blog : Thursday 6th October 


  1. I think the prevention of screen shots is because the app will show M-Tickets. The first bus M-Tickets App also prevents this

  2. I am sure such "protection" could be restricted to the M-Ticket section and not applied to the whole site.

    Or, indeed, have a separate M ticket App - like First.

  3. Andrew Kleissner5 October 2016 at 08:34

    I don't have a smartphone so my internet searches are done via a PC. But what I don't understand about a lot of websites and apps is why they insist that you "register" when all you want to do is find out non-personalised information.

  4. The "registration" is so that the company can bombard you with adverts and sell your details to others which wish to do the same. Grocery retailers also use you personal details to target you with adverts for repeat purchases.
    Mrs fbb, a Tesco Clubcard member, suffers from this disease.

  5. Go-Ahead has come up with another technological lack of common sense in that if you live in an area where they have several companies, you can only have one of their Key cards for one company on one email address. So, if I have a Brighton & Hove Key Card, I need a second email address for a Metrobus Key Card and a third email address for a Southern Trains one. Their system even tells you that your email address is already registered but not how to get around it. Seems ridiculous that one account can't accommodate other Key Cards, or even one Card being able to hold other products (even if only only can be active at one time).

    1. The bigger issue is why you need a different Key card for each Go Ahead company.Surely this should have been overcome by now but they said they have no idea when they will fix that.

    2. I'm not bothered about having two or more cards but it would seem (to me, at least) a much simpler fix to allow more than one company's card per email address and then you can choose which one you're topping up.

      The fact that applying for a card with a second company just gives you a message that your email address is already in use and nothing else (no explanation or apology) as to why or what to do next is a dreadful piece of customer non-service. The system clearly looks across all companies to be able to do that so they're half-way there already.

  6. You can get around things like that by using a + in your email address.

    goes to the same place as


    ...assuming everything is behaving!

  7. Correction, it's after, so



    1. Im Gmail just add as many dots as you like between the words/characters in your email