Two Things I Learned Today

  1. MapQuest still exists!
  2. MapQuest really sucks.

I learned the former when using the Web site to report for jury duty in Santa Clara County. Links to the locations of the courthouses take you to MapQuest.

For a brief explanation of the latter, MapQuest is overrun with intrusive advertising, and the “get directions to a place” feature does not include public transportation.

My next post is likely to be observations on the Wheels of Justice. Oh boy!

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2 thoughts on “Two Things I Learned Today

  1. Back in the day when you’d use MapQuest to figure out a route, you’d get these turn-by-turn directions that you’d print out and follow. One day I used MapQuest to get directions to the location of our team’s next soccer match. The city was a northern suburb of Detroit which I’d been to a number of times, and knew it to be about an hour’s drive on a Saturday. So I loaded up the car with about half the team and headed out. MapQuest got me to the town, and then we proceeded to correctly follow the directions for another hour before arriving at the correct location. Fortunately the coach of the other team had been patient and we were not forced to forfeit. Afterwards I asked him the best directions to I-75. “Turn right, go two blocks to such-and-such a street, turn right, about 1/4 mile to I-75.” Took about an hour to get home. I dug out one of my old paper maps. MapQuest had had me turn left off the freeway, then sent me most of the way around a triangle about 10 miles on a side. If I’d turned left, it would have been about four blocks to the field.

    So I dropped a note to MapQuest about it and got an incredibly infuriating response. In a nutshell, they say “it’s not our fault if you don’t double-check our directions.” And that was not prefaced with “I’m sorry.” Recipe to piss off your customers and have them switch to the first possible alternative: add insult to injury.

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