Better location information corrections

(Rika Raybould) #1

I admit, I buy from some very strange places compared to most people and so I’ve had to submit corrections to a good percentage of locations I’ve used my card at.

Firstly, this is a frustratingly tiny text area to work with.

I have seen entries get worse or linked to the wrong businesses after reporting. In particular, Umai (the store in Westfield Stratford City, owned by Japan Centre) has been on a wild ride from Japan Centre (apparently being somewhere up North), Umai in the wrong place (where Japan Centre’s main store is), Carphone Warehouse and now this.

There have also been some questionable pickings of pictures, taking AmiAmi’s super low resolution, crappy Twitter picture rather than the much better, recent Facebook picture that I linked to in the report. Granted, the Facebook picture does not include the text logo but everyone who orders from AmiAmi will know Amico from the site as well as postcards that come with orders.

Other questionable choices are the merging of IKEA and IKEA Food (confusing categories in the process), not merging Greater Anglia and Abellio Greater Anglia (former is ticket office, latter is TVM) as well as “correcting” the capitalisation of Zenius -I- vanisher (the V in vanisher is always lower case, as in the IIDX song).

Are there any plans to improve the process? I’m hesitant to keep submitting reports if there’s a danger of another entry ending up like Umai. If you need some help, I’m available. :wink:

(natasha) #2

Hi Richard,

Firstly, I am sorry that you have been the recipient of a lot of our known troubles with the merchant tool. As with a lot of our tools and processes, there are a couple of things we are trying to fix, and it looks like you have experienced all of our merchant related issues at once.

I’ll talk through each of your examples in turn, and then give a more general comment about what we are doing and how you can help.

Text area
I agree completely! This was always a stop-gap until we had a better system in place. An update is coming soon.

Umai Sushi / Carphone Warehouse
I am sorry that you have been on such a confusing journey with Umai! There are some situations where there could be two merchant names shown, which I’ll explain below. However, with regards to your particular example, I have changed it back to Umai Sushi.

Sometimes the data we get from MasterCard does not enable us to distinguish between merchants, and the immediate solution we had decided upon was to show both possible merchant names.

The first example of this is where a merchant has moved premises, but left behind a point of sale (POS) terminal. A new merchant who moves into the premises and starts using the old POS terminal will appear to us as the old merchant.

The second example is when merchants share POS terminals. This is not very common, and usually between smaller merchants. Again, the data we get from MasterCard would not enable us to distinguish between the merchants, so two merchant names might be less frustrating than the name always changing. An example of this is Apotheca cocktail bar and Dough pizza shop in Manchester. All cocktails are charged as Dough Pizza Kitchen.

I realise that the solution we have come to at this stage is not ideal. We are talking about potentially having a dropdown option in this sort of situation, so customers could choose which merchant they want to appear in their feed. Do you have any other ideas for how we could handle this?

Regarding this particular Umai Sushi / Carphone Warehouse example, it seems very suspect that a large retailer like Carphone Warehouse wouldn’t get their own POS terminals. As such, I have changed it back to Umai Sushi.

We have developed a tool that searches Twitter for logos. It happens automatically when a merchant is found. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that logos are not of the highest quality. If this is the case and it makes your feed look ugly (something we care a huge amount about!), then the most useful thing for us is if you send us some feedback, as you have been doing, saying that the logo is rubbish! I have already changed this one for you.

Merging merchants
We have a number of updates to make to our merchant groups, as we call them. As you rightly point out, we need to merge some groups and change the names of some groups. We hope to have this sorted out in the coming months, but it is a bigger task than it might seem.

In all of these examples, giving us your feedback is really really useful. Reporting transactions without comments doesn’t help much, because as you may have realised, sometimes the data we get isn’t complete. However, telling us that you have two transactions from the same place with different names, or advising on how we should spell certain words, is great.

So overall, there are many plans to improve the process! Your feedback is vital to this and we learn a huge amount from it. When we get conflicting feedback from customers we try to come to the best solution for everyone, but this sometimes isn’t ideal.

Other steps that we are taking to improve this process are working with MasterCard to see if we can get improved data, and working on getting crowd-sourced merchant information. Hugo is going to post a little sneak peek as to what this will look like very soon :slight_smile: .

Again, my apologies for your experience here. Hopefully, when we have everything ironed out, your beautiful feed will be all the more satisfying knowing that you helped us out so much!!


(Rika Raybould) #3

Seems like it! Though not all at once, this was over the past two months or so. None of them individually warranted a post here but in aggregate, I felt like the issues were being caused by something underneath that needed work.

Long term, some of this is what MasterCard and POS terminal providers should look in to fixing. I realise Mondo can’t force change there but it’s good to hear that there is discussion.

I completely understand the issues in determining between Japan Centre and Umai. I suspect the Umai and Carphone Warehouse issue came about when I reported the correct address as even Google Maps is occasionally confused by the address system at Westfield Stratford! (Still trying to get it fixed there…)

In this case and in cases where you can determine a merchant but not the store, I would consider allowing users to opt in to a content-available notification along with a background location check on the phone to determine what store the user is at. In the case of one merchant with many stores, the standard notification can be pushed as usual with the exact store being added when available since it isn’t needed until the app is opened.

As for crowd-sourcing data and getting feedback, take a look at the Google Maps interface for Local Guides. In particular, how it asks users quick questions about the place. This can be especially useful when building merchant groups as you can directly ask users “Is this Pizza Hut?” to add a merchant name such as “pizza hut 409” to the proper group.

Something like this can also be used in an ongoing fashion for where the exact merchant can not be reliably determined, either due to a lack of data or places sharing terminals such as the cocktail bar and pizza shop you mentioned (Though this kind of terminal sharing is offered as a service to shady places for customers so transactions show on statements as more innocent merchants, watch out!).

I know first hand how hard dealing with business listings, location and crowd sourcing data can be. The intent of this thread was to surface the problems that need to be thought about as Mondo is developed, not just to complain. Fantastic response though, thank you! :thumbsup: