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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Saturday July 05, 2003
03:52 AM

Customer Service

[ #13261 ]

What is wrong with companies? I want to buy things, so I go to their web site, only to be faced with a Byzantine site that is slower than molasses, and about as helpful as a hole in the head. So I send them a simple email, like what is the difference between X and Y, or where can I buy your goods, and what happens? Nothing, not a sausage!

Now some companies get it, the site is fast to load because they thought about their design, and kept the graphics to a minimum, carefully designed the HTML, and haven't used toy technologies like ASP, or lumberingly slow ones like JSP. Whatever you may say about Yahoo or Amazon, they do take in lots of money, and their sites on the whole mostly work.

What really is really annoying is when a small company with a fairly limited product range, gets a typical "crap" site:

  • Frames and frames, so I look at the site through a tiny 640x400 portal in the centre of my nice 17" monitor.
  • Cookies all over the place for no reason.
  • Refusing to work with Opera or Mozilla, for no reason other than designer lazyness.
  • Text as blocks of graphics, rather than text, not many people have that much bandwidth to burn, and even then why?
  • Byzantine or mystery meat navigation.
  • Animation of almost any kind.
  • Arriving at a product page - eventually, to find that there is no useful information, or any idea of it's actual price.
  • ....

This is really annoying. This spring while out walking in the Yorkshire Dales, we past by an outdoor goods shop, and I bought a very nice walking/travel shirt, that was very reasonably priced, and I rather liked it. I've seen the brand advertised before, but not on sale anywhere, so I tried their site, and was very disappointed. How can they have such a cool shirt, and such a crap site?

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  • ..its much easier to just lay off employees and cut spending than to actually think about the customer.

    Modern management seems to frequently revolve purely around the investors and the directors pockets - customers are an irrelevent side-effect of business that they just have to put up with, like employees


    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;