Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Too much optimism


Typical! We had looked forward to something being done about all the junkmail crap posted through our letterboxes. However, things have been delayed. Even if they do get off the ground, it is still an arse-about-tit system - junkmail should be opt-in only. That would make administering the system a doddle, cut waste, and mean that we don't have to go out of our way to stop advertising crap from invading our homes.

The good news is that we came across some connected sites that are worth visiting if this is a topic which you're interested in:

Diary of a Junk Mail Campaigner is about how self-regulation by the junk mail industry is failing.
Royal Junk Mail shows the kind of crap that Royal Mail shove through your letterbox.
Stop Junk Mail has some useful advice.
Junk Buster - further advice on stopping junkmail.
Information Commisioner's Office - a form you can fill in if you get unwanted marketing calls.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Chemist Direct

Or 'chemist indirectly confusing and purposefully making things awkward for potential customers'?

I only ever buy from websites that don't require creating an account with a password. It is nice to be offered the option for that, but all quality sites enable 'guest' purchases, i.e. just like a shop - you buy what you want with minimal fuss. Recently I went to the Chemist Direct site. It offered a quick checkout/guest option, so I spent some time putting together an order of over £60.

When I went to pay the option for a guest account had disappeared. I then spent over an hour in contact with their customer support people trying to work out what had gone wrong. I tested different browsers and sent screenshots; looked at URL formation and so on. In all that time I had to leave my PC on even when I went out, since the order would otherwise have been lost. I had hoped we could resolve it and I could go on with the order.

Now you see it (a guest purchase option when basket is empty)...

...now you don't! It disappeared once products were added to the basket.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

BT can't communicate

A failing of many large companies is that when you click on help or contact us on their website (or when you ring them and get through to a voice menu with myriad options) the options they offer, trying to funnel you into a certain queue, don't match what you want to speak about. The sensible thing would be to always include an option for 'everything else', but many companies don't want to do that because... oh no... you might confuse them. Here is a recent example. Two months ago a new BT pole was put up on land by my house, without any prior warning or consultation. I didn't necessarily mind, I just wanted to know why, and whether it would lead to an improved service. There was no email address or phone number to contact on the pole. When you go to the BT website though, the options below are all that you are offered: