Monday, August 18, 2008

Who the hell designed this?

I’ve ranted here before about stupid e-commerce systems that were designed by people who have NOT IDEA how real people actually buy stuff. Guess what? I’ve found yet another example.


So, I order something recently and everything appears to go swimmingly. I get an email saying that everything’s in progress and my order should take about 10 days. Yesterday I think - “Hey, where’s that widget I ordered? It’s been longer than 10 days”. So I return to the web site and check the status of my order and here’s what it says:


Order Status
Order Status Description

Your Order has been entered and will be processed overnight.

Your Order has been processed and fulfillment is in progress.

Your Order has been confirmed as fulfilled and will be delivered within 10 working days of the Order date.

Your Order has been rejected due to insufficient details provided at the time of Order. Please submit your order again. You have been recredited for this Order.

Your Order has been returned. You have been recredited for this Order.

You have been recredited due to a cancelled Order.


Now reading this I’m sure most people would assume that I’ve made a mistake during ordering and thus the order has been rejected. Ok, so I go back and re-enter the order for the same item. Everything looks good, no errors. I receive an email confirming that I’ll receive my purchase in 10 days BUT this time I check the order status and guess what? My order has once again been rejected with the exactly the same text as you see above.


So I now place a call to the business to find out what the hell is going on. When I get through to the service representative I’m told that the text above actually means the order has been correctly processed. “Say what!” is my response. “Oh, we get a lot of complains about that message” say the service rep, “and we keep telling the IT people but they never do anything about it”. “So where the hell is what I’ve ordered if everything is as it is supposed to be?” I counter. “I’ll escalate the issue and hopefully……” replies the Service Rep.


I have no idea what I was told after because I switched off. Look, now call me an idiot (which I get a lot) but doesn’t this line:


Your Order has been rejected due to insufficient details provided at the time of Order. Please submit your order again.


Sorta suggest to you that there is problem with the order? Maybe the message is in Japanese rather than English and that’s why I don’t seem to be able to grasp it’s true meaning.


Who the hell designed this e-commerce system? Why am I told my order is rejected when it’s not? If lots of customers complain about something a smart business would probably change things so people wouldn’t complain. Don’t you think?


We need to start designing systems for the human being that actually use them. Gee whiz guys. What good is technology that doesn’t make things simpler and easier? I would think this is really simple stuff but clearly I’m in the minority because I see this sort of stupidity everywhere.


And, by the way, I’m still waiting for my order. Last time I order there.