Wednesday, February 28, 2007

bad practice

This morning I used Tesco Direct [] to check on the price and availability of a particular laptop. I signed in as an existing customer with no problem, using my email address and password – as I have done several times this week whilst looking for a new computer.

In the afternoon, I decided to order a £500 laptop – but when I tried to log-in [on a page that carried the message “Hi Alan, welcome back”] the same email and password returned the message: "Sorry, but we couldn't sign you in. You may have entered the wrong email address or password. Please try one of the options below.”

So I clicked on the 'forgot your password?' link [let’s not go down the road of the grammatical accuracy of that question] – which returned a “We couldn't find the email address you entered” message.

So I thought, I know, I’ll re-register. But you guessed it, putting in my email address [you know, the one that they couldn’t find seconds before] – returned a message saying: “Your email address has already been registered”.

Make your mind up Tesco. While you can’t decide whether I exist or not – I’m off to PC World.

Friday, February 23, 2007

annoying practice - iPod

It’s just a small thing, but I was uploading iPod software onto our laptop last night and amongst the many [many] things I had to complete was a registration to the iPod whatever it was [it took so long the will to live was ebbing away]. It asked for a password – so I put one in. Then after completing the form the password was rejected because it had to be a certain length and use certain characters.

Hello – why not tell me that in the first place to save me re-submitting the form?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

puzzling practice - complaints

I just read a report [from the USA] that says that in nearly half the States' officials want to ban Anheuser-Busch's new online channel - Although the site requires visitors to complete a form stating name, birth date and ZIP code [which is then checked against third party information], opponents argue that children can easily enter the details of an adult [eg, a parent] and so have access to the alcohol advertising on the site.

Well durrr - I suppose all under 21s in America leave the room when a beer ad comes on TV, or closes their eyes when driving past an alcohol-related billboard [particularly problematic if they are driving at the time]. Prevent child access to adult-sites?
Yes, definitely. Try to stop them seeing beer ads, a much bigger issue than blaming it on web accessibility.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

bad practice - KLM

Segmentation and target marketing is standard fare in both HE and FE teaching - so why can't organizations use the technology available to them to practice this basic marketing model online? Specifically, I have been a member of KLM’s ‘Flying Blue’ loyalty programme for around seven years. With KLM, I have never flown from any other airport than Newcastle. They know this as it is recorded as part of my ‘air miles’ profile.

So why do they keep sending me email promotions for flights from Heathrow?

The upshot of this poor targeting is that I [and most other recipients] will get into the habit of simply deleting all emails from KLM [or cancelling their ‘opt-in’ to receive them in the first place]. As a result I might (a) miss important messages [eg change of flight times] or, (b) relevant ones [eg flights from Newcastle airport].