Tuesday, February 26, 2008

is anyone fooled by these ads?

I came across this ad on a reputable web site. My questions is : who clicks on these? Somebody must, otherwise the advertisers wouldn't pay for the clickthroughs. Certainly not the type of ad that I would advise a legitimate organization to use.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dubai - near the centre of Copenhagen ?

It was probably a just a cut 'n paste error [that we all make from time to time] - but it should have been spotted before this went out in an email from otel.com

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

do as we say, not as we do : part 2

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from OMMA, which I featured here. Well, they've done it again - pictured below is another email I got from them today. And remember, OMMA is a body that represents the business of Online Media, Marketing and Advertising. Doh!

Friday, February 15, 2008

search - but ye shall not find

As me and the missus are visiting San Francisco later this year, I was looking for an article I remembered reading in a newspaper about hotels in the city. So I tried the Guardian Online - and put 'hotel san francisco' in and searched on 'travel'.

And look at the first return - it's about a hotel in China that is 'the perfect spot for Dr Francisco ...' No 'san' at all. And nothing about accomodation in the Californian city. Google, it ain't. Useless, it is.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

some good - but the riff-raff are at the back of the plane

Some good and some bad from this flight booking with United Airlines.

Bad : As I had followed a link from a search engine, I didn't realise I was on the USA site - and it let me get all the way to entering my address before I found I was in the wrong place ... BUT, why was there no link to allow me to 'transfer' my booking form to the UK site? I had to start from scratch on the UK site.

Bad : On the US site I could select - at extra cost - seats at the front of the plane which had extra leg room. No such option for us colonial cousins on the UK site. So, [a] I feel a bit like I ain't good enough for the posh seats, and [b] I was willing to pay the extra - so UA, that's 34 dollars you haven't got in your bank account for the next few months.

Good : I liked the 'download to calendar' option on the confirmation web page. If I used one, I could have dropped the date into my Outlook/Google etc calendar on my computer.Bad : I know it is a US company, but the site is their UK offering - and we spell 'travelled' properly [with two 'L's].

Good & Bad : The confirmation email [good] included the following [bad]
Yup .. that isn't a domain name / URL

your money is no good to us ...

Imagine you went into a high street retailer, selected some goods and took them to the counter to pay. The assistant then tells you your money/cheque/credit card is no good, and without another word turns on her heels and walks away. Acceptable practice? Certainly not.

Yet I was online today to register a domain name. I've got a few and I use the same company - which means that they have my details online. All I need to do is add my credit card number, the name on the card and the security number. Which I did, but up came a 'We were unable to process your transaction. Please check your card details and try again.' message. So I did, double checking every detail. But no, same message. So I tried a different credit card, twice - same result.

So here's my gripe. Both cards were working when I used them [offline] yesterday and this morning respectively. So what is the problem? Have my cards been rejected as being 'stopped'? Is the card number wrong? Have I got insufficient funds? Is the card number not matching the address on file? Is the security number wrong? Do I need to contact the two banks concerned? Have the cards been used fraudulently?

Or is it - as I suspect - that the error is in seller's system?

So what do I do now? I have received the 'confirmation of order' email - so the domain is mine when I pay for it. There is a phone number, but it is not 'free', and they are only open 9 - 5.30 - and I cannot use a phone through the day at work.

Not good customer service. Needless to say, had this been a different product I would have simply clicked onto another site and used my valid, working credit card there.

FOOTNOTE: An hour after I posted this entry I booked a flight online - using the credit card that was rejected by the domain name company.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

do as we say, not as we do

Oops. This is what can happen if you don't test your emails in all browsers. What's worse, the message was an invite to an OMMA event – the OMMA being a body that represents the business of Online Media, Marketing and Advertising

Monday, February 4, 2008

... now you don't see it

Nicely timed because it was the week that I covered the presentation of text online [different fonts/colours etc] - this email arrived in my in-box this morning.
And this was from a publishing company. Would they send out a book or journal that you couldn't read because you couldn't see the text? No? So why do it in an email? And what happened to their testing schedule?

Friday, February 1, 2008

good egg, not-so-good egg

This arrived in my email box:Good : anniversary message - nice touch

Not-so-good : sorry, not much of any offer - similar is available from just about any credit card

Overall, bit of a wasted opportunity - perhaps just a 'greeting' would have garnered more goodwill on my part.

form field folly

I was checking out hotels for my hols, and came across one that I liked. There was no online price/availability check, instead you had to send a form. This is it below, the fields in red must be completed.Yep - a hotel in California where I might spend one night wants my full address and phone number before it will give me a price. Do you think they would insist on these details if I rang up? Or stopped by in person? No of course they wouldn't - so why make it compulsory online? [If I'm making a booking, then OK].

Interestingly, the arrival and departure dates are not compulsory - so how can they quote price and availability if I don't fill them in?

Furthermore - when I did complete all the details it would not accept the form without I select a state/province. Like the earlier entry 'Sunderland moves to the sunshine state' - I have selected 'United Kingdom', so the state field requirement should automatically cancel.