catsidhe: (Default)
[personal profile] catsidhe
A note to far too many organisations who have websites which are meant to deliver a service: Your website is overcomplicated, baroque, brittle, and absolutely unusable. You are paying your web devs to piss people off and chase them away. You are declaring that the disabled can just fuck right off because you would rather stab yourself in the head than make something accessible to them. You are what is wrong with the internet.

Telstra, I'm not just looking at you, I'm setting fire to you with my eyes. I wanted to see what mobile phones are available on my current plan... ideally which ones are available at $0 extra cost. That shouldn't be a hard thing to ask for. Not only did I used to be able to do it, it used to be easy.

Now, however...

First, you have made it extremely difficult to even find where my plan is described. I have to know the genus, family, and species of plan before I can compare instances. And I can't compare across plan genuses. And the web page just tells me that "phones are available", but there is nowhere, nowhere where I can find out which ones.

And when I was trying to look, the website popped up some javascript abomination or other to get my feedback. Which was intrusive, complicated, and didn't work. And then I went to give some feedback on my browsing experience, and you've made it so insanely complicated and baroque that I can't even figure out how to do that! I started off annoyed, then deeply annoyed, and then angry, at which point I wanted to give some pointed feedback. But the process of trying to figure out how to give feedback escalated my feelings to wanting to abuse you and all your web developers and user interface architects, to wanting to fill in the feedback form (wherever the hell it is) with a couple of megabytes of insults, cursewords and wishes for your horrible deaths, and then the desire to hunt you down with my feedback literally written on a sharp stake and giving you some "pointed feedback" in a very visceral and non-metaphoric manner.

The thing is, this sort of thing isn't that hard. It's not trivial, but it's a solved problem. You have had this functionality in the past, and you systematically stripped it out because ... because reasons? Because you literally hate us and want us to suffer? Because you are going out of your way to make it impossible to choose the sort of sensible plan I've had for decades and push me onto something which isn't as functional for only twice the price?

What you're doing is very clearly trying to look clever. And the thing about looking clever is that people or organisations who actually are clever don't need to work that hard to look it. Corollary: the harder you're trying to look clever, the more likely it is that you simply aren't. Corollary to the corollary: your website shows you up as a bunch of blithering fools, desperately signing up to the latest buzzword du jour in the frantic hope that you'll be taken seriously this time, all the time alienating the people who would want to use your service, and not fooling any of the ones who need to be convinced, except for the ones whose custom you don't want, but obviously deserve.


Summary: go stick your heads in a fucking pig, the whole fucking lot of you. Your obvious contempt for those who would dare attempt to become your customers on their terms is returned.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 02:53 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
I won't for a moment try to argue that many websites aren't far too complicated for what they're supposed to be doing -- I do accessibility audits for a living, after all! -- but seriously, if you think the previous iteration of the Telstra website was better than what they have now then I reckon maybe time has dulled your recollection, because the old one was much worse.

The really hateful thing about mobile phone stuff online is that you pretty much need to build a spreadsheet to adequately compare the options, even if you're only looking at one supplier. Yeah, okay, so you're offering "$550 value" on your plan, but what does that actually mean? Oh, you're charging calls at $2/minute on that plan? Really? And so on.

Telstra do however really want you to just sign up for one of the "Every Day Connect" plans, which start at $60/mo and go up from there. Which is why that's what you get when you click on "Mobiles". I'm guessing from your rant you're on one of the legacy plans where you pay a very low monthly fee but don't get (m)any included calls?

(My own plan is no longer on the website at all, it's so "legacy", but it was the standard deal only a year ago.)

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 03:21 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
I've never bothered to click that "Feedback" hover thing, but yeah, I see what you mean. "CrowdSupport" is just Telstra-speak for "forums".

I think what you actually want is the complaints form, which is what I found first before realising what you were talking about. It's under "Contact Us" on the left-hand navigation menu.

Reading the detail on the "Mobile Member" and "Mobile Phone" plan pages, I would infer that you cannot in fact get a free phone on those outside of any special deal they might have running. There's no mention of an MRO (Mobile Repayment Option) allowance.

But I make this inference based on product knowledge that the average punter ought not need to have, and either way it really ought to be more clearly spelled out on the site.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 03:31 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
Reading the "Mobile Phone Plan" page I still reckon it doesn't come with a handset, though that may just be the site being exceedingly unclear. The typical deal with Telstra and handsets is that each handset will have an "MRO" price attached (the amount you'll pay per month to get it), and then the plans have an "MRO allowance".

So if your plan has a $20 MRO allowance and the handset you want has a $30 MRO, you pay an additional $10 over and above the plan fee.

I do understand what you mean about the family/genus/species problem, but I'm pretty sure this was true of the previous version of the site too. And on that it was also a lot harder to find out just how much you'd pay for a particular handset+plan combination until you got to the checkout...

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 03:33 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
Oh, and if you use the phone as little as your choice of plan suggests, you might want to look at their pre-pay options. Last time I ran the numbers they were pretty competitively priced.

Google are doing the Nexus 4 for AU$350 outright, if and when they get more stock, and that'll work on any network you like.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 03:46 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
Fair enough, all perfectly rational.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 03:43 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
How embarrassing. You're quite right, I was focusing on the detail section below, where they'd typically cite an MRO allowance.

My best guess is that it's probably the cheaper couple in the prepaid section, but you'll need to talk with them by phone or with the "live chat" thingo up the top.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-11-15 03:49 am (UTC)
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ideological_cuddle
Hey, I didn't say "simply".

Would using the IM thing be easier?

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