Customer Service You Say

Had an interesting interaction with the customer service department of an online store. I won’t divulge the name to protect the innocent.

On Safari you can’t add anything to the cart thus making it impossible to buy anything. I only tested Safari on the Mac. The site does work with Firefox on the Mac, I was able to purchase the item I wanted.

I flagged the issue to the customer service department and they told me that they knew about the issue but were waiting for Apple to provide a patch. They suggested calling the toll free number to place the order.

Two things are wrong with this picture, the first is that I am sure Apple is not losing any sleep over this one so a patch is highly unlikely, second the idea of having an online store is to shift the cost to the customer, calling to place the order causes the company to incur a much higher cost of sale.

Every other store I have access using Safari allows me to buy stuff, so what makes the user interaction on this one so special that they can’t support Safari?

The correct thing to do of course is to make sure the site works with all browsers, there are some very good javascript libraries out there which mask developers from browser vagaries (JQuery and YUI to name but two.)

Failing that, the site should detect which browser I am using (easy to do) and offer a slightly degraded experience which still allows me to buy stuff, or informs me that the site currently does not work with Safari and that I should try Firefox.

Personally I would patch the CTO with the “could do a better job” patch.


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