Lotto Losers

As a computer programmer, I have zero patience when it comes to poor web site/web application customer service. If you build it (and have methods for users to contact you on a web site) then you had better support it.  Anything less is lazy.

I recently visited a state lottery web site. I could tell from the information on the public side of the web site that they allowed the purchasing of lottery tickets to local users (within the state).  However, I could not tell if they allowed the purchasing of lottery tickets by a local user (within the state) as a gift to another local user (within the state).  I proceeded to go through the tedious process of setting up a login account in the hopes of finding out the answer to my question. What I learned is this:

  1. The site asked for unnecessary personal information on set up of the online account.
  2. The site did not allow purchasing lottery tickets as gifts (why isn’t this made clear outside of actually setting up an account and going half way through the purchasing cycle?)
  3. After I realized the site did not offer the option I wanted, I wandered around the site for 20 minutes trying to find an option to delete my account since I realized by this point that I have no use for it. I found no option to delete or deactivate the account. So I then contacted their customer service using the contact us email on the site and requested the account be deactivated or deleted. Two weeks later I still have not heard from anyone regarding this request.
  4. I just sent another request again asking that the account be deactivated or deleted.
  5. If the staff is unable to handle incoming electronic requests, then this needs to be stated on the web site and all electronic means of communication need to be removed from this web site.

Pathetic.

No way will they make it in customer service.

I was shocked at how strange my seemingly simple interaction with customer tech support was with a company over the weekend.

I encountered an issue with a company’s very specialized search engine over the weekend, my instructions to them on how to recreate the issue were so simple and yet the person I was dealing with from their tech support department was incapable of comprehending the 3 easy steps I sent them (the 3 steps were sent in print so there would be no misunderstanding – if for some reason tech support cannot read or cannot read English then there is nothing at all wrong with that – if that is the case then the company needs to switch to phone support instead of their current email ticketing system for support issues).

What should have been no more than 3 messages (1 message from myself highlighting the issue and 1 or 2 messages from tech support acknowledging the issue and then fixing the issue or saying the issue isn’t fixable at this time) has instead escalated to 9 messages so far.

This much chatter is completely unacceptable and unnecessary.

These are the 3 simple steps I sent the company so they could replicate the issue I was seeing:

1. visited this url: http:\\www.[their search site domain here].com
2. in the search box I entered this phrase: bla bla
3. selected enter, the search results appeared on screen

How can anyone not understand the exact 3 steps noted above? I cannot image any 3 steps being easier than what I posted above. How does someone not understand this? This is an example of the chatter going back and forth between myself and tech support:

  • tech support: “Works fine for me”
  • me: send me a screenshot
  • tech support: sends me a screenshot
  • me: nope, you did not go through the same 3 steps I did (see my steps), you instead searched on this criteria: bla. bla – I do not include a period in my 3 steps
  • tech support: “Went through your steps again, works for me”
  • me: send me a screenshot
  • tech support: sends me a screenshot
  • me: nope, you did not go through the same 3 steps I did (see my 3 steps), you instead searched on this criteria: you selected the category bla first then within that category searched on the phrase bla bla – I do not select a category in my 3 steps

The conversation just keeps going on and on and on like this until the human finally performs the 3 steps and sees the issue (I have truly witnessed a miracle). The human is unable to follow 3 simple instructions until the human is baby fed each step at a ridiculously slow pace. These instructions could not be simpler but this human is incapable of understanding how to perform these 3 steps without a tremendous amount of hand holding.

This person needs to leave customer support immediately and never go back and instead build a roller skating rink in my honor to make up for the damage this unnecessary stress has caused my brain.

Day 20,324…aargh!

If you are:  an introvert, extremely busy or not a fan of yammering on the phone, then you have probably been down this familiar road:

  1. You visit a web site that offers a service you are interested in but the web site has very little information regarding the service posted on the web site.
  2. You visit the “contact us” section of the web site and see a phone number or feedback form listed.  Instead of calling the company you fill out the feedback form (you provide your email address as well as several other bits of “required” data) to request more information.
  3. Starting the next day, you ignore two phone calls per day from this company for the rest of your life.

I find a few things strange about this outcome:

  1. The company is aware of how the visitor reached out to them (by feedback form instead of phone call).  The company seems to ignore this critical piece of information.  Instead of emailing the requested information to the visitor, they choose to contact the visitor repeatedly through other methods.
  2. The company is aware that the visitor has not answered the first 9,000 call attempts they have made.  The company seems to ignore this critical piece of information.  Instead of halting the calls and pursuing another method of communication (like email), the company chooses to call the visitor’s number for a long period of time.  When I say long, I mean well after the visitor has died and his or her phone number has been transferred to other humans.  These poor humans of the future find themselves in a constant state of confusion over the daily calls they are receiving from a company they have never heard of .

Is the human voice so miraculous that its sound must be present in order to unlock the wisdom of this company?

Is this company so fearful that their information will fall into the hands of robots that its employees feel they must verify the “humanness” of each inquiry by scrutinizing voices over the phone?

Is a mischievous person intercepting all incoming communication between visitors and the company and then robocalling all visitors in a crude attempt at being a nuisance with the intent of inflicting financial loss for the company and mental anguish for the visitor?

These questions are too complex for my little mind to answer.  I can only hope for a phone-free afterlife.

Google Ads = a really intuitive interface, thank you!

I tried Google Ads this year because they sent me an offer to try out the service again.  I am so glad I did.  The experience was very different from what I had experienced in 2018.  The interface is now much easier for me to navigate and my biggest issue in the past was not being able to figure out why ads were being rejected by the system.  Problems with ads are very easy to understand now.  The interface clearly identified where problems were before I submitted the ad so I was able to create the ad, submit the ad and the ad was approved with no delays due to ad rejections.

A big thanks to Google Ads for the ease of use, I appreciate it and it worked well for me.

I only ran into one problem this time and it had nothing to do with Google Ads, it had to do with the product I am selling.  Plenty of visitors clicked on my ad but no one purchased my product.  How could someone not want to buy this? Everyone needs to know how to raise a bunny rabbit inside the home.  I am so shameless, I am plugging the book inside this Google Ad article;)

 

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