This is a small story, that happened with me this weekend and I will post it bellow so you can also see the worst, in my opinion, type of failure of a website.
Yesterday I was set to change my current cable provider to Comcast. The reason was simple, prices. Compared to my current cable provider, Advanced Cable, they have a lower price for the same features.
Anyway, I have checked for my address, started a chat with a representative and selected a product to go on. After a long talk with the representative and correctly setting all the points that I needed to go on with the order my checkout was blocked with a message: Please call the Xfinity customer support to finish this checkout. Your address could not be found on the database.
That immediately issued a red flag for me. Calling about my address not being on the database? Ok. I’m not a client so that might be it, but still that can’t be good.
Called customer support and I heard the bad news: We cant provide service in City. You will have to go with Advanced Cable (witch is my current provider).
Until I have got to this point I have spent at least 2 hours planning, talking with reps, setting everything online and everything was pointing out to be good. The address checked, I had a good product option, prices were good. I was even considering to accept a contract, but it failed.
Why does the Comcast website says that you can provide service to my address and the customer support on the phone says that it cant?
Regardless of the reason that is a horrible mistake. A potential client went through a very long process to checkout, could not checkout and even if he wanted to, he would not be able to checkout. This is a horrible logic error because that information should have been validated on the beginning of the process.
The “bug” here is simple. If this was a shopping cart, it would be the same as letting a shopper to purchase a specialty product in USA that can only be sold in Europe. If the validation of the shopping cart was done in the begging of the process there is a good chance that, if possible, the client would still keep shopping for other products. In the case of Comcast and me, I couldn’t go further even if I wanted to, but I would consider them if I ever changed of address.