Tried to buy some stamps from the USPS website today… here’s the experience:
1) requires me to “register” as opposed to making a one-time “guest” purchase
2) select a username, type a password (twice) and a password hint (which for whatever reason is a “masked” entry meaning you can’t see what you are typing
3) hit “OK” and it tells me my password is inadequate, they require minimum 6 characters, one uppercase, and at least 1 numerical digit. Of course, they also DISCARD all the data in the fields I just entered and make me re-enter everything
4) do it again, hit okay… rejected because the username I selected is already in use. They suggest some options, and of course, they DISCARD all the data again so I have to enter it for a 4th time (took me one extra trip to figure out the password.
5) select a roll of stamps, go to the checkout and enter my shipping address and my credit card details. They ask me for billing address and I have to add a new entry to the address book for my home address (billing). Click “ok” and discover that they have DISCARDED all the credit card information I entered so now I have to do it again.
6) enter my credit card data, select my home billing address and click okay.
7) so now I am pissed because I wasted 15 minutes figuring out their electronic commerce system just to buy a stupid roll of stamps when they could have just stopped me from even trying if their authorization system isn’t available, I still don’t have any stamps, and I’m thinking that I can just use Fedex for everything.
When will businesses, of all stripes, figure out that the customer experience they provide with their online systems is increasingly forming the opinions that people have of their organization as a whole?
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