web: Conoco’s feedback form incompetence proves SPage’s Law

Conoco-Phillips-76 e-mails me that my February statement is available on their web site. No it isn’t, they only have statement activity. I want to help companies do a better job, so I try and tell them using their contact form (Help & Contact Us > Email Customer Service), but of course SPage’s Law kicks in:

SPage’s law: the part of every Web site with the most problems is the feedback form for reporting problems

  • The form subject line is only 37 characters, but there’s no warning, just a bizarre auto-advance to the next field so you don’t realize you just screwed up your e-mail and which also makes it difficult to correct.
  • The tooltips won’t go away (and don’t activate when you make a mistake).
  • The form thinks “comm@{mysitename}.com” is an invalid e-mail address.
  • The tooltip says “Message can only be 20 lines maximum”, but there’s no immediate feedback if you go over. And 20 lines is meaningless, presumably it’s a certain number of characters.
  • You’re only informed of the last two form problems after you submit. It’s called “Client-side JavaScript form validation”!
  • If the server detects a problem the page redisplays with error text in red (good), but it’s far from the form itself. The site should display errors next to the form fields!
  • If the server detects a problem and the page redisplays it resets the Topic field to “Select one”, so after you correct one problem with the form and submit, you get an error that you didn’t select a topic!
  • The form has repeatedly failed to submit messages of mine, but the only error message is “Please enter your message in the box below” My messages are less than 20 “lines”, one was only 345 characters… is that too much? I have no idea what the f***ing problem is, I just make random changes to the text.

More woes outside this form:

  • Everything in the site navigation menu links to ‘#’ (presumably it uses JavaScript to actually go to a page), so if you right-click any menu item and choose “Open Link in New Tab/New Window”, the new tab contains exactly the same web page you were on before!

And it seems nobody answers their Online Technical Assistance phone number (1-877-345-9723) at the weekend, but they don’t tell you this on the web site or in the phone tree, you find out the hard way.

A chain of incompetence that proves SPage’s Law.

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One Response to web: Conoco’s feedback form incompetence proves SPage’s Law

  1. toe-knee says:

    no wonder u r broke: it’s all those ski gloves u keep buying x

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