Website Response Games
I had to visit two sites today and got what I consider to be amusing responses from them. Firstly I had to visit NZ Post to get them to hold our mail while we will be away.
Life is always a bit of a gamble, but I wasn't expecting NZ Post to be making their website into a lottery like this. It seems that they're trying to statistically limit the number of people who are allowed to have their mail held, because I got to see this little gem:
"If at first you don't succeed: try and try again." was the boyhood mantra my mother drilled into me (OK Mum, if you're reading this I think you can stop now!) It seems that no matter how hard I tried, I failed.
So we went out and justified their employment of a real person, and they seemed to be able hold their tongue right, so hopefully the mail goes on hold. Phew!
An entirely unrelated tickle this afternoon came in the form of a marketing bumf e-mail from TelstraClear. You know the sort of thing I mean: one of those e-mails full of the intriguingly blank boxes, sparsely interspersed with curiosity-building phrases like "Just enter the voucher code PLEASEBENICETOME when you get to the checkout".
Fortunately the content was designed with hopeful people like me in mind, and there was an 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom. It was truly refreshing to see the clean and straightforward response page from TelstraClear on this occasion:
In fact I'm pretty sure they were sending me some nasssty sscripts'ss to take over my computer for a few seconds in order to render some bling with that, but I luckily have the 'no thanks' option pre-checked and don't get to see that sort of stuff. I only enable it when a website is sufficiently convinces me, over a reasonable period of time, that I can trust them not to get to carried away with too much bling.
Some sites use fancy CSS to achieve their bling, which is fine by me as it seems that (so far, at least) if they have found designers who understand CSS, then they have designers who actually grok web design.
On the whole, I think that we're stuck with some sort of client-side browser scripting, no matter how many security issues it raises on sites that allow free posting of content. My own paranoid practices are not usable in the general case, and I just have to hope that the institutional and heuristic practices around my family and friends keep them safe from harm.
Meanwhile, I think I like the TelstraClear response. Concise and comprehensive, though I'm never quite sure what two exclamation points means.