Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stupid Web Sites

I swear Amex lives in the Stone Age. I love their card, but boy, does their online service ever SUCK! I just tried signing up for receiving all of my bills online, and kept getting an error when attempting to submit my request. It took me 5 tries before I was able to get the request through, and when I finally do, I get a message that states:

"Your statement delivery changes are being processed. If your account is eligible to receive online-only statements, we will send you an email confirming your enrollment. Please note that it can take up to two (2) billing cycles to stop receiving paper statements by mail."

Are we in the Internet Stone Age here? Two billing cycles for my request to go through? I'll be receiving an e-mail to find out if I'm eligible for e-billing? I can understand maybe waiting one billing cycle for the changes to go through, since my statement could already be in the mail. But two? And why do I need to wait around to receive an e-mail before I can find out if I'm eligible for online bills? FRUSTRATING!!! I could maybe forgive them if they had to interface with ePost to check eligibility but as far as I know, Amex isn't one of the billers registered with ePost, which takes a looooong time to tell you if your bill is eligible once you sign up. Besides, why is ePost so badly built that you have to wait to find out a few days after you submit a request for e-billing to see if you're even eligible? What's the holdup?

I'm sick of seeing such badly built Web applications. The problem is a long-standing one. I see it at work all the time. First, you get a bunch of people who define crappy requirements, which are handed off to so-called developers who have no business touching a computer, let alone writing code, followed by half-assed testing, and, drum roll please...the production release. If companies spent just a little more time trying to hire competent developers by holding USEFUL interview - as opposed to screening for useless crap like certifications, asking stupid mind-bender questions or making candidates write test questions on topics they can look up online somewhere - we might ACTUALLY end up with decent developers. What a novel idea!

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