Nearly Perfect Yet Still Very Bad

August 21, 2007

I attempted to do business with a few websites lately that offer great services. Each however was badly flawed.
 
overnightprints.com
 
I needed some new business cards so I decided to give these guys a try. After 2 hours of getting the layout exactly the way I wanted it, their server told me it was too busy to process my order—“Try again later”. Ok, but how do I save my layout? You can’t. I called them to confirm this. “No, you just have to start over in a few hours.” Thing is, there is no way to know if their server will be able to accept my order until AFTER I redo my layout. Uh, no thanks.
 
vistaprint.com
 
I’ve used this online print service before and I like them except for some minor annoyances. After spending hours to to do a card layout, you CAN save your design. I’ve ordered postcards from them—promotional pieces. Some work, some don’t. Sometimes I just want to tweak the wording a little. Vistaprint.com will let you do that but you can NEVER delete the old design that didn’t work. Never. I now have a portfolio of postcards that all look the same except for tiny changes in wording or position of images. It’s very annoying to wade through these to find the right one to reorder because the “thumbnails” all look the same! Yes, I can rename them. But I’d rather just clean out the old and start fresh. No way. They won’t even do it for me. I hate being reminded of failed ideas every time I log into my vistaprint.com account. That’s what sent me to overnightprints.com!
 
domystuff.com
 
I like this idea but criagslist.com does a better job of it. You post some task you want someone else to do and people with the time you don’t have bid on doing it for you. Need your car serviced? Someone will take it to the garage and sit there until it’s done. Great concept. I wanted some programming done so I decided to post my task. This requires registration—naturally. This is a FREE service. At the end of the registration process you are required to pick a question and provide a secret answer. This is the usual “in case you forget your password thing”. But they want answers to questions like: “last four digits of your social security number”, “your mother’s maiden name”, “pet’s name”.  These are pretty high security questions for a free service. I wouldn’t release any of that information so I couldn’t register. Oh well, it’s not worth the risk.
 
These are examples of nonsense policies that hinder the customer and in no way benefit the business. They are just policies. Dumb policies.
 
I’d like to look for dumb policies at your business. If we change those dumb policies, good things happen!
 
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog
 
 

Chris Reich

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