352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / October 20th, 2008

The User is Always Right…Always…

I experienced the worst e-commerce site recently when purchasing a gift card for my sister-in-law.  The Web site is http://bypia.com/ 

First off, not only is the worst Web site but worst customer service…so making my user experience annoying not once, but twice. I called Pia’s and left a message requesting someone call me back so I could purchase a gift card.  This was during their normal business hours and no one ever got back to me…so I figured maybe I can purchase the gift card on their Web site…or can I?
 
Despite the hideous color scheme, annoying cross-cursor and extremely small font…I noted some major user issues during my Web site experience.  Remember…the user is always right…always.  Use the information below as a good example of what not to do…

1.  The navigation is unorganized and hard to see…my eyes are wandering all over the place to try and find a gift card to purchase.

2.  I finally locate where I can buy a gift card and add it to my cart.  And of course, floating in (which is more annoying my opinion than “popping up”) comes this window trying to sell me on a not needed box to put the gift card in that I’m planning on having e-mailed to my sister-in-law anyway.   

3.  Next issue, how do I get this gift card e-mailed to my sister-in-law? There are these confusing instructions that reads:  

4.  I followed the link to “PLEASE READ HERE BEFORE PROCEEDING” to make sure I didn’t need to scan my eyeball or submit a blood test before checking out because they sure were making things more complicated than they needed to be.  Also, notice the multiple navigation links for “Go Back;” the repetition is completely unnecessary.  

5.  I was stoked to know that I finally knew what I was doing…I proceed to checkout following the instructions, but I’m thwarted by another floating pop up saying “If you selected EMAIL DELIVERY, please DO NOT user your name in the “SHIP-TO” – suer only the RECIPIENT’S name. Each certificate is linked to the Recipient’s FULL NAME.”

6.  Even more annoyed by my user experience, I now receive a floating pop-up about the recipients e-mail address saying “If you have an AOL or Earthlink email, you may not receive emails from us.  Please try to use a different email address.”     

Eventually, I was able to successfully check out after being sent to PayPal to complete my transaction. Yet, I have still received no confirmation from my sister-in-law as to whether or not the gift card was successfully sent to her e-mail inbox…