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Never underestimate.
Is it really that difficult?
budgie




msg:3158378
 10:45 am on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've been doing this e-commerce lark for quite a while now, and have focused on making the whole process as simple and self-explanatory for customers as I can. No matter how simple you make it though, you're always going to have customers like these... :~

Customer 1: "I ordered a widget that costs 10.00 and you have charged me 20.00. How dare you! Refund it immediately!"

Shop: "OK, we're a UK company and as the big bold print on the website says, our prices are in UK Pounds. 10.00 UK Pounds would be therefore be 20.00 US Dollars..." (In case you missed the fact that it's a .co.uk site, has UK flags everywhere, has 1 delivery to the UK and 5 for everywhere else, and asks you to choose your country and currency when you checkout...)

Customer 2: "I'm trying to finish my order but it won't let me. It keeps telling me to enter my credit card number."

Shop: "Have you entered your credit card number in the space where it's asking you to?"

Customer 2: "No, do you think I should?"

Also in the list: all those people who don't know their own email address, or insist it's correct even when the emails bounce and it later turns out it was incorrect, who have no idea what their postcode is despite having lived there for years, and scream and shout that their order hasn't been delivered yet when it's sitting at their office reception...

And not forgetting the customer who phoned up a few days ago demanding to know where their order was, and berating us for our lousy customer service. After some investigation it turns out they had never ordered from us.... Incredibly they then asked: "I don't suppose you could tell me which company I might have ordered it from?" :)

I love them though, really! ;)

 

rj87uk




msg:3158381
 10:49 am on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Customer 2: "I'm trying to finish my order but it won't let me. It keeps telling me to enter my credit card number."

Shop: "Have you entered your credit card number in the space where it's asking you to?"

Customer 2: "No, do you think I should?"

LOL!

Green_Grass




msg:3158447
 12:20 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

"After some investigation it turns out they had never ordered from us.... "

Yes, This has happened to us.

Just sent them a polite note.. Although wanted to scream at them.

Green_Grass




msg:3158448
 12:23 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

"all those people who don't know their own email address, or insist it's correct even when the emails bounce and it later turns out it was incorrect, who have no idea what their postcode is despite having lived there for years, and scream and shout that their order hasn't been delivered yet when it's sitting at their office reception... "

Very common occurence with us.

I guess, we grin and bear it.

Send them polite mails, make phone calls, generally incur costs which are avoidable.. and sometimes, they actually correct their data...


LifeinAsia




msg:3158708
 4:32 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

As I have said many times, people should be required to pass a test to get a license allowing them to drive on the Internet Superhighway...

Our our checkout form, for usability testing, I have it set to send me an a-mail every time an error occurs (showing me the exact error message the user gets). So many times I get groups of "Please enter your e-mail address" messages. One or two I can see, but 5 in a row from the same user?

Alberto




msg:3158876
 6:39 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

quote
"I ordered a widget that costs 10.00 and you have charged me 20.00. How dare you! Refund it immediately!"
unquote

That's anyway a good point - we all know that surfers can be quite unexperienced. Besides, let's not blame them too much: when a user who purchased online maybe on or two times in his/her whole life inserts a CC number, worries are in his/her mind.
We may have behind our shoulders eons of experience, but it is stilla fact that we have also guys who are 50 years old who started using the internet 2 weeks ago. They have enthusiasm, but they just have not understood how the medium works. Some of them even think the internet is a broadcasted system.

Your experience however, aside from being riduculed for the fun of it, teaches us something: rather than UK flags, put as bold and as red and as big and adding maybe even an alert box that price is in UK Pounds and that the CURRENT conversion, once applied, may generate a different invoice. Point them even to a google page 'convert 10 pound in usd' 'convert 10 pound in eur'. Let's put besidees our prices at least the current conversion in USD and EUR and POUNDS, and let's take the pain to update it every week.
After all, that's about money. Diffidence abounds, and for how much it does, we still can see frauds.
Let's be indulgent with these guys. After all, we also find folks who think the cd drive is to place a can of beer on... that's because they are NOT familiar with the computer medium, but with the AUTOMOBILE medium, and still mistake a TV set with a computer screen, and the browser location bar with the google search text field. They may have spent 40 years with quite different a paradigm, it's not so easy to get familiar with a brand new one that at times can be deceptive.

Alberto

8foldpath




msg:3158907
 7:01 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

HAhaha.. Customers are the Yin to our E-Commerce Yang. I just got a huge order yesterday from someone who ordered on our site back in 2003. It says on our site we started in 2005 ;) We just started carrying the product line they were buying from this year.


ronburk




msg:3158916
 7:10 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Both customer 1 and 2 are opportunities to improve website interface, as opposed to just ranting. If you grabbed some random folks off the street and popped them into a usability lab for video taping, you would find that there are more people like 1&2 than there are like you.

For example, I bet customer 1 rarely happens on websites that make an effort to autodetect country and display dual prices (country of origin, destination country). Of course, that's a lot more work for the website designer.

When you see the same mistake being made for the 10th time on your website, it's time to say "Oh, maybe I'm the idiot here."

Beagle




msg:3159111
 9:56 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I always give a website a bit of applause for giving instructions that a lot of people will, actually, need, such as, "Enter your credit card number. Do not use hyphens or spaces."

LifeinAsia




msg:3159118
 10:04 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I always give a website a bit of applause for giving instructions that a lot of people will, actually, need, such as, "Enter your credit card number. Do not use hyphens or spaces."

My applause goes to the site that has code to strip out spaces, hyphens, and other extraneous characters because the site owner knows that no matter how many times you tell users NOT to do something, they are still going to do it.

oldpro




msg:3159132
 10:09 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

antedotal evidence points to the conclusion a small, yet annoying percentage of customers do not understand the phrase "same or next day shipping". We get a few irate calls per week demanding an explanation why they did not receive their order on the same or next day that they placed their order.

ItsAllBallBearings




msg:3159203
 11:11 pm on Nov 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

These stories remind me of my favorite quote:

"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

Its true on so many levels.

[edited by: ItsAllBallBearings at 11:12 pm (utc) on Nov. 16, 2006]

hellraiser1




msg:3159479
 5:18 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

the general public are morons --- ive got one

customer 3: "What is a CVV code, and why do i need it"
customer 4: "What do you mean my billing address i provided actually has to match my credit card billing address"

its not enough that we have in big bold letters "billing address must match billing address on card" or the big graphic displays as to where the CVV 3 or 4 digit code is right next to the field where the customer puts it in. I guess people are on autopilot, even when they click on google PPC ads. Theyre clicking without reading #*$!, why i dunno. Thank god theres a few smart ones that actually place orders

julesn




msg:3159678
 10:26 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just got a huge order yesterday from someone who ordered on our site back in 2003. It says on our site we started in 2005 ;) We just started carrying the product line they were buying from this year.

That would raise a red flag as potential fraud to me, someone trying to make you think they're a loyal long term customer in the hope you will give them the benefit of doubt when it comes to fraud screening.

jules.

8foldpath




msg:3159803
 1:34 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey Jules. The order was from a Priest no less. I swear it was a no scam and just an honest mistake. It's a sign!

julesn




msg:3160137
 6:55 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sounds even more suspicious now (really).

Let me guess, did he say how great your site and service was (even though he's never bought from you before), offer you his best wishes/prayers/blessings and make you feel even more warm and glowy for thinking you were selling to an honourable Priest?

Maybe I'm just an old cynic, but I've seen this before..

jules.

8foldpath




msg:3160160
 7:17 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I know what you're saying Jules. But this one was legit. It's a school and church combo in New York. They have a website and everything. one time I called and he was saying mass. Every time I had a question for him, I had to go through the rectory. And the school was the one that finally called me to place the order with the school CC... Now if this is all a scam. Bravo for them.

philbish




msg:3161089
 8:39 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Our our checkout form, for usability testing, I have it set to send me an a-mail every time an error occurs (showing me the exact error message the user gets). So many times I get groups of "Please enter your e-mail address" messages. One or two I can see, but 5 in a row from the same user?

Same here. I've got an Amazon style login page after they click checkout from their cart.

Every day I was seeing multiple IP addresses click to proceed without entering anything in the email address field. I thought it might have been a browser problem, or a bot, but no, it was real customers.

I changed the code so that if they don't enter an email address it just proceeds to the address page and lets them place an order without an email.

Now, I get a few orders each day without an email address.

So, lifeinasia, you may consider allowing the form to proceed if they don't enter an email. You could be losing a few orders to that.

Essex_boy




msg:3161753
 8:06 pm on Nov 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

Highly amusing as these tales are I myself, yes moi, rang a firm to find out where the order was only to find out I had ordered from another firm.

Now ive been ordering online since 1997 so no excuses, people are people

8foldpath




msg:3161985
 1:57 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

that ordering without an email concept is interesting. Especially since I know most of us use order confirmation emails etc.

sniffer




msg:3162085
 4:08 am on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

"After some investigation it turns out they had never ordered from us.... "

Yes, This has happened to us.

Just sent them a polite note.. Although wanted to scream at them.


Us too. But i enjoyed referring her back to our competitor. I guess she also clicked one of our ads in order to find us, which kind of annoyed me

haggul




msg:3162408
 1:28 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

We got a customer asking :

"Can you send me a catalogue?"

"No, everything we sell is listed on our website."

"Can you send me a website then please?"

Doh!

budgie




msg:3162414
 1:36 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Both customer 1 and 2 are opportunities to improve website interface, as opposed to just ranting. If you grabbed some random folks off the street and popped them into a usability lab for video taping, you would find that there are more people like 1&2 than there are like you.

Absolutely! This sort of feedback is an ideal opportunity to improve things, and that's exactly what we do. We do find though that explaining things in writing on the site doesn't make a massive difference - people just do not read! So, we try to make it more and more obvious each time we get these sorts of comments so that any possible confusion is reduced.

budgie




msg:3162418
 1:40 pm on Nov 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Your experience however, aside from being riduculed for the fun of it, teaches us something: rather than UK flags, put as bold and as red and as big and adding maybe even an alert box that price is in UK Pounds and that the CURRENT conversion, once applied, may generate a different invoice.

Been there, done that, didn't make a difference! Had big bold text right under the price saying it was in UK Pounds, feel free to convert it to dollars - still got people a) asking us what the dollar price is, and b) querying why they had been charged y when the site said it was only x. Have a few other things we're trying now to get the message across so hopefully that will help.

ccDan




msg:3175697
 7:01 am on Dec 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just got a huge order yesterday from someone who ordered on our site back in 2003. It says on our site we started in 2005 ;) We just started carrying the product line they were buying from this year.

That would raise a red flag as potential fraud to me, someone trying to make you think they're a loyal long term customer in the hope you will give them the benefit of doubt when it comes to fraud screening.

I get this on occasion. In my case, I think people confuse the seller with the manufacturer. MyCompany sells ABC Widgets, which are made by ABC Widgets, through which the end user cannot buy direct. So, they see ABC Widgets on their widget, find my site online (which is #1 for some types of ABC Widgets) and people think we make ABC Widgets, which we do in a way, since part of the widget is made by us.

We also carry more brands and varieties of widgets than a lot of our competitors, so I guess maybe we look bigger too, and we get requests for widgets we don't even carry (but add to inventory if we get enough requests, or if the widget is cool enough that we think we will sell them).

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