Typical Technical Support Response

Schnucks StoreI happened to be checking out one of our local grocery store online Web site to see what their fees were for delivery and looked at their FAQ. Of course their fees weren’t listed there… (It was a different page) – but I found this nice tidbit of information. The question was typical in that, as an end-user, this scenario may happen.

Question:

When I click on the checkout button, I get no response. What’s wrong?

Response:

This usually happens when a customer is accessing Schnucks Home Shopping from their employer’s network. Many companies have a firewall which either prevents Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) traffic, or requires special browser settings to do so. The checkout procedure requires the use of SSL to protect your privacy. If your company uses a firewall, your company’s IS staff should be able to help you with your web browser settings.

Now – since I’ve managed several high volume Web sites in my career both from a technical side, a support side, and a customer side – isn’t that statement a bit presumptuous?

“It’s the customer’s fault. Have your IT folks fix it”

Um – yeah. That’s a pretty poor response. It could be a lot of things. SSL not being allowed through a corporate firewall is probably like numberĀ 49 on a top 50 list. Isn’t that a response coming out of the 1990’s? I would have to assume the number one reason for “I get no response at checkout” would be related to the application not functioning correctly and the Web site’s backend causing an issue.

My guess is that somebody in their IT department rattled off that answer for the marketing group, they didn’t know any better, and it’ll save their Help Desk from getting any calls when their poorly written Web application falls apart.

Just my two cents – but I think Schnucks should try to be a little more Internet and customer savvy and reword their FAQ a bit.

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