Annoying On-Line Forms That Don't Work!
a rant by
Al Wong
August 25, 2008

I filled out THREE on-line customer forms today from three separate companies and I noticed three things they all had in common.

  1. They ALL don't work properly!

  2. Because the form didn't work, it was an annoying waste of my time.

  3. It was hard to contact someone to let them know their form was not working correctly.

I find this amazing because, not only are these big name companies, you would think someone would notice they are not getting any responses and check the on-line form. I suspect a lot of apathy here.

Another problem is the programming part of it. One would think the writers of these customer forms would be professional enough to check their work before inflicting it on the public. Evidently, they did not test their work.

Let's go over the three on-line forms. The companies supporting these forms should know better. Hopefully, they will read this webpage and correct their forms.

  1. Wired Magazine


    Purpose: Drawing for an HD Entertainment System

    This was advertised in the current edition of Wired magazine. After you fill in the fields and click submit, it shows several errors for fields that were not filled in. However these fields do NOT exist in the original form! So the user cannot successfully submit the form.

    One would think a high tech company like Wired would hire better people to check their work. One would also think someone at Wired would check up on this form once it was clear no entries were coming in.

    The form had no email address to report a problem. I had to go to the main page and clicked the "Contact Us" link. Then I had to go through 2-3 webpage layers before I finally found an email address to report general problems.

  2. Borders Bookstore


    Purpose: Survey form for a 30% off coupon

    I received this email on 8/22/08. I filled out the form on 8/25/08 which is 3 days later. The on-line coupon was set to expire that same day! The only problem was it was past 9pm PST and the local Borders store is closed. So the coupon is useless to me.

    If you are offering a promotion like a coupon, it makes sense to give your customers time to take action on it. Having the coupon expire the same day just annoys them. I am sure the on-line coupon could be set to expire a week from when it was first generated.

  3. Galt House Hotel


    Purpose: Customer Survey

    I received this email on 8/20/08. The Galt House Hotel evidently outsourced their on-line survey to The only problem is the survey form fails to come up at all! You get a "The page cannot be found" error.

    Again, the form writer should be professional enough to check his work before inflicting this on the public. And again, one would think someone at the Galt House Hotel would check up on this form once it was clear no surveys were coming in.

    Finding a valid email address to the domain was particularly hard. They don't seem to accept email to that domain. Big mistake for them. I eventually emailed the Galt House Hotel directly to complain about this.

My Writings

Last updated : August 25, 2008
Copyright 2008 Al Wong, Los Angeles, California, USA