April 18, 2015

Annals of good and bad design

BAD: Just now I wanted to buy something from Office Depot to be delivered here. (I've done this five or six times before.) My bank thinks my billing address is my brother's place. The zipcode there used to be 97006, but recently the post office rototilled the zipcode assignments (because population in this area has risen a lot) and apparently now it's 97003.

Well, my bank doesn't know that. It still thinks it's 97006.

So I entered my billing address for my credit card on Office Depot's web site, and it overrode the zip code I entered (97006) changing it to 97003. And when it submitted the charge to my bank, it didn't match so my bank bounced it.

So I went back into the form and manually changed it to 97006 -- and they overrode it again, to 97003, and the charge bounced again. I'm not willing to mess with it any more; there's a risk the bank will lock my account. So Office Depot loses a sale today.

And the hell of it is that Office Depot is wrong. I just checked and his zipcode still is 97006. The change won't happen for a few months yet.

GOOD: I have a Sharp Microwave oven with a rotating platform inside. I noticed recently that it rotates exactly once every ten seconds. That means when I put a Pyrex measuring cup full of cold water in it and run it 2:30 to make a cup of coffee, when it's done the handle of the measuring cup is exactly where it was when I put it inside, so it's convenient to remove it.

Some nameless, faceless, engineer at Sharp really thought that through.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:45 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Office Depot has a particularly bad site, IMO.
I work for the American subsidiary of a German company. For security reasons, all our internet access is routed through a proxy in Germany.
Office Depot, thus, thinks we're reaching their site from Germany. And since Office Depot doesn't ship to Germany, blocks us. Even though their nearest store front is only a few miles away from our physical location, we can't shop online at Office Depot.
They're morons, I think. Mind you, IT refused my offer to set up a local proxy in my house that we could route through when this sort of problem comes up, so they're not much better.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore at April 19, 2015 03:56 AM (L5yWw)

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