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Frustrated finding a [mobile] contract

Posted by: Jas

Tagged in: web design , Web 2.0 , Web , Vodacom , UI , SEO , MTN , mobile , Contract , Cell C , bad web design


So I'm trying to go onto a contract through Vodacom, but I just can't seem to find anything that I really want to find out. Not from their Website, not from other company websites... And I am not the kind of person that feels he should have to waste his time going into a store in order to find out this kind of information (not with the Internet at my command!) I know I want to go for a BlackBerry Torch, and I know I want a contract that includes the "free" Internet that has helped popularise the BlackBerry-line of phones.

However, looking at the Vodacom Website (an abomination of the Web if you ask me - they seem to be going backwards in their design and ability to give out information - requiring you to click through pages and pages of utter waft where they could clearly have presented all the information on a single page), they don't provide a pure distinction between the different packages that you get with BlackBerry. Heck, all I could really find was info about the Talk 100 (S) - but on another site (Elite Mobile) they talk about the BlackBerry Talk 100 Bis (The Bis meaning? Business Internet Solution? Clarify please! I had to find out the acronym on MTN's website - yes Vodacom, you lead me directly to your competition from your crappy website because you can't fathom that you might actually need to explain things to your prospective clients).

I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth my time?

For instance, have a look at this page:,BlackBerry+9800+-+Talk+120+S

They have a pic of the phone; they have a hyperlink leading to the phone specifications... But why not provide all that info on the same page? Hello! This is the Internet 101! It makes Vodacom's Web team look like its being run by a bunch of monkeys who have no idea about the Web itself, let alone how to construct information in a clear, concise manner! Don't just show me a picture of the phone (I would use Google Image search if I really wanted to see it), give me details about the package, about what I get in the package (there's not even a hyperlink to it - so now I have to spend my time searching their anal retentive website that is dysfunctional at the best of times just to find out that it doesn't really tell me about the "free" Internet that I want from the phone contract!), what I don't get... Is it really that difficult, Vodacom?

I would seriously enjoy getting feedback from Vodacom about their ridiculous Website. Who's in charge in controlling the content, and why the hell are they still hired by the company? It clearly doesn't provide a very good "front" for the company... Hello! We're in the era of Web 2.0 - not designs that belonged in the 90's... Information at your finger tips? More like endless reams of absolute $#*% that leads you in circles (yes you dim wits, you are getting such good "ratings" on your web count from me because I can't find anything on your site). Grrr... It frustrates me to the point where I actually want to go out and scream at somebody (and I'm not an agressive man!).

You would think, that in this day and age of the Internet and web technologies around, that these companies would introduce, you know, a way of customising your package completely. By customise, I mean select your package, your free minutes, your SMS bundle, your data bundle - configuring the entire package to your liking. Since it’s all controlled by computer(s) anyways, the whole recording of the package information and implementing it from the billing perspective should be fairly trivial. Perhaps I should patent the idea - while I'm throwing it out there, freely, for you to implement yourself...

Well, enough of my rant! I'm going to head outside for a breath of fresh air, and hope that by the time I get back to my machine, I will be a little less irked!

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by Charmed, January 25, 2011
I dislike their website as well, but Ster-Kinekor takes the cake for worst website in SA!
written by redsaid, January 25, 2011
Amen! Vodacom's site seems to get worse after every "redesign". It is not logical or intuitive in its lay-out and as you've said, it makes you jump through fiery hoops to try and get basic information. I'm sure whoever has the contract to do their site gets a LOT of money for the privilege, though. If so, it will be sort of karmic, wouldn't it? Vodacom overpaying for receiving very little in return. Exactly like they do to their customers!
written by Jas, January 26, 2011
Don't even get me started on the FlySAA Website... I tried with two browsers (IE and FF) to "Select a destination" and the only destinations were (bum bum bum) Select destination! Wow. How helpful!

If anything, this simply proves that large scale implementations of technologies like SharePoint, JBoss (because I keep getting errors on the FlySaa Website that points to it) are NOT good technology stacks to use!

Now I managed to login to my Voyager airmiles to make a booking, but it wants a "SAA Voyager Award Certificate Number". What the hell is that, and how do I get one? Even a search on Google doesn't help with anything interesting (other than to a site that complains about SAA and the Voyager system).

I am beginning to wonder if I should just quit my job and go into a consultancy where I go "stop being anal retentive companies, this is the better way to do it - where we explain things to people - rather than frustrate them for hours on end and get them frustrated with your company".

Its no wonder sites like Hello Peter exist! (and these companies still don't learn?)

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