Tag - problems

WestJet: Massive customer service fail

WestJet is having HUGE issues right now with a reservations system conversion … which means that it has been extremely hard to book a flight with them for at least 3 days.

I just posted this to their customer feedback form:

  1. I cannot book online because I’m doing a round-trip to Calgary on the same day, and the site does not give me options to leave from Abbotsford in the AM and return from CGY in the PM.
  2. I had to make separate 1-way reservations to do the above.
  3. I have to re-login every other page.
  4. The site said it would cancel my reservation if I did not call in within 1 hour – I guess you’re having some issues. I spent over an hour on hold yesterday trying to call in. No answer!
  5. This morning I’m calling – on hold now for 15 minutes. No telling me how many are on hold, how many agents, what order I’m in, or anything like that. Horrible user experience!
  6. And, on your site, my reservations now say “canceled.”

To put it mildly, I am not a happy camper. This is a textbook lesson in how NOT to serve clients.

For the flights I’m trying to book, WestJet is the most convenient. But too much more of this and the convenience of the flights will be vastly outweighed by the inconvenience of doing business with a company that can’t book business!

Twitter: Hello Again, Fail Whale

I’m seeing Twitter’s fail whale more and more lately:


Twitter has been MUCH better the past few months, but I guess the relentless growth – up about a million users in the last 3 months – is starting to take its toll again.


Planning for incessant growth is not easy … I recently met a Google engineer who works on Gmail on a flight who had some interesting thoughts. “Up and to the right,” he called it, referring to increasing traffic graphed over time.

Hopefully Twitter’s technical gurus can start to manage the growth curve better. Meanwhile we can all join the Fail Whale club.

Unusability: How NOT to do geolocation

Sometimes when doing business online, you want to know where your users are coming from. If you don’t do it the right way, they’ll waste little time telling you where you can go.

Zinio, a digital publications company, wants to know where you live:


But they don’t geo-locate IP addresses, which would accomplish the goal without any user intervention. Instead, they provide this “handy” layer over their webpage.


  1. Extra action
    They force users to do something instead of geo-locating.

  2. Map not clickable
    The map is not clickable. So, most users who assume when seeing a map and a query about where they are, they can just click on their country are going to be sadly disappointed. They’ll click a couple of times. Some may leave. Some will see the drop-down menu and, swearing under their breath, use that.

  3. Map loads last
    The layer with the map loads after the rest of the entire page. Even over broadband, this means there are several seconds of inability to do anything – not fun.

How many chances to do you get to make a first impression? Yeah, I thought so too.

When you fail on your first impression, you’ve got an uphill climb for your second and subsequent interactions with potential clients. Now they already think you’re a difficult-to-work-with company.

Save the trouble and make it right from the beginning!