Website Fail: Communication Blunders

I deal with a few test vendors at work. All of them have things I love about them, and of course things that make me batty. Most times, these things even each other out. However, there is an exception to this rule. We found it last week.

One of our vendors completely revamped their website. I'm okay with the overhaul. It actually looks very nice. They just failed to mention the upgrade to any of their clients (epic fail #1).  We arrived Monday to discover we had a "new assessment handbook" to read before we could proctor this test. Really, there were not any changes we had to learn, so we went on with our day.

Tuesday, we were proctoring this test again. One of our employees made a mistake. Our one ACT test has to be at a certain screen resolution. That test accounts for about 40-60 percent of our traffic most months. IT has set our default to that resolution. This other test has to be at another resolution. Our part timer forgot and did not change it. In the old version of the website, you could easily fix this. In the new version, it kicked the student out of the session. Because she hadn't been able to put any of her personal info in (because of the resolution error) she could not log back into the session.

We ended that session and created a new one for the student. With this particular test, we only offer it for 2.5 months each year, and we only have as many tests as the program could order. Losing one test would not be good.  I was pretty sure we had done the right thing, but I wanted to verify that the test package from the first session had been returned to the queue.

That is where we ran into the problem: The only contact information listed on the website was a snail mail address (epic fail #2). Yes, there was no phone number, email address, or live chat listed. On the help page, it talked you through how to resolve issues, but our issue wasn't listed.

After extensive searching, I found a generic sales email address they send order confirmations through, but nothing else. What kind of a vendor does that? Your test is internet based. How can you not allow your clients to access your IT department? That is a basic need. Yes, we rarely have issues with this vendor, but there should still be a way to get to them if there is a problem.

Basically, they are saying they do not want to talk to us.  That is unacceptable. If you sell us a product, you need to be able to support that product.

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