Sunday, May 14, 2006

Our End?

Using Vodafone's website to print my mobile phone bill today this error message popped up: "We are unable to fulfill your request due to a temporary problem at our end. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused. We hope to resolve this problem very soon, so please try again later." "Our end" is an interesting use of words - it seems very technical (After all, who knows what an "end" is outside the techie community) yet, at the same time, ensures that you're aware it's not a problem at "your end" (heaven forbid). Yet it doesn't tell you how long it will take, what the problem might be or how long away "later" might be. Still, it beats "this programme has unexpectedly terminated. press ok to continue" which I've had a few times today.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:28 pm

    Not exactly the stuff to bet your business on, from the world's largest mobile supplier.

    Fills you with confidence that they don't worry about quality.

    But then most website suffer from being knocked up in a hurry.

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  2. I like the light-heartedness of it, although the American spelling of fulfil grates.

    I think that 'end' had connotations before computers. My view is that phones created 'ends': sounds fine at my end. So maybe more people will get this than you might think.

    It's nice that the problem is temporary, although 'very soon' I'm sure can be subjectively interpreted...

    As for anonymous's comment, I think it's harsh. There will always be bugs, no matter how good an application. The error message given shows some level of customer care, while we have little idea whether this triggered a developer's pager at 9.45am on Sunday morning, who schlepped into the office to sort it out.

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  3. Anonymous12:21 am

    It is one thing to get bugs in a massive complex system. But to get bugs in a trivial web application described here from one of the worlds richest tech companies is disgraceful.

    Dan, you should be less of an apologist for sloppy design, build and testing.

    The web should excuse 10 minute hacks by blue chips?

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