There are a handful of charities that I support and The Salvation Army is on that short list, so when I received their phone call for support I replied yes, and they mailed out a contribution letter. In that letter I saw that I could donate online so I browsed the site provided, www.tsacascade.org which oddly enough redirected me instead to cascade.salvationarmy.org.
Next, I clicked on the Donate button which then sent me to a third web site at give.salvationarmyusa.org. Filling out the form I expected it to say Thank You, instead it did nothing, so I took a look and discovered that this secure form was throwing two errors and wouldn't submit, so I was totally stuck:
At the bottom of the page there was a phone number of 800-725-2769 so I called and talked to a live operator and it went something like this:
Operator, "Welcome to the Salvation Army, how may I help you?"
Me, "My name is Daniel and I just tried to donated online, but your form is broken and throwing errors."
"Uh, what page is that?"
"It was https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/. Can you tell me if the donation went through OK?"
"Wait just one moment. Please call us back in 48 hours to see if your donation was accepted."
"Would I receive an email confirmation if the donation worked OK?"
"Wait just one moment. Please call us back in 48 hours."
"Is there a procedure to report your broken donation page?"
"Yes. Please call back in 48 hours to see if we have fixed the page."
So what did I learn?
- The Salvation Army has a hodge-podge of three confusing web domain names. Instead, they should use one name to earn my trust.
- Web sites with secure donation pages need to be tested for proper operation and fixed before the public wakes up, or else confidence and trust decreases.
- Telephone operators aren't trained to help donors when the web site breaks.
So, do I still trust the Salvation Army? Yes, although their web developer needs to quickly fix this donation bug to restore my confidence.