Written: March 26, 2019

Aspen Dental Web Woes

In my house I get the job of paying bills, so when Aspen Dental sent me a bill I opted to pay online at their web site www.aspendental.com where I already had created an account. Oddly enough the paper bill that arrived in the mail had one amount due, but online it was a different amount due.

Aspen Dental
Online Dental Account

I typed in my Visa card credentials and waited for the transaction to be approved.

Credit Card payment
Broken Payment Page

The orange animated icon on the bottom spun in circles and I waited, however it never completed. Hmmm. Next I looked at my web browser for a special setting, Developer Tools, and it showed me that this payment page had 5 fatal Javascript errors. Not a good sign to be in business but have a broken payment page.

Javascript errors
5 Fatal Errors

Not a problem, I thought I will just report the bug on their web site. So where is the Contact Us form? This site has no method to send feedback or contact the owners, another major misstep.

OK, let’s give them a phone call and explain that their payment page is broken. First attempt I was put on hold, then disconnected. Second attempt I was disconnected. After lunch I tried a third time and finally got ahold of a live person, and I begged them not to disconnect me. They confirmed that the paper account balance was incorrect and took my credit card info over the phone.

I pointed out the fact that their web site has no way to contact the company with a Contact form or email address. I also request that they report their broken payment page to the web developer, but I didn’t get the idea that the person I was talking to had the intention to follow through.

Make sure that your business is on the web and has a way for clients to contact you by filling out a form, sending a text, tweeting or phoning. Then when a client does contact you, please follow through.

In the meantime, which dental group do you recommend, because I’m in the market for a new dentist.

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Dear Retailers – Please Check Your Review Systems

It’s popular with online retail shops to offer their buyers a review section, written by real customers so that I can decide if the product is a good fit for me or not before the purchase. Today I received an email from Performance Bicycle, and they requested that I review a recent purchase of cycling gloves.

Review Request

Review Request

OK, that sounded reasonable, so I clicked the Green Button and went through an entire page of questions to get my review all ready to publish, but then, uh oh. The dreaded error message from their web site that wouldn’t accept my review:

web failure

Web Failure

So here we have the classic Catch-22. A company wants my review, I comply, but their system isn’t even working, so they get no review.

I would expect that a large, public company like Performance Bicycle would have a web development team that does not only development, but they also test their own system, but not in this case. The frustration on my part is large enough that I will now avoid their store all-together, and just shop at Western Bike Works, River City Bicycles , Lakeside Bikes or Bike Tires Direct.

So the moral of the story is, build a web site, then test your own web site before your customers do. That way your customers are happy and return.

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