20100115

Problem ID: 737371699380718988
Entered by: Ben Simo
Is there a problem here?  

Submit Your Complaint

Q: What is worse than having a bad experience with a company's products or services?

A: Having a bad experience contacting the company about your bad experience.


Here's an example exchange I saw on Twitter:



@gibsonclan: @ThomasCookUK When flying Thomas Cook god forbid u have a bad experience - customer service does not exist.


@ThomasCookUK: Sorry to hear this @gibsonclan Do you have a reference number when you logged your call so it can be investigated further? Thank you.


@gibsonclan: @ThomasCookUK Thank you for responding and for looking into this - Incident: 100104-000369


@ThomasCookUK: Hi @gibsonclan If you fill in this link then your complaint/query will enter an automated system & someone be in touch http://bit.ly/7N5Om6


@gibsonclan: @ThomasCookUK I have tried countless attempts to submit it but I continue to receive an error message





@gibsonclan: @ThomasCookUK I have tried the original date 17/12/2009 and I have tried multiple future dates -same error. Is there someone email u can DM


@gibsonclan: @ThomasCookUK Sorted. Browser issue FF worked fine. Thanks, this will be the 2nd Incident I will have filed -would be nice to talk to some1 about



So, it appears that Brad encountered an issue with the Thomas Cook online complaint reporting system.  So I opened up Chrome to give it a try.

The first thing I noticed is a stated endeavour to respond within seven days.  I think that if a company is going to do business on the Internet, people are going to expect a response in less than seven days.




The complaint reporting system prompts me to enter a date.  I click on the date field in the form to enter a date, and a calendar pops up.  I navigate the calendar and select 17 December 2009.




The calendar disappears and the date I selected appears in the date field in the form.  So far, good.

I then fill in the rest of the required fields and submit the form.  An error message is displayed.



It appears that the system doesn't recognize 2009 as being between 1970 and 2010.

I wonder if Thomas Cook will really consider complaints about travel that took place 40 years ago.

Like Brad, I then try some other dates and repeatedly get the error dialog telling me to enter a valid date.

I then try Firefox and can proceed to the next page in the submission process.

Curious as to why Firefox and Chrome behave differently, I try stepping through the JavaScript code that gets executed in the browser when the form is submitted.  My first observation is that there is a lot of complex date processing code for what I think should be simple.  It appears that, in Chrome, the field value isn't in the place the code expects to find it.

I haven't tried Internet Explorer, but I did see some comments in the JavaScript about issues with IE and Windows XP.  There are also comments in the code about not being able to "make heads or tails" of date values.  Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see a reason for the complexity of the date validating code on a web form for submitting a complaint.  Perhaps an example of over-automating a solution.

I hope this form is not an example of the complexity of processes implemented by this company.

  Edit

1 Comment:

January 15, 2010 at 10:10 PM  
Comment ID: 896406153440010592
Written by: Anonymous

It is a success. We implemented the automated complaint submission system and complaints went down 20%. We must be doing something right. Right?

;)

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