Tesco don’t quite get it…

I discovered a bug in Tesco’s online shop, and sent an email to their “Technical Queries” email alias to tell them about it. Here, approximately, is the exchange:

I said:

If you enter a phone number with spaces in, the submit silently fails.
The problem relates to the fact that the form submit() call is in the final
else() branch of the JavaScript in SubmitFormAddress().
If you have a phone number with spaces in, you enter this branch:

else if (isNaN(document.form1.textdayphone1.value))
temp = document.form1.textdayphone1.value;
while (temp.indexOf(" ")>=0)
temp = temp.replace(" ","");
if (isNaN(temp))
alert('Please use only numbers for the phone number');

If the phone number has spaces, the first isNaN fails, but the second
succeeds, and so you don't get an error popup, but then the submit doesn't
get done because it's in the final else {} branch of the big validation

They sent me an automated acknowledgement, and then said:

Thank you for your e-mail.

You cannot leave any spaces in the phone number or the system will reject

Kind Regards

Oops. I’ve obviously hit the wrong technical level. I was hoping for a techie… So I said:

This is the problem - the system neither rejects the number nor submits the form. It just does nothing.

Please pass my original message on to your technical team - they will understand the problem.

After another automated acknowledgement, they said:

Thank you for your e-mail.

There are no current technical problems with our website, therefore, please
call 08457 22 55 33 and select the option for "Technical Assistance" if you
cannot register. These queries are not easily resolved via e-mail.

Kind Regards

Did he actually read what I said? I’m not having a problem registering. And “there are no current technical problems with their site”? That must make it unique among e-commerce sites… And they want me to report website bugs by phone? The mind boggles.

I replied to that effect, but as yet have had no response.

3 thoughts on “Tesco don’t quite get it…

  1. You think that’s bad, recently my employer asked me to help with the testing of some new web based banking software written by another company I’ll not name here.

    Fortunately it’s not intended for the public to use, just the staff. The same phone number validation problem exists as you mention there but there’s worse, too much to mention here.

    They also refuse to accept any bugs relating to anything other than IE – the excuse being it’s not to be used by the public. This is short sighted in the same way as any reliance on proprietary software. Been to companies that still have to use Netscape 4 because they used layers for their internal webapps. Now this company is tied to IE and I ask them why and get no decent response. As most of the machines will just be accessing this web app, they could have saved a lot of money in Windows 2000 licences if they went the Linux/Firefox route. I see no point in a web app if it’s not cross browser compatible – particularly as in this case there’s nothing that couldn’t easily be fixed.

    On a similar note, been to companies that have a lot of legacy documents in either wordperfect or lotus amipro in a particular department and they’ve had to install a copy of the appropriate software to read these documents even though they’ve moved to MS Word – so rather than learning from their mistakes they move from one proprietary format to another.