Rage against the machine Henrik Emilsson

As a user of Facebook I feel really helpless when nothing works as it should (as was the case with the latest GUI-update). Posts were stochastically shown in the feed and a lot of errors occurred in various situations. A lot (all?) of my friends on Facebook experienced the same problems.

When there are lots of bugs on flight booking sites I get so frustrated and angry because I cannot complete my task. E.g., the booking system for Ryanair (at least two years ago when I last used their booking system and never will use again).

But what can I do as a frustrated enduser?

The problem nowadays is that you as a user and consumer don’t know what to do with your complaints. The companies shows no respect as long as the users are hooked on the application and needs the solution to problem that the application provides. But they do not care to fix the bugs that might ranging from annoying to critical.
So the loser is you! And it becomes a rage against the machine because of the absence of real people to talk to. Or some people might think that they did something wrong when it really was lousy software that caused the problems.

But in fact all other users of these applications experience similar problems. So you as an enduser is not alone! This is something that hits many people on their own but who lacks a community i.e., if we were employees in a company using the software we would have protested.

What should we do!?

Should we create a site similar to http://www.badsoftware.com/ (Kaner & Pels) or http://www.badsoftware.com/alienwaresucks/ (Kaner) in order to channel some of the frustration and gather it into some powerful criticism?

Or are there other channels that we could utilize?

Do you have any ideas?

Joe Strazzere March 2nd, 2010

“But what can I do as a frustrated enduser?”

You can rage all you want, and create all the complaint sites you want. But the most effective way is to vote with your wallet.

If you don’t like a site – don’t use it. If it’s a paid site, stop paying for it. If it’s a free site, stop using it and go elsewhere.

Henrik Emilsson March 2nd, 2010

You are right.
That killed the debate… 🙂

Martin Jansson March 3rd, 2010

You can do as Joe suggests or you can discuss it like you do Henrik. Freedom of expression is powerful and collaborating in the raging sharpens the critique (hopefully).

If many in the context-driven school just acted the same way with ISTQB, thus just don’t get the certificate, we would loose some very interesting debate.

Henrik Emilsson March 5th, 2010

True is true… 🙂

I guess that I mean that we have come to a situation where people “accept” lousy software even though the correct action would be to just not use it.
I.e., many endusers think that there might be an isolated problem visible just for them; that they do something wrong; that it might very well be designed like this; etc.

Therefore I believe that someone should raise a voice against companies/applications that ignore the endusers. If people are aware of that the problems could be fixed before they are encountered “live” they might consider to not use the software OR raise their voice and make some complaints.
Somehow we should let the companies know that we don’t accept this behavior!

I have chosen not to use Ryanair, but you might still expect something more from a site that is localized in Swedish but cannot interpret swedish characters.
I don’t know if this is still applicable, but it were in 2007:
If you enter Swedish characters in step 1 of the booking wizard you become aware of this problem after you have completed the booking in step 5 (including payment) which cancels the booking due to an “unknown error”. This means that you cannot complete a booking if you live on a street, or your name, contains these characters. Which is pretty common… It took some time to figure out what the problem was…
Another “feature” is that if you order a ticket for a certain price, you will be notified in step 4 or 5 that this ticket is no longer available, so you need to restart the booking procedure. Amazing!

Rikard Edgren March 11th, 2010

To complain to the company is a good start. If their cost of reading e-mails from annoyed users is higher than the cost of fixing the bugs, we might see a difference.
Raising the public’s awareness of software defects is the long-term solution, but might need some help to get started.
Reviews of software could be accompanied by a list of known issues, assembled at a forum by frustrated users.
As more and more “incidents” will happen, the awareness will rise, but I agree with you, we should already be there; there exist too many crappy software products, with users blaming themselves for computer ignorance.