Saturday, April 25, 2009
Ok, so I’m at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas and using my Sprint BlackBerry 8830 to get me around, check email, make calls, visit websites, etc. At some point I receive an on screen error message (shown above) which really caused me great angst. If Sprint had Sensors in the Ground to detect this they would know that I’m aiming to add myself to their churn list and go G1 with TMobile or iPhone with ATT. Trouble is they’ll only know this after I’m gone.
So, let’s examine the message that I received on screen.
First, the "HTTP Error 413: Request Entity Too Large." Oh, the dreaded 413 error. Your kidding , right? Ok, thanks, Sprint or RIM or whoever. I really don’t care who is to blame here. I have a reasonable expectation that my $400, 2 year contract, $150/month device will display a web page when I request it. And, if there is a problem, I’d like to be able to make some sense of the error message that I receive and probably more importantly be tipped off that the company that provided me the message knows there is a problem and they are doing something about it. For an example of a company that gets this part right see my related post on zynga, the makers of online games for Facebook and MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, and Hi5. This company “gets it” so I’m happy to give them praise.
And now for the ridiculous “The page you requested could not be loaded. Please try loading a different page” message. Are you serious? Come on, load another page? Really? This is much like making reservations for a restaurant, showing up on time and then being told that you have to go to the joint next door for your meal. This is crazy. Techno people – PLEASE, these are solvable problems. Please put your customer centric hats on, walk in the customers shoes and address these poor experiences.
The last part of the message was an option to choose between accepting "OK" or "Details." Honestly, I didn’t have the patience to do anything other than turn off my device and try again. Some Redmond based company schooled us well to believe that cycling the power on our devices is sure to fix most problems.
I imagine a different world where Sprint (and maybe RIM) has sensors in the ground that tell them that I had a bad page load experience. Perhaps they have an invisible sensor that captures this error over all of their networked users. If that is the case they ought to communicate the fixes.
"Argh, paralyzed in place by my DumbSmartphone."
Oh wait, perhaps that is why I received an hourglass for nearly 15 minutes while I stood on the gi-normous show floor attempting to check my calendar notes for the location of my next meeting. Argh, paralyzed in place by my DumbSmartphone. As the old Virginia Slims Ad used to say, “We have a long way to go baby.”
For this experience I rate each company for Sensors in the Ground and Brand Perception:
Sensors in the Ground: neither company appears to have any Sensors in the Ground to capture these problems as they occur. Score = 0, goose egg, nada, zip, zero.
My Brand Perception of RIM: I think they don’t care about my experience. They appear to insulate themselves from any responsibility given that my customer relationship is with my carrier, Sprint.
My Brand Perception of Sprint: I think they don’t care and I have no confidence that they will solve this problem in my customer lifetime. I will defect to another carrier and device when my contract is up.