Shahzad Bhatti

May 7, 2008

How not to handle errors for an Ecommerce site!

Filed under: Computing — admin @ 5:36 pm

I have been reading and hearing a great deal about Scala language, which is an object-oriented and functional hybrid language and is implemented on JVM and CLR. So, I decided to buy the only book available from Artima. I had been a long subscriber of Artima, so when I ordered I logged in and entered my credit card information. However when I hit enter, I got page with cryptic error message. This was not what I expected. I hoped to get a link to the book, instead I had no idea what happened. Worst, there was no indication on what to do or who to contact. I found a phone number from the website, but when I called the number, the phone company told me that it was disconnected. The only email I could find from the site was for webmaster, so I emailed webmaster and explained what happened. But, webmaster didn’t get back. I knew Bill Venners ran the site, so I searched the site for his email and finally got his email from google. I emailed Bill and explained the situation. Bill was quick to respond and I finally got the link to the ebook within half hour. Though, Bill explained that the bug was not common and they have very high standards for testing. But, I was aggravated by the way errors were handled without giving any clues to the customer. Clearly, building a site that handles credit cards require higher standards. In case of errors when performing transaction, I expect a clear message what went wrong, whether my credit card was charged (which was charged in my case), and some kind of contact page, email address, IM/chat or a phone number. I also like email confirmation that you generally get from ecommerce sites after the transaction.
In the end, I was glad to get the PDF for the book. I am finding Scala is a really cool language with features from a number of languages like Lisp, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Haskell, Erlang, ML, etc. Most of all, it takes advantage of Java’s Ecosystem that has tons of libraries and tools.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress