Is it so hard, really?

<rant>

I made an online payment recently. It was a farily simple, and straightforward process.  I filled out a typical form with the CC # and payment amount.  After I clicked submit, I received a confirmation page.  Two days later while online banking, I saw the total subtracted from my checking account.  All was right with the world.

Except, yesterday when I got home from work, I had a voicemail telling me that my payment was due last Friday and since I hadn’t made the payment, I was now being assessed a fee.  What?!

I call the customer support line.  Once I get through the automated prompt and explain the issue, it was resolved quickly.  In fact, as soon as I finished telling my story, the CS Rep said, “Oh, I bet I know what happened…” Then, she proceeded to tell me that if you put a dollar sign in the field for the payment amount, their system doesn’t process the transaction properly.  I asked her if that happens frequently, and she said, “All the time”.  After resolving the problem, she ended the call by saying, “Remember, next time you make a payment, don’t use a dollar sign.”

Ummm.  Ok.  First, why was there no note by the field that said not to use dollar signs…or maybe even have a dollar sign right in front of the box?  Second, why no error checking when I submitted the form?  And, third, but the most obvious…if it happens all the time, why not fix your form??

</rant>

PS…If you’re a fan of Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly), or Sci-Fi, or comics, or musicals, or just good comedy, you MUST check out Dr. Horrible!  http://www.drhorrible.com/

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