Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Frustrations - Online Bill Paying UX Failure

Received our first gas bill today from the Supergas company here in Israel. I can setup an automatic bank draft or pay by credit card. I can't do the bank draft yet so I figured I would pay by credit card.

Go to their site, find the pay my bill page, get to the screen where I put in my information and there is one small problem...the area code. Mine, 058 is not listed. Link to their page here


Naturally like any good hack I figured just pick an area code and let it go, like entering jay@jay.com for the email address. Nope, does not compute. It verifies the phone number on the account with their records. 

Supergas, what are you thinking?

1) Verifying a phone number does not sound like a good idea to me. If you have my account number, address, name, ID # and all, you would think that would be enough to validate me. I want to pay you, make it easy for me. Also which phone did we open the account under? Mine or my wife's? Fail again.

2) Why is area code a drop down AND a required field? Did you think I would not include my area code when I input my phone number? Is it a formatting issue? Then state how you want the numbers entered, using ( ) or . or - is fine. 

3) There is also no help on the page or chat with anyone. I am sure customer service would be unable to help me fix the UI and underlying coding, but they should be able to take my payment, for an extra fee of course. 

This is the gas company that everyone in my city gets their gas from and pays their bills. I can not be the only one that has this problem. Then again, if everyone pays by the bank using automatic drafts I can see how this web page was missed during the QA process.

It happens, someone updated code or forget to add in our area code. I know this, I've done it myself. I am not angry, slightly amused and slightly frustrated though, because what should have taken a few minutes to setup turned into a long process and now a blog post.