Silicon Glen, Scotland > Web usability > Pants websites

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Why the Domestic Appliance Service Association website is pants

Site reviewed on 19th December 2003

Bizarre one this site. Normally I'd focus on corporate sites but I happened to come across this broken site when looking for a repair company for our washing machine. Fortunately, the shop has now agreed to replace the machine but nonetheless the bad experience with DASA really merits a special reference here. The actuality between what the site is trying to do (promoting 'service quality') and reality is, well - judge for yourself!

On Monday, December 15, 2003 9:05 PM, I sent a mail to the contact details on the site explaining the site was broken because the essential information regarding their members was unavailable and was returning an error.

On Tuesday, 16 December 2003 17:02 they respond and say the site is "not broken" and I need "An Acrobat Programme" (sic) to view the members listing. I have Adobe Reader 6.0. It's a "program", by the way (even in the UK).

On Tuesday, December 16, 2003 6:04 PM I respond again with detailed instructions as to what I was doing, where the fault was and the steps they need to take to correct it (there is a broken link)

On 18 December 2003 16:55:46 they again fail to attempt to follow the steps to reproduce the fault and simply state "the DASA Website is not 'broken'. It is working quite alright for me.".

Let's judge that then.

Visit the homepage using IE6. Note the highlighted comments about how important "service quality" is and how proud of the site they are (!). The phrase in the page <title> area entitled "new web" won't be doing their search engine rankings any favours. Click on "Members-on-line" in the left hand navigation frame.

dasa homepage

Note again the text "The sign of good service". These guys really must mean it, that the second time they've mentioned good service.

members on line

Click on the big blue link entitled "Members on line". Get the next screen, oh dear. No members on line then!

404 error

A simple free link checker also highlights this, 12 missing files and a reference to a non existent host. Not all of these missing files are immediately obvious to the casual browser, but amongst this list are the major ones preventing access to core functionality. Funny, I'm sure they said their site wasn't broken and that they were interested in quality and good service.

missing files

Further investigation reveals even more problems. No DOCTYPE and 58 errors on the homepage alone. Funny, I'm sure they said their site wasn't broken. It's a surprise the site displays at all.

58 errors

It's probably just as well I don't need a DASA member's services anymore.

The pants website award. Please feel free to add to this list