I was trying to purchase a TV for my partner’s mother’s mother who is chair-bound and whose television has recently died. I visited the online presence of a well known UK retailer and attempted to order a television for her, only to get frustrated beyond measure in an incredibly short period of time.

Thus, since I was in a bad mood anyway due to unrelated things, I used their “Email customer support” link (yick, web form again) to let them know exactly how I felt about their so-far-below-par-as-to-be-in-australia online presence.

When using your website to attempt to locate a television for my permanently disabled grandmother in law I was told that the item was not available for delivery and I would have to collect in-store.

Fair enough I thought and proceeded to the reserve item option.

Nothing at my local store, okay thought I, I’ll ask it which stores have stock

No such option presented itself to me.

I had to manually select one of a set of stores to try, said list being checkboxes rather than a radiobox group thereby requiring a javascript handler to tell me to select only one (I wonder what will happen if I turn javascript off?) and each time I tried a different store, the ones which I had tried already and discounted for not having stock re-appeared on the list of ones I could look in.

Now, normally I’d put this kind of amateurish user interface down to having been implemented by someone in their spare time, for free, with no consideration given to acceptance testing, and that the author had never been taught anything about correct user interface design nor deigned to learn it for themselves regardless. I am sure that this is not the impression you wish to give to your customers.

I will, as a result of this user-interface nightmare, be very unlikely to use Argos for any of my Christmas shopping this year and I will be encouraging all my friends and family to similarly reconsider their options as I cannot believe this has never been raised to your attention before and that it has persisted as an issue therefore is utterly beyond redemption.

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