Addendum to VPI Experience

Addendum:

Interesting that only seconds after to Twittering my bad experience earlier I had some new followers and one was the co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance.

About an hour later I received a phone call from the supervisor who I had originally dealt with.  She and I were more civil this time.  Turns out she did some digging (sorry to say should have been done the first time but glad it was at least done this time) into my account.  She found something pending (didn’t say what exactly) that was from the time I had originally signed up with VPI.  I found this odd because whatever this was it did not keep me from making claims or receiving my payments.  She also let me know that because my email had contained attachments (2 screen shots so they could see exactly what I was seeing) it had been deleted (even though I got a confirmation email that they had recieved it).  So she asked me to try the web site again and if that didn’t work that I was to submit the email again but without the attachments.

I gave ol’ Firefox a try again and it still doesn’t work in Firefox.  Gave into using Internet Explorer and was able to FINALLY cancel the policies.

A few moments later I got a call from Patty at VPI to let me know that my policy cancellations had indeed gone through.  I thanked her for following up.  I asked her if I could speak to someone in the web dept.  I explained to her my main frustration had started with the inoperability of their web portal.  I enlightened her on not limiting your customers to only one browser (IE is FAR from the only thing out there).  She assured me that the web dept. was working to have their web portal work with Firefox and Safari (odd earlier they only knew that Safari didn’t work with it).

I truly hope that VPI learned a lesson from this today.  Follow up customer service is great but it shouldn’t be in place of good customer service to begin with.  Also that you don’t limit your customers or frustrate them by designing a site that isn’t web standards compliant.  Don’t launch a site until it works in all the major browsers (and OSes too – Linux, Windows, Mac).

I did Tweet that I appreciated them calling me back.  Am I completely happy?  No.  But I certainly feel a lot better than I did a few hours ago.  Thank you for getting back to me but let’s work on getting it right the first time.  🙂

My Tweets:

VPI Pet Insurance just earned a few points – supervisor called back and gave me her ext. plus update on my problems – good customer service

few more pts 4 VPI – told me they are working on getting site to work w/Firefox & Safari never launch a site until it works in ALL browsers

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Amendment to the Bill of Rights

I hereby suggest that my country’s Bill of Rights be amended. If the Bill of Rights is about freedom then there is one amendment seriously lacking (no offense to our forefathers they could not have seen this coming). Freedom of browser, web browser that is. I am not one of those open source fanatics that insists you only use Firefox or Opera but I do insist you allow me the right to choose my browser and have your site work correctly in it.

Gone are the days of only one name in the game. It is time for the web-so-called-masters to wake up. Code to web standards and not only will your site work in the browser of my choice but it can be accessible by all. It isn’t that hard to do. Why on earth would you limit the audience you are trying to reach? Are you that ignorant to think that only Internet Explorer is the only choice out there? Come to the Howard County Library and you’ll find it isn’t even an option. We prefer a much more secure (but not completely invulnerable) Firefox, Flock or Opera. Try convincing all the Mac users out there that use Safari or Firefox on their Macs. If you still think that IE is the only game in town you haven’t been looking lately.

I am completely frustrated by sites that “work best in ….” or “must use Internet Explorer only” (like the Baltimore County web site).   If properly coded your site will work best in ANY BROWSER!  I find it insulting that in this day and age of enlightenment and choice there are still those who think that limiting a site to a browser (or god forbid an operating system) is making the right choice.  Keep on making sites that only work in one browser and I’ll (among others) will keep not using your site.