Increasingly these days I find myself visiting a site that I used in the dim and distant past but unsure if I actually registered at the site. Royal Mail is one example. I visited the site today to buy postage for a large letter, went through the long process of creating a stamp and then reached the dreaded ‘Register or sign in’ screen. After trying to register it helpfully pointed out that my email address was already on file, so I guessed at my password and hey presto I was signed in. However, rather than being greeted by my basket I saw this error message.
“You are already registered for this brand/community. You can not register again.”
I clicked the shopping basket icon on the top right of the screen, but that just seemed to link to the shop.
I gave up and put two 1st class stamps on the envelope, overpaying by 20p or so.
Maybe that’s their secret plan.
This screenshot comes from a web site where I’m registered and where I’ve bought items in the past. What do you think I did wrong?
It turns out I entered a different e-mail address to the one I used to register at this site. But I’m not sure how I was meant to divine that from this error message.
I ordered some foreign currency from the Post Office today. I was a bit disappointed by needing to opt-in to opt-out of spam:
I was then disappointed some more when I was asked to press the ‘Purchase Order’ button, but my only choices were ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Cancel Order’. I know it’s not hard to work out the right choice, but this is totally unacceptable in a user interface.
Incidentally, after clicking on the Buy Now button I went through a ‘Verified By Visa’ section. Maybe I entered my password wrongly, but when I was returned to the Post Office screen I was told that the transaction had failed and I needed to start again.
Which of these two options do you think is the correct one?
(a) It had remembered all my address details so I didn’t need to enter them again.
(b) I had to type it all again.
Based on the site’s previous performance, you don’t really need me to tell you the answer, do you?
Interesting take on “speak the user’s language”. Full story at the BBC.