The whole verizonsucks thing is a bit old hat, but I came across a deeply frustrating ‘feature” on my service today.
An upfront disclaimer: I’ve generally been very happy with my service and coverage. A vast improvement over my previous provider which was SunCom.
We’ll put aside the incomprehensibly bad web site design…well, maybe I shouldn’t….here’s what happened:
I do not have a particularly fancy phone, no bluetooth, usb, or whatever. I do have a camera though. I tried to take a picture with my phone the other day and got a warning about not having enough space. So I figure I’ll download some pictures and delete them to save space. That should be easy enough, right?
How to get the pictures off the phone? To send a picture message requires an incomprehensible number of button presses, but I noticed a feature “Online Album” and chose that. Hey, cool, it uploads in two clicks. Excellent.
Wait a minute…where is the online album? Hmm…let’s head to verizon.com. Nope. Sign in. Nope, not there. Hmmm…verizonwireless.com? Nope, not there. No sign of it either. Support section (which is not linked from the home page by the way)? Nope, no mention of it. Hmmm…data technical support FAQ. Nothing. Try a search for “Online Album” (and don’t click any of the first 10 links). Aha, I need Verizon Wireless PIX Place (although I have to google for the url – it’s not actually linked from the Verizon site). Cool.
Alright, let’s head over there. The sign up process isn’t bad. I can handle that. Let’s log in and see my picture. There it is. That’s great.
…wait a minute…that looks a bit fuzzy and small. Click it and it opens in a bigger window. Great, but wait…the file size is one third of the file size on my phone.
Now what? Well, maybe I don’t really care too much about picture quality. Maybe I can upload and then send them all somewhere else?
I test it. When you send a picture to someone else, you use a flash interface, and … wait for it…yes, the recipient gets a link back to the Verizon web site.
So, let’s summarize:
- Phone has feature with great usability, which trumps a feature with atrocious usability
- Linked to a site that’s nigh impossible to find
- Which has terrible usability
- And you can’t get your pictures out of at the quality level you took them at
Sigh…yes, verizon does indeed suck.