BY-NC-ND: M Francis McCarthy

[UPDATE] Shopping – How hard can it be?

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This morning, I tried to do some shopping at Zend.com’s webshop. Shouldn’t be too hard, should it? Go to zend.com, click a product, click ‘add to cart’, click ‘continue shopping’, choose another product, click ‘add to cart’, click ‘checkout’, … err, wait a second, where did the first product go? Now only the second product showing in the cart. Hmm, let’s try again.. (skipping whole sequence for readability), now only the first product is showing. Hmm, maybe my browser is acting weird. Restart of browser doesn’t hurt with saved sessions, so let’s try again. Again, no way of getting two products in a cart. Okay, though unlikely, it may be an IE-only site. So let’s fire up IE, and try once more. Again, no way of getting two products in a cart. And with two products in a cart, I mean, two products at once. I can put anything in my cart, but just not more then 1 product at the same time. And I’m definitely not going to pay the shipping costs twice.

Wait a minute. I still have an open quote from June 1st. That time I did manage to get both products in the cart, albeit with kind of the same amount of troubles, I succeeded after 9 times. Let’s login into Zend to get that quote back. No luck this time either. It simply won’t let me log in. It redirects to the login form each time I enter my credentials with no message. Hmm, though really unlikely, I might be using the wrong password. Let’s reset the password. I click the link, enter my email-address, and within minutes, I get a link to reset my password. Hmm, I didn’t ask for a link, I requested my password, but okay, that’s by design. So I click the link, and have the possibility to enter a new password twice. I enter a new password, type the confirmation slowly to rule out any password errors, and… I get an error. “The request you sent was malformed, key mismatch.”. I verify the key with my email, and it matches. Browser restart, try in IE, once again, no luck. Hmm, let’s try different passwords then. I enter a password that I know is wrong, and indeed it promptly tells me that the username and password don’t match. Correctly. I try the right password once again, and I get the login form back with no message.

Hmm, if I remember correctly, they sent me an confirmation of the quote, with a link to it. And indeed they did. I click the link, and I get a new login window. This time looking really different, and it turns out to be a direct login to the e-commerce partner. This time, it let’s me login, and it shows me in a really unstylish window that I have no active orders, and an open quote. Okay, now just change the payment method, and the shipping address, and I can still process the order. Wherever I look, it does not give me the option to change the quote in any way. Hmm, maybe if I click ‘process order’, it will place the order in an active shopping cart, and will allow me to check-out the order. It doesn’t seem obvious, but that seems to be the only shot I have to change the quote. And you guessed it already: once again no luck. It promptly processes the quote as a new order, and thanks you for becoming a customer of Zend. Though I like that last message, that was my attempt for the past 75 minutes, the order is still wrong. I’d rather not pay any international bank transfer fees if I have a PayPal account, and enough money in the account to pay for my order. So I guess I have to cancel the order. After a few minutes, I get the confirmation email of my order, with a nice link to my order. Again the ugly lay-out, but it shows what needs to be shown. And there is the Cancel link. Just one step away of starting all over again. I click the link, and… you never guessed it: “404: The requested URL /esales/publisher/pi/cancel.html was not found on this server.”

I give up… I don’t know if I’m a complete idiot, or that just every variable was against me, but I guess I have to turn to support personnel to place the order for me.

-R.W.

UPDATE: Even 4 emails to support didn’t do the job. So, at last, I decided to just buy the voucher only, and borrow the book from a friend. Luckily, this time everything worked out as planned, and I passed the exam!

UPDATE 2: Zend’s Community Liason Cal Evans heard about the story, and brought it back in attention of Zend. He then offered me a license for Zend Studio, to compensate for the troubles I went through. Now that’s a way to get satisfied customers :D

UPDATE 3: The conversations with Cal led to a job at Zend’s DevZone, which led to a job at Zend’s eBiz team. That team worked on getting the e-commerce partner out of the door, and switching to a Magento install. I personally got to write the Payment Gateways for quotes and invoices, which means the situation described above is no longer possible.

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Released: on Jun 05, 2007 under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs (CC-BY-ND) licenseCC-BY-ND

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    weird- works for me.
    maybe you’re not allowing cookies or something?

    • Remi_Woler says:

      I do allow cookies on both browsers, and cookies for zend.com and element5.com appear.