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How Would You Let Them Know? Broken Website, and No Email Contact

Posted in: Usability by Richard Hearne on November 9, 2009
Internet Marketing Ireland

I’ve been lecturing at the Digital Marketing Institute since its inception, and this week I’m due to talk about website architecture with members of IATA. As I was doing some prep work I came across a fairly broken webpage on the Falcon Holidays website:

Broken Falcon Holidays Page
Broken Falcon Holidays Page

When I come across problems like this I try to report them to the site owner. It normally only takes a second or two, and I’ve always believed that one good turn begets another. But how do you deal with this when the site in question has no online contact methods:

Online travel agent with no online contact methods
Online travel agent with no online contact methods

I found this issue on Sunday evening, and given that I’m generally fairly busy during the week I’m unlikely to remember to call them subsequently.

There’s every chance this issue will linger until someone internally notices it. I appreciate that web teams are often under immense pressure, and they don’t want to deal with misdirected customer inquiries, but a simple website feedback email address or form would act as a simple safety valve.

I do also wonder how much other valuable customer feedback (and sales?) Falcon are missing out on by forcing their site visitors users onto the phone?

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  1. I’d do a lookup on the domain and send an email to the contact email on there.

    But it’s a faff and you’d have to be a pretty good samaritan to do that!

    Comment by Gregor — November 10, 2009 @ 11:09 am

  2. Agree that it’s good practice to contact the site owner. But there’s no chance I’ll go to the hassle of doing a ‘whois’ and making direct contact. Seems to me that alot of the early technology adopters haven’t bothered to update their sites as the years have passed and so they’ve become outdated, and as you say, downright broken.

    Comment by Senan — November 15, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  3. I’ll lay a bet that sending an email to their whois contacts would end up in a blackhole, but it would be a very Samaritan action to take :)

    Comment by Richard Hearne — November 17, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  4. Well whois is always an option, but digging contact info there just to let them know they missed a key point is too much samaritian. But if you needed some info from them and needed it badly, there is a chance. But, I’d title my mail carefully :)

    Comment by Sanovnik — December 15, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

  5. Was going to suggest looking at the Whois record like Gregor mentioned above, but like you pointed out it would most likely end up in a blackhole. It’s a shame that they don’t offer their cliets a mean of online contact, not even an email address! Looks like your good deed is going to go unnoticed! I wonder if the page is still broken?

    Comment by SJL Web Design — March 30, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  6. I agree with Gregor… you could do a Whois, but to be honest how many people would go to that trouble.

    It makes sense to offer a really easy way to contact the site owner about a technical issue. Even just an anonymous comment box with a captcha would fit the bill.

    Comment by Robin Parduez — June 25, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

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