31485  RB Websites
Published: 26 January 2015

You might find it hard to believe but it’s not just you that get frustrated with websites. There are days that I just look at a computer screen and just sigh, wondering if it might not be better to go live in a monastery or start living a life as an international man of mystery.

It doesn’t matter what company you deal with at the end of the day sometimes computing is just plain hard.

For instance the other day one of my colleagues spent three hours trying to sign us back up to the Microsoft Partner network. Now it -sounds- like an easy enough task doesn’t it? That is until you realise the site only works in IE.

So your probably thinking okay well it is a Microsoft site of course they want you to use their browser. Not to mention you’re trying to be a Microsoft partner so it’s kind of expected. So let’s let that one slide, except to sign up for the partner network he now needs to take an online test to prove that he knows enough about the Microsoft partner network. So he does the test and proceeds to try to purchase the software. Except it won’t take the card details, it says we should contact them only the link they give to the contact page doesn’t work and surfing around the site we cannot find any contact details. I’m like “**** this!” so I type in “Microsoft uk partner network phone number” into Google. In awe a panel appears at the top of the search results with the phone number. The two of us simply look at each other with a sense of amazement and start bowing in the direction of Google HQ.

So okay payment taken and they know our organisation exists but apparently it doesn’t know who I am…



Which considering I’m the person who set the partner network up years back is surprising. The more observant of you have probably noticed the “Contact Administrator” button bottom right? Yeah that would be ME so not much point clicking that…

Activating the subscription also went very well with a lovely UI Communication Error

Finally got the confirmation email everything was setup except clicking on the clicks in the email gives you a “Problem Encountered” message.


So all in all a great experience, now for what it’s worth you might be thinking were unlucky this time around. Well last year I went through the same process and it was as dreadful then as it is now.

One of the other sites I love to hate is 123-reg, for giving you a central place to manage domain names it’s great. But sometimes their website is truly truly awful, for instance during our last SSL subscription setup the purchase form listed name and address five times all in a row.


Now to be fair to 123-reg Kartar gave them a ring and said this form makes no sense. They said “yes your quite right it makes no sense” and they fixed it. But for a site that makes sooooo much money you have to wonder how come their contact form does this.





Richard Brisley

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