Contact forms, why bother?
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago the question I had about Bloglines, a commenter suggested I contact them. So, I went over to the site, filled out the contact form. I got the automated reply, and two weeks later, I still have no answer.
I thought about it today after seeing Ed Bott’s post about the many problems Bloglines has been having lately. Maybe they were busy with that, but somehow I doubt it. I’m not holding my breath waiting for any kind of answer to my question about the number of subscribers. For all I know, the function on their site that shows you the number of subscribers is wrong, I haven’t seen it change in a long time. It’s certainly possible.
Of course, Bloglines isn’t the only place I’ve filled out a contact us form lately. I also filled one out with a question about membership at the Columbus Zoo, and I’m still waiting for a response to that. We’ll see how long that takes, or if I even get a response.
I don’t really understand why places have a contact form and then don’t respond. Seriously, this is 2008, soon to be 2009. We have instant communication all over the place, and it takes an organization weeks, or longer, to respond to email? If it’s going to take that long, don’t bother suggesting that we contact you that way. Having a form like that, with a promise for a timely response leaves the user with the impression that you will, actually, respond in a timely manner. When you don’t it makes you look bad. Not good, especially for organizations that I like and respect.
When other organizations are on Twitter, and I’m interacting with the people who work there every day, it makes this response time look even worse.
Update: Naturally, the next day the Bloglines subscriber count according to Feedburner changes. At first it had the old count, plus the new, reduced count, for a new high, then it went back to the old count. Still no sort of communicaton from them about what happened.
Customer service at Bloglines has become a “huh?” for awhile evidently. The feeds spider was screwed up for two weeks before they finally got it working again.
I still use it. But maybe I need to be looking at other replacements.