Reply to post: Hateful website

Plusnet vows to shove a sword in members area 'White Screen Of Death'

Peter X

Hateful website

WARNING: The following is basically a full-on-rant. I make no apologies!

I've always cut Plusnet some slack for being broadly (no pun) good when viewed from a price vs. performance perspective. But the new billing website is such utter c**p, it's staggering. I'd assumed that this was something BT was already using and had imposed on Plusnet, but going on this article, I guess not?

For people who haven't had the pleasure, it's one of those sites where the page loads, but then there's no content because (presumably) there's some Javascript that then has to actually grab the data and put it on screen, but in the meantime, here's a spinny-thing that you can look at. Especially annoying is that it does this on the first login page... and after a bit of spinning, tells you the products you already knew you had. Why don't they cache this shit?

Microsoft-like consistency is there... the "Add-ons" icon, represented by a bolt? You click on that, and listed are things you can add by pressing the "Add this bolt-on" button. I guess "Add add-ons" didn't work, but the lack of consistency... it just looks poor. I know this particular thing doesn't really matter, but, it's like the people building the site don't care about the product. No dogfooding at Plusnet?

All the URLs look a bit crap. Again, it isn't super important, but given that it's a recent build, I would've expected something a bit more REST-like. Looks like some *HORRIBLE* (shudders) string concatenation crap going on in the back ground... URLs with two question marks in them, that kind of thing.

Broadband usage; I was going to say that doesn't work, but it seems they've finally got it working. Just like it was months ago. But in an iFrame by the looks, and a bit bodged in because CSS popups cause scrollbars to momentarily appear in the iFrame. But hey, it's there!

Oh yeah, and the Billing stuff. Go to bills... wait a bit for the page to properly load (as in all the JS stuff). Click the "View your bills" button, and then this weird popup window (not really a window, but a box) appears a bit above, but if you've scrolled down you can't see it. And it just contains a drop-down list to select a billing date from. Choose that, it refreshes... but I think only to tell you you'll need Adobe Reader to view your bill (not even true in most cases!), and then you click View bill and it opens a new window with the PDF. And if you try to save that PDF, the name will default to "$STANDARD.pdf" because it's got another really clunky looking URL that presumably links through to some other system in the bowels of Plusnet. And that's annoying... I want the invoice number or date or both.

It's like a product where no one really designed it. Someone decided they needed to change something, probably for business reasons rather than anything customer focused, but rather than thinking about how to design a "good" system, they've looked at what they've got and bodged it to make it do something new... and it is truly awful. I'm not convinced anyone involved in the development of the current site has ever actually built a website before. It's that bad.

(sigh... deep breath...)

I know I'm being quite harsh in my criticism. I'm sure other ISPs have far worse websites, but I'm mostly just disappointed in Plusnet. They used to be better than this.

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