The brain-dead ATI web site

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 11th, 2003 • 5:19 pm

Because I reviewed an ATI product for a while back, I keep getting promotional materials on ATI products by email from time to time.

Today, I got an email about an “exclusive offer” for something called the “Remote Wonder Mac Edition”, with a link to this web page.

The web page contained the exact same picture as the one in the promotional email, i.e. a picture that gives you absolutely no idea what the products looks like. It just has some kind of metallic structure with “Wireless Freedom for your Mac / Remote Wonder Mac Edition / By Now $49USD” written on top of it.

Like most people I suspect, I like to see a picture of a product before even thinking about buying it — especially when it comes to portable computer hardware. You would think that the link contained in the promotion email would take you directly to a page with a picture of the thing. No such luck.

But it gets much worse. As far as I can tell, apart from the above-mentioned picture, the web page that the links takes you to is not even about this particular product. It appears to be a store home page, and contains a form where you need to SELECT your country (Canada, USA, or “Other”), and then indicate “What would you like to purchase”, with three options: “Software/Accessories”, “Products”, and “ATI Stuff”.

Now think about it for a second. Aren’t software and accessories available for purchase “products” as well? And what about “ATI Stuff”? What ATI stuff could be for sale that is not a “product”?

Pretty heady stuff, uh? It gets worse. I took my chance and selected “Software/Accessories” rather than “Products” or “ATI Stuff” (don’t ask me why), and… almost clicked on the “Reset” button, which is where the “Next” button should be, and vice versa. But never mind…

With my luck, I was taken to a page with yet another form saying “To start, SELECT the BUILT BY ATI product you are purchasing an accessory or CD for below.” So I selected “Remote Wonder” in the product menu, and clicked on “Next”. And I was taken to a page for… “Remote Wonder PC” of course! It was listed at $79 (didn’t specify US or Canadian), with a “Quantity” field that contained “0” but could be edited. It also contained a “CD Part No:” field, and a blurb about licensing issues explaining why they require the part number from the original ATI CD, etc.

Only then did I realize that what I wanted was not actually an “accessory” (although a remote control qualifies as an “accessory” in my world), but a “product”. I went back one page, and selected “Products”, and was taken to a page where I could indeed SELECT “Remote Wonder Mac” as a product.

Interestingly, the product was listed at $79.00, even though on the same page, to the right, there was an illustration about the Remote Wonder being available for $49.00 and a ‘Buy Now’ illustration. But you can’t click on that ‘Buy Now’ illustration. O-K.

I selected the Remote Wonder at $79.00 option just the same, and clicked on “Next”. I was then taken to a page listing the Remote Wonder Mac for $79.00 with, again, an editable “Quantity” field — and then a line saying “If you have a Promotion Code, please enter it below.” and a field for the promotion code.

Mmm. Let me get this straight. You say the product is on sale for $49, but your store lists it at $79 and asks for a promotion code that you never gave me. Right!

Of course, it’s always possible that this promotion code was hidden somewhere under the ‘Buy Now’ button that appeared in ATI’s promotional email. The problem is that clicking on this button in Mail doesn’t take me to any web page. It does nothing. (The way I got to the ATI web site from the promotional email in Mail was by clicking on another link in the body text of the email, which, for some reason, worked, and took me to the above-mentioned page. I suspect the ‘Buy Now’ button does exactly the same anyway — but I have no way to CHECK that.) I know that Mail has problems with HyperText links in some flavors of HTML email, so I switched Mail to “Show Raw Source”, but all I could see was hexadecimal gibberish, with no readable HTML code of any kind.

After changing the quantity to “1”, I clicked on “Next” one more time and was taken to a page with a form for my shipping information. At that stage, I simply gave up on the whole thing.

All I wanted was to see what the product looks like. I guess it’s just too much to ask.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.