’s high-speed Internet service availability web form

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Technology
November 8th, 2005 • 6:18 pm

As regular Betalogue readers know, we are still without access to any kind of high-speed Internet access in our area.

So from time to time I check out the web site of our phone company, Aliant, to see if there are any changes to the situation. (There have been some rumours lately, but of course nothing substantial.)

The Aliant web site has a web form where you can enter your phone number and it will tell you whether high-speed Internet is available for that phone number. The form looks like this:

Aliant web form asking for phone number

I don’t know about you, but to me it seems pretty clear that the form expects you to enter your phone number using the “###-####” format, i.e. with a dash between the first three digits and the last four digits.

So I entered my phone number using this format and here’s what I was told:

Phone number not found. Please ensure the number you have entered is an existing Aliant number. If you are still experiencing difficulty, please try to search by Street Address.

I tried again without the dash, and sure enough, it worked just fine. (The system told me that my “number does not qualify” for high-speed Internet access, of course.)

Can you believe this? It’s bad enough that the system is so poorly designed that it is not able to process phone numbers regardless of whether they contain a dash or not. But then on top of this the form is completely misleading, and if you enter the number with a dash, as the form seems to expect you to do, it gives you an error message saying that your phone number cannot be found!

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