I've pointed out some flaws on Verizon Wireless' web site before, and I recently found yet another example of a flaw on the Verizon Wireless web site that could have been prevented with proper browser testing.
I visited the Verizon Wireless web site to log into my account and pay my bill online. I clicked on the "My Account" tab at the top of the Verizon Wireless homepage and got a page with the following login box:
After typing the User Name and Password into the corresponding fields, I received the following screen:
As you can imagine, this caused some confusion. Did I enter my information incorrectly? Is the feature not working currently? I had questions and picked up the phone to call customer support.
The customer service representative told me that the login was only compatible with Internet Explorer, and since I was using Firefox, I would have to switch to Internet Explorer.
Of course, this error on the Verizon Wireless web site could have been prevented with a few hours of browser testing. Here are my findings:
|IE 6, Windows (~46% of people online)
|Success after about a 7 second wait.
|IE 7, Windows (~20% of people online)
|Success after about a 2 second wait.
|Firefox 2.0, Mac and Windows (~18% of people online)
|Failure; After clicking Login button, I get the "account temporarily unavailable" page.
|Safari 2.0, Mac (~2% of people online)
|Failure; After clicking Login button, screen is refreshed. User Name and Password fields are blank, I was not logged in and there are no visible signs of success or failure.
As you can see, 20% of web site users are likely to fail at logging into their Verizon Wireless account when using the form on the "My Account" page.
Fact: Not testing your web site on Safari and Firefox may cause failure for 20% of your customers.
According to Compete.com, VerizonWirless.com receives about 10.9 million visitors per month. While there's no way to know what percentage of these visitors log into their Verizon Wireless accounts, let's say for the sake of argument that 10% of site visitors log into their account (or attempt to).
In this case, that's 1.9 million people per month attempting to log into their accounts. According to web browser usage statistics, that means that 380,000, or 20% of 1.9 million, fail at logging into their accounts each month.
Imagine the savings Verizon Wireless could realize at their call center if they properly tested this application and took the time to make it usable on the most common browsers.