Sunday, January 16, 2011

In place of a recipe, a little rant

Since I posted three times yesterday (it seemed like it wouldn't be genuine to set all of those posts to auto-publish today and tomorrow) I wondered what to write about today. Should I write about the incident that occurred at the craft store yesterday, since it's still bugging me a little bit? Should I write about something from the "to write about" list? Should I just post a picture? I decided to type up the "recipe" or set of instructions for my skillet potatoes, as they have been getting a lot of compliments recently. These are the same skillet potatoes I have decided I am banned from eating on weekdays (well, just no more than twice a week) because they are making my jeans too small. I'm out of potatoes, so I made a variation with chickpeas and navy beans this morning, and it worked! I had the whole thing planned, the cute phrases I would use such as "Herbes de Faux-vence" for what I use when I'm out of herbes de Provence, and I had even taken cute pictures with my camera phone.

I logged into my Verizon page to access the photos I had taken from my phone. I hate the Verizon webpage. There are several steps required for simple tasks, such as searching for products, e-mailing Verizon, or viewing one's photos. For example, to access the photos I've taken with my phone and sent to their website so that I can post them to this blog, first one has must go to Okay, easy enough. Then one must log in. Pretty standard. [Now, perhaps as a result of iPhone-related traffic, this either takes a very long time or takes me to a page that requires me to enter my password AGAIN.] It's the next step that has the potential to stump the website user. Where could My Pictures be? Under the [Media] tab? That seems like a logical place for pictures. In the menu of my actual phone, that is where My Pictures are. Instead, from the [Media] tab appears a drop-down menu listing the following: "Media Store," "Ringtones," "Ringback Tones," "Music," "Games," "Apps," "Wallpapers," "Mobile TV," "Video On Demand," "V CAST Media Manager." Nope!

Eventually, I figured out (and remembered) that the menu option to see my pictures is, "Manage Your Photo Albums" under the [Messaging] tab. This is not intuitive. Web design, especially for a company that sells technology, should be intuitive.

From here, I can't just download My Pictures onto My Computer. I have to Send a Message to my e-mail first. Then, from G-mail, I have to download them, from the e-mail attachment, one by one. At least I figured out how to forward pictures from G-mail to my Picasa account, saving me the step of downloading the pictures, one by one, and then uploading them, one by one, to either Picasa or Blogger.

What has made this routine so irritating to me this morning is that, since the iPhone excitement began, many of these links direct me to a nearly identical website that requires me to click the same link, or enter the same information, again. For example, when I click, "Manage Your Photo Albums" from the Messaging tab, it takes me to a Messaging-themed page from which I must click a link that reads, "Manage Your Photo Albums." But Verizon, I already told you that's what I wanted to do!

I decided to tell Verizon, once and for all, that they have the worst web page in the world.

Naturally, they didn't make this easy for me. There's a [Support] tab, but the option I wanted was the "Contact Us" link, not part of any drop-down menu. This took me to a website listing help topics and FAQs, with a section at the bottom labeled, "Send an E-mail." Perfect! But it wasn't so easy. Rather than space to write my e-mail, I was given a drop-down menu from which I had to select the type of account I have. Ok, that's not so bad.

Except that this took me to a second website with the headline, "Find Assistance." This was nearly identical to the first, with a list of help topics and FAQs. The option to "Send an E-mail" is at the bottom of this page. After going through this process, I was so frustrated that I knew that anything I wrote would be completely looney tunes. I would sound like the person who writes the one lengthy, negative Yelp! post on a page full of 4- and 5-star reviews.

I did end up sending them what I hope was a sane message, detailing the lengthy process to access my photos and to send them an e-mail. Trying to separate myself from angry loons, I thanked them at the end for reading.

I guess I'll tell the craft store story later or not at all; I'm ready to think about pleasant things now. I did eventually get to Manage Your Online Album and e-mail myself pictures of my skillet potato process, so you'll get that how-to soon, perhaps tomorrow, Herbes de Faux-vence and all.

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