2009-07-16

The KLM website. Still rubbish after all these years.

A few years ago I got angry enough about the KLM website to actually sit down and write them a letter. In these times nobody seems to bother inscribing flattened trees with strings of symbols as a means for communication anymore, but I did indeed send them a proper letter. On paper.

The thinking was that since they so obviously have not understood this web thing, it would be necessary to communicate with them by means of more traditional technology -- in line with the somewhat crusty and stale impression they project if you have the misfortune of being exposed to their woeful "web presence".

Well, to cut a long story short: they didn't respond. It would appear that nobody is minding the store. Perhaps I should have used papyrus or stone tablets instead.

Today I had the silly idea that I should log in and check my frequent flyer miles, after KLM sent me one of their garish, pushy marketing emails. Of course, when I clicked a link in the email I was greeted with a HTTP 500 type error message indicating that some permanent-looking internal error had occurred. How professional of them to send me an email with links in it that do not work.

I was eventually able to dig up my Flying Blue member number, but what my password was set to is anyone's guess. Rather than offer a sensible way to recover passwords they insist on being difficult. I had to answer a question which I can't remember the answer for anymore, plus feed the interface an email address. As if I remember which email address i used when I registered, years ago.

After three guesses I was told that my account was disabled for 24 hours.

How come KLM, who are demonstrably free of talent when it comes to designing web sites insist on this "added security"? It does not add any security. It merely makes an already miserable experience even more miserable.

I know the airlines are experiencing hard times, but if anything this is precisely the reason why you want to set yourself apart from the competition by having a competently designed and implemented web site.

Come on KLM. If you wonder why I have not booked my vacation through you it is because your stupid website keeps getting in the way -- and to be quite honest, my life has enough annoyances for me to bother dicking around with your worthless website when there are other companies that are more than happy to take my money.

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