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.: November 2006 --> Unhelpful Error Messages

Unhelpful Error Messages

» I tried to use a new feature on my HMO website: sending an email to my doctor. I just got a return email directing me to pick up a new email on their website - I suppose they do this for security purposes. So I went to their website, logged in, was directed to click on another link, and this is the message that waited for me:

Sorry. The application failed to start because of an error. Please contact your system administrator. Unable to obtain connection to the database server - environment name:PRODGGM.

Dear MyChart®,

If you are going to give me, the patient, idiotic and unhelpful messages like that, could you please include a link that will allow me to email said system administrator with the news that your product isn't working? Thanks!

Your friend,

Rebecca Blood

Aha! Dan Lyke has discovered another little problem with the software.

 [ 11.30.06 ]


this is standard practice i think, so many companies are actually unreachable, though they want to appear that they care, or are online, i encounter it so often that i conclude it is a strategy, just not publicized. a hyge waste of time too.

And although Kaiser got back to me right fast, when I finally stripped question marks and apostrophes from my message and got their system to accept it they promised a response "in two days".

I could call them and demand an interaction in real-time, or I could send them an email (through their gawdawful web interface) and let them do a little load balancing, but apparently they value my time little enough that, if I want a response in a reasonable time I'm supposed to waste my time waiting on hold and stepping through badly designed phone menus.

Don't get me wrong, I've had good dealings with Kaiser Permanente otherwise, but I also had some bad experiences with other companies's online presences this morning, and I'm amazed that a tool that should reduce costs for the provider of these services is being used in such a way that it reduces the convenience to the consumer of them.

And that all of these web services are apparently implemented by somebody's nephew whose web design and programming skills can't extend much further than a jacked copy of Dreamweaver and a vague feeling that "Java is t3h r0xx0rs!"



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