7.13.2008

Great job, Walmart, with digital downloads. Not.

Walmart needs to pay more attention to its Web site.

My wife and I wanted to purchase the new Journey CD, Revelation, which is currently only available at Walmart. Last week, while in Las Vegas, we stopped at a Walmart store looking for the CD, but it was out of stock. No problem, we decided: We'll order it online. That's what we went to do today.

When we got to the appropriate Web page, we were told that the album was also available as a "Revelation MP3 digital album." Digital is fine, especially if it's less expensive. But clicking on the MP3 album link revealed this surprising message:

We're sorry, your operating system is incompatible. To provide the best download experience, we can no longer support Windows 98, ME or NT. Please visit again after you upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP. Visit our Help section for complete system requirements information.

Huh? We're using Mac OS X 10.5.4 "Leopard" running Firefox 3, not Windows 98. (The same error message appeared with Safari.)

It's one thing to not support the Mac, folks. That's your business decision to make.

But it's just plain stupid to write bad platform-sniffer code for your e-commerce site.

(We did get a chuckle that Walmart recommends upgrades to Windows 2000 or Windows XP, but not to Windows Vista.)

2 comments:

metzmash said...

I'm not a huge Journey fan (post-'78), but I actually heard this was their best disc in about 20 years.

Alan Zeichick said...

I should add that a digital version of the album is good if and only if it's free of DRM restrictions. I don't want to find out that someday my music won't play because some service provider's server hiccuped, or because a software upgrade or platform change "broke" the DRM software.

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.