As a geezer, I remember when one could contact just about anybody on the planet. While in the US Air Force I contacted President Nixon, and recieved a polite, patriotic reply from some four star general. If I had a beef with a corporate-owned store, I culd write its president and get a reply fom someone, or just vent anonymously.
Of course, that was before the internet, email, and when companies actually cared what their customers thought instead of treating them like their own private chattel.
Yesterday I tried to complain to the McDonald's Corporation. It doesn't matter what company I try to contact through a web site, it's the same story - a roadblock.
What's worse, the old method of contacting someone is obsolete. A product, or its bag, box, container, or manual had contact information, a toll-free phone number and/or a mailing address. Now there's only "visit us at www.goawaywedontneedyourbusiness.com".
Yesterday I drove through McDonald's to get a biscut and gravy (ya gotta die from something). Before she even asked what I wanted to eat, I was asked if I wanted to donate to the Ronald McDonald house. I was offended.
I don't like panhandlers, but will often give up a buck anyway if I think the person asking is truly in need. But for some clown who has sold billions of burgers, there's no way in hell I'm giving, and I'm offended that he asks. Particularly when there's a donation box under the drive-through window and cash registers. The bell ringer with the red kettle never panhandles, why should a billion dollar clown looking for PR?
So I decided to visit their website. I'm greeted with a flash greetings page, with several possible clicks, none of which is labeled "contact us". There are, stupidly, links to "terms and conditions", and "subscribe/unsubscribe". Are there really people who ask for McDonald's to spam them?
So I try "Corporate McDonald's" and am greeted with a cluttered page with links to "About McDonald's", "Investors", "Franchising", News", "Careers", and "Our Values" shouting at me in all caps at the top, and "Corporate Home", "Restaraunt Locator", Search", "Contact Us" and "Ronald McDonald House Charities" yelling in all caps at the bottom. Hell, I'm 55 and even I know that all caps is yelling, WTF is wrong with the stupid kids who designed this awful site?
So I click "CONTACT US". I'm met with yet another page of 24 separate links. I got a contact form on the third try.
It is a form. First name, last name, mailing address, city, state, zip code, email address, restaurant address (and city state and zip) are all required fields. as is "landmark (describe location of restaurant)" Day, Month, Year, time, AM/PM are also required fields. In fact, the only two fields that aren't required are the eat in/drive through radio box and the actual box you put the comments in to.
Adding insult to insult before the "send" button is the statement "By clicking on the send button you agree to the site's Submission of Ideas and the Information Sharing Policy outlined in the McDonald's Customer E-mail Center Terms and Conditions document."
Look, in the old days I never had to put up with any of this nonsense. I put a stamp on an envelope, wrote the letter, and mailed it. I could be anonymous simply by not signing it, and never had any such stupidity as agreeing on any terms before contacting them.
Sadly, this bovine excretement has become the norm. Even sadder is the fact that you dumb kids go along with it like castrated sheep. Perhaps it's because you grew up with the internet and never knew anything better and couldn't imagine life without these stupid assaults on your humanity by your corporate overlords (who I, for one, did NOT ever welcome).
Do you even care? Do you know any better? Is there anything we can do about this? If you are in charge of one of these lame sites, why do you pull this garbage? Do you believe you're Bill Gates and you have no competetion, or is it just that your competetion is as stupid and rude as you are?
Oh, one more question- if I give you my zip code, why do you need me to type in my city and select a state from a dropdown? Don't you dumb kids know how to use a database?