Friday 14 December 2007

The Scotsman

I got a little nervous when I read this advance warning from Doctorvee:
Am I the only one who thinks the new design of (currently in beta) is absolutely dire? It’s all the more upsetting because in my view it was just about the only newspaper website out there that wasn’t in dire need of a redesign.
I agreed with the Doc's appraisal of the new design, and now sadly it's gone live.

Here's the story in today's paper:

THE Scotsman today unveils a new look for its award-winning website.

Changes to will make the site easier to use and more responsive to breaking news.

Those of us who pay for the Premium Access service have been locked out today. OK, we know that glitches happen when new systems are set up but it's unforgivable for management not to respond to angry customers. Why hasn't anyone from the paper replied to this thread, especially to those of us who've paid for extra benefits?

UPDATE: When I returned home this afternoon there was a letter from the Scotsman about the changes. Why wasn't it sent out in advance? The letter told me that I had to re-register for the Premium Service (which includes a free copy of the printed paper) and gave a web address for "the quickest way" to do so. "The page cannot be found" was the clever response to that attempt. I then phoned the Scotsman. The lady at customer services took my credit card details but phoned back to say that my MasterCard had been rejected. I then gave her my VISA number. She called back again and told me that the MasterCard had now been accepted after all! Apparently there's a problem with Edinburgh addresses - this is with the Scotsman!

I suggested that someone in the Scotsman's management team should have been reading the complaints from the customers and responding. All that's needed is something along the lines of: "We know there's a problem and we're working on it". But nothing.

As for the design itself, I have to agree that it's far worse than before. I accept that it's early days yet and things may improve. But in this day and age screwing up the launch of a new website can be the kiss of death for any business.

And another thing - I used to have a feed from the Evening News that I would read on the phone while enjoying my post-work pint. But now there are about 100 separate feeds to choose from! Give me strength.

I always thought that I'd buy the Scotsman business when I'd made my first billion. There's going to be a big clearout coming...

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comment made on previous template:

Yes, it's awful - just checked.
17 December 2007, 16:36:34 GMT