I received an email notification that I had a package from UPS.

There was a link that said I could sign for the package online.

“Cool!”, I thought. I’d never heard of being able to sign for a package online instead of in person. “UPS must think of everything!”

And so began an hour of aggravation, going in circles, a hunt for customer service, wrong rabbit holes and ultimately an aggravated, disgruntled customer who had a moment of joy turn into a not-fun ruckus.

In creating user experiences, we also create customer experiences. When our software is non-communicative, circular, or doesn’t provide effective messaging, we lose our chance to make a happy customer.

In order to “Sign” online, I had to sign up for a UPS My Choice account. I was trying to use mobile and in the middle of the signup process, I hit a snag in the verification process that I didn’t seem to be able to recover from.

I tried to snake around it and sign and saw this message:
 Either the user name or nickname and delivery address are already in use for this membership. (1028)

I’m not sure what this means. Since I moved less than a year ago, I wonder if the prior owner had signed up for this service. Or perhaps my UID was already registered and I had an account with another address.

The error message is not actionable. It tells me something went wrong but it doesn’t tell me anything about how to fix it. (Don’t be that site!)

Customer service tells me that the address must be held be the prior owner and puts me on hold. Some time later, they bump me to tech support.

“Oh, did something go wrong in your signup process? We can’t fix that. You’re locked out for 24 hours. You can try it again tomorrow.”

Don’t be that site!

Provide clear, effective, actionable messaging to their users.
Don’t send them in circles.
And don’t lock them out for 24 hours with no reset available even to support.


Leave a Comment