There are applications available out there that can be used for free, and if the end-user wishes to reach more features of the application, a membership is provided, thus after paying a fee, the end-user becomes a subscriber.
I have some applications installed that have similar concept built around it. At some of these applications, I’m already a subscriber because I’m satisfied with the product. I’m happy with the user experience, with the quality of the product, with the application performance, availability etc, as a user I get what I want from the application.
But I’ve found some application that had never been end-to-end tested for sure. When I, as a user find some embarrassing issues during using the application, when I don’t feel my data to be safe, there is hardly any chance to make me a subscriber. When I feel that I as an end-user being used by the company to test the application, I abandon the application and company for good.
Like in this story.
I was a user of an application that tracked my fitness activities. I had never spent the time to examine the app thoroughly, I liked how it tracked the route of my running, and that’s it.
It was installed on my phone. When I changed phones I didn’t reinstall the application, it took some time when I felt that I wanted to track my running. So one day I opened the application once again. I realized that I had two accounts – with two email addresses, so to fix this I tried to remove one of my accounts. And this is where my disappointment started.
Navigating to the user profile page in the web application my password was asked, the reason why I’m deleting the account, I had to confirm that I’m not a robot. Clicking on the “Yes, please delete my account” button I was redirected to a page, which said “the request cannot be handled due to HTTP ERROR 500.”
I decided to write to support asking for their help in deleting my account because I’m getting 500 error. The very first reply was an auto-generated response that contained two article links describing the account deletion process I went through.
Oh, hello bots!
So I replied to the email, I repeated my first mail. This time a person answered me, but I got the very same answer – describing the steps to be taken in order to reach the page where I can delete my account.
Okay then. Tried again. Explained the problem to the support. Finally, they understood what the problem was, I got the promise that they looked into the problem and would let me know asap once they fixed it.
While I was waiting for the bugfix I explored more of the application. The next function I explored was the data export possibility. It is a simple form with a from and a to date input. What can go wrong here, right?
Although I set a specific from and to dates here (from 4/1/16 to 5/2/18), I found data from 2015 in the exports!
Oh well. I can imagine the BDD scenario describing this behavior – and I’m sarcastic here.
Given I’m interested in what data is stored about my activities
When I specify a data range to be exported
Then zip file should be generated to download.
Yay, the file is there to download, these files contain the information about the activities, who cares with the date range specified?
Just let it go.
I got a reply from support:
Can you try deleting your account again? We think we may have fixed this.
What?! You think you may have fixed this?
Actually, they didn’t fix it.
In the end, my account was allegedly deleted by them manually.
This issue is still out there, now I cannot delete my other account.
This experience made me sad for many reasons. There is no bugfree software, we all know it. But when a user reports an issue, I would expect to take that a bit more seriously and actually do a little testing around it.
Eventually they made me leave the application for good, along with all the application that this company is developing, and they can never make me to become their subscriber.
This is not the only company that thinks that they can get along without dedicated testers without any damage to the company’s reputation.
Dear Software Companies,
Increasing user engagement while reducing costs is possible!
The quality of your product is the best marketing ever, especially when you offer a free version of your application. If using the free version is not leaving any bad taste in the mouth, more people would become a subscriber.
Hereby I ask you not to neglect the testing of your free version. Have testers who help quality to be baked in the product.
Thanks in advance,