When websites go bad….

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So, what is it all about then? You are happily plodding along using your favourite website, thinking how fab it is and why no one else is using it…And then you have a problem.

Whatever that problem is, have you noticed how many websites don’t have usable contact details on them..? As the owner of a web design business, we always ensure that the site owners contact details are listed on their site, granted like ourselves due to meetings, other phone calls and the odd crisis, you may not always be available to take your clients phone call, or return their email, but you do reply to any such enquiries as a matter if course.

However, what happens if you really DO need to contact the owner of a website, or at the very least a team member of that site….and despite your best efforts you can’t. This post was inspired by an advert on the gumtree.com website, or to be accurate I should say adverts. These adverts requested that the reader email a Gmail account for more details about a job opening that was available. The reply respondents received was as automated reply, in which our own web design company was cited, as well as a link to a fake website, with the intention of fraudently obtaining users credit card details…

Suffice to say, we wanted to contact Gumtree to put an end to these adverts appearing on their website, but low and behold the only way you can contact them was by a random email address, which resulted in an automated reply, advising us that they take enquiries very seriously and that we can email them via their online contact form (I thought we had already done that?). We eventually sourced a phone number for an account manager at Gumtree from one of our many industry contacts, but if jolly old 118118 don’t have a number for them, what chance has anyone got of getting hold of someone?

Anyway, to cut a long story short it appears that the Gumtree site is full of scam artists and dodgy adverts. If you take a moment to read thier forum (I won’t give them the pleasure of a backlink by mentioning the url), you’ll see that it is full of complaints from disgruntled users. Being a member of the ebay family, surely they can’t be allowed to operate in this manner..But what can you do? Stop using the site for sure, but how does that help the next new user of the site? How does it help you get your money back from a scam advert you have just replied to? It doesn’t.

I hasten to add that we are not in the habit of lambasting websites, but the above observation does beg the question :

When websites go bad…What can you do?

The floor is open, all comments welcome.

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