April 03, 2009

Another Problem To Solve For Mr. Dyson

We've just bought our first Dyson and it's a beauty. No doubt about it. Looks the business and runs like a dream.

Naturally, I was keen to see how Mr. Dyson talks the walk and his little booklet 'The Story of Dyson', which accompanied our new toy (sorry, serious cleaning machine), didn't disappoint.

I learned how the man who 'likes to make things better' started out designing a barrow, the Ballbarrow (which goes where "no wheelbarrow has ever gone before") before going on to design the world's first bagless vacuum cleaner. I also read in the section 'Another Problem To Solve' how it took three on-board computers, 50 sensory devices and 60,000 hours of research to create efficient, methodical robot cleaning. Another section told me that "the people at Dyson who design products are called 'engineers' (because) to Dyson, 'design' means how something works, not how it looks."

So far, so very impressive.

Then, following the instructions on the packaging, I went online to register my purchase.

Now, the people at Dyson who design the website can't be engineers because the site neither looks well nor works well. In fact, I'm not sure it works at all. I was taken brusquely through a sequence of web-pages (many of which were subtle variations on the last) before arriving at a page where I could enter my details. I filled out the form and pressed 'Submit' - and then nothing. No onscreen confirmation. No email thanking me for registering. Nothing.

Unsure whether I'd registered successfully or not, I called the local number instead and spoke with a very helpful woman who completed my registration and then advised me that my proof of purchase was all that was required to qualify me for service and certain parts under my warranty.

What a pity that Mr. Dyson's carefully designed brand experience didn't extend to my visit online. I don't expect his engineers to spend 60,000 hours (or even a fraction of that) crafting an online registration process but this simple exchange, made convoluted and frustrating, briefly soured my infatuation with our new beauty.

Over to you, Mr. Dyson.

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