o != 0

Each day I have at least 10 people calling asking how to get into the control panel for their site. The control panel is the set of web pages that allows our customers to tweak settings they don’t comprehend, edit files in programming languages they can’t read and manage e-mail account using an easy to use interface that they refuse to learn to operate.

The address for this control panel is http://yourdomain.com:8443/, replacing “yourdomain.com” with whatever the customer’s domain is. Easy, right?

On the telephone…
Me: The address is h.t.t.p., colon, slash slash, your domain, then colon eight four four three.
Customer: Do I type “your domain”?
Me: No, type your domain name, then colon eight four four three.
Customer: I get “server not found”.
Me: Are you typing a slash before the 8443 or the colon?
Customer: I’m typing h.t.t.p. colon, slash slash, y.o.u.r.d.o.m.a.i.n.n.a.m.e….”
Me: No, you need to type your domain.
Customer: What domain is that?
Me: What domain do you have hosted with us?
Customer: I don’t know.

So, I look up their account using their last name, find out the domain name, tell them what it is (they’re always like “yeah, that’s it!”)

Next, I try to make it simple. We have a easy URL where after they type their domain name in a box on a form, it takes them where they need to go via a couple clicks on “control panel”, “web mail”, shopping cart administration” etc, all without knowing their colon from a forward slash.

This address however includes the letter “o”. Note: “o”, not “0”. That’s “oh” not “zero”.

I repeat this a million times a day and despite saying “blah blah blah, the letter ‘o’, not the number zero, blah blah” customers NEVER pay attention.

I think I have o patience left today.