Monday, July 02, 2007

Online companies: lacking professionalism

This is what I came across when looking at the website of Indian Airlines, now just called Indian. Jokes about their name aside, they have the most ridiculous email reply team. There are six domains. Count them. Six separate domains at which you can mail them.

This is bad for a variety of reasons:
  1. Phishing. What happens if you get mail from a domain called imrbint.com? Well, it is official Indian Airlines mail, but it sure doesn't look like it. Making six domains responsible for getting in touch with customers makes it very difficult to get customers to identify phishing attacks, since you don't even have to spoof the email sender for the customer to take your mail seriously.
  2. Branding. Six domains clearly makes it hazy which website to go to.
  3. Confusing for the customer. If you have a query, do you expect the customer to look up this giant table? Or would you rather point them to a mailbox support@companyname.co.in, so that it gets routed internally, and someone from the company responds?
  4. Impossible to remember: iacshq@nda.vsnl.net.in. Who thought up iacshq? Why not ialccsqhwo? How impossibly complicated can one make a helpline email address?