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April 28, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Best Buy checkout page

Bestbuycheckout_2Ben Scripps points out:

I purchased some iTunes gift cards from Best Buy recently.  When entering my credit card information, I found that the drop-down menu for the credit cards expiration year begins with 2002. 

Why would they need to include the years 2002 to 2006 in the credit card expiration drop down menu? Obviously any credit card that expires in 2002 would be declined.

For those of us who use a keyboard to navigate web pages, having 2002 through 2006 in the drop down list is just unnecessary and annoying - and pointless for everyone else.



for($i = 0, $curYear = date('Y'); $i

print("[option value=\"$curYear\"]" . $curYear++ . '[/option]);


Hey look at that. Never needs to be updated. Ever.

(angled brackets get stripped out by commenting system)

Posted by: inspired at April 28, 2007 12:43 AM

And yet expiration dates on credit cards are to ensure the integrity of the magnetic strip on the back... So they put a date on the card as an approximation to when the magnetic strip will expire. *sigh*

But yeah...expired dates on the drop-down menu? Broken.

Posted by: ashleyriot_vs at April 28, 2007 02:05 AM

It uses Javascript not php

Posted by: krs804 at April 28, 2007 08:20 AM

When I was a programmer in the 90's, our program code had to be reviewed and signed off by a peer before it could be deployed. This helped reduce web issues (security, performance, usabilty, maintenance, etc) caused by bad coding techniques.

This issue with the expired dates, while not fatal, would never have passed the code-review. And the programmer would have been subjected to some ridicule for hard-coding data that could easily have been generated (as Inspired pointed out), and for creating a future maintenance job for some programmer.

Posted by: KarmaBaby at April 28, 2007 11:03 AM

Unnecessary, yes. Inconvenient, maybe. Broken, no.

Posted by: Fuzzy at April 28, 2007 11:07 AM

Looks like somebody didn't know Javascript, thought about it for a few minutes, and decided that he would just put in a list of dates and assume that, by the time they needed to be updated, no one would remember that he made the list in such a dumb way in the first place.

Posted by: TIBE4ME at April 28, 2007 02:37 PM

Fuzzy brings up the point: if it's simply unnecessary and inconvenient, it's probably not broken.

I'd respectfully disagree. Sloppy programming which results in unnecessary and inconvenient transactions is, in the world of customer service, broken.

Posted by: mmcwatters at April 29, 2007 01:13 PM

The comments between Fuzzy and mmcwatters bring up an issue I have had with a number of entries to this site... i.e. just how "broken" things are, and do they really deserve the space on this site if the brokenness can easily be put in dispute.

There have been a number of entires where my main thought is "why did they waste the time to put something so inane here, why not just skip a day if there isn't something worth putting up?"

(stepping down from my soapbox)

As for this particular entry, yep, its broken in my opinion. Its a silly entry in that it really is just a matter of a simple inconvenience, but in this case, the earlier dates aren't just links to other parts of a site, or other possible, valid entries. They just can't be used at all or you will get an error.

Posted by: Memnon at April 30, 2007 09:48 AM

I agree with Memnon; we need more truly broken entries (I'm going to keep a keen eye out for them). For me, broken is anything that could easily be better and which negatively affects the customer experience. Obviously, some will argue it needs to be even worse to qualify as broken. In any event, there are surely more examples out there which deserve a spot on TIB.

Posted by: mmcwatters at May 1, 2007 12:18 PM

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