Because They Don’t Respect Customers, Of Course

Riddle me this: suppose you’re responsible for the documentation for a particular computer network card. (Like so many of your fellow companies, you think of “documentation” as “one small printed sheet and a CD.”) Suddenly it’s brought to your attention that the included page is wrong. What do you do?

  • Ignore it. Let tech support deal with it. You’ve had the sheets printed, after all.
  • Pull the sheets and replace them with a corrected version.
  • Run off a “correction” addendum and tuck that in with the original.

The makers of a NIC I recently installed opted for the last option (click to enlarge):
Two sheets, side by side

While an addendum might be smart in the case of a printed manual, it’s absolutely mystifying in this case, where instead of replacing the small, black and white quarter-page, they opted to double the number of sheets involved. Yet they didn’t even do that right: check the larger version and you’ll see that none of the three diagrams match.

Why didn’t they just replace the wrong sheet with a new one? They’ve even assigned a part number to the second sheet, so clearly they have to manage stocks of these pages as well. How is this a good decision? Most importantly, why do they think it’s an acceptable experience for the customer, who has to spend the time and cognitive energy trying to figure out just what the hell is going on?

Hit Me With It


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