I had a mortifying experience last week at the MIT Media Lab. There I was, earnestly discussing the important research of a learned professor when my new cellphone starting ringing. I reached down to shift it to vibrate, but the button’s function had changed in the new model, and the damn thing wouldn’t shut up. For several humiliating moments, I sat there, flummoxed by this miserable little gadget. It made me start thinking about all the machines that torment me in my life: the hideous remote that never quite turns off the TV, but sends it into some somnolent state; the stereo system whose clock won’t stop flashing; the travel web site that invariably gives me an error message just when I’m ready to hit “buy!”
What products would you nominate to a customer experience Hall of Shame? Conversely, which do you love? (my iPod, TiVo , and Cuisinart come to mind.) Would love to hear your suggestions for an upcoming story.