Don’t Test Your Product on the Customer


Here’s great case of “you’re stealing my life“.

I bought a dog ‘wearable’. To experiment with. My wife’s a vet so it’s important to know. And besides everyone’s got a wearable for themselves already.

It’s a Tracca and after reading up, it looks like the only one designed for the UK market. No background to the company on the site so I googled and found it was someone from Waitrose who had set it up and their prototype developer was chuffed with the results.

So despite having no dog at home in Kent, I bought one. Great next-day delivery service from James at DPD, tracked on the map – I wonder if he has a Tracca on his collar?

I thought I’d experiment on some locals before taking it over to our Irish home, either for one of our 3 dogs there or for one of Siobhan’s patients. In post-op recovery, exercise regimes are very important. Neither too much nor too little. The regimes are given to ‘parents’ for their dogs. Not all regimes are followed and you can hardly tracca the humans. But you could tracca the dogs.

I’d ordered a Sim from giffgaff to fit in. Perfect service and delivery, great website, exemplary clarity of instructions on paper and online.

Well here we go then…. and then I discover I am a guinea pig owner.

Eventually I have to email them: “Instruction no 1 on the paper says ‘Connect the device to the AC adaptor via the USB cable’. I got the Tracca but there is no charger included. There is no reference to it on the paper. Online your pdf refers to a 5V 1A Usb adaptor but doesn’t show one. Searching online for one it looks like its an iPhone charging plug.

I’ve tried using my iPhone/ipad charging plug but no lights come on the Tracca. According to both paper and online I should be seeing a solid red light. What’s next to try?”

Hours later I come back to it, frustrated. A bit of dismantling required I’m sure! Ah ha! Another email to send:

“Have discovered the problem. The picture on the paper is of the device with the clip removed and seen from the back. The back of the device isn’t visible with clip on so you can’t see the lights.

In fact the light was there and charging.

So I went to load the app from the app store as instructed. But it doesn’t exist. Ditto nothing at your website I could find.

Only by going online and reading the pdf is there a specific address and I was able to load the app.

Entering the account and passcode into the app required the back to remain off the device (they are written on a sticker inside the device). But on entering the numbers it said it could not find the device. The sim had to be in first. So I did that.

The clip does not actually fit a micro sim as specified, so it’s loose. So several attempts made to locate the sim securely and fit the cover. Discover how flimsy the cover is and wonder whether it will last. Get everything fitted and start the app again.

Realise I need the numbers which are inside the cover. Start over, write them down. Success.

App loads and shows I am situated in ‘4 He Er Yi Lu, Buaon Qu, Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong, China 518104.

Clearly your developer has a dog and he has a clone Tracca 353816057262323

I’ll send it back tomorrow along with a bill for that above feedback developing your product and guide”

Enough said? It must have cost a lot of money to develop this device. It would only have cost a few hours to eliminate these problems. Poor decision making? Time-driven targets? To quote Mr Royce: Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble. Or to self-quote “stop wasting my life!” And the whole village knows not to buy one yet. And now you do. That’s more expensive than finishing the development cycle properly.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Peter Massey – View the original post

Published On: 16th Sep 2015 - Last modified: 14th Nov 2018
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