Why do people submit another order to ask a question?

This is almost a pitting, but I’m more puzzled than pissed.

We have website that people can order items from. Many times if the person has a question later on, they will fill out another ENTIRE ORDER FORM to ask the question in the “comments” section of the order. AOL and CS people, I’m looking at YOU (ok maybe that was pit-worthy.)

First of all, they can just REPLY to the original order confirmation. If they managed to enter their e-mail address correctly so it got to them.

Our contact information is on every page of our site, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

And don’t they think they’re going to the CHARGED again if they submit multiple orders??

as a user of websites I have to say that many of them are so poorly designed that the user has a hard time navigating them.

For example, if you want people to be able to ask a question about a prefious order, put a buttong there with LARGE LETTERS saying click here to ask about a previous order.

The meaning, intent and use of the site is clear to the designer. That doesn’t mean a thing. It must be clear, and even clearer than that, to the user.

Might I suggest paying some randome people to try out the site and see if they can navigate around it without any help from you. I believe I can assure you that what seems crystal clear to you will baffle some of them.

Well obviously it does baffle some, usually if their e-mail address ends in aol.com or cs.com (I’m just sayin’ that because it’s true.)

My theory is they find it easier to re-do an action (ordering the item) rather than do something new (send an e-mail.)
Oh, and the Ask a Question button ain’t a bad idea!

I don’t know what “cs” stands for, but with AOL part of the problem might have to do with that craptacular browser that comes in the software.

However, I tend to agree with David S: if large groups of users can’t seem to navigate the interface, it’s the interface’s fault, not the user.

Yeah, as a general rule, if you have a website, and people aren’t interacting with it the way you want them to, you need to redesign your website. People aren’t going to suddenly become savvy in the ways you want them to – you need to figure out what your audience wants and accommodate them.

My theory is that there’s no clear explanation – note that clear is defined by user behavior, not you – on your site or in your contact info on how to ask questions.

It’s really not that common, it happens maybe once every 5 or 6 months. It always puzzles me though.

Ah. Not a large group of users. That would be, then, because you can’t design something that absolutely no one will misinterpret.

I’ve had the same problem with some customers over the phone. Instead of saying,“I placed an order this morning and forgot the price.” They call back and request a new quote for the same item. Invariably though, they do not have enough information, and its not until I spend 20 minutes trying to figure out what they want that they mention they’ve already placed the order.

So what do they order the second time? The same item? Is it possible to have a “null order” - an order for zero items?

They order the same item again to comment that something was wrong with the order or they didn’t receive the item (thanks USPS.)

You can’t order with 0 items.