Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another one joins the Hall of Shame

I tried to pay my insurance premium online at the HDFC Insurance web site but literally drew a blank. This is the e-mail I sent them.

I am using Firefox 3.0.2 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and am not able to enter data into the "Old Password" text field. Please see the attached screen shot. Can you kindly look into this and have it fixed?


This is the reply that I got from HDFC Insurance.

Dear Mr. Venkatesh,

Greetings from HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd!

With regard to your e-mail, we would like to inform you that our website works on Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher version. Hence we request you to kindly login to 'My Account' using Internet Explorer version 6.0. It is not compatible on other browsers

We hope to have addressed your query.

Please write to us for any further clarifications you may require.

We assure you the best of our services always.

Warm regards,

Customer Service Officer

This is what I sent to them on getting the above.

As someone involved with the IT industry for 17 years, I would like to point out that using open standards is one of the key principles for good software development. It seems that your web site has been developed using closed standards that work only on one particular browser. That could cause you to lose customers because Firefox, Safari, Opera and other browsers are becoming more popular.

I do not use Internet Explorer nor do I ever intend to use it. I have insurance policies with LIC and Max New York Life and I have never had a problem using their web sites because their sites conform to open standards like W3C (see I also use online banking sites like ICICI with my Firefox browser and have had no problems.

To be blunt, using closed standards is sloppy programming practice and it will benefit HDFC Insurance if this is rectified immediately.


Let us see how they handle this. By the way, what happened to the Linux-Delhi Hall of Shame? I couldn't find it on the Linux-Delhi web site.