I’ve been with Movable Type since the early days. I still remember when Mena posted the very first reference to MT on her ultra hip site: A Dollar Short. In short, the software that Ben and Mena had created was way beyond anything else at the time. For starters it included comments!
Suddenly, using Blogger had become ghetto.
In those days Movable Type was totally grass roots — you paid for licenses buy purchasing an Amazon gift certificate for either Ben or Mena. A short while later Mena would send a personal email with a short thank you and your license number.
Ah, the salad days of blogging.
So when I saw that version 3.0 of Movable Type had been released, without hesitation I clicked the ‘Buy Now’ link and entered the required mailing and credit card information. Within seconds I was approved and then asked to login to a Typekey account before I could download my purchase – because, you know, logging into a service that allows me to post comments to blogs is so necessary to complete a financial transaction.
Not wanting to delay the delivery of MT 3 I quickly filled out the form to create an account. Upon another approval I was told an email would be delivered with a link to confirm my Typekey registration. Pretty normal procedure but none-the-less irritating.
Minutes passed and still no email. Hour passed and still no email.
Even more irritating.
I found a contact form on the Movable Type website and noted my situation. Hours later I received a response. I was told that spam filters may have blocked the confirmation email. No problem I replied, just send it to my Gmail account.
But I’m sorry, there is no way for me to do that, came the official response. Please create a new account.
After grumbling a bit I tried again this time using my new Google email address. sure enough I received the Typekey confirmation. Click through, yes. Account has been verified, yes. Thank you, nothing more.
Nothing about the software I purchased that morning. Nothing to indicate that I had given Six Apart my American Express card number and oh thank you very much. Not even a hey we’re having problems, please hold.
It’s now Sunday, four days later, and I wait here with Powerbook in hand a little pissed at the lack of customer service. It would be totally different if Six Apart was still the cute couple start-up, but I guess those days are long gone.
If I had children right now I would gather them around me, move my brow forward and form a sneer.
“Kids,” I would say, “back in my day if you bought software you did so by sending money directly to the creator(s). And you were immediately given a link to download it. There was no account creation, no account creation validation, no email spam problems, and you sure as hell never had to wait four or more days for a link to download the software.”
Content management be damned.