Bugs go hard-copy

Posted by Albert Gareev on Dec 01, 2010 | Categories: Notes

An image of a cheque with a bug

banking, software, bugs; applications, programs, software, bugs; software, testing, bugs; users, customers, usability, feedback, software, bugs.
OK, the picture above is a scanned image of a real cheque from a cheque book that I ordered and received. Though my name is not “Albert Gareev &amp”, neither “&amp” is a part of my title. And I did not ask for putting it that way. Then how come?

I think, I unintentionally (but maybe subconsciously?) put a little test for my bank.
You know, if it’s a joint account, you usually ask for putting names of the both account holders on the cheque. Something like that: “John Doe and Jane Doe”. And it’s OK to shorten “and” to “&”, isn’t it?

Apparently, it’s not that simple. Probably, you know very well about HTML restricted characters. If not, you can read about it via the link provided. In short: there are some characters that have a system meaning, so they’re processed with complications, and sometimes things go weird. And an ampersand (&) is one of them.

So, what’s wrong in the first look?
1) First customer’s name looks weird
2) Second customer’s name was not printed at all

Now I imagine myself a fellow tester, who found and logged this defect, and got a reply like: “that’s just a typo… not a big deal… we have more important stuff to work on”.

But I am a customer in this situation, so here are my point of view.

1) Typo in anything related to my name is not just a typo.
2) If my cheque was not accepted because it reasonably doesn’t seem looking correct then it is a big deal for me.
3) Keeping things in order is important to me. If my bank doesn’t keep small things in order how I can be sure about big things?

That’s what I’m gonna put upfront reporting defect as a customer.

Stay tuned! The story isn’t over. And feel free to add your thoughts.

(And here is the part two).

Dear Google Ads. As a software yourself, you should have known that software bugs are not really insects and, thus, please stop annoying readers with your context-irrelevant links.

Please repeat after me: banking, software, bugs; applications, programs, software, bugs; software, testing, bugs; users, customers, usability, feedback, software, bugs.

  • 2 responses to "Bugs go hard-copy"

  • Darren McMillan
    1st December 2010 at 15:26

    Hi Albert,

    To me this is a big thing for the banks image. Had I raised a defect such as this I’d be highlighting how much a negative impact it can have on the companies image. After all it looks like a schoolboy error to those who don’t understand the technical reasons as to why this could happen. Your normal customer would just think you hadn’t been paying much attention when entering their name.

    Thanks for sharing.


    [ Albert’s reply.
    Hi Darren! Thanks for your input.
    Yes, it is a big deal. Plus, it’s not only the bank’s image – because their customer’s name was misprinted. And, the second customer’s name was not printed at all! Would one be pleased to get a business card printed like that?
    Now, I don’t know if their testers found this bug or not, but let’s see how they will respond on the customer’s bug report.
    Albert ]

  • Heemu
    4th December 2010 at 2:23

    I tried a few tests after reading your blog and found the same problem with invalid characters!

    [ Albert’s reply. Nice catch! Though, the characters are not really “invalid”. I’d say, the functionality is defective. ]

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.