Please note that you can login to your Betxchange account using this link.
Some of our readers might know that Betxchange launched a brand new website recently, what most won’t know about is some of the issues that ensued. This piece is looking at what happened, why it happened and what could have been done to prevent it.
This is not an attack against Betxchange or their brand but merely a voice representing the voices of punters who cannot be heard. I also have the unique position of having worked on many of the processes that Betxchange would have gone through in launching their new site, so I feel I’m quite qualified with my findings. So let’s start at the beginning.
The first time I became aware that Betxchange were switching software providers was when I got an sms. Have a look at the picture below.
Doesn’t make for pretty reading does it. You’ve launched a new site which has cost you several million Randelas (Yes it’s that expensive) and then someone in bulk comms makes a mistake with the sms? I mean come on now. During the sms process there are several fail safes that need to be adhered to. I’m going to skip the sms list segmenting, loading and exporting etc as they don’t really matter and were clearing adhered to. I’m going to dive right into the meat of the matter, the “field” portion of the lovely image above.
The field portion is when your campaign pulls fields from a database. A field is usually a name / account number / username etc and the sms tool populates the field with whatever the company would like to have. This is perfectly fine, infact this is how 99.99% of these types of sms’s are done. It’s pretty obvious that something didn’t work and the tool did not manage to correctly populate the field. Now that happens and it’s not a big deal, well not a big deal in the sense that it shouldn’t actually happen.
I’m sure I sound like I’m contradicting myself but there is one MAJOR step Betxchange seemed to have skipped when sending out his sms. That step is testing. You test send your sms’s to a number of test phones and devices BEFORE you send it out to the customers. You always make sure that the sms is 100% before it goes out. If they would have tested it correctly then they would have seen the error, corrected it, tested it until it’s 100% and then sent it out. Especially when the sms is telling customers about YOUR NEW WEBSITE. Good goss, someone screwed up big time.To their credit they sent the correct SMS out at a casual 10.16PM. How many sms’s do you get after 8? Well one from Betxchange obviously! The sms ties into the next part where things are about to get juicer.
Time to access our account.
The beloved sms informed us we have a new account number which we must use to login. Fair enough, but why complicate things? Why not just use our email address to login instead of a new account number that we’ll forget in 5 seconds? I can forgive that but the next part I cannot. Not only had your username changed but your password had not. The beloved sms made ZERO mention of this, so naturally people tried to login with their own password only to realize something was wrong. I was personally not aware of this until I started getting a trickle of emails and comments asking for help. That trickle turned into a Karoo flash flood as the weekend approached.
Hit that forgot password button.
At this point I gave Betxchange the benefit of the doubt, these people writing in must be crazy? Well they weren’t, I could not login to my Betxchange account as my password was wrong. No problem, I’ll hit that handy forgot password button and I’ll be backing number 2 at Kenilworth race 5 within a matter of minutes. The email never arrived. Yes, the email with my new password for my new account on the new Betxchange website did not arrive. You’re probably thinking that it must be my account but the complaints from readers assured me this was not an isolated incident.
Not having received an email, the next best line of communication was live chat, well that did not help much either. Their live chat personal are not allowed to change passwords, which isn’t the end of the world but it is a major inconvenience. Why not change this policy when there is clearly a problem with everyone’s passwords? Either the staff are unable to due to no access (which is forgivable) or Betxchange forbid it. I don’t really want to speculate but please, let your live chat be able to deal with this sort of thing.
Let’s just call in.
With email and live chat a dud I picked up the telephone to give them a call. Yes, rookie error on my part but in my defense I was desperate. I waited 15 minutes on that call. I’m coming to spend my money at your establishment and you make me wait 15 minutes. Sies. To be fair the lines were likely flooded with similar calls and I genuinely sympathize with the call centre staff as I’ve been on deck when a bomb 10x bigger than this was dropped. Back to live chat I go.
The second time round the live chat were able to force through an email to my inbox when allowed me to login. The irony here is that minutes later the forgot password email came through. I don’t have exact times but I’d say it took at least 45+ minutes before that email arrived and I was able to reset my password and simmer down.
What could Betxchange have done differently?
This situation had a few steps in it that could easily have been avoided. Starting off the sms should have informed us that our passwords had changed. Betxchange may have sent out an email but I don’t seem to have received one. We can forgive the sms field mistake as these things happen, I hope they follow the correct process and test it next. These things shouldn’t happen when you are launching a new site.
A very easy (but costly) solution would have been to just migrate the entire database and retain the email address as a login with it’s attached passwords. I’ve been through several software and database migrations and it was always a priority that users login details not be change. The fix would have been to enter your old details and a pop up would inform you of your username and password change, while giving the option of changing the password there and then. This would avoid the forgot password email server being swamped or whatever happened behind the scenes with the emails.
Betxchange need to give their live chat staff the ability to reset passwords, I can do it over the phone so why can’t I do it on live chat? Your live chat staff should be able to deal with any query or help I need and a new password is one of the simplest ones.
I can sit and talk all day about the failures here but I don’t want to bore you with my ramblings. One must keep in mind that all of this was during the launch of a new website, a monumental occasion especially for Betxchange. I’m genuinely excited about their new product and can’t wait to get the review done as there are so many points to make about the new site. I hope Betxchange learnt something from this incident and that the new site makes up for it. If not then they’ll find themselves losing punters, myself included.