Support versus Workarounds

You can either support a Mac or you can offer a workaround for Mac users. These are incredibly different concepts that seem to be utterly lost on my bank: Umpqua Bank (the self described “World’s Greatest Bank”). I have been inquiring with Umpqua about getting a remote checking deposit system in place for my Property Management company.

I asked them to provide me with two bits of information:

  1. How much will it cost me?
  2. Is the system Mac compatible?

The representative that I was speaking with said she would send that information over — that she too was a Mac user (personally) and was very interested in the answer to the second question. Neat.

I then received an email today, that said 1 “We support Macs as long as they have Internet Explorer, the system doesn’t work with Safari.”

What I read is: “we don’t support Macs.”

The last shipping version of Internet Explorer for Macs (yes they used to make it) was version 5.2.3 and Microsoft announced in 2003 they would not be making any more versions. Most websites require at least version 5.5 to be compatible with modern security standards.

What she really should have told me is that the system doesn’t support Safari and only runs on Internet Explorer — this statement would have at least been accurate. Instead she clearly stated that the software is Mac compatible. Semantics really.

So I responded: That this was indeed not Mac support since Microsoft had not made a version of IE for Macs since 2003.

If left at that I would have been fine — truth be told I would prefer to change banks anyways. This representative could not leave well enough alone and decided to challenge me on my technical understand of Macs and on semantics.

She responded something to like this: “I have a Mac and use Boot Camp with Windows, allowing access to IE. So you can use IE on a Mac if you want.”

You are kidding me right?

So I responded: “I am not trying to pick a fight, but being able to run Windows on a Mac so that something works — in no way means that Macs are supported.”

Frankly I won’t see what she responds to that as I have flagged her as a SPAM sender — I don’t have time for this crap.

The problem here is not isolated to Umpqua — most large companies lack full Mac support and instead offer workarounds for Mac users. A workaround is not the same as supporting something. Support means it works without hassle — though admittedly with that definition you could argue that a great many companies don’t support Windows.

  1. I am paraphrasing here because I don’t want to get anyone in trouble, mostly me.
Originally posted for members on: December 23, 2010
Follow along on RSS, App.net, or Twitter.
~I would appreciate it if you considered becoming a member.~