Parcelforce website cold-shoulders Linux lovers
Fanboys advised to pick up phone
Blighty's national parcel service has no online facility for Linux fans because its website only supports some Microsoft Windows operating systems and Apple's Mac OS X.
Many have complained that Royal Mail's Parcelforce.com site freezes out anyone using a Linux distro. One reader told us: "When you try and ship a parcel [on Parcelforce's website] it checks the browser user agent and refuses to proceed if you are running Linux."
We asked the firm whether it was aware of the issue and whether it was working to resolve the problem so that openistas could also order parcels online.
It gave us this bullet-dodging statement: "Parcelforce Worldwide advises customers on its website of the browsers and operating systems it accommodates, including Windows and Internet Explorer. However, customers can also ring our contact centre on 08708 501150 and they will be happy to book a collection."
El Reg asked a company spokesman to clarify exactly what this meant for Linux users after we pointed out that some customers would be unsatisfied with Parcelforce's advice that they should use the telephone instead.
He agreed that not everyone would be satisfied with the statement, before saying: "I'm sorry, but that is our response."
The spokesman added that the website supports 90 per cent of operating systems and internet browser users. He also pointed us to the firm's out-of-date FAQ webpage that details the OSes and browsers its collections systems do support.
It currently lists Mac OS X, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems, Mozilla Firefox 1.0 (or later) and Internet Explorer 6.0 (or later) browsers. But there is no mention of Windows Vista support.
We asked Parcelforce to confirm that its FAQ page has simply been gathering dust and that the website does indeed support Vista, but it has not come back to us at time of writing. ®
It's not exactly advice if the advice is "either use IE or you can't use our service"
"We humbly force you to use our preferred browser. For no apparent reason. Even thought IE has the most risks. Thankyou for your co-operation"
Reminds me of all the website terms and conditions. "You do not have to agree to accept our cookie but if you do not you will not be able to access our website" and my favourite, the ID cards and new biometric passports . "You do not have to sign up for the ID/ new passports however if you do not you will not be able to leave the country/_____/_____"
Humans? Are you sure ?
I doubt there was an actual 'Human' ath the end of that 0870 line, probably just another tele-automaton.
IE6, Chosen Browser ?
"Considering that the mass-market choice of browser is STILL IE6 - I don't see that this is an issue? "
you seem to be under the impression that there is a 'choice'