E-commerce company on the leading edge of 90's technology



  • OK I work for a company lets call them "death of a star" I promise that this would make sense if you knew where i worked. Anyway we offer a "gateway solution" for people who want to process credit cards thru our network. the WTF here is when you pass us key / value pairs via our cgi (no we dont offer an API, but that is another wtf entirely) if all goes well we will process your transaction in what ever format you wish and redirect all the receipt info to where ever it is you want us to. the WTF is that the programmers chose to use the server side scripting language to generate a meta refresh tag, to do the redirect... so customers see a blank page for like 2 seconds and then they are redirected...this is sloppy, very sloppy (i cant for the life of me figure out why they did not use location headers) but it works, well it did, until IE7.. it disables meta-refresh by default....uh-oh.... So i bring this up while we are beta testing our new product.. the bright shiny replacement for this old antiquted system...(our "new" product is obsolete before release) and received a blank stare from all involved. I stowed my anger away hoping for the best.. I just ran my first transaction.. after i disabled meta-refresh and guess what.... blank white page.......I am still waiting......



  • Looks like a pattern here. I guess despite its crappy software the company you work for earns huge amounts of money ( as all money transfer/processing company do ). So we have a reverse gnome business plan :

    1. Profit!
    2. ???
    3. Make crappy software

     



  • Your understanding of credit card processing companies is impressive and a little nauseating!

     

    i think maybe we would be pushing it to believe that there is a "plan" that is put in place, I think my execs more like protozoa...They begin everyday with no memories or goals, they just convert o2 into co2...  



  • I remember having to process credit cards, so the company I worked for had to contact one of those intermediary credit card processing companies.

    So I met the guys in a meeting room. And thank god I was still not really awake, and didn't explode in laughing - I mean, one of those guy looked like Leopold II of Belgium

     Rest of the story is pretty much usual, boring file upload where each line look like some old school cobol format : n characters for credit card, full name on n characters padded with spaces, and so on. Eh, guess what, I'm even happy they didn't come with an XML format. Not too much WTFed though, apart from Leopold's incredible beard ; didn't expect anything fancy anyway. They even had a testing environment !
     



  • Yeah the "new product" does XML , but just barely. like i said it is 2007 and we are just now launching a product that will allow xml integration.. lovely!!



  • @bondreal said:

    Yeah the "new product" does XML , but just barely. like i said it is 2007 and we are just now launching a product that will allow xml integration.. lovely!!

    From what I can tell working with online credit card processors and banks, the goal seems to be maintaining the veneer of fully automated perfection.  The entire time I was working with a processor, every single error came down to the user's bank clerks fat-fingering an entry.  Begging your pardon, but during the entire transaction up to the bank, not a single human finger touched the data until it got into the bank, bastion of precision.  I have a feeling that inside some of those big mainframe exteriors there really are actual people with hand-crank adding machines.  They probably still require COBOL formatted data because they haven't had a chance to send their clerks out for training in forty years - too busy entering electronic data by hand!



  • I've implemented a payment solution a few months ago for a client website, and was amazed by the amount of incompetence you could have around working with credit cards.
    I haven't tested it completely, but it was trivial to inject JavaScript into the payment popup of  the payment provider. But even worse, after processing of the payment methode, they send the result code ONCE. So if anything happens i will never know what the status was of the payment. They don't even check HTTP codes or if the server was there or anything.

     



  • @Oscar L said:

    I have a feeling that inside some of those big mainframe exteriors there really are actual people with hand-crank adding machines.

    When you start as an employee,  you get a crank as part of your kit. You are told to love it, care for it, like your woman. Employees of the month get a "golden crank", a large version of which is carrotly hanging on a wall, instigating ambition.



  • Is this company TJX by any chance?



  • Or Authnet SIM? Sounds an awful lot like their idiocy...



  • I have worked with authnet a few times, It seems that all gateway companies seem to have a hatred of competence and new technology



  • Death of a star huh,

     

    Sounds like Nova to me. 


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