In my continuing efforts to someday fly a deHavilland Beaver, I was having a look at the Murphy Aircraft site. They make a kit built plane that is very similar to the deHavilland Beaver, called the Murphy Moose. It’s smaller than the Beaver, but it’s got a big round engine, and they have a float kit for it. It would almost be perfect for me.
The problem is their web site. It sucks. The very first page has an announcement that they hired their first full time webmaster, and either this webmaster is an idiot, or they haven’t had time to fix the crap. Part of the problem is that there are a lot of broken links. Part of the problem is that some of those links are the classic “thinks they’re a web master because they stole a copy of FrontPage” mistake of
But the worst mistake is I went to their order info page (no thanks to that link) to order an information package and DVD. And whoever wrote that page is a moron. First mistake – after you enter your name, you get a pop up telling you that you haven’t put in all the other required fields. No shit Sherlock, that’s why I haven’t hit Submit yet. But then the real problem: you put in your information and your credit card data, and click “Submit”, and instead of getting any sort of confirmation that your information was received, you get two Thunderbird “Compose Mail” windows popping up with an empty mail to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Because for some bizarre reason, the Submit button, as well as being a real form submit button, it’s also a mailto: link. WTF?
Examining the web source, you can also see the biggest newbie mistake ever: the web form has the email recipient coded as a hidden field in the form itself (which means that a spammer could use their server to send spam by changing the email address), and the form action is
_vti_bin/shtml.exe/Order%20Info.htm. Looking at my web logs, I can see that
_vti_bin/shtml.exe is a known open mail relay program searched for and used by spammers.
This company’s web presence is done by amateurs, and not very competent amateurs. That doesn’t give me a lot of confidence about giving them $50,000 (or however much a kit costs) of my money.