Great communication — NOT

December 19, 2009

I renewed my STC membership the other day, and got an email letting me know that my official receipt and membership card would be available from their website in a few days. (As an aside, STC is no longer sending out printed membership cards; instead, we get a PDF we can print ourselves. I have no problem with that as I suspect printed membership cards were an expense that had little benefit — I wouldn’t think that many places or events required you to hand over your membership card; I’ve certainly never been asked for it in Australia or when I attended the STC Conferences in the US from 2001 to 2004.)

Anyhow, I log in to the STC website today to get my receipt and membership card, and this is what greets me:

The thing is that the subsequent pages have my correct name, but not this ‘Welcome’ page, where I am just a number! And it already knows enough about me to know that I’m already logged in.

This is NOT good communication from a society that is focused on communication, usability, and the like. And a society that prides itself on being personable to its membership — the receipt even says ‘We are committed to serving you…’ But in my opinion it’s not good service or good public relations to greet me by my membership number! I have a name and STC knows what it is, as evidenced on the subsequent pages.

[Link last checked December 2009]


  1. Hi Rhonda, your obfuscated membership number isn’t quite obfuscated enough – I can read it :)

  2. Fixed…

  3. Just saw your blog entry via your Twitter feed. I’ll reply by email, but in the future please send STC staff an email when something like this comes up, so we can address it immediately. We don’t always see Twitter feeds right away, so email remains the best way to get in touch with us and raise important issues like this one.

  4. Thanks Kevin — and thanks for your follow-up email. I’m glad you’ve identified and replicated the problem with how the data was called from the database, and are now working on a fix.

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