South African business needs to wake up

I was idly looking around for product info on the web and had a look to see if I could find a web site for the Photo Connection chain. I couldn’t despite going to their sister brand Incredible Connection‘s site and from there to the parent company Connection Group‘s site. I couldn’t find any link to a Photo Connection site. Their group profile page doesn’t even mention that the brand exists; strange considering the length of time that the brand has been trading, at least one year, perhaps even two.

Noticing that they have a Customer Feedback page I tried to leave the following comment.

Just wondered why there does not appear to be an Internet presence for your Photo Connection brand. This seems strange to me considering the fact that photographers are so tightly hooked in to the Internet in this digital age. Almost all investigation and a lot of purchases are done on-line so if you don’t have a presence there you must surely be losing out.

but when I submitted the form I got this error

Microsoft VBScript runtime error ‘800a01ad’

ActiveX component can’t create object: ‘CDONTS.NewMail’

/feedback_complete.asp, line 98

Sadly this type of haphazard approach to the Internet as an interface to customers and potential customers is all too common amongst South African businesses. A great number of businesses have no Internet presence at all and when they do these are often outdated, broken or written to work with only certain web browsers.

Companies, I’m tired of…

  • being unable to easily find information on your products
  • being forced to contact you by phone
  • reading in an advertisement that I can visit your web site at an some e-mail address
  • being forced to use a certain web browser to view your site

It should not be easier for me to buy products on-line from foreign vendors than it is to do so locally. The Proudly South African campaign would have us use local businesses to stimulate our economy. This would be a wonderful idea if only local businesses made it easier to do so.

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4 responses to “South African business needs to wake up

  1. For a IT based company that is pathetic, their shop in Bloem is huge but the stock is rarely marked and the staff seem to be clueless when I asked for a USB to Serial converter… got one from the shop on Campus at 1/5 th the price as well!

  2. Hey.

    Well, to start with and not to be rude, Incredible Connection are probably the most clueless IT shop around. They charge you an arm and a leg and they have no clue what they are talking about.

    Photo Connection, sadly isn’t much better. They tend to stuff up prints and have no idea what the equipment in their shop can do. If your looking for photographic stuff, just buy from ORMS. Atleast they know their stuff.

  3. I completely agree with your post and can sympathise. Personally, I try not to ever support the Connection Group of companies.

    I second the suggestion of getting your photo and camera equipment needs met by Orms; they’re located in Roeland Street in the CBD. Staff is completely reliable and can answer any of your questions. Prices are great too!

    I’ve also had a very pleasant experience with Shaps Cameraland in Long Street.

    If you know what you want, and don’t want the hassle of getting into your car and driving somewhere, then I don’t think any local website can touch what Pro Digital (based in Stellenbosch) offers. Give them a try.

  4. I do buy most of my stuff from Orms. Pro Digital is not one I’ve heard of before so I’ll check them out. I know some of the guys at work have bought electronics, not photo stuff, from Digital Planet but They have very little in the way of photo stuff in there catalogue.

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