Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Next Best Thing to Useless!

I'm not sure why, but this evening I received an offer to check out something called Alice (, which is some kind of shopping service, apparently. "At Alice, you’ll find great prices without buying in bulk or paying a membership fee," they say, touting their low prices and price comparison feature. Mildly intrigued, I clicked the Find the Best Price tab, and got this:

As illustrations go, this one is pretty darn useless, no? I mean, everything is grayed out, so what you really have is just a list of pulled-from-air prices without context--all of which are (surprise!) higher than Alice's. Wow, this does look like a great service! Oh, and that See Details & Disclaimer link? Doesn't work; not a link at all, really.

I'm sure that, were I to join up, all of Alice's wonderful features would be revealed to me and I could see With Mine Own Eyes how it makes my life easier, and also cheaper. But isn't the point of an illustration or example to convince me first so I will then be inclined to join? This does nothing of the sort. It merely asserts "Our prices are lower than every place where they're higher. And we won't tell you their names, either, so you can just take our word for it."

Thanks but no thanks, Alice.

(And why "Alice"? I suspect some kind of Brady Bunch angle here, for it was Alice who got stuff done in the Brady household. I suppose I could find all that and more under the See Alice in Action link, but, well, I'm just not that interested.)