Friday, August 31, 2012

Consider the Message

A couple days ago I was at the butcher picking up some meat for supper (burgers!). My card got declined. And here's the thinking: "Oh wow embarrassing! I come here all the time! I'm sooo not that person. I'm fiscally responsible, darn it! Besides, I'm nowhere near the limit. How annoying!" It's about a 5 second panic, but let's be honest, it's not a good feeling. It's embarrassing and annoying for both parties - for the cashier and for me.

So I paid with cash, and as I was going out, the cashier handed me the receipt from when it got declined. Here it is:

Seriously?! Seriously!?!? That 5 second panic and the annoyance for me and for the cashier - and check out that decline reason:

"Could not make Ssl c"

I'm going to assume that means "Could not make an SSL connection to ". Bonus points for the truncated message and for the interesting capitalization.

That's why error messages matter. The error shouldn't have been "Declined". It should have been "Error". That would have saved us all the embarrassment, at least! (Yeah, it still would have been annoying.)

So please, consider your error messages. They matter.

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