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Today when I booted up my Dell computer I was given a message that my battery has reached the end of its usable life.

I have noticed in the last few months that my computers ability to hold a charge has significantly diminished so I was delighted to see that the smart folks at Dell have created such a nice reminder. My excitement was based on the belief that when I click the link it is going to take me directly to the exact product I needed. No searching, no typing 72 character part numbers into a product look-up box, and certainly no phone calls to a multi-step prompt system. I was ready to experience intelligent e-commerce at its best. So when I clicked the link, I then received the following dialog box. Great, it even says “Order Battery Online.”

Much to my disappointment, when I clicked the link I received the following page.

I had my credit card in hand ready to click “add-to-cart” and “checkout” but I couldn’t do either. Obviously, Dell missed an opportunity here. They had a customer ready to make a purchase but because they didn’t take the time to write the logic that would take me directly to the part I needed, they lost a sale. In today’s world of widgets and iPhone applications that think for us, peoples willingness to do needless leg work to make a purchase is gone. On the up side, this was just the excuse I was looking for to buy a new computer. And maybe that is part of Dell’s plan; unfortunately for them, I am seriously considering moving to a Mac.