I rarely fly into a rage and shoot steam out my ears, but when filling out online forms, it happens sometimes.
I recently entered a race in which I missed the deadline to register by mail. I know it’s archaic, old-school, and uncool, but I use it as often as I can because it’s S-I-M-P-L-E.
So I go online and right away I’m blocked from registering because I don’t know my password. Apparently I registered for a previous race through the same race registration company and was forced to get a password.
The steam inside my head is starting to pressurize.
I have to have a new, temporary password emailed. Sometimes this takes longer than you’re told.
I finally get in, and here’s a list of several free newsletters that will be emailed to me. I don’t want these newsletters, but all the boxes are checked. I have to uncheck each box.
Next…what’s with this list? I can pick three magazines to try free. However, I have to supply my credit card number, and I’ll be charged for the free issues plus a year’s subscription if I don’t cancel promptly before the trial period ends. I see a hassle if I take advantage of this offer, and…..why is this even here?
Can I finish up? No. Now I’m being offered registration fee insurance. For $7.99, one-fifth the $40 entry fee, I’ll get a refund if I’m unable to make the race. Maybe this would make sense if it was a very high entry fee and such a tough race that preparing for it could lead to injury, but buying insurance to cover forty dollars?
All I want to do is register. Can’t I use a paper form? Pretty please. I promise I’ll make it hard on myself by carefully reading the liability waiver.
Finally, I come to the payment section. Fetch my credit card. Enter sixteen digits. Enter expiration date. Enter my top secret security code. Double check to make sure there’s no mistakes.
Oh goody! For using this time-consuming, on-line debacle filled with amazingly valuable offers, I get to have $3.95 added to my race fee.
To top it off, I missed out on another benefit of paper registration – getting in a run to my mailbox for pick up.