17th level Hacker

How Not to Keep Customers

Unfortunately sometimes I have to access sites using a Cisco VPN. Today I’m at the tail end of setting up my new laptop, so I figured I would go see if there’s updates to the VPN software for Linux. I find I need to register in order to download the client software. Annoying, but not crippling. I fill out the form, and another form (which I actually fill out three times before I figure out that I NEED to give them my work address, despite what seems to be a “choice” in their interface), and another form, and then the final form, get the email, click the link, get presented with a login prompt. Then it says “Cisco has determined that Cisco.com password protection has been compromised”. Wow, that was quick. I just signed up, what’s the deal with that? So I email the account they tell me to, get a random password, login again… same error screen. I’m not that bright, but I recognize an infinite loop when I see one. It’s crap like this that gets me up and evaluating alternatives. Come on, you don’t even have to convince me to use your stuff, unfortunately someone already decided to. All you have to do is not piss me off as I continue to use it, and you keep a customer for your firewall + VPN product. You have switching cost on your side, you’re in a position of advantage. Put the damn software up in a public download area, you’re not charging for it anyway.