MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Automobiles

Apr. 7, 2009
Nov. 26, 2010
Nov. 27, 2010
Apr. 7, 2009

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Michelle Steiner

Nissan is soon to be selling a vehicle it calls the "Cube Mobile Device". Its web site has a page that lets you order a "3D brochure". I ordered one, and in due time I received a DVD that requires Windows and a webcam.

I installed it using Crossover, but the application could not detect the iSight built into my iMac.

I wrote to Nissan, telling them that when they began to support the Macintosh, I'd consider their Cube.

Nov. 26, 2010

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Raj Gurdwara

I'm a Ford Truck lover. I love my old Explorer which is beginning to show its age, and I just love the look of the new 2011 Ford Explorers. So I got on Ford Canada's website (ford.ca) to "build and price" a new one. I get prompted to enter my postal code. I do that, and nothing happens. Tried a dozen times over about 5 days. I've tried every Mac browser on the market, cookies are always "on", had my Mac-user friends try it, tried two different ISP's. No quarter. So I sent a message to Ford Canada and here is their reply:

We are sorry to learn that you have been unable to 'build and price' this vehicle via our website. We understand that customers may operate various web browsers; however, *****it is noted that the website works best with the most current version of Internet Explorer*****. As per our 'privacy and legal' information statement, our websites utilize cookies and your browser may have this function turned off by default or may have been set by yourself, your Internet Service Provider or installed virus/ad. protection software. We recommend a review of your settings as this may be the cause of the errors and functional difficulaties you are encountering. If you are still experiencing difficulty in downloading information off the site, please contact your internet service provider.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Ford has singled out Mac users here, unless something is seriously wrong with our setups. If I'm right and Ford is catering to "Windows-only", it looks like they're losing out on 20% of the Internet market for the "build and price" function. At the Apple Oct. 20th Special Event, I think it was announced that 1 in every 5 consumer PC's sold is now a Mac...

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David Krafchick

Raj,

I see this all the time. What's really going on here is that the web site was designed with a Javascript that checks to see if you are running IE. If not, then it blocks you out.

I had the same problem with the Tracfone site. I told them that if they followed the World Wide Web guidelines, then every browser would work on any platform. It took a while, but they updated the site and no more blocking.

People use what they know and sell to companies that this is not only the best design , but it works perfectly with IE. What they do not say is that it will block out everything else. That's cutting out everyone else including Macs.

Instead Ford should be contacted and share what they are losing in potential sales.

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Greg Cook

In response to Raj regarding the Ford build your own web feature. I just tried both the ford.com and the ford.ca build your own features and they both work fine using Safari on my mac os 10.6.5. I suspect the company may be right - you have something on your end interfering with the functioning of the feature. It seems to be Flash-based, do you have the latest Adobe flash plugin installed?

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Norman Palardy

Have you tried changing the browsers "user agent" so it fakes ford's site into believing you're using a windows browser ?
I've had to do that with many sites (yahoo finance is one)

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Rolf Drommer

Just tried the ford.ca site that Raj had problems with. Worked fine for me to start building a truck.

Only thing I noticed is that it did not want a space in the postal code.

Using 20" iMac Intel 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, running 10.6.5 with Safari 5.0.3

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Kevin Ohlson

I was shopping for a Ford earlier this year (Ford lost interest, so I ended up with a Subaru) in the US. I experienced similar behavior with FFox. Not always, though. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Using Safari always worked. BTW, a friend trying to get his Office 2011 upgrade also had a similar problem. I told him to use Safari at the MS site, and it worked as it should. I'm not pushing Safari -- I use FFox for day-to-day work. But sometimes Safari works better.

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Pete Masterson

Although I'm in the U.S., I entered a Vancouver BC postal code and was able to complete the "Build & Price" procedure with no problem. I selected an SUV and added, deleted, and changed several options.

Running OS X 10.6.5, iMac 27" 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, with Firefox 3.6.12. (I used FIreFox because it tends to be a little more compatible than Safari for most "difficult" web sites.)

I note that immediately after entering the postal code that I received a notice that a font was requested -- a font that I don't normally activate. As I went through the process, I was repeatedly asked for different font activations. (Linotype Font Explorer is used to manage the 12,000+ fonts on my system.)

It may be that you ran into a font issue and the Ford web site did not handle an error message gracefully. That is a typical lazy web designer error.

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Ken Spencer

I am here in the US. I looked up an address in Toronto just for the heck of it, entered their postal code in the box, and was taken to where I could order a car and clicking on choices there seemed to work as well.

I am running Safari 5.01 under system 10.6.4 on a MacBook Pro, if that matters.

Other than that, I have no idea why this is not working for you. Verizon is my provider here in the US.

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Rob Currie

Raj Gurdwara, I got past postal code part no problem and just priced a F-150 truck for $31,596. using 10.6.5, Safari 5.0.3. Tell me which model you want and for a small markup you can move it thorough me :-)

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MacInTouch Reader

Raj Gurdwara reports problems accessing 'build and price' on the ford.ca website. I tried it with both Firefox and Safari and it worked fine. As 'build and price' utilizes Flash, I would suggest he focus his troubleshooting efforts there.

Nov. 27, 2010

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Raj Gurdwara

Thanks so much for all the replies. I'm not sure where to start, an apology would first be in order to Ford, that's for sure (and thanks to Rob Currie for the offer!). I'm wondering if we don't have a font problem as someone suggested. Or maybe our ISP's (Telus and Shaw here in Vancouver) simply don't like the Ford site. I've tried this in the very latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, Camino, OmniWeb, Flock and even my trusty old copy of Navigator 9 just for the heck of it and after trying each one, I came to the conclusion that the Ford site was at fault. Especially after my friends tried the site with no luck either. Tried the site on about 6 different Macs of all kinds running 10.4.11 to 10.6.5. Just can't figure out why it won't work. I did enter a space in the postal code, tried it both ways, with and without a space. Very latest version of Flash is installed. I tried to "fool" Safari into thinking I'm running Windows using the Develop menu but still no luck. I've haven't come across a website that has done this in many months. Again, thanks for all your replies. I'm embarrassed as heck now and have to figure this one out (especially being a web designer). At least I know it works for others. Maybe I should head over to Dodge, I do kind of like the Nitro :)


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