As a business owner for many years, I have rarely had the opportunity to field any complaints. I try, as any human being does with their line of work, to do the job that I have been requested to do, to the best of my abilities.

Does that always resonate with the management or client? Of course not.

So this morning, I received an email for the first time ever from a website user of a site that I had built for a client. Usually, complaints are fielded by the business owners and passed along to me, which in turn, are discussed and a new contract for development work is done to fix anything the site owner feels they would like changed or fixed.

So basically, what I received is the following;

From: ██████████████ <███████████>
Subject: Failing to send message to Jonathon’s restaurant via their website “Contact.”
Message Body:
I sent a message 2 days ago to Jonathon’s Seafood Restaurant.
I had a little difficulty getting through the “I’m not a robot” verification, but my message finally did seem to be sent. As yet, I’ve not received a response to that message. I tried this morning to resend my message, but I seemed unable to satisfy the “I’m not a robot” verification. I’m not pleased with the user friendliness of Jonathon’s website. I suggest you rethink your verification step and/or consider setting up a means to make an online reservation. Thank you for taking time to read my message.

My response was as follows. A bit long-winded perhaps, but I think I made my point;

Good Morning ██████████,
While it is not custom for me to reply to a customer on a website I have built for a client, I will respond to your email you sent through my contact form on my website.
██████████████ is the owner of the website, therefore any messages sent to them via their website, their Facebook page, or by any other electronic or other means is solely their responsibility to answer, not mine.
Their response time is theirs. I do not monitor their messages, or answer any feedback, comments, or other communications their customers have with them via any means, electronic or otherwise. This is the owner’s sole responsibility.
Regarding the Google reCaptcha verification on their contact form.
You are the first person in that has sent a direct response to me about this feature. A feature that has widely been regarded as easier than the old means of verifying you are a human on the other end, as to cut down on the electronic, robotic, and programmatic spam that businesses usually receive, when they have a form that is not secure.
With that said, the owners of ██████████████ paid me to do a job and they were satisfied with the job that was done. The contractual obligation they and myself (a small one-man outfit) agreed upon had been outlined and agreed upon, mutually signed, and I fulfilled those obligations to ██████████████.
The onus is on ██████████████ to have that question fielded and decision is theirs whether or not to improve the contact form security. They have paid for services they agreed upon in full and received the website they agreed upon.
Even I have difficulty at times with certain reCaptcha forms myself and I have been in the web development field for 25 years.
You will have to field your question to the owners of the business, in order to let them know your dissatisfaction and see if they would like to take action to change the contact form verification.
I simply cannot go in, and change things at a whim. I also do not do pro bono work on the review of a businesses customer. My method is to contractually agree with business owners to do work they set out for me to do for them in a contract they sign.
While I agree that the Google reCaptcha process can be difficult at times, yours is the first complaint I have fielded. Ever. The reCaptcha process dates back to May of 2007. I advise people to take their time to read the instructions and follow the directions on the verification process.
Should you field your comments to the owners of ██████████████ and they decide to take action, I will certainly indeed take the steps necessary to ensure that the verification process is much simpler for your use. So until they come to me, I simply do not have the time, nor am I contractually obligated to “fix” their site because of a customer complaint. You will need to go directly through ██████████████ ownership.
As for the user friendliness of the website, the owners are satisfied, I have fulfilled my job as a web developer to give the client what they wanted and as far as a usability and user experience standpoint, the site is a simple site to use and has been tested by many professionals in my field and regarded as very user friendly.
With that said, I would direct you to send any comments and questions to the owners of the establishment, on Facebook, via the contact form, or by calling the number listed on the website.
Thank you.

I’ll be going to the office to work my full-time job now, leave questions or comments in the appropriate area. Developers/Designers, I would especially like to hear from you on this topic. Do you answer these and address these emails or do you just let them go?

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