Legit companies with curiously terrible websites

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Zaap, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Zaap macrumors 6502

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    #1
    My son got one of those RC helicopters from the company SYMA over the holidays, and out of curiosity I was checking out their website. Holy...

    For example, one of the product pages: http://www.symatoys.com/goodshow/s39-syma-s39-raptor.html

    Just amazingly bad, virtually gibberish ad copy.

    Syma is not a tiny little company, they are huge- their RC helicopters are probably the most popular brand in the world, literally everywhere.

    Now yes, I realize it's a Chinese Company and there's some terrible translation going on, but is it really so hard to find a good English speaker in China to edit the copy? The site design itself is not bad at all- but so much effort and not just to go that extra teeny-weeny step and check the copy...!

    Might be a good career opportunity for someone, offer to copy-check the websites/and product materials of Chinese companies for a fee. :D

    It made me curious, because I've run across a few now and then- large companies that have plenty of resources, with a curiously bad web presence. Anyone have other examples?
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    I could post a link to where I work!
    But my boss might kill me!

    We get our site translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish and Polish as we are a pan European company.

    However it's expensive and hard work to keep on top of it all.
    We've also employed people who just use Google translate. But when you don't speak the language it's hard to check. That being said, when they were found out they were shown the door.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    That site looked ok to me, what am I missing?
     
  4. Zaap thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Haha! I'm sure that site is probably a Google translate job, or similar. It's just funny to me, when clearly it's a huge company with plenty of resources to just copy-check a few things. Especially since Im sure a big part of their market is in english speaking countries.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2017 ---
    It's not that the site looks bad- that's what makes it even more curious to me, they obviously spent a lot of time on it and it looks great. As I'd expect from a big company marketing a global product.

    It's just if you actually spend a few seconds READING some of the obviously badly translated product copy...

    I was just wondering if people had other examples too of large companies- but some dreadful web presence. I've seen quite a few over time, but can't think of them off the top of my head.
     
  5. Scepticalscribe, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #5
    But that does beg the question as to why they - wealthy companies - don't actually spend some money getting decent native speakers of the languages in question - who also have good English - to do the necessary translations.

    Why not trawl local universities for good students of English, offer part time well paid work with the promise of a good reference - and have the damned website translated properly.

    Certainly, if something is written in poor English, - especially of it comes from a well resourced company - I would also assume that they were careless and heedless of detail, indifferent to language, and unprofessional.
     
  6. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #6
    An excellent idea! I could even envision this type of work being done as a type of internship for students majoring in foreign languages.
     
  7. Scepticalscribe, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #7
    Not an internship; a salary. If you want people to work, pay them, and pay them properly.

    On a recent trip - deployment - work related - abroad, I was in need of several interpreters - good ones - for a short period of time.

    Thus, a colleague and I spent a full day in the local university, with the permission of the Rector, and the Dean, and the professor of the students, and interviewed a number of candidates. Basically, these were the brightest of the students who had studied English, and obviously, they were also native speakers of their own language, - and we interviewed them for these positions, which required a lot of translation both ways; the positions were well paid.

    We arranged that the students would not be penalised for missing classes while they worked with us - very intensively - for the best part of a week. Moreover, we ourselves gave them a further briefing as to what the work actually entailed. Subsequently, they all received references.
     
  8. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #8
    I work in the tile industry and much of what we buy is from Italy and Spain. Most of the companies just do a Google translate and put up a site with broken English.
     
  9. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #9
    Which may work until the customer needs to be able to do something little more complicated than just open a tin, or a box, or a plastic container.
     
  10. twietee macrumors 603

    twietee

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    #10
    Haha, so true. It partly adds to the mediterranian charme though. :D I guess conversations aren't much easier at times.

    I was searching for a special kind of marble once and those websites were..confusing.
     
  11. Zaap thread starter macrumors 6502

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  12. ibookg409 Suspended

    ibookg409

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    #12
    My wife bought me one of their wuadcopters for Christmas. I was embarrassed because I thought it was a children's toy. Holy crap!!!! It's so much fun.
     
  13. BeeGood macrumors 68000

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    #13
    The reason crappy stuff exists is because the people who have the ability to improve it have no incentive to do so. I believe that's what is going on with these poorly translated websites.

    When I clicked the link, I had the exact same response that @maflynn did. The website looked perfectly fine. It wasn't until I started reading that I realized how awful it was. But that's the thing...most people who go to that site probably aren't reading what's there. They're looking for the customer support number, or the online manual, or similar products because they like the one they already have.

    The least likely thing that is occurring on that site is shopping...that is happening somewhere where there is a better chance of getting an unbiased opinion/review. So, yes, while they could hire someone to do a better job writing their marketing material, they probably realize that no one is going to read it anyway, so free google translate does the job just fine.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #14
    But what if someone does read it, and draw the conclusion that if they are so slipshod about language, their service and attitude and products could well be equally slipshod and poor in quality?

    Certainly, I'd ask such questions. As I remarked earlier, it is not as though spending the sort of sum of money that would pay someone - say, a postgrad student with good language skills - well for a few days - or a few weeks - would be a waste - or a poor investment - in such circumstances.
     
  15. Foggydog macrumors 6502

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    #15
    My wife and I have bought some cheap sauder furniture. Just try reading the destructions on how to assemble. Same problem. Looking at the diagram is easier to read than the destructions.
     
  16. BeeGood macrumors 68000

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    #16
    I agree, they probably should fix it. I'm just saying that I understand why it probably isn't a top priority.

    It's clear that they don't sell anything on the site (there isn't even an obvious way to actually buy anything). They have a presence on Amazon and good reviews there, so most of the traffic coming to their own site is probably existing customers looking for a user manual.

    Also, if they're as big as the OP says, they may have a different site for dozens of different countries, which means dozens of different translators that they'd have to hire.
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    But, if they are as large - and as wealthy - as they seem, it will not remotely bankrupt them to hire professional translators for a few weeks, pay them properly, and have the website read as though they know - and are interested in conveying the message - what they are doing in several languages.
     
  18. allan.nyholm macrumors 6502a

    allan.nyholm

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    #18
    Is it against the thread starter's wish to show a website that is still kicking but is very much idle? It's not Mac or Apple related though but Amiga related. Wanted to hear before I post.
     
  19. BeeGood macrumors 68000

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    #19
    If a company is "large", it doesn't necessarily follow that they're "wealthy". Enron was huge but operated for years while being completely insolvent. We don't really know if they have the money to spend or not.

    But lets say they do. A good company doesn't spend cash just because it has it. It spends it to increase revenue, decrease costs or reduce risk. Now, I'm not saying that writing better material on their website wouldn't accomplish any of those, but if their business is primarily selling $20-$60 RC aircraft on Amazon, they're are lots of ways to spend a few thousand dollars that might be better for business.

    Honestly, if it were my company, I would just take all of that material off of the website.
     
  20. Scepticalscribe, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    Of course, a company doesn't spend cash just because it has it; however, it should spend sufficient to give the impression that it knows about what it is trying to sell, irrespective of whether that is a good, or service, or product.

    This is called an investment in coming across as someone - or something - that you may want to do business with.

    In any case, - among other professional hats I have worn at one time or another - I have worked as an editor (in the parliamentary debates office) and, if a company presents sloppy prose, I will draw the conclusion that their attention to detail, their professionalism, their products, their services, are all substandard, if they cannot be bothered to make their website comprehensible, and I would not recommend that the company be used by any body - or organisation - that I work for.
     
  21. AngerDanger macrumors 68030

    AngerDanger

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    #21
    This quote is known. I can not find the problem. Why what people feel the need to nitpick? You have to make yourself feel better? You feel ashamed! The writing is excellent CD.
     
  22. TSE macrumors 68030

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  23. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    #23
    Well sure, if a company expected to do business with a government agency and walked in the door with material like that, I hope they would get laughed out of the building. No argument there, but I don't think that's analogous to what's going on here.

    If someone is looking to buy an inexpensive RC helicopter, they're not going to go to this website. I'm certain of that. If you google "RC helicopters", the website doesn't even appear on the first several pages. No shopper is going to go much further than that, especially given the fact that Amazon, Walmart, NewEgg, eBay, etc dominate the first hundred or so results.

    Additionally, I can't see how this website would serve a business-to-business purpose either. They're a Chinese manufacturer that sells stuff via Amazon, Walmart etc. They almost certainly use Chinese or Korean parts, so I doubt their vendors care what they're US-facing site looks like. And they've already impressed Walmart enough to carry their products in-store, so they have to be doing something right.

    I think this company is more analogous to a tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant at a popular tourist location. The kind of place that the locals love because they know the food is authentic and great. The kind of place that tourists don't know about because there are no glitzy, well written ads about it and the exterior looks like a dump. But the parking lot is always full and there is always a 45 minute wait.

    Sometimes companies don't need a professional pitch, sometimes they make money simply because they're awesome at what they do.
     
  24. D.T. macrumors 604

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    #24
    Given the source and how terrible it is, I have to think it's totally on purpose (even if it's an old site they left up).
     

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