Tuesday, November 14, 2006

wierd Canada bug at KFC.com

OK, so KFC has this wierd performance art^H^H^H ad going, and it got some attention on Slashdot. I personally am not a fan of KFC, and regard it as contesting Long John Silver's for the most dubious fast food chain in America. On the other hand, I got a glimpse of the real Colonel Sanders in Colonel Sanders regalia at O'Hare once, and he seemed an interesting sort, so I have a soft spot for the logo.

Our story begins as I follow the link from the splash page of kfc.com to the "store locator" and notice that while the state pulldown includes Canadian provinces, there is a prominent accompanying warning: "(Note - Canadian address searches will reflect closest U.S. location.) "

Aargh. Way to irritate your Canadian audience guys!

Exhibit A: nearest KFC to Cote St Luc, Island of Montreal, Quebec

Of course, I immediately entered my childhood address.

See exhibit A for the Mapquest instructions it returned. At first it looked OK, an east-west border running across the frame, but wait, surely Lake Champlain would appear on that scale? No, wait, that border is the border between Kansas and Nebraska. And it says I am forty odd miles from the nearest KFC, which, it turns out, is in North-Central Kansas. Well, if that is the closest KFC to Montreal, you guys shouldn't be spending all that money on logos visible from space, huh?

Exhibit B: driving directions to KFC from Cote St Luc, Quebec

So, I asked for driving directions. It turns out that my childhood home is not on the island of Montreal as I somehow recollected. Shades of Total Recall! I am not Canadian at all! I am from the intersection of Road 26 and Road D near Stockton KS. See exhibit B.

Exhibits C and D compare my recollected home and my true origins as revealed to me by Kentucky Fried Chicken's all-seeing de-Canadianizer.

Exhibit C: Cote St Luc as I remembered it

Exhibit D: Cote St Luc as KFC reveals its true nature

It's a wierd, incomprehensible bug. Seriously, though, it's not just a hard-to-explain error, it's as wierd as the fact that people eat that , err, stuff, anyway. Don't you think KFC could afford the programming talent to, uh, remove the provinces from the state pulldown in the HTML form?

Exhibit E: An error a 9th grader wouldn't make on a Fortune 500 website



Brian Ray said...

Haha, its like a wild goose chase.

Hitch said...

especially since mapquest supports canadian provinces on all their sites. Tim Horton (sorry if I spelled that wrong...live in VA in the states) uses mapquest for their store locator and they've got no problem displaying canadian locations.