Letter to IMC Cinemas

A comment I just sent via IMC Cinemas’ contact form:

This comment should ideally be directed to the person or persons in charge of administrating the IMC cinemas website. However, as with the rest of the site, the comment form seems to have been deliberately designed to impede me. I’m therefore directing the comment to Dun Laoghaire IMC because that’s the cinema that is losing out on my bookings.

I’m curious about your descision to exclude Web users who don’t use the Internet Explorer browser on Windows, as well as those who have not installed or cannot install Macromedia Flash. Is IMC so successful that it can afford to ignore at least 10% of potential online bookings? Are Mac and Linux users not welcome at your cinema? What about people who choose to use alternative browsers? Mozilla Firefox has a worldwide browser market share of nearly 10%, and a higher share than that in Ireland.

Most importantly, has IMC no interest in providing their service to people with visual or motor-control disabilities, who might have to use special assitive browser technologies not compatible with the proprietary technologies in place on your site (Flash and VBScript)?

It’s not 1995 anymore. It’s not okay for a business to run a site like this. It hurts customers and it hurts you. It is possible, even easy, to run a site that adheres to published Web standards. A site that works not only on the most popular browser but on every other browser on every other operating system, even on Web-enabled phones and PDAs.

I have a booking for four people to see Serenity today in UGC in Dublin, because their booking system works with every browser I have. I could have gone to IMC Dun Laoghaire, but my desktop machine in work doesn’t have flash installed so I couldn’t use your site. Then I tried on my laptop, an Apple Powerbook, and was thwarted by the use of VBScript (a language that only works on one browser and on one operating system: Internet Explorer for Windows) on your booking page.

Please. I’d like to have a choice of cinemas. I’d like not to have to go in to Dublin city to see a movie. Make it possible for me to book with you online and you will see my business. Until then, you will see me pass you by on my way to your competitors.