Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another site that forces users into Internet Explorer, and how to bypass it

Update: After numerous customer complaints, Airtel's website now works with Safari.

I'm an Indian living in USA, and I use Airtel's calling card service to make phone calls to India. All was well until two weeks back when I ran out of my balance and wanted to fill dollars into my account as usual. I was horrified to see the message "Please use Internet Explorer" when I tried to login to their website using Safari or Firefox 3!

A quick call to their "customer care" tells me the reason:

"Sir we have performed some upgrades to our website and you can use only IE at this time".

I asked:
"There is no IE for Mac users, so does it mean Mac users can't use your service anymore?"

Answer was quick:
"I'm afraid yes sir, you will have to use Internet Explorer from some other computer to recharge your balance".

What a great business idea - the customer wants to give your company his money, but the company has an upgraded website that won't let him login!

Here's how I bypassed the IE enforcement:

1. Launch Safari on your Mac and open its preferences (command and , keys at the same time)
2. Go to the last tab of Preferences and check "Show develop menu in menu bar"
3. Click the Develop menu in the Safari menu bar, and choose Develop -> User Agent -> Internet Explorer 7.0
4. Now you can login to the Airtel website!

Note: If you keep seeing a Verisign image after logging in, check the "remember me" option when logging in, and then go back to their homepage. You'll log right in without any problem!

IE enforcers, I have pwned you!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been using a company called WQN for years now to call to both India and UAE. The quality is great and the rates are very competitive. They give FREE minutes to their customers all the time with special bonus offers. They also have a loyalty program that gives their customers up to 3000 FREE minutes every 6 months. I'm able to get lots of free minutes to call my destinations with great quality.

The site allows you to use IE, Mozilla, etc.

Check them out at www.WQN.com

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