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I was on the T-Mobile site earlier, looking for information on their wi-fi hotspots, and was struck by the horrifying level of corporate speak.

This is the graphic on the site that got me interested.

Wireless Internet Access - T-Mobile HotSpots-1.jpg

What’s good:

  1. The ‘Learn more’ button at least doesn’t fall into the ‘Click here’ trap.
  2. ‘Nope’ is nice and conversational.

What’s bad:

  1. The exclamation mark in ‘ News Flash!’, although I can kind of forgive that, given that this is an US site, and exclamation marks proliferate more freely on the other side of the pond.
  2. The use of ‘impact’ as a verb. Ugh. There is never any excuse for this. If you want an easy swap, just use ‘affect’ instead. There’s no excuse for ‘impact’ to leak outside the corporate environment. Come to think of it, there’s no excuse for it to be used inside the corporate environment either.

Clicking on the ‘Learn more’ button then takes you to a media statement.

Here’s a short extract:


I really can’t bring myself to say anything good about this; there’s so much wrong with it.

For starters:

  1. Linking from a customer-facing page to an announcement written for the media isn’t a great experience.
  2. The T-Mobile statement refers to an “announcement regarding the Starbucks Wi-Fi operations”, but doesn’t give you any more details about that announcement. As someone who happened to visit the T-Mobile site without knowing about the Starbucks announcement, that’s enormously frustrating, since I have no context in which to frame the rest of the T-Mobile announcement.
  3. The whole announcement is just plain ugly. Just because you’re making a corporate statement, it doesn’t mean that you have to write it using so much corporate drivel: “Wi-Fi network operations transition”, “associated with this transition”, “Our primary focus is to ensure minimal customer impact”, “committed to providing the public with exceptional Wi-Fi access” (I particularly hate the habit of corporations of describing their products and services in glowing terms, as if saying it enough times would make it true), “customers also will continue to benefit from our commitment to remain the innovation leader” (Oh, I’m sure ‘innovation leader’ really means something to your customers).