While running errands today I stopped in the credit union to do a little business and see who I could talk to about the problematic iPad website. It's a simple problem really, the iPad is redirected to the mobile website. As you'll see if you visit the mobile site it is pretty spartan. More problematically there is no way to opt-out of using the mobile site.
So I try to explain the problem and I'm treated to an explanation of how the browser on the iPad works. "You see, the iPad looks to the server just like an iPhone so it's not possible to tell," goes the explanation. Of course it's complete balderdash. I explain that I spend my days working on some relatively large websites and know a thing or two and in fact it is possible to differentiate the two.
Of course it's not necessary to take my word for it. Apple has published a technote on this very topic.
The real issue here isn't the technology, rather it's the customer service. I've put off for a long while reporting this problem as I feared it would be met with exactly the kind of reaction it was. When it comes to mobile devices every user is an expert on how they work. Never mind that when it comes to the iPad even the good folks at AT&T are unfamiliar with how their system works (a blog for another day).
What's frustrating in these situations is the customer has to come up with the solution. After I finally was told that the folks in the credit union weren't sure who I could talk to I asked if they couldn't have a manager call me back to discuss it. Nothing complicated in my world.
One of the truisms is it's tough to go into a business and talk to folks about things that are your area of expertise. When you're involved in technology and customer support it can make for many such frustrating conversations. And much as the customer service folks at the credit union didn't want to hear it, calling Apple isn't the answer to this problem.