Scottish Power has barred Linux AND Opera users from signing up to its online energy accounts.
The exclusion came to light after Reg reader, and Linux users, Robin Crorie tried to arrange to pay his utility bills online earlier this week, only to be greeted by the following terse and unhelpful message:
We have detected certain aspects of your system that will prevent you experiencing this site fully.
These are: You are not running a Windows or Apple Macintosh operating system.
Before reaching even this stage, Crorie had to jump through numerous hoops. First the site complained that he was using an Opera browser (not IE or Netscape) then it is said he had to allow cookies.
OK so then he tried using a Mozilla browser, with cookies enabled, only to be told he couldn't use a Linux machine either. So then he tried Opera on a Windows PC. Still no good.
He still hasn't managed to sign up, and so is unable to enjoy the discounts the utility offers to those opening online accounts.
Scottish Power (which uses an IIS 5.0 Web server, incidentally) is excluding users of technology by misapplying a software tool, Crorie believes.
"They seem to use a commercial piece of software which provides fairly comprehensive diagnostics about the client software and platform - great, if used properly, but here they are just using it to
choke off users who don't toe the line," he told us.
He's still waiting for a response from Scottish Power.
We've faired little better after first contacting the utility early yesterday afternoon. After repeatedly requesting a response from Scottish Powertoday, the best its spokesman could offer was that the utility "was looking into this matter." ®