Not Very Wise Support

Perhaps I’ve been living in a standards-compliant web-design bubble. I’ve always been aware that one had to design around and account for odd quirks in page design when making sure websites look just as good in Microsofts Internet Explorer as they do in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. I’ve even run across a few business banking sites that absolutely require Internet Explorer in order to manage the add-ons and check scanners.

That said, I think today is the first time I’ve ever seen a customer support site, even for a windows-centric product, that not only “required” Internet Explorer, but was utterly and completely unusable in any context without it. Unusable as in you could not even look up knoedge base and support articles.

Lest you think I’m kidding, check out the support FAQ page for the customer support portal for sage software. Under the question “What are the supported internet browsers for the Sage Customer Portal?”:

 

Internet Explorer is the supported internet browser for use with the Sage Customer Portal.
If you use Firefox, Chrome or other browsers and encounter issues, we recommend using Internet Explorer instead.
If you use Internet Explorer 8 or 9, click the Compatibility View button  to the right of the address bar to avoid potential issues. To permanently enable Compatibility View for the Sage Customer Portal, go to Tools > Compatibility View Settings and click [Add].
First of all, there’s several possible meanings for “we don’t support other browsers.” One is “We don’t guarantee that you will see everything on the page, or everything the way we intended it to work.” The other extreme is “nothing on the page works.” The latter is something you get on specialized banking sites incorporating direct check deposit scanning through activeX extensions, and the like.
It’s not something I expect on a customer support page. I’ll grant that not all of their products have inaccessible support pages. The pages for their Act! customer relations management product work fine in other browsers. 
I also understand that the information in the support portal is tied to the products you’ve purchased from them, but this is also not a new problem for dozens of internet companies providing cloud-based services. I can even, understand restricting access to isntaller downloads and knowledge base articles to paying customers – Sage is hardly the only software vendor to do so.
But the only thing seen in Firefox, Safari, or Chrome, is a failed plugin message.
Making access to documentation and troubleshooting information completely unavailable in any other browser is completely unacceptable. 
Not bothering to update your site to be compatible with the last three versions of internet explorer, including versions nearly four years old, is icing on the cake.