Greyhound search_error problem

Two weeks ago I posted a description of a problem with the Greyhound search in browsers with German language settings. My website statistics say that people from all over the world are reading this post, not only from Germany. As I guessed, this indicates that the problem occurs not only with German language settings but with all other languages than English. As Greyhound hasn’t resolved the issue yet and unfortunately doesn’t seem to take it seriously, I decided to translate my previous post into English:

Greyhound is the largest intercity bus operator in North America. Unfortunately, there is currently an issue with the website in browsers with German language setting and I guess every other setting than English as well. When I tried to search for tickets and connections I got the error message: „search_error: Montag, 30. Januar 2012 is not a valid DateTime.“

Greyhound-Fehlermeldung

It’s strange that the error has a date formatted in German in it. I guess the browser converts the date of the search request depending on the language setting and sends it to the server. As the server doesn’t understand German, it doesn’t know which date I’m looking for and therefore throws this error.

I was able to reproduce this problem with Mozilla Firefox 9.0.1 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421.

Solution: Chrome. This problem does not occur using Google’s free browser.

On January 5 I sent a detailed error description by mail and haven’t received any response yet:

——– Original-Nachricht ——–
Betreff: Website problem: unable to use search with localized browser due to incompatible date format
Datum: Thu, 05 Jan 2012 22:09:50 -0500
An: webmaster@greyhound.ca

Hello,

your website seems to have a localization problem. When I use the home
page https://www.greyhound.ca/ and use the Tickets search:

Leaving from: „Toronto, ON“
Going to: „Waterloo, ON“
Departing on „05/10/2012“
Time: „Any“
Discount Type: „No Discounts“
Promotion Code: „“
Adults: „1“
Seniors: „0“
Children: „0“

I get the following error message: „search_error: Donnerstag, 5. Januar
2012 is not a valid value for DateTime.“

The date is actually in German format because my browser has a German
language setting. But I only used the Departing-on-Date-Picker. I guess
the problem comes from the localization of your rcCalPopup class from
ASP.NET. The date picker probably formats the date according to the
browsers localization, which in my case is German. But when the date
comes to the server, it doesn’t recognize the format and thus throws the
error message back to the user.

I used the Firefox plugin TemperData to checked the POST data which the
browser sends to https://www.greyhound.ca/services/farefinder.asmx/Search
and it contains the German formatted date in the POST parameters. So the
problem originates from the browser and not from the server.

The problem probably occurs with any localized browser, so Spanish,
Russian, Indian, Japanese, … I guess you would like to provide the
services of your website to those customers as well.

I reproduced the problem with these browsers:
– Mozilla Firefox 9.0.1
– Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0.8112.16421

Interestingly, the problem does NOT appear with:
– Google Chrome 16.0.912.63 m

If you need further information on this, don’t hesitate to ask for it.

Thanks,
Markus

I also tried to contact @GreyhoundBus via Twitter. They said that they were looking into it but obviously haven’t been able to resolve the issue yet.

3 Gedanken zu „Greyhound search_error problem

  1. I get the same error using the Canadian Greyhound website because I’m using a French-language operating system (though I’m using English-language Firefox). The ironic thing in this case is that the Greyhound site is also available in a (bad) French translation, but the error also appears there.

      • Oh, I’ll find a way, I hope. At least I have the luxury of being able to buy tickets at the bus depot any day I want; I was just hoping to rely on the website to get an idea of the cost and schedule. Thanks for asking.

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