Stop playing product games
This is a company you’ve certainly heard of and have probably even used.
Essentially I needed to cancel our account with this vendor because we’d never actually used their paid features and had no plans to use them going forward. We were paying $30/month for a service we weren’t using. Not that big of a deal, but I feel stupid wasting money and this 3 billion dollar company certainly doesn’t need my company’s money.
When we created our account, a member of my team went to the website, entered a little bit of information about me, the company, and – of course – gave them our credit card info. It was a simple signup and billing process
Now when I want to suspend my account or downgrade to the free tier, I hop on the website, jump into the account setup pages and click on the… wait. I hop over to the admin page and click the unsub… wait it’s not there either. I have no problem finding the upgrade button – where I can buy more of the service that I’d actually like to buy less of. It’s a huge yellow button: UPGRADE.
So I search and search for the downgrade button. And I can’t find it. Now I feel like an idiot – especially since I make software for a living and should know how to use it. I almost gave up. But that’s what they want! So I Google “How to cancel Acme Corp account” and I find a relevant FAQ page from Acme Corp’s help pages. Cool. I have to file a ticket through their website. Not cool. I’m annoyed. I signed up online. So why the hell can’t I un-sign-up online??
The instructions for filing the ticket are very particular and I have no interest in doing this twice so I follow them exactly – which requires me to sign into my account again and dig around for the required information. Here was my initial ticket:
Subject: Cancel plan
Please cancel my paid XXXXXXXX plan. Thanks
account number: XXXXXXX
the email address associated with your account: XXXXX@ metaneer.com
a good contact number: XXX-XXX-XXXX
and the last 4 digits of the credit card currently on file: AMEX ending in XXXX (expires 1/2020)
I reply back to the customer service rep that I’ve already supplied all of this information in my original request. He replies again asking for my company name – surely something he could have looked up with the information I’d already supplied. A few more days of back and forth and I’ve been billed again for the service. I now have to get them to refund me money when I can’t even get them to stop billing me!!
I’m so close to resorting to my secret weapon: my AMEX. I view my American Express card as a credit card with insurance. I do enough business with them that when I dispute a charge, they take it seriously. They also have amazing customer service. But I don’t like to play this card until it’s absolutely necessary.
Again, this is a company you’ve almost certainly heard of. They’re a technology company. They’re barely over 10 years old but worth billions. Their customers expect and deserve better than this. There’s no excuse.
Two hours later I get a call from someone much higher up in customer support than the folks I was emailing. Seven minutes later, the issue is 100% resolved. I’ve been refunded, my account has been downgraded, and much more importantly, I’ve been heard.
But it shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t have to threaten with my AMEX. I shouldn’t have to message a senior vice president. It should be as easy.