Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Here’s one more notch in the belt of “if you want service, this is what you must do yourself.”
Credit on Hold
My husband’s credit card account was closed. He found out when he tried to charge some meds and food and the charges didn’t go through in either store. To find out what was going on, he called the credit card provider.
Had he thought to look at his account online before leaving the apartment, he would have seen that there was a notice that the bank had closed it. So we don’t have to learn the news at the cash register, perhaps we should add checking online to the morning routine, after we brush our teeth or before we check that we have our keys.
He learned that a travel agency in the UK tried to charge something to his card which the credit card company determined to be suspicious. American Express telephones–at least it did when I had a similar problem.
Servers that Don’t
Meanwhile I was given the bum’s rush by my email host. I spent three weeks in email hell, unable to send any at times for no reason. People sending emails to me received bouncebacks and we couldn’t figure out why.
After doing everything possible to solve the problems and several calls to the company I spoke with one honest fellow late one night who told me “We’ve been working on the server for the last week,” and “the problem is beyond our systems.” He admitted they didn’t know how to fix it yet, wanted me to know the real story so I didn’t blame my high speed connection, my computer, anything or anyone else–all of which I had. I asked when he thought it would be repaired and he said “24 to 48 hours.”
Two days later I called again and spoke with the first obnoxious person I’d confronted at this company in the many years it had been my vendor. I kept asking him if they’d repaired the server and he’d respond with “I need to see a copy of the original bouncedbacked email.” I would say, “I sent you the bounceback notification. How can I send you the original that I never got? Please answer my question: ‘Are your servers up and running’?”
I gave up and now have a new email host.
In addition to lost time, frustration and goodness knows how many emails I never received because they were bounced back and the senders didn’t let me know [it's not their job], I also spent a tidy sum on the wonderful IT person who was trying to figure out what was what on my end.
So why didn’t this vendor inform its millions of customers? I fished around online for clues and there were none. This is a company that communicates like crazy when it wants to. I get emails almost daily about what other services I should buy from them yet not a peep about email server issues. They have the money: They ran a [extremely distasteful] commercial during the Super Bowl.
I anticipate problems when a company spends more money on marketing than on its product. For years these people were terrific–they had the balance right.
Do you have examples of do-it-yourself service or businesses that spend more on marketing than on their product or service?