A few years ago, one of my then-colleagues wrote an article titled "Why I'm Never Using Priceline Again" about her experiences using a plane ticket she bought on Priceline.com
There is a great difference, though, between things going badly and a policy that seems designed to stick it to the customer. I HATE these and think that they ultimately cost the company more in good will and repeat business than the small gain it gets at the time. You know what I'm talking about: those niggling nuisance policies that companies have, and ones that make certain components of customer service and care much more difficult for the customer. Inevitably, they breed resentment in me, and when I resent, I take business elsewhere. I'm sure I'm not alone in this regard, and I've noticed that there are two places where companies take most advantage of their customers: when customers are trying to leave and when they have no real choice or power. It makes me wonder: Are these companies just desperate for revenues, or are they so arrogant that they think you don't have options?
I have a deep well of ire, and this week the company that has raised it is Netflix
But check this out: When I went to the Netflix site to cancel, one day too late, I found that I could cancel at any moment, but at the moment I cancel, my subscription ends, and company policy is for no refund for the unused portion of the month to be granted. Miss canceling by a day? That's $23.
Obviously, that's not huge money, and it's my fault that I missed the date. But the combination of rolling over a gift subscription without notification and the no-partial month refund is so aggravating that I'm canceling at the end of this month, and I'm not coming back to Netflix. Ever. After all, I've got options now: Blockbuster
Who knows? But customers who don't feel appreciated don't stick around -- or come back. Witness Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection Overstock.com's
Just some observations from someone who wasn't going to be watching too many movies in the next few months but will certainly be someone else's customer when he does come back.
- Rick Munarriz's Is Netflix Doomed?
- or his Nothing But Netflix
- or Daniel Hong's Last Word on Netflix
- or Bill Mann's Dashed Upon the Rocks of eBay