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June 8th, 2007, 01:53 PM #1Odd Approach to Business...
I just got off the phone with one of the other PPC networks. I was trying to add a new credit card (hadn't used them in a while). I wanted to try a few experimental campaigns and the system was kicking back an error message and a phone number.
The rep I spoke with was nice and all, but upon trying the page on her end could only offer that this happened from time to time and there's really no way to debug or fix it. It usually just clears itself up after a while.
Maybe I'm an odd duck, but whenever I hear an issue from a customer wanting to give me (or my employer) money, my first reaction is to turn over every piece of code under the sun to sort it out and call in those better equipped where I know I'm out of my depth. As an AM I've woken up execs and dev teams alike in the wee hours of the night to fix shopping cart issues, etc. Execs love it, dev teams hate it, but a cart going down is a disaster, even if only for a few hours.
This network though, seems to have just accepted that every once in a while their system stops working and that they won't be able to collect money from their customers until it fixes itself (credit cards have to be added before they can actually be used). There's no call to the techs, no scramble ("Oh crap, the system's down again"), no sense of urgency whatsoever.
I asked "...so the techs have just given up on it?"
"Pretty much, yeah..."
That's just weird to me. At a minimum I'd want my service rep to take the customer's phone number and call them back when the problem is fixed. Are they all so fat with cash that they just can't be bothered?
Anyway, just seems like an odd way to run a business, but I guess they're making it work...
June 8th, 2007, 03:32 PM #2
- Join Date
- January 17th, 2005
Making it work and making it turn the most profit possible are two different beasts....and it seems in this case attitude.
If it was my sites cart that went down I would be working non stop until back up. I then would make darn sure catches were put in place so the issue could not come back.
I remember, starting out first site, I used Access DB (shudder). I hit a records limitation. Being a hardware person it takes me a few on software issues. Spent 19 hours straight to figure it out but I kept at it until I did.
I'm sorry you experienced this issue, that is a baffling attitude to me for sure.
June 8th, 2007, 03:59 PM #3Originally Posted by Reflect
Being persistant in my efforts to give this company money that they apparently don't want, I kept trying and was finally able to the card, but I still can't use it. Guess it needs to be verified and then switched to primary before I can even try add funds. Something just moved to the bottom of my to-do list...
June 8th, 2007, 04:16 PM #4
On a similar note, I'm in process of switching a lot of things from a SSN to a Fed Tax ID. In the process, I missed a few Amex payments, and a balance got written off.
Called the collection agency to pay them in full today... Was on hold once for 10 minutes... Then I left a message for my particular rep 5 hours ago (she was there, but on the phone), and haven't gotten a call back.
Anyone want this $1100?
June 8th, 2007, 04:35 PM #5
I remember a few years ago when I was in the world of being employed by someone else (shudder) and I tried to place an order on our corporate web site. After experiencing several problems I called technical support without identifying myself (I was the Director of Marketing) and after explaining my issue to the tech, his response was "must suck to be you". When I showed up at his exit interview 45 minutes later I explained that it really sucks to be unemployed.
Unfortunately, employees that don't feel that they have a stake in their organizations future don't care how their attitudes affect customer satisfaction.
By the way, this particular employees boss was demoted for tolerating that type of performance.
-rematt"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon
June 8th, 2007, 04:37 PM #6Originally Posted by Noth
Tell you what, I'll send you a link right now that's guaranteed to work...
I consider myself a fairly patient guy, but I find myself much less so with a poorly run business. I find myself asking, "And you want me to give you my money?" I don't care who you are, the most fluid part of your business had better be the collection of the money. All the advertising in the world will come to no avail if a customer can't give you the $.Chris Sturgill
"All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson
June 8th, 2007, 04:43 PM #7Originally Posted by Noth
Bought a fridge once from Sears and signed up for their stupid card for 10% off. About a week before the payment was due we set up an online account hoping to just pay it off completely, but it came back saying it would take a couple days for the account to go live. We tried to log on and pay them every day for the next week.
Finally we just called the number on the statement for phone payments. We had avoided it because it lists a $15 fee per phone payment, but it was getting down to the wire. The phone operator wouldn't take our money. They told us our account was too new to accept phone payments. They wouldn't take our $1100.
I explained that our statement only lists three payment options; by mail, online and by phone. Our payment was now due, so snail mail was out, and despite our best efforts we had just exhausted our last payment option, could they please get the techs to expedite our account set-up so we could try that route one last time?
Instead they said we should go pay at the store (45 minutes away) and that so long as it was posted within the next 30 minutes we'd have no late fees. I asked why this wasn't listed as a payment option on the statement. She assured me it was. I read the payment options section to her.
The next day, already late, Sears finally approved our online account, but then wouldn't take payment in full. They had a ceiling on what they'd accept. I got back on with customer support and explained the entire mess, that we had been trying to give them $1100 for over a week, and aksed if they could please just take our money and waive the late fee. She replied that they believe the customer should take some responsibility in making their payment on time...
After a letter from the attorney general's office explaining my documented complaint in which I included shots of the relevant parts of the statement, phone records indicating calls to Sears to clear up the mess prior to the due date and the suggestion that Sears was making it a pain in order to collect late fees, most likely from the elderly and easily confused, they refunded my late fee and all interest charged on the $1100 for the two months it took for them to accept full payment.
Okay, sorry to mix rants... :P
June 8th, 2007, 04:48 PM #8
It also makes you wonder, if they aren't willing to do everything possible to accept your money, what happens when YOU have a problem? I doubt that they would put more effort into resolving your issues than their own."I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon
June 8th, 2007, 04:50 PM #9
That's one of the best stories I've read in a long time. Thanks for sharing, Eathan.Chris Sturgill
"All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson
June 8th, 2007, 04:56 PM #10
"This network though, seems to have just accepted that every once in a while their system stops working and that they won't be able to collect money from their customers until it fixes itself (credit cards have to be added before they can actually be used). There's no call to the techs, no scramble ("Oh crap, the system's down again"), no sense of urgency whatsoever."
Sounds like a government web site to me!! LOL
June 8th, 2007, 07:10 PM #11Originally Posted by rematt
June 8th, 2007, 07:42 PM #12Originally Posted by PublisherZilla
cbsturg, always happy to share a good rant.
rematt, very good point.
Also, glad to hear that particular tech you worked with was shown the error of his ways. Nothing like having another department cannibalize your marketing efforts by not doing their jobs.
June 8th, 2007, 07:52 PM #13Originally Posted by rematt
I can think of a couple people I've dealt with today that I'd like to see at the exit interview!!!
June 9th, 2007, 05:03 AM #14Originally Posted by Eathan
But you're indeed an odd duck when it comes to making sure people can give OTHER people money. Usually the main motivation then is just to stop the would-be customers from continuing to scream at them, or to keep from getting yelled at by whatever management actually cares.
At a store I w*rked at, kids used to think it was funny to sneak up and lock the main doors, leaving frustrated would-be customers banging to get in until someone actually noticed (it had a lobby area with two sets of doors, and the outer ones were at an angle, so nobody inside could see or hear this pileup of people until someone tried to leave).
The only one who *really* cared about it was the store manager--and not coincidentally, he was the only one in the place with a performance-based incentive. It was a rather large part of his pay, from what I understand. But for the other empl*yees, who made hourly whether or not there was a customer in there, hardly any could see what the big deal was.
In any case, the issue was finally resolved. The kids got busted, and them and their parents got the dubious honor of being part of a tiny handful that were ever banned from that store! I think his parting words to the kids were "come back when you're 20" or something like that, LOL!
(That would have been in about 8-10 years )
Originally Posted by Rematt
Originally Posted by Noth
June 9th, 2007, 12:36 PM #15Originally Posted by Leader
Part of it was wanting to avoid having 5000 or so affiliates shouting at me the next day, sure, but more than that it just seems like treating a business like you own it is the best way to do the job.
In hindsight I've also skated through quite a few bouts of employee turnover, tech teams being let go, etc over the years, probably because of that attitude. Good way to become indispensable.
BTW, I'm not trying to toot my own horn. Far from it. I think the attitude is more a symptom of my early Internet experience with failing start-ups than anything else. My first four years online only saw a handful of actual paychecks for the amount on my contract. Call me an idiot (I was, but I learned a lot), but I was working for companies where we literally didn't get paid if things weren't working. Makes you really want to kick butt when you finally do start getting paid...
June 9th, 2007, 02:49 PM #16
I love the Sears story. 25 years after my experience, I still won't shop there because of what they "did" to me. When I got divorced, we split the assets / liabilities / Tupperware and he took the Sears account.
Later I find myself cleaning up the debts he defaulted on, one of which was Sears. I ended up paying his debt there while trying to get a card for myself. Then they rejected me. I was hurt, but in those days it was pretty difficult for a woman to get credit on her own anyway and I chalked it up to their risk in relation to the defaulted account.
About a month later, the kids came home from their Dad's house talking about their trip to Sears. He got a new Sears card in the mail (because his old collection was now paid) and wanted to go shopping. You can imagine how angry I was.
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