Wednesday, 22 July 2015

alternative customer relationship management techniques

Yikes, today I was sent one of those 'we're sending the boys round' emails.

Aside from the problem that I'd already cancelled the contract in question, I felt the tone exceptionally harsh for something which had a theoretical due date of only 2 weeks ago and was for a tiny amount.

"Your account with XXX has an outstanding balance of GBP 17.28. If this balance is not settled by 01 Aug 2015, your account will be placed with a third party collection agency.

Please note that as we are obligated to pursue the entire unpaid contract value and your company will be liable for the entire outstanding balance and for any and all collection costs incurred by XXX including the fee for placing the account."

That's how the email started. It went on to say that it "had no choice but to take these steps". Of course, they could have phoned me to find out what was happening, but I suppose that would require a human touch.

Then the email went into the threats, which are interesting if you are thinking of placing data into the Cloud. First a threat to destroy my credit rating (remember I've already cancelled this contract):

"Please be aware that if your account is placed with a third party collection agency, it can dramatically affect your credit rating."

Then a threat to destroy all of my Data:

"In addition, XXX will have no obligation to maintain or provide Your Data after the time specified in your Master Subscription Agreement, and will thereafter delete or destroy all copies of Your Data in Our systems."

So they threaten me and say they'll destroy all my data.

When I called their International Help Desk (which required me to specify the language before I could go any further), they checked their system. Yes, I had cancelled. Their system had sent my message to the wrong place. The billing person agreed that I was right.

I'm still waiting for the apology from my "Customer Representative".

Did I mention the nature of the software in question? ...Customer Relationship Management.

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