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Talk About a Pat on the Head

 

Bear ... Pat on the Head

A few days ago I was livid! My spring baby, Grace (as she calls herself) takes one hand and holds it up over her head. That lets me know I need to Bring It On DOWN! 

This is Grace:

                      Grace BW  Grace AG lookalike 

So what had happened was, I bought something online, on a trial basis. I thought: "I want to offer a tutorial, an introduction to, let's call it "Beeswaxing 101." Now I need to figure out how to structure it, and what better way to do that than to seek out my competition? There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, I mean, I watch almost every comp there is; well, I used to, when they were a phenomenon. Now there are so many, it's hard to know what's real and what's reality, no pun intended.

Anyhow, I bought the Beeswaxing 101 introductory course from the ABC Company and here's the deal ... no, for real, here's the deal:

7 days of free video
introductory courses, for $2.99

You can't say that price ain't SWEET, no?

I thought so, too, and I also thought that it wouldn't be hard to do 1 lesson a day, and if I could, I'd have time to go back over the course(s), within that 7-day time frame. Nice!!! Well, that didn't happen, nothing close.

Me:  When will I learn?
Freddy:  Apparently not anytime soon :)

But, I was thinking enough to go into Outlook and create a reminder to cancel before the trial ended. I'm notorious for forgetting to do that. Like when I was a young lass, I naïvely asked a merchant, when I ordered by phone, if they could send me a reminder, you know, to cancel before their trial ended. I'm sure she's still wiping the spit from her keyboard as she fights back the tears rolling down her face. She had a good laugh, and I paid the price, literally, for being forgetful.

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I thought I knew better now, I mean I had the Outlook appointment reminder, right, and I did use that ... so let me share with you how my morning exchange went with the ABC Company. Excuse me while I go grab some tissue.

Thursday, the day before the trial expired, I received an email from the ABC Company. I'd like to share a snippet with you, and my response. For clarification purposes, only, their text will be purple, and mine will be brown, of course :). I would have made theirs yellow, but that's hard to read :).

[BTW, all emphasis whether italics or bold, has been added, by moi.]

Their subject:

Ends in 24 hours

They actually sent me two emails, identical in all but the time: the first email was sent at 2:06am, the second at 2:37am. I went with the second one, because it ended in "37."

Here's their opening pitch:

The special introductory price for ABC Company's Beeswaxing 101 Technique 101's 5 videos (our complete online course for beginners) ends in 24 hours. It's our lowest possible price … Click here to learn more! We spent 194 days creating this beginners' course so it's not too challenging ... This special offer is only available through this email—it isn't mentioned on my website because I don't want the general public learning about this super-low price. (We have to make money to keep the lights on so we can't have too many people getting massive discounts like this!) Don't forget, every purchase is protected by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: love it or your money back, no questions asked. I mean it.

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I replied to the 2nd email, sent at 7:32am, amending the subject to read:

Fw: Ends in 24 hours - PLEASE CANCEL TODAY 091919

This is what I wrote:

Good morning,

Thank you so much for your videos. I'd like to cancel the membership but can't find that anywhere on your site. When I click below, all I see is more sign-in offers. I'd like to be able to access what I paid for, the 3-part introductory offer, but it looks like I have to pay to do so. So, with limited access, it doesn't make sense to continue.
 
Please cancel today 091919, and send me an email acknowledgement of such cancellation, so I don't incur a $59.99 fee.

Thank you.
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I went about my workday, fully expecting to receive the requested cancellation email, momentarily, thinking how grateful I was that I didn't forget to cancel.

I received an IMMEDIATE response, also at 7:32am, saying (and I copied this directly from their email):

Important—please read! We can no longer see the emails you're sending us, so you'll need to re-submit your request on our website: Beeswaxing 101. You'll see a blue "Contact Us" icon on the bottom of the website, which looks like this:


So sorry for the inconvenience caused. Here's why we're doing this…

Because we want to respond quicker to our customers, we are prioritizing 24/7 livechat over email support. Now you can interact with our Customer Care team in real-time instead of waiting for us to email back.

Please do not reply to this email. We will not receive it.

To help our company help people like you, will you take a moment to rate our interaction by clicking one of these links (this info gets sent to my manager—I don't see it—so please feel free to be honest):

Great | Okay | Not Good

--Pat
Customer Care

My first thought:
"How odd, you email me to say you don't read emails. Okay, Pat, I'll go online, let's Live Chat."

Second thought:
What do you mean, "people like you"? Hmmm ...

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Aside
From this point on, all text is back to it's regular colours ... well the Shopify Engineers ("SE") need to tighten up on "black" as it still fluctuates ...

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Anyway, I go to their website, click Contact me, and lo and behold, a live chat window opens up with a small picture of a mature-looking, blonde woman, by the name of "Pat."

The first thing she asks for is my name, then my email address, then my phone number. ALL OF THESE ARE 3 SEPARATE ENTRIES. After that, she asks what she can help me with. I type in that I want to cancel.

Longer story short, later that morning I received an email (???) with a transcript of this chat. The gist of it is below (again, all italics and bold are my emphasis added):

Pat:
How may I help you?

Visitor (that's me):
I'd like to cancel my membership before the trial ends tomorrow.

Pat:
Please stand by while I work on your request. I hope you'll be patient with me and I'll confirm when I've successfully processed your request. Should take just a minute or two.

Visitor (that's me):
Thank you. Hopefully my cancelling today won't keep me from viewing the videos I had access to.

Pat:
Do you mind re-stating that in a different way?
Hmm, I'll give you a call. Something's not right. Sorry about this.
... What's the best phone number to reach you? What's your preferred email address? I may need to send you additional info or a copy of this interaction.
I give my phone number and she writes:

I'm going to call you as soon as I have a gap with helping other customers. It can get pretty busy so please give me 1-2 business days to respond. Please keep an eye on your phone and email. I've noted the time of our interaction so I'll make sure time-sensitive requests are still honored. Thanks for your patience.

Houston, we have a problem.

I'll make this part quick. I skyrocketed from 1 to 150, my voice was a bit high and I had to remember I was at my Thoroughly Exhausting 9-5 (Really 8-5, But Who's Counting?) Job.

I decided I didn't think Pat had understood me, so I began a new Live Chat. And Holy Smokes, Batman, I got Pat again. Same picture, same name, same face. That never happens. But I digress.

As the question was asked about my email address, I also tacked on my phone number because I had just done this a minute ago, and I knew it was coming. After adding both email and phone number, she asked for my phone number. Hmmm, I was beginning to smell something, but I shook my head and carried on. It was early morning and I'm a night person. Maybe it was me.

Suffice it to say, we didn't venture past this:

I'm going to call you as soon as I have a gap with helping other customers. It can get pretty busy so please give me 1-2 business days to respond. Please keep an eye on your phone and email. I've noted the time of our interaction so I'll make sure time-sensitive requests are still honored. Thanks for your patience.

It Wasn't Me

Now I see I need to get personal. I call the ABC Company. The call engages and I'm talking to a nice-sounding, young lady.

Young Lady:
Can I get your name ... your phone number ... your email address?

Me:
Yada, yada, yada, then I say, "I'd like to cancel my membership before the trial ends tomorrow."

She asks me what course, why did I want to cancel, and then tells me someone will get back to me in "1-2 days."

Me:
My trial ends tomorrow. I don't have "1-2 days." Why can't I speak to someone now? I need to cancel this right now.

Young Lady:
I'm just the receptionist. Someone will give you a call.

Me:
Okay. Can I have your name?

Young Lady:
What?

Me:
Can I have your name, please?

Young Lady:  
Pat.

Me:
(Flabergasted) Are you the "Pat" I just Live Chatted with?

Pat:
No, that wasn't me.

 

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Me:  When will I learn?
Freddy:  Apparently never :)

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Was It Me?

After about an hour, after ruminating about it and having received no return call, I called again. This time, the voice was masculine, but still young, with a Midwest twang to it:

Young Man:
Can I get your name ... your phone number ... your email address?

Me:
Yada, yada, yada, then I say, "I'd like to cancel my membership before the trial ends tomorrow."

He asks me what course, why did I want to cancel, and then tells me someone will get back to me in "1-2 days."

Me:
My trial ends tomorrow. I don't have "1-2 days." Why can't I speak to someone now? I need to cancel this now."

Young Man:
I'm just the answering service. Did you say you called about an hour ago? Someone will give you a call.

Me:
Yes.

Young Man:
Well. that's really not a lot of time. They're very busy. I'll have someone call you.

Me:
Okay. Can I have your name, please?

Young Man:
Ryan.

Me:
Thank you, Ryan. Have a nice day.

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Freddy:  See, and you thought it was a coincidence.
Me:  It was, I guess. Who would think they would both be named "Pat."

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Let's Tie It Up In a Knot. Shall We? We Shall.

I was going about my day and completely forgot about the ABC Company, until I returned to my desk and saw a few missed calls. From Las Vegas. Since I know no one had won a bunch of money and decided to gift it to me, I figured the ABC Company knew I wasn't playing around and they'd actually called me back. Today.

I returned the call. This time, the voice was masculine, but with a Latino flair (hey, I know my accents). Here's how it went:

Young Man #2:
Can I get your name ... your phone number ... your email address?

Me:
Yada, yada, yada, then I say, "I'd like to cancel my membership before the trial ends tomorrow."

He asks me what course, why did I want to cancel, and then tells me someone will get back to me in "1-2 days."

Me:
My trial ends tomorrow. I don't have "1-2 days." Why can't I speak to someone now? I need to cancel this now.

Young Man #2:
I'm just the answering service. Did you say you called about an hour ago?

Me:
Yes.

Young Man #2:
Well, can you tell me why you want to cancel. Which program were you enrolled in, and what was wrong with it?

After another 30 seconds of him rattling off why he wanted to know This, That and the Other, and my saying I wanted lifetime access to what my $2.99 had paid for, he began to twitch, like that Georgia boy:

He told me they had such a program, where I could have lifetime access, for:

$2,000

After wiping the spit off my monitor, shirt, pants and co-worker, I said I couldn't afford that. He then said he had another program, also for lifetime access, for:

$299

Me:
Okay I'm not sure why you're asking me all of these questions. All I want to do is cancel the membership before the trial ends. Can I please talk to someone who can do that, right now? And can I have your name, please?

Young Man #2:
Pat.

Me:
You've got to be kidding me!!! WHY, I OUTTA ...

CLICK. HE HUNG UP ON ME. Pat #3 hung up on me.

So you know I called him back. 

Me:
(ASTONISHED) Yo, "Pat" I just talked to you. How could you hang up on me?

Pat #3:
Hello, ma'am. sorry ma'am, someone will call you, ma'am. Have a good day, ma'am.

CLICK. HE HUNG UP ON ME. Pat # 3 hung up on me, for a second time!!!

With Sprinkles and a Cherry on Top

Now, I'm really fuming, but I can't whip out the scathing blog post, with names, dates and screenshots, because duty called, and I had real work to do. The kind that puts food on the table and shelter and all that stuff like that there.

I know that did me a world of good, too, 'cause I was still trying to get a membership cancelled and in the back of my mind I was worried. By my 6 interactions, I didn't have hope that they would cancel, so my next move was to cancel my Disney debit card. So long, Mickey, and tell the Dalmatians I miss them (my bank CANCELLED that option for their card).

As you know, I don't care much for even numbers, much less sixes, so I had to make one final attempt and that was to cancel the card. No card, means no access to my funds and I could stop trying to reach these idiots who I was now thinking of by a few other names.

But, I didn't have to.

Before my brick & mortar workday ended, I had received a few more emails ... and 2 were from the same company that initially told me they don't respond to emails.

They went like this:

Company Name (it wasn't the ABC Company):
Your membership with Beeswaxing 101 has been cancelled.

Paypal:
You're billing agreement with Beeswaxing 101 has been cancelled.

The ABC Company:
Beeswaxing 101 membership cancelled. We're sorry to see you go ...

[Firstname] & the ABC Company:
(A personal letter from the founder of the ABC Company)

Hello,
I noticed you'd canceled so here are my best wishes (and a free parting gift) ... Will you also please take a moment to read this—it's important. Did you cancel for any of the reasons listed below? If so, please reply to this email with the numbers for the reasons you canceled. For example, if you weren’t happy with video performance, please reply to this email with “2."

    1. I wasn’t happy with the teachers
    2. I wasn’t happy with video performance
    3. Things weren’t working right
    4. I didn’t like the price

I take your feedback seriously because I'm always trying to improve Beeswaxing 101. Feel free to tell us more about why you canceled. Your feedback will not affect your cancelation.

Is It Over?

Yes, dear readers, we're there, at the end. I got my cancellation, I'm still steppin' out with Mickey, and I didn't have to jump though the phone to try to strangle someone. 

That was one of the weirdest online experience sI've ever had, one I never want to have again and I think I'll stick to those merchants I know, with names I trust and values I believe in.

Customer service is a seriously hard job and you have to like it to be good at it. I realize that, and try to be the best customer I can be, but my goodness it gets trying. 

I must write my own disclaimer here as I tried to be respectful of the business owner that I interacted with, and the many steps it took me to get a cancellation from a website offering (I'm now pausing to scroll all the way up to the top of this post):

Don't forget, every purchase is protected by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: love it or your money back, no questions asked. I mean it.

How on God's green Earth are you to get your money back if you can't even contact the company? I can just see it now, I decide I want my $2,000.00 or $299.00 back, and I'm waiting and waiting and waiting for the phone to ring. I almost made myself sick worrying about some "company" trying to take advantage of me and that's because it's happened before:

I wanted to return an item I bought online. The Company said to do so, you must have a return ticket and you have to call this number (000) 000-0000 to request the return ticket. Without the return ticket you cannot get a refund. Return the item at your own risk if you do not have a return ticket.

So I called (000) 000-0000 for 3 days straight, and no one ever answered the phone. By Day 2, I thought I was calling at the wrong time (???) and eventually called round the clock on Day 3. Meaning, I called at 3:00am, 7:00am, 3:00pm, and 7:00pm figuring, whatever time zone they were in, I'd surely reach them. I stayed up 'til 3:00am to reach them. 

I finally realized no one was going to answer. I went to my bank and tried to file a fraud complaint, but they wouldn't do anything about it telling me: "you had a relationship with them."

It's not like we had dinner and a movie.

So that was the lesson I should have learned but:

I wasn't
paying attention

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Me:  Why didn't I learn?
Freddy:  Don't fret, San, it's okay. All is well. But I could call them and give them a piece of my mind.
Me:  Tell Pat I said hello. 

Remember, folks, don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Anime ... Pat on the Head

Ciao.

 AWBM Blog Post #017 | 27 September 2019

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