I often try to get you to comment on my blogs but today is a little different. I’m going to describe an issue I had with customer service about a year ago and I really want your opinion. Am I being petty? What have you done in a similar situation? What do you want the business leaders of America to hear about poor customer service?
In my post about 3D artwork I told you about DAZ. I consider DAZ as a provider of some of the highest quality models for Poser out there. Last year I was a member of their Platinum club. They’ve changed it slightly but it was a good bargain at the time. For the $12 I paid each month, I got a $5 coupon, four free models and a good discount on the majority of their models.
Then my credit card expired. I started receiving cautions from DAZ about ten days before it expired. I’d already received my new card so I went to their website and updated my information. I even bought something that day to ensure I had entered all the data correctly.
I kept receiving those notices though. I wasn’t worried because I knew they had the right information. The month expired along with my previous credit card and I got a notice that they had tried to process my membership dues but my card was expired. I was concerned because I really liked the models I got from DAZ and frustrated because they would let me make purchases but couldn’t charge my membership.
I went back to their website and re-entered my card information. Once again I bought something to make sure they had the right number. No problem with that transaction.
Next day and I got another notice. That’s when I got in touch with their customer service. Their advice?, re-enter my card information. I may be stubborn but even I know that doing the same thing over and over almost always results in the same outcome.
After exploring their website one more time, I finally discovered that they had my credit card information stored in two locations, the location used to charge me for the models and the location used to charge me my monthly dues. I updated my card in the membership location. Frustrating but I had cracked the code. It would have been nice if customer service had told me that. At least I wasn’t going to get any more emails about my card.
Yep you’re right, I got another email about my card the next day and customer service was still telling me to re-enter my card information. I went back in, deleted my membership and tried to re-enter it. Now I discovered that the monthly plan was no longer available, they had changed the lowest time period to three month increments.
I could have accepted the three month plan, I would even save a very slight amount of money by going that way but you already know I didn’t. Customer service had not been aware that the plan billing had changed nor were they aware that their system stored two different charge numbers.
In the year since, I’ve only spent $20 with them. I still look at their new models. They sent me a $10 coupon because they hadn’t seen me in a while. I let the coupon expire. I still believe they offer very nice models but I can find similar models at Renderosity and RuntimeDNA.
Now that I know the problem, there’s no reason for me not to rejoin their club and start buying from them again. Except that I won’t. Their offense is certainly not so heinous that they deserve a lifetime ban and yet that’s exactly what they will get from me. I expected their customer service to be familiar with their billing system. I expected their management to ensure that their customer service understood the billing system.
As simple as my problem was, the best they could offer me was constantly repeating the mantra, “re-enter your card information.” That’s the equivalent of telling you to reboot your machine. There’s a chance it might work but it’s lazy and frustrates both of us.
Everybody complains about poor customer service but if you’re a business owner have you considered what it costs your company. In this case, DAZ is losing about $150 a year because of their poor customer service and my stubbornness. That’s hardly a crisis for them. Multiply it times a hundred and they might notice.
My Mother-in-Law reminded me about an electronic gadget company we both used to buy from. When she had a problem, their customer service was bad enough she stopped buying from them and convinced me to do the same.
I admit that I’m slightly more stubborn than most but when you lose customers because of poor customer service, those are the people that are most vocal to their friends. You don’t see me writing a blog about how well Renderosity treats me. This blog is about the poor customer service I received from DAZ.
I don’t know how well you treat your customer service people. I don’t know how you train them or monitor them. Maybe you’re brave enough to outsource it. Think about this though, your customer service people are the face of your company and some of you are looking really ugly.
To be fair about this, because even bad publicity is better than none and I really don’t want to give DAZ all the publicity, in no particular order, these are the 3D model vendors that I use in creating my illustrations:
Opinion by pen