What not to do in Customer Service (Flickr)

I’ve enjoyed writing about my experience with tech products and decided I would keep posting my experiences (good or bad) about the tech services I am using as I try and grow Digital Ruby.

Recently I purchased a Flickr Pro account thinking that I would be able to upload and share full HD videos. I uploaded my first video and with eager anticipation loaded it on my iPad… and it was very blurry and fuzzy, definitely not HD. No problem I thought, I’ll just email them and get them to fix it. They responded with a cookie cutter email template saying all sorts of things such as use only supported video formats and so forth. I had already spent way too much time looking around on their site so all this information was useless to me.

My format was .mov (quicktime) and that was supported so finally I emailed them back saying please refund my money, your service does not work as advertised. I got an email the next morning stating that they cannot issue refunds, look at the terms and conditions, more cookie cutter garbage. I emailed back saying no problem, I will do a charge back. I haven’t heard back from them since 🙂

If you have a very unsatisfied customer and can’t resolve their problems, the right thing to say is “We are sorry we failed you. Here is your money back. We will try and do better in the future.” One thing that has always impressed my about Fog Creek Software is their commitment to customer service. Quote from their website:

The Fog Creek Promise – If you’re not satisfied, for any reason, within 90 days you get a full refund, period, no questions asked. We don’t want your money if you’re not amazingly happy.

I’m surprised that Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer would have such a counter productive policy on not refunding a customer who has had such a poor experience with their product. Ah well, thank goodness for charge backs.

*EDIT 2013-03-29 After initiating the charge back, they were very quick to issue the refund themselves. Pretty sad that it took that for them to initiate a refund.

*EDIT 2013-06-24 Looks like they just made it all free. Smart move.

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