Help Desk Woes

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Earlier in December I signed up for a trail version of a membership site from a well-known internet marketer. I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to put it to use so I set up a reminder for myself to cancel the membership if I wasn’t using it.

When the reminder popped up last week I couldn’t even remember the URL of the site – that’s how little I used it. After digging around I found it and located the “help desk”. After much digging in the FAQs I located a webpage with instructions on how to cancel my membership. How simple is that?

Turns out, not so simple. You have to enter your login and password info in order to cancel. If I couldn’t easily find the URL for this site, how easy do you think it was for me to find that info? But, not to worry. I entered my email address in the “lost your password” field.

Now most password retrieval systems send a new temporary password to your email address. Not this site. I was asked the name of my favorite pet. Now I’m fairly certain I never gave them this info, but I dutifully tried every pet I’ve ever had. Big surprise, none worked.

At this point we’re at about 30 minutes of trying to cancel my subscription and I’m no further ahead. But wait, there’s a phone number for customer service. I’ll call that. I dial the long distance number and get a recorded message telling me to go to the website help desk. No way to reach a real person.

Next I sign into the help desk site and send an email “ticket” requesting help. This was late in the day on the 23rd, two days before Christmas. I checked my email at noon on the 24th. No news from the membership site “help” desk. Seeing as Christmas was on a Thursday, I took an extended long weekend and didn’t check my email until today.

This morning I found a message from the nohelp desk saying because I hadn’t responded within 72 hours they’ve closed my ticket. There was no earlier email from them. When I logged into the nohelp site and located my original message there was no reply there as well.

It is now seven days since I first started trying to cancel my membership and I’m no further ahead. I’ve sent another message through the nohelp desk. I’m going to spend some time today working my social media networks to contact Mr. Big Internet Marketer directly. If I don’t get a response by the 31st, I’m going public. It shouldn’t take this long to cancel a membership. Not to mention, if I wasn’t trying to cancel my membership but log in, this wouldn’t be any better.

Mr. Big Internet Marketer has done some real damage with this fiasco. On the 23rd when I first started the Herculean task of cancelling my membership, I wasn’t a disgruntled customer; just someone who didn’t have time to put this service to good use. I might have even considered purchasing from him again in the future.

A week later, I’m really annoyed and working my way up to angry customer from hell. Not only will I never purchase from him again, I’ll tell anyone who asks not to either.

The lesson here is to make your help desk or customer service easy to use – customer friendly if you will. By all means have an FAQ and automated system for simple and frequent requests. But you really need to make it possible for a customer to get help from a real live person. Even a direct email address works. But leaving someone as frustrated as I am is not worth the savings.

Andrea J. Stenberg

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