One of the many things that I had to deal with while I was on vaca was bad customer service.
Unlike the previous times in which I had dealt with a business entity that had a physical location (like CVS), today's post features an entity with no physical location. Instead it was an online business, one of which that quite a few of you may use on your blog.
I have been using Sitemeter almost from the get go, and up until very recently been quite happy with those basic services ('cause you know, I ain't in this for the money). But now, after the experience I'm about to relate to you, I wouldn't recommend them to anyone looking for a depending tracking service.
About a month ago, I stopped getting my weekly stats reports. I didn't really worry about it at the time, since the system would often hiccup and the way it was usually fixed was when I put in ticket for tech support.
However, this time, after I had requested the current report to be sent (which would also fix the problem) and waited about several hours, I didn't get the report. So I tried it again and when I'd checked my e-mail the next day, still no report.
Miffed, I tried it with a new e-mail addy (got four of those), and still no report for either of my blogs (this one and my book blog) was received. So I did what any normal person would do: I filed a request with tech support to get it fixed.
Yup, I filed a request with tech support to get it fixed four times, and not once did anyone get back to me to follow up on my request/complaint.
Eventually, after waiting in vain for about two weeks for something to be done, I decided to fix it myself. My fix was radically simple: I changed the frequency from once a week to "never" and will now manually access and print out my stats report.
Now some of you out there may be saying to yourself, "G.B., you only got the freebie version, so you get what you pay for."
While on the surface that may be true, that logic really doesn't hold water in the blogsphere. After all, the website host that we use to house our blogs is relatively free, isn't it? And hasn't the customer service been pretty decent?
So let's look at it from this angle. If, as a web business owner, you offer two versions of your product (one free and one pay), wouldn't it make sense to offer the same level of customer service to the ones that get the free version of your product that you give to the premium member?
Because, after all, isn't the main goal of growing a web business is to acquire paying customers for your product?
If you have crappy customer service for your free product, how in the world are you going to covert those freebies into payers?
People are not going to upgrade what they use if you have either a crappy product (i.e. Vista) or crappy customer service (i.e. Federal Government).
So what does this mean in the overall scheme for me?
I'll keep using Sitemeter, if only as a glorified tracking system, but that's about it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, and for a longstanding user of the product to say that really means that this website customer service has risen to the occasion and showed everyone what an Achilles heel it truly is.