A Fee-ble Excuse

, , , , | Right | February 7, 2018

(I work in the support department of a webhotel provider, answering the phones. I take a call from a customer who is calling in because his website has been suspended due to lack of payment.)

Me: “You have reached [Provider], [My Name] speaking.”

Customer: “Yes, hello. My site has been suspended, and I need to get it re-opened.”

Me: “Certainly, sir. What is the name of your site?”

Customer: “It’s [domain].”

(I look up the customer’s account in our system.)

Me: “Ah, yes. I can see that you have missed paying for the renewal of your webhotel.”

Customer: “I know; that’s what it says when I load my site. Can you please send me the invoice, so I can pay it?”

Me: “We have already sent it to you. I can see in our records that we have sent several reminders to you by email over the last few months before suspending your site.”

Customer: “Oh, yes. I saw those, but I thought they were scam emails, so I didn’t read them.”

(The customer opens his email and I direct him to click the invoice link.)

Customer: “Wait. There’s a late fee on here. I’m not paying that. You didn’t send me my invoice on time. You usually send it as a regular letter.”

Me: “We used to send a letter alongside the emails before, yes, but we have gotten a new system since then, so we are no longer able to do that. Still, we have sent the invoice to you several times via email. You have no excuse not to have seen it.”

Customer: “I work in security, so I know people can send fake emails. That’s why I always assume the emails I receive from you are scam mails, just using your logo. I work with physical security, so I don’t know any of that online stuff.”

(At this point, I give the customer a detailed explanation of how he can tell a potential scam email apart from the official emails we send, by checking that the invoice link points to our domain. He is still insistent that it is our fault he didn’t pay on time because we didn’t send him a letter, even though he totally ignores the emails we send him without even opening them.)

Customer: “Fine, I’ll pay the late fee, since it’s apparently so important to you, but I’m not happy with your level of customer service.”

(Apparently it is unreasonable for a webhotel provider to communicate purely via email.)

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