How nice of you to start sending me e-mails this week, telling me that you want me back. In fact, it is very kind of you to remember me at all, since I haven't ordered from you in years. Since it has been a while, I thought I might clue you in on why I have been gone so long.
You see, you sell all sorts of things – and way back before iTunes got really big, you even used to sell downloadable music. Back then, I bought a lot of songs from you. But then one day, one of these songs I purchased was a corrupt file that wouldn't play. Downloaded it a couple of times, in fact, to be sure it wasn't me.
"No biggie," I thought. "I'll just e-mail customer service and let them know. They will appreciate hearing about the problem, and I will get my 99 cents back." What happened instead was one of the most ridiculous bureaucratic ordeals I have had with any consumer product.
First I received an e-mail, written in marginal English, telling me that you would "investigate" the problem, and would then inform me of the results of the investigation – and that after this process was complete, you would then decide whether I would receive my 99 cents back. *Weeks* go by. I cannot resist the curiosity of asking about the status of this. A good while later, I receive a response telling me that you are still investigating this, and that you cannot respond to my request for a refund until this investigation has been completed.
Some time after that, long after I first contacted you, good news! Your "investigation" was now complete, and you were now finally prepared to refund my 99 cents!
Meanwhile, as a former customer support executive – and now as a customer service author and speaker – I was curious about why this involved such a long, drawn-out process. After all, we were talking about a sum that was probably less than what it costs you to send one of these e-mails – unless, perhaps, your offshore customer contact staff were being paid in agricultural products and small farm animals. So I wrote a polite note to one of your senior executives. And, of course, never got so much as a harrumph from the corner office.
So meanwhile, back to your recent e-mails wanting me back. First, I have a question for you: given what was involved in getting my 99 cents back, how much trust do you feel I should have in ordering, say, a $1500 laptop from you? Or a $200 digital camera? Get back to me on that one, OK? I don't mind waiting a few more weeks.