This is ‘Customer Care’

Dear Customer Care:

I’m one of your littlest customers, a grandmother with a single registered domain name. But what I just went through shouldn’t happen to any of your customers.

I got locked out of my account by inadvertently activating the account verification questions and then failing to answer them correctly a few days ago. After trying for at least a day to work through your various online guides and help prompts and being continuously kicked out or referred in circles to other pages or told I had to log in before I could get help – when my problem was not being able to log in – I finally called your tech support number (long distance, my dime; I suggest you invest in a few customer-friendly toll-free numbers).

The man I spoke to told me the only way I could get my account unlocked was to fax a photo ID to you (why, when you have no idea what I look like and don’t already have one on file for me?), and include my login, email address, domain name, etc. I protested, explaining I do not have a copier or a fax machine at home, but he insisted there was no other way. So, with his assurance that the fax would get my account unlocked “within a couple of hours,” I drove to the nearest UPS store, made the necessary copies, and had it all faxed to you.

I spent the rest of the day waiting impatiently for my account to be unlocked, but it never was. I’m kicking myself now for not getting his name. In retrospect, of course, I should have directed the fax to his attention.

Today, the account was still locked. So I called again and this time spoke to Jessica. She told me no one remembered taking my call yesterday and no one remembered picking up the fax. Not what I wanted to hear! Jessica told me exactly what page to go to on your website (the URL she recited and I wrote down was wrong). I was to fill out the new user info, upload a photo of my driver’s license, and get a ticket reference number. No trip to the store to make a copy and send a fax; I could just upload a photo! You can imagine what I was thinking about the guy who insisted that was necessary.

After failing to get anywhere with Jessica’s instructions and then allowing myself a while to calm down, I called back (another long distance call).

This time I reached James. Kudos to James!! I was about as angry and frustrated as I’ve ever been, but he assessed the problem immediately, directed me to the correct page while I was on the phone, told me to disable my browser’s pop-up blocker (a critical point not even mentioned by the previous two reps), and got me to the correct page for uploading my picture and filing my ticket. My account was unlocked about five minutes later.

I suggest (A) get some toll-free lines for customer service; (B) update your website to mention that pop-up blockers must be disabled; (C) rework your website so a user doesn’t have to log in to reach your support center, since the inability to log in may be the problem; (D) if he’s ever identified, fire the guy who cost me a trip to the store, a copy, and a fax; (E) re-train Jessica; and (F) promote James.

If I decide after all this to take my account elsewhere, I’m sure you’ll understand.

Unhappily yours,


Note: This was not the registrar. Different domain, different registrar.

3 thoughts on “This is ‘Customer Care’

  1. Ah… Customer Service… one of the great casualties of our time. Nice job leveraging your website to let folks know! I’ve done that on more that one occasion.
    I sent ’em the letter first. Didn’t think of the blog post till later, but it helped. Hopefully the heartburn and headache will pass soon.

  2. I’m one of your littlest customers, a grandmother with a single registered domain name.

    Tsk. Playing the granny card. You kids today. 😛
    LOL. Guilty as charged. That card slips out all to easily; I need be careful about that.

  3. Reading this got me frustrated! Grrrr-rawrrrr!
    Then you have a good grasp of how I felt. I came perilously close to adding a smashed phone to my list of grievances. Posting this was very therapeutic!

... and that's my two cents