Customer Service Fail — stamps.com

23Mar09

Used stamps.com’s trial offer last year. It made holiday mailing a lot more efficient, even if I still had to stand in line to hand my packages to the staff at my tiny post office. stamps.com sent out a marketing packet this year saying, “Try us again!” And I thought, “Yeah. Why not?” Here’s why not.

I called right after the new year (Jan. 2nd) to cancel the trial period. I’d gone past the 30 day trial (entirely my bad), so I had to cancel an actual paying account. I figure, “Eh. I pay for one month’s membership. It was worth $10 for the convenience, and it’ll remind me to pay more attention to the date stuff expires.” So I agreed to pay for my month, which the person in the call center told me she’d do by swapping me over to the basic plan and then canceling it. That way it’d be cheaper, and the postage I’d bought would go toward my fees. So yay. As soon as I got off the call I received e-mail that said, “Effective 01-04-2009, your account will be transferred to the Stamps.com Basic Plan.” Which is good. And I got e-mail that said my postage had been cashed out and credited toward my bill. However, I never received an indication that my account was, in fact, canceled. So I started to worry that with a non-stateside call center something might have been lost in translation.

I wrote stamps.com’s Customer Service via their online form, asking if they could check and make sure my account was, in fact, canceled.
stamps.com: We cannot cancel your account by e-mail.
Me: Right. I don’t want you to cancel it. I want you to check the status of my account and tell me that it is closed.
stamps.com: We cannot cancel your account by e-mail.

I could see where this was going. So I called in. This is c. January 12th. I get a rep who, within a minute, has reassured me that my account has been closed. “Okay. That wasn’t so bad,” I think.

January 23rd I received a “How was our service?” survey from Reginald Pearson, the company’s Manager of Training and Quality, who said he would “personally be reviewing [my] answers along with the other members of the Customer Care Management Team.” In my response I pointed out that it was disappointing that I called January 2nd to cancel my account and had to follow-up to ensure that what I’d requested had actually occurred. But overall no harm, no foul. Didn’t expect to hear back from that. Didn’t.

Fast forward to yesterday. March 22nd. My Discover Card statement from last month has a charge for $9.99 from Stamps.com. Waaait. I flip back to the previous statement. Sure enough. I’ve paid them $30 over the past 3 months for a service I requested to have canceled not once but twice. So I call in.

stamps.com: I see that you called in on January 2nd and asked to continue your service.
Me: Er. No. Cancel my service.
stamps.com: No. It says ‘continue’ here.
Me: Right, but that’s not what I requested.
stamps.com: Ah. Can I put you on hold?
. . .
stamps.com: Well, Prajeet’s [I’m making up the name at this point, cause I can’t remember…] record here from January 2nd says you requested to continue service.
Me: No. I requested to cancel it.
stamps.com: Can you give me the 12 digit reference number he gave you?
stamps.com: Er, ‘he’s’ a ‘she,’ and possibly.

But, no. I couldn’t find one. I write everything down. So I do have it here. Somewhere in my office is a 12 digit number that proves that I actually called in January 2nd and requested to cancel my stamps.com account. Either that or my initial request to cancel the account didn’t get processed. And then when I double-checked to make sure it had been processed, that person also got it wrong.

Either way it’s $30 that = a company I won’t be working with again. Alienating your early adopters (I poured money into photo.stamps.com from back when it was still in the USPS trial phase) isn’t a great idea. I’m surprised that in this economy anyone is able to espouse “the customer is seldom right” perspective and stay afloat.

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8 Responses to “Customer Service Fail — stamps.com”

  1. 1 liz

    😦 weak!

  2. 2 Regan

    Wait! It gets better. Guess what’s in my mail this morning? A Stamps.com Customer Care Survey Request.

  3. 3 liz

    At least you have your opinion already typed up for them. 😉

  4. 4 Sammy's mom

    Regan – as soon as I stopped laughing at your reenactment of the incident I truly felt sorry for what you had gone through. But the story itself was precious. I can ALMOST hear an accent on the one end of the phone.

    Sigh… you are truly gifted my friend. Sammy send his love!

  5. 5 Racheal

    Why blame the call center reps? They have a script to follow! The corporate is the one who makes the script, and enjoy million dollar incomes.
    As per my experience its usually customer service in US tend to act bitchy. Overseas ones though they follow the script seem to be unknowingly telling u oh sir please realize our job has a script.

  6. 6 Scott

    I cannot express how disappointed i am in Stamps.com right now. I just tried to cancel my account (which i was not able to do via email or online) and was told by their “Customer Care Team Specialist” (aka “sales retention staff”) that instead of cancelling my $17.99 account, i could downgrade to a NEW “Basic Plan” at just $9.95 . I asked why i was not previously made aware of this option or why i could not find it on the web and was told by the “Customer Care” agent that since “it was JUST adopted”, the Basic Plan is not posted on their website just yet.

    Well, its very interesting/telling to see that your blog was written over 2 years ago – so clearly stamps.com has had the Basic Plan /$9.95 pricing plan in place for a long time and this is simply their “Customer Un-Caring” way of customer retention.

    Furthermore, they also told me that if i wanted a credit on my postage account that i’d have to wait 13 months to get a refund… putting the blame on the repayment cycle from USPS. Although the postage may have been paid to the USPS, this is complete HORSE HOCKEY that they will not immediately refund my money if i cancel my account. As a CFO of MULTIPLE companies, i can tell you that any non-government company has the ability to “hold in reserves” money for refunds and can and SHOULD refund IMMEDIATELY – so as to not create the bad-will that Stamps.com is creating for itself.

    Shame of Stamps.com’s “Customer Un-Care” strategy!!

  7. 7 usps.com is way better and free

    Add me to the list of people who HATE their customer service. This company is horrible.

  8. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!


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