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The case against putting your customers in a stranglehold

Got a rough story today: 


One of my clients enlisted the help of a software company about a year ago. 


Their business is a rather simple one that floats around the gray line of legality. 


The business? 


They have a list of millions of email addresses, so they can send abandoned cart messages to people who have visited your site, but haven’t joined your email list. In theory, this is supposed to expand your abandoned cart’s impact. In practice, well, it ain’t as great as they make it sound. 


For example, over the past couple of months, we’ve noticed a problem:


This software is not supposed to reach out to anyone who is already on our list. Yet, 90+% of their emails are going off to our subscribers, so we’re paying extra to give customers a discount. 


That ain’t right. 


And for the past couple of months since realizing this was the case, we’ve been trying to cancel. 


Only one problem… 


The company literally won’t let us cancel. 

Each cancellation request we send gets shot down by our account manager. First, she told us to upload a suppression list of our own list—something we were never told to do, and is a nasty thing for them to conveniently forget to tell us. 


When that didn’t work, we tried canceling again. 


This time, we were told to add a bit of script to our website to prevent this from happening. Again, why weren’t we told this information a year ago when we originally signed up? 


Fed up, we said again, in crystal clear language that made it sound that this relationship has long past its expiration date. 


Their response? 


We have to set up an hour “recovery call” together to review the account, their results, yada yada yada before we can cancel. 

At this point, we’ve probably told them that we want to cancel a good 10 times. They’ve ignored every single request. 


Look, I get it.  Sometimes you need to defend yourself and your results to your clients. But when you consistently over promise and under deliver, there ain’t nothing to be saved. 


Instead of having us in a stranglehold, they should put their efforts on getting more clients.


But they’d rather piss us off and refuse to honor our cancellation request. 


Moral of the story? 


If your customers want to cancel, let them. 


There’s no saving this relationship. Not because of us, but because they failed at their job. 


And if’n you run into a company offering a similar service? I’d simply run away.  


Ah well, you live and you learn. 


Need someone manning your email ship who only generates an insane positive ROI? 


Hit reply, and let’s chat. 


John

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