This is in response to this post and ensuing discussion. It has sort of turned into a “let’s rate how eHarmony customer service given what we know”.
My experience, of course, may be unique and not typical to the service but given what we collectively know about what they do and have done for others, I gave them the opportunity to play me like a violin and boy was their song out of tune.
They failed miserably, in my opinion, given what we know about what CS can do.
- If you have a beef with eHarmony, you HAVE to do it as a paying customer
- They do not care if you WERE a paying customer
- They do not even sell their service well given the golden opportunity they have an individual on the hook when you are on the phone but resort to the same tactics they use to rope in the masses
[The last point is truly an example of bad customer service practice having been on the other end and basic business 101: "the customer is always right"]
Flash back to my dilemma documented in the above thread, lots of scammers and not feeling the love for the service. Shar got comped a month for reporting scammers, so the question was “why not me”? A good question. I e-mailed them my question. I got a boilerplate response back that didn’t address my question about being comped a month and they TOTALLY ignored my questions of how to make better use of the service and feel like it was actually working for me.
So, flash forward to today. I finally have the time and presence of mind to call them up and plead my case. The bottom line is they will not (I’m sure that they could) extend an inactive account because it had already expired (early June). Even if I did call them up immediately when I saw Shar got an extension, I most likely would have gotten the same response, because my account expired by the time I found out about her good fortune.
So I proceed to prod and find out what exactly can I get out of them for my plight.
What was their best offer?
“We’ll give you 2 months for the price of 1″ @ $59 per month
<laughs in disbelief>
You’ve got to be kidding me!
“Uhh, you ROUTINELY give 3 months for 1.”
Okay, we’ll extend it for 3 months. I’m not feeling the love. You aren’t really making me feel special. Customer service 101.
“I see you have given 3 months for $45″
- I don’t have that promotional code to give you
“When will that code be around?”
- I don’t know.
$15 a month was tolerable. $20 not so much for me, given I got a membership for 12 months for $155 in 2007 ($12.90 a month).
Perhaps if less people jump on the lame codes they are giving now, they will see their bottom line dropping and will start having to actuallly compete for our business.
The representative wasn’t willing to/able to do anything for me besides what their screen/script says they can do. Being an informed consumer and that the “deal” they were giving me wasn’t really a deal, I told them I’d be shopping around.
Ruh-oh. Red flag! Red flag! Customer about to jump ship!
Then they immediate cited they have 200-ish people getting married a day and how successful they are. Unbelievable. Reassuring me that your methodology works for others and will bring me back and convert me to a sale? Who thought of that?
What went through my mind as she says this:
Why I wasn’t one of those people for the 1.5 years that I was a paying member? They should be helping me to become one of those people, looking at my account settings, suggesting changes, like I’ve heard they have done for others. I know (as an uber-informed user/consumer of their service) it is in their duties/realm to do that. This hard-line of “pay-up” doesn’t work very well with a product that deals with emotions and the human condition. They should be training the CS reps better or setting their scripts up to help uplift folks and gently ease them into a subscription (given that is all that they do). Tell me what I can do differently. Make suggestions about my account. Even if they aren’t specific, the script could suggest if you feel like you aren’t having much luck they can ask “have you taken new pictures”? Etc. Etc. Etc. So many potential ways to improve their response.
It just didn’t feel like they were making ANY effort to truly retain/bring me back as a customer. I’ve gotten other companies to budge on fees charged/etc. and it was their business to take/keep my money. eHarmony didn’t “throw me a bone”.
At this point, I mentioned that I “read around” and I’m not too satisfied with the service and that not everyone is happy with the service and they sort of just brushed that aside and it’s back to their success mantra. Well great.
Again, you should help make me one of those people. Don’t tell me about it. Show ME. Work for ME.
So, the obvious question remains: why aren’t they trying to make those of us unhappy with the service happy? Because there is another sucker down the line willing to pay $60 for one month, their most profitable price-point. It probably is deemed that it costs too much to bother to take the initiative, which I think is an essential part of the game of this type of service.
I want to emphasize again that this is (at least) the second time that they totally neglected the second part of my initial request (which they looked up and ostensibly read, since when I called I didn’t say anything about a freebie, I just referenced that they dropped the ball and didn’t answer my question in a prior CS incident). The second part of my request was how to maximize use of the service, which would have been a perfect opportunity/selling point to demonstrate (show me, don’t tell me) how they actually care about all customers or potential customers. Since I wasn’t a paying customer, apparently, the only thing they are interested in is to make me a paying customer again and not my success as a user of their service.
I played the role of a typical customer and they failed pretty miserably, in my opinion. Others may read this and think otherwise or that I’m a whiny complainer. That’s fine but I’ve been around the block and this is my story and I’m sticking to it.
Maybe I’ll keep calling back every couple of days to see what promotion they will extend me and keep declining until it’s a promotion that is worth a darn, just to see if they catch on. I am curious about the matches that responded after FCW but I’m having a hard time justifying to myself to spend $60 to find out, even if that $60 gets me 3 months of service.
I just got an e-mail asking to rate my CS experience over the phone. Oh boy. This is going to be fun to fill out!