All companies have systems and ways of doing things. I understand they are important in making the business run smoothly and profitably. However, sometimes they seem crazy and annoying. They appear to be designed on purpose to anger and annoy their most valuable customers. Have you come across this kind of thing? Does it make your blood boil like mine! Let me give you an example from this week.
Justina is the founder of Valentte. She recently moved flat’s and decided not to put a landline into her new place, but instead to use a hotspot from her mobile data connection for her internet usage. She contacted her provider Three to increase her the data allowance on her plan.
She is a long-term customer who has been with them for more than ten years. She didn’t know exactly how much data she would need but guessed at 30BG. They adjusted her plan but said it wouldn’t start until her next billing cycle on the 9th March. In the meantime, they offered an add-on to cover the difference. So far so good.
The problem came because she had underestimated how much data she would need. Her usage turned out to be 2 or 3GB per day. So after just over a week she had used up this temporary boost. So, she rang them again. All she wanted was to increase the plan to the 100GB plan. But it’s not that simple.
They won’t let her change plans twice in one month. They also won’t apply two of the same add-ons to an account in the same month. They flatly refused to do anything saying she would have to wait until 9th March for the 30GB to activate then on the 10th March she could phone again and upgrade the plan so that for the 9th April she would be up to 100GB. In the meantime, they couldn’t help her!
I find this kind of thing staggering. Justina is a long-term customer, wanting to upgrade to one of their highest value, and presumably, most profitable tariffs and yet their systems were dictating they couldn’t help her and would leave her data-less for many weeks. It was not about money. She was offering to pay whatever was required. But they wouldn’t budge.
To put this in context Justina runs a jewellery business and requires constant internet access. She spent the next five days ringing Three every day trying to get the problem sorted. Making complaints and explaining things, again and again, to countless different call centre operators in India. All the while camped out at my house so that she could use the internet.
This implementation by Three is total bonkers. I’m sure there is some logic behind it from their point of view. But it defies explanation in my eyes. To risk alienating your best customers seems to be an idiotic strategy. There is very little differentiation between mobile operators, and changing networks is easy.
In the end, after six days of stress and hassle, Three finally gave her another Addon to get her to the 9th March. But no doubt she will have to go through all the same thing again in March as she will doubtless run out before the full 100GB activates in April. What a crazy world we live in!
Today’s post is a rant, but it’s also a request for feedback. Are we at Valentte doing anything similar? It horrifies me to think we might be doing something that is impacting you in the same kind of mindless way? So do please post a comment or contact us to let me know if we could be doing better in any area.
20 thoughts on “No Zen Here!”
Just wanted to say that I love your blog posts Luke and I can happily report I’ve always had excellent customer service!
Thanks for the positive feedback on the blog and on our customer service. The team and I appreciate you. So thank you.
Plenty of Zen in your blogs ,which are always thought provoking and inspirational . Superb products and customer care/ service too. Would nominate Andy as your Employee of the Month!
Thanks Lorna and I will pass your message onto Andy. I think he deserves a cake!
Just wAnted to agree really, I had a similar problem with 3 ! Customer service is apalling, personally I think they have a script which they stick too rigidly with no flexibility. No problem with yours though ?
I have contacted Valentte customer service by email on numerous times but had no reply even though I have received the support tickets. As a potential new customer I’m disappointed in your company as I really want to try your products as they sound amazing.
I have messaged a few times and no reply from you .
I requested samples and not received. Had wanted to purchase after trying samples of various fragrances .
Your blogs are great though! It is just a shame that I cannot comment on the products
Hi and Good Day.
I inadvertently “joined” your blog due to requesting some samples a few months ago via some such link or other! However we received a message saying you were trying to get them out as were overwhelmed by response- but have never received mine!
I feel your pain…. however, on the phone thing.. I’ve been with Vodaphone for probably 20 years and every time I need something I phone them (or use their live chat option) get whatever options / offers they can give me – then call their retentions department and tell them that its not good enough and I’m leaving – they always move heaven and earth to help me and keep me as a customer and whatever I want is always actioned within 24 hours or literally immediately. They always adjust any billing accordingly, I’ve never had to use any kind of bridging. I know this won’t help at the moment but maybe a call to their retentions people to say that she’s had enough and wants to leave…. Good luck. ps. still loving your products
Re your post I too used to use 3 as a network provider but never again, same issue and I finally got so cross I just finished my contract!
This is probably 12 years ago and despite numerous calls and conversations with them, I still to this day get a zero balance paper bill from them EVERY month.
Hi Luke, I am enjoying your blogs (and rants) and quite agree with you. There are so many areas today where technology lets us down, it was so much better and easier ( and quicker most of the time) when we had the personal touch. By the way I love your products and although I haven’t purchased online for a while I always look out for you when I have the opportunity to visit the various fairs and county shows you frequent and am able to stock up. Keep up the good work! Best Regards, Margaret.
I honestly think that looking for ‘Zen’ from a mobile phone provider is probably a fruitless exercise. Some are, in my own experience, far more efficient than others, but I wouldn’t say that mindfulness or compassion figure much in their ethos. It’s a ruthless, cutthroat business.
However, happily, not so Valentte. I’m probably not its best customer. I love that you are now offering easier access to your product offers, through emails, but actually one of my great but simple pleasures in life is turning up at the Valentte stand at our county show and choosing products for the year ahead. And whilst I wish you continuing success for the business, I hope that when you are rich and famous, you won’t stop that personal contact at that sort of venue.
And I really do wish you health, wealth and success. You are working hard to get there, but also providing absolutely amazingly good products that are terrific value for money. Very best wishes.
No complaints here. You’re doing good!
Great products, beautiful packaging, prompt delivery and really lovely people on the end of a phone who sort out your queries when needed.
Go Valentte! ❤
Just like to say hi, and as a potential customer I’m disappointed with your company. I have requested, several times, to try samples of your fragrances, but have never recieved anything. I have a support ticket that has done absolutely nothing. Your fragrances seem to be interesting and inviting, but I will not purchase full size products until I have found the fragrance I like. Untill I get samples, as requested, I remain a disappointed potential customer.
Hi Luke. I love your products, your blog and above all your ethos But why oh why is everything so overpackaged??? Just received 3 handcreams in a box big enough for about 50!!! Dread to think what this adds to shipping and the cost of the boxes themselves. Please look at this.
hi Luke, your emails are very interesting but i am still wailting for my free sample since May 10th,!
Love your products and have already ordered twice but have e mailed you twice with a query before placing my next order and am still awaiting a response.
I appreciate you are busy but I had hoped for a reply by now.
No worries,I’m sure I will continue to shop with you in the future as your products are so good.
Love reading your blog
Its not good enough. Where are the promised samples? I have sent messages & posted in the blog. No answer to the messages. The customer does not want empty promises
Dont forget ! Because we are your bread & butter!
I know you have only first class products. I will be glad to purchase just as soon as i can in the future. You are my first priority. I love your products and the scents.