i haven’t written a post on this blog for a while, and there’s a reason for that. i was noticing my web response times were a little slow when pinging my site; nothing all that terrible, but enough time for me to pause and consider my web hosting provider. i had two hosting plans, actually. one was for a side project that was never fully realized and, with the domain name for that project having recently expired, it was time to get a refund on the remaining service i had paid up-front for.

that’s when it all went sour.

without droning on about the gory technical details of it all, my customer service experience to get my account closed was brutally painful. there were multiple emails exchanged, and—even worse—multiple questions within those emails which were left unanswered. every exchange was handled by a different person, and not one person seemed willing to answer the questions i had or to even direct me towards someone who was. i had been a customer of theirs for years and had even recommended them to friends over that time, but the moment i needed support i felt like any old person off the street. what should have been simple (i paid money for three years of service and wanted a pro-rated refund for the service time left) turned into a multi-day ordeal to get sorted. and instead of canceling a secondary plan, their terrible customer service led me to canceling both plans and turned me from an evangelist into a detractor.

a lot of organizations place a great deal of emphasis on winning business. spending time with potential clients to make sure they have everything they need. providing one person to be in charge of the account from opening the lead to closing the deal. organizations will bend over backwards to win new business, yet so often those customers are instantly forgotten when they initial here and sign there.

and it’s true: good customer service costs a lot of money. but bad customer service? that costs even more.