Last week, I inherited a website maintenance customer from a partner company. After getting everything working on Wednesday afternoon, I sat back and waiting until the next time they’d call.
On Thursday, I was forwarded an e-mail saying there was an additional issue with their site. I looked at the file dates, and of course, one of the files in their e-Commerce software had been modified at 9:03AM on 19-Apr-2007. I rebuilt the file, inserted the requisite variables, and called the customer.
“No, I haven’t been in it,” he said. “I just got this stuff yesterday.”
Clearly, someone had. The site worked perfectly fine when I left it on Wednesday. Regardless, I took his explanation, and asked that he setup an account with us.
“No, all this stuff should be part of the Setup,” he monotoned. “My wife does all of the billing, anyway.” Eventually, he promised to have her called me on Friday, 20-Apr-2007.
Friday came and went without a phone call.
Monday came, and there were new issues. At 3:30PM, interns at the company called me to tell me that they were unable to login to the website’s backend yet again.
Investigation showed that files had been changed at 2:30PM, an hour before they called. I told them I would call them back, made the required changes, and got it all up and running again.
The first intern I talked to didn’t know anything about setting up an account with us, but would pass me onto the person who did that.
Of course, the second intern didn’t know anything about setting up an account with us, but would pass me onto the owner. “Oh, she’s not in, but I’ll have her call you back tomorrow!”
Today … I never received a call from them. I called the company again, attempted to speak to the owner, and was told, “Oh, I’m sorry she didn’t call you back. But she doesn’t know you, and isn’t comfortable setting up an account when she doesn’t know what it’s for.”
“It’s for fixing your website,” I explained. “I’ve been trying to get hold of her since last week.”
“No, really? You didn’t talk to anyone here,” she said in a sarcastic tone.
“No, I spoke with your sysadmin, her husband, last Thursday,” I explained. “We need to get this situation resolved. I need to speak with her, and get this straightened out.”
“Well, what is it that you do?” she asked.
“Well, you call us for help, we fix it. Like when you called me yesterday,” I explained.
“Well, she doesn’t know you, and, uhh, we might not use you anyway.”
“That’s a bit rough,” I said firmly. “You’re leaving me in a position where my only recourse is to revert the fixes I’ve made and leave you with it. I don’t want to have to do that…”
“Well, okay, I’ll call her right now,” she agreed.
An hour later, I get a call from my partner company.
“Mark, she’s going off that you’re making terrorist threats against her website!”
“Man, I’m still trying to get hold of her. Her intern said she wouldn’t call me because they don’t know me.”
“That’s ridiculous … I sent them the e-mail last week!” he exclaimed.
“Yeah, and it’s their sysadmin’s position that if they break anything on the site right now, that they’ve already paid for it with setup,” I explained. “But he’s going to have his wife call me, only, she won’t talk to me, because she doesn’t know me.”
“Well, she said she’s not going to do business with any company that starts making terroristic threats against her website.”
“Maybe you should give her the number for Homeland Security,” I told him.
We had a bit of a laugh at the nonsense of the situation.
Nobody can fault me on my Customer Service skills. For that matter, no one can say I’ve ever been unfair when issues like these have arisen.
This is simply a client who’s attempting to get out of paying their bill. A previous maintenance company allowed them to pay with barter dollars, so I’m guessing they’re a bit miffed at having to come up with cash or a credit card to for the service.
Some customers nobody needs.
But in the meantime — I’m a website terrorist! *thumbs up*
Should I start wearing a turban?