Finally, decent customer service

It’s been a long time coming but I believe I have finally found a company that knows how to do customer service properly! Yes, hard to believe I know, but it’s true!

About 4 months ago I signed up with Slicehost. I was paying a small fortune every month for the dedicated server I had with another hosting company, which I wasn’t using, so I decided to downgrade and give Slicehost a try. About 2 minutes after signing up – and I’m not exaggerating – I had access to my (virtual) server. Anyway, over the course of the last few months I hadn’t been using the server much (again!) so I decided to cancel it. My billing cycle was at the end of each month so I had just paid for the whole of May at the end of April. As I was cancelling now I figured there goes my money – other companies I have used before “delete” your server at the end of the billing cycle so you are effectively paying for server even though you are not using it. Anyway, I deleted the server and then suddenly noticed that my account had been credited (prorated) with an amount equal to the remaining amount that I would have paid had I kept the server. Amazing!! I’ll have to wait and see if my credit card gets recharged at the end of the month.

Contrast this with the experience I had a few weeks ago with the online learning site Busuu. Aside from the interesting name, their customer service leaves a lot to do desired. Let me explain. I wanted to see what the site was like so I paid for the premium service when I signed up. On the subscription page, under the basic terms, it claims that you can cancel at any time – you have to be registered to view the page so you will have to take my word for it. There is a link to the terms and conditions at the bottom of the page. My thinking was that I would try it for a month then cancel as, apparently, I could cancel at any time.

Anyway, a few days before my subscription was due to run out (at the beginning of April) I cancelled it. I then got an email saying that my subscription had been cancelled and would expire on the 5th May. “Strange”, I thought. I then got an email a few days later telling me that my credit card had been charged (again) for the next month. Given that I distinctly remember cancelling the subscription days before I was a bit surprised so I sent an email to the accounts department kindly asking them to give me my money back as I had cancelled the subscription. I was then told that you have to give a minimum of 7 days notice to cancel premium subscriptions and if I looked at the terms and conditions it clearly states so. Oh! You mean the terms and conditions that nobody reads? Now I’m not an English professor but this definitely contradicts the basic terms on the subscription page that states that “you may cancel your subscription at any time”.

Fair enough, I admit I didn’t read the terms and conditions but then who does? Hands up all of those who read the terms and conditions of all the web sites they sign up! Needless to say I didn’t get my money back and I haven’t been back to the site since nor do I intend to use it ever again … and all for the sake of 12.99 euros!

As for Slicehost I may not be using their servers at the moment but I fully intend to use them in the future when the need arises. And all because of decent of customer service. Others take note!

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