Jeremy and I went to a Warriors game together. You may remember the photos. Jeremy and I had pretty good seats. We got up before the game to go get food and were approached by security to verify our tickets. Jeremy was upset with the bad customer service; getting into the stadium required a ticket, so there should be no reason to check ours once we were at our seats. While seat hopping is a real problem, treating paying customers as adversarial is just bad business. It should be noted that at the same game the Warriors GM Bob Meyers was happy enough to take a photo with Jeremy and briefly talk with us. So the Warriors easily redeemed themselves by juxtaposing the wrong kind of customer service with perfect fanservice.
I went through this exact business firsthand recently, but sadly without Bob Meyers making everything better. I signed up for a year of web-hosting last year with a company called Jumpline. Not only do I not endorse this company, I am telling any reader thinking of hosting a website or buying a domain to actively avoid them! My service expired, which in this case meant it auto-renewed for another year. I was sent an e-mail about this ahead of time. However, after it renwed and I thought about it, I realized I did not need my hosting any longer and I tried to cancel it early. I asked for a prorated refund. Basically, I was fine being charged for the time I had used (less than a week) but wanted some money back.
The Jumpline customer service went from bad to terrible to awful quickly. First, they told me they couldn’t do this, that their policy was you had to cancel only 30 days before the end of your term. Next, they went on to explain that they couldn’t cancel services early because it would encourage customers to sign on for a year and cancel early to get better rates. After more prodding they went on to say I was wrong, should have read my mail, and that I was lucky! Why was I lucky? Because other companies would send me to collection agencies! That’s right, Jumpline has basically said I can’t cancel early and even if I wanted to, they’d be within their rights to send a collection agency after me! Talk about being adversarial with your customers!
Now, sports has an edge. They are a monopoly. There is one NBA and Jeremy only has one NBA caliber team within driving distance of his house. Of course, as winning is the key driver in fan attendance, teams with less than stellar win-loss histories may want to take a lesson from Bob Meyers and make fans feel happier at games. Luckily, web hosting is different. There are many options. And while Jumpline has some of my money, they will never have my business again. And even worse, they will have my negative advertisement, which will be seen by people who have their own websites and need hosting. Treating your fans as adversaries is probably not the best plan, but for now fans of the NBA will put up with it. Doing the same in the “real world” is just stupid and it’s a lesson I’m glad Jumpline helps us learn.
P.S.: I’m aware this isn’t as sports related as most of our posts. I appreciate you letting me vent to you!