The problem with online businesses, is that its a gift to the blank face of corporate might. It enables and encourages, automated dumb impersonal service – the plodding and continued, repetitive email response as the computer systems reply and go through their business processes.
Ebay is no exception. I’ve been explaining why I will not pay the £14.50 sales commission, for something I didnt sell, for nearly 7 months. They have even engaged a debt collection company – sent multiple letters; I’ve now refused in principle as my initial enquiry got no response. Typically of large companies, the only thing they ARE efficient at is sending me court threats, reminders and getting their subcontracted debt collectors to chase me for £14.50 . In 7 months I’ve had only TWO human responses; the situation continues. Having written back twice to the debt collectors, ebay have now again reverted to the initial cycle of automated emails asking me to pay.
Its not only maddening, its pathetic. Online business can be SO MUCH better than this. The cost reductions that this technology enables, the automation for all the transactions that go smoothly and without fault, should mean that personal and attentive, personalized service CAN be provided when needed. Instead, they are even worse than corporates of traditional stock. Born out of an email culture, these new dinosaur’s really do behave like they don’t give a sh*t. I find it so frustrating that companies who come from a beginning as dynamic, exciting, written-in-a-garage type startups, end up worse than the traditional corporate dinosaurs they look to dominate or replace.
I pledge now, that when Rummble has 100 million users, we’ll have a human face; because to become loved by your users, truly loved as a lovemark and not just seen as a brand, you cannot fall into the corporate trap of bottom-line first and stuff the customer service. It might work today, but domineering empires don’t last forever, as we know all too well.
My opinion and emotions towards the eBay brand have hit rock bottom; and without some small miracle, that wont change now, for a very long time indeed.