Normally when I rail about bad customer service, I am writing about companies that I’ve actually interfaced with. Now I’ve actually found a company that I’ve never used – and never will. 37Signals is a darling among some. But they don’t provide phone support. That’s odd and maybe frustrating, but what’s really bizarre is that they publicly sneer at customers on their blogs, complaining (among other things) in their emails for requests for help, words were spelled incorrectly, they were too stupid to understand how the system worked, etcetera. (Maybe if users could pick up the phone and call, the staff of 37Signals would not have to dirty their eyes by looking upon a misspelled word.)
On one post a user complains that the staff of 37Signals never got back to him when he emailed. The staff of 37Signals, then says he’s wrong – they never received an email from him, they don’t have his email address in their system, he’s just wrong-wrong-wrong. This seems counter-productive to me. They are not only treating their customers with suspicion, but they’re publicly calling one of them a liar! But it’s worse than that. That particular customer wrote about his experience with 37Signals.
I was once accused in their forums (not by the staff, but by another user of the service) of having “read too many books on customer worshipping.” When I read that post I seriously thought I must have been kidnapped and taken off to la-la land. What business can afford NOT to worship their customers? I mean sure, if they ask you to do something that is just totally not what you do that’s one thing (like asking McDonald’s to wash your car), but otherwise, you should always treat your customers courteously, listen to all they have to say, and do your best to meet their needs.
Yep. Customers pay the bills, they certainly should be kept happy. One of his friends weighed in with this bit of internet wisdom:
It’s said that on the internet, nobody knows you’re an asshole, unless you build your business around being one.
I’m personally appalled that they would treat their customers this way (they also have another post about how stupid customers always use the word “appalled” in their communications with them). I would never buy from them, not because one person said the support sucks, but because they tend to agree and then say, “Well that’s how we do things at 37Signals.”