Punishing your customers for choosing you. What a bold business model!

Posted on July 7th, 2006

We would have done this story last week, but Cannes trumps all, y'know? By the way, it turns out there's something infinitely more humiliating than losing at Cannes: winning.

On to business! For those of you who don't know what the comic's referencing, you really need to see this:

In 2005, AOL paid $1.25 million to the state of New York and promised to end their stealth retention programs, where call centre employees had to save 49% of cancellations or forfeit huge bonuses. Something tells me AOL might have had their fingers crossed.

One of the cool things about my job is the opportunity to champion a great product or service that isn't getting the notice it deserves. But I've got no interest in being a shill for something the client knows is broken. Instead of spending millions selling crap and burning your bridges, why don't you invest that cash in improving your offering?

Ben Popken's site, The Consumerist, has a wealth of damning articles on AOL's inability to understand this simple idea, including an interview with Vincent Ferrari (the customer from the above video) and a link to this Hotjobs post:

"As a member retention consultant in our casual environment, you will be responsible for managing inbound calls from members who wish to cancel their AOL account. Your goal will be to resell the member their AOL account... AOL Retention Consultants identify member needs, educate our members about how AOL is an invaluable part of their lives and resell the member on AOL products and services."

Apropos of nothing:

It has nothing to do with anything, but this is one of coolest things I've ever seen.


P.S. Celebrate Canada Day (or don't) with the new words vs. pictures.

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© 2009 Jamie Lirette & Graham Mutch

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