How to lose business, an example from Flickr

  1. Receive email from Flickr about Pro subscription due for renewal.
  2. Try to pay for it repeatedly over several days but always get some error message about a “bad panda” and they are aware of the problem and are fixing it soon. The problem persists over several days.
  3. Renewal deadline passes, check reminder email, it’s sent from a donotreply@ account.
  4. Find a support wizard, the problem isn’t listed after answering questions about it so I get an option to contact support.
  5. Fill in form saying what I’m trying to do, but notice there’s no field for an email address. They know my address though right? That’s where they sent the Flickr sub reminder?
  6. When I submit the form get a message “your response will be sent to xxxxxx@yahoo.com”, an address I’ve never signed up for or used.
  7. Attempt to find Yahoo support system to add a note to the ticket or update my email, can’t find it.
  8. Attempt to send new support ticket to Yahoo. The new support wizard I find seems to have different categories to the first one, none are relevant, there is no “other” category and there is no option to contact support.
  9. Decide not to pay for Flickr Pro

At the beginning of this process I figuratively had my hand extended with money for them to take. I’ve subscribed to Flickr Pro for years, I was just going to pay.

At every step of the way they made it hard. They made it a fight to hand over that money. If they had fixed the payment form after the first error message (like it promised) they’d have my money. If I’d been able to reply to the subscription reminder email and get through to support they’d get my money. If their support process had worked they’d likely have got my money soon.

I think the idea to just not bother came to me when I was forced into their badly designed error prone advert encrusted shoddy attempt at a webmail “portal” that not only do I not need or want, I actually resent, everything else just added weight to it.

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