It’s Quitting Time

A former manager of mine once told me that how efficiently a company handles paychecks and expense report is a good barometer of how they treat their employees. I’ve found that to be true throughout my career, but I’d like to add a corollary to that saying that goes like this:

The degree a company cares about its customers is directly proportional to how easy they make it to cancel serviceimage

Take Netflix for example. This is a company that is known for its excellent customer service. I once mailed a DVD that never made it back to them and they didn’t hassle me by making me fill out forms or asking me to pay for the lost DVD. They just took care of it. Look at how their site is designed. It’s user friendly and works the way you think it should work. Few sites work as well or are as enjoyable as the Netflix website. Yet, they make it EASY to cancel their service. It’s not hidden under numerous menus nor do they make me pickup the phone, sit on hold and then have some idiot attempt to sell me a cheaper service. Remember the famous “Cancel AOL” phone call? 

One of the worst experiences I’ve had was trying to cancel our TruGreen ChemLawn service. I’d call to cancel yet they’d show up and spray our lawn the next month and leave a bill for fifty bucks on our door. They were terrible and I’ll never use them again.

I wish every company made it easy to cancel service. If I can order service online, I should be able to cancel it online as well. Nice job, Netflix.

Does your company make it easy for customers to cancel service?

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2 thoughts on “It’s Quitting Time

  1. I have worked for TruGreen (they have dropped the CHEMLAWN, by the way), for 3 years. They had purchased a smaller family oriented Lawn Care Service where I was an employee for 18 years.

    You are correct in your statement regarding the difficulties a customer would have when attempting to cancel your service. But, I can assure you that there was never a corporate-type conspiracy that dictated we ignore the customer request to cancel.

    I happen to be one of the few Customer Service Reps that is employed at my facility. Because the company was more concerned with keeping their salary quota to a minimum, our CSR’s were overworked and overwhelmed. It was the lonely CSR’s job to take that cancellation information, document a note on your account and cancel all remaining applications. But because of the understaffing, and the constant ringing of the next customer’s call, we would somehow lose our focus to carry out that last MOST IMPORTANT step, actually CANCELLING the account.

    I have to admit that my first year with this company, I myself probably forgot to follow thru on as many as a hundred cancellations. WIth the phones ringing non-stop, and being only one of two CSR’s dealing with a customer base of over 12000 customers, I rarely was able to document the call, let alone follow thru with the customer’s request to cancel.

    However, if I was lucky enough to leave a note on the customer’s account and yet forget to follow thru with the actual cancelling of service, TruGreen would never insist a customer pay for the application where there was a record of the customer calling with the request to cancel. They were always forthcoming with their credits of cancels they had some type of record of.

    Since those earlier days of insanity, policies have changed a great deal. Once we have your account up on our computer, we are no longer allowed to bring up another account without giving you a cancellation confirmation #. If a cancel comes thru the system without one, we will be written up. So we follow thru every step, or our jobs could be in jeopardy. How are we no longer overwhelmed? We were also granted a branch payroll adjustment that allowed for more help in our Customer Service Department. The higher ups must have realized that what you are complaining about in your post is the NUMBER 1 reason people would never consider to rehire us if they found themselves once again in need of lawn care service.

    The reason I share this experience with you is not to convince you that TruGreen is NOT as sneaky to squeak a few more $50 checks from you. To be honest, the absence of your $50 will not break them. Our branch alone sells over 200 new customers a week.

    My reason for sharing this bit of information with you is to let you and anyone who reads your blog know that since the onset of our confirmation number policy, you cannot imagine how many people lie, insisting they cancelled previous to their latest application, and are caught because they do not have their cancellation number. Oh, yes, we still make mistakes. But the chances of not giving the customer that confirmation number is pretty impossible, considering we cannot get out of the customers account until that confirmation is generated.

    And believe it or not, in the times where I remembered that someone cancelled, yet I forgot to follow thru, I would admit it. And my company had no problem crediting the customers account based on my admitting my error.

    My suggestion is that any time you cancel any type of service, you get the name of the person you spoke with, and the name of their immediate supervisor. Based on a customer’s knowledge of that, it would be pretty hard for them to deny your claim.


  2. Koala Bear, thank you for the very detailed response. You sound so sincere that you make me want to give TruGreen another shot in the spring. I liked their service but they just made it hard to cancel which left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I’ll try them again based on your response.


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