CRM: Washington

Why Netflix Will Live and Vonage (We Hope) Will Die

By Published on .

This isn't data, all right? It isn't projectable. It's just anecdotal and therefore possibly meaningless.

And yet we still want Office Depot, DirecTV and Vonage to die horrible corporate deaths.

The AdReview staff, in the course of a recent move from one Washington, DC headquarters to another, had to deal with all of these companies -- each of which, thanks to inferior service and even more inferior customer-relations-management dragged us into an inner circle of hell.

No need to bore you with the details. Briefly, Office Depot screwed up every single detail of a large furniture order and shipped the wrong pieces to the wrong address in the wrong week, then dragged its heels in getting any of the problems solved. DirecTV sold us a subscription through a subcontractor, and when the sub behaved poorly, disavowed any responsibility. Then there was Vonage.

We tried very hard to get VOIP phone service through this company. But after at least 20 phone calls (each to a different customer disservice agent in India) more than a hundred dollars, and countless broken Vonages promises, we never placed a single VOIP call. They still owe us money, which we've given up trying to collect.

We hate them. We want them to lose money. We want them to get the shingles.

Then there's Netflix, the movie-by-mail folks. For uninteresting reasons, we no longer required their service. But somehow our cancellation was lost in the shuffle and they continued to debit us every month. A moment ago, we phoned them to get an explanation. With not so much as a whimper, Netflix refunded our dues going back to February.

We may not need the service, but from this point forward, we are going to devote our lives to talking up Netflix. We will be their buzz agents, their John the Baptist, their staunchest defender. In our spare time, we will try to bring Vonage to ruin. Because marketing in the digital age is no longer how many ads you place; it's about your relationships with the public.

And to paraphrase Claude Rains, "Vonage, this could be the beginning of an ugly relationship."
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