June 22, 2015

How to lose a customer

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Imagine the scene: a person sits at their computer, credit card in hand, about to happily pay money for a service they previously used for free. A minute later, the credit card is back in their wallet unused. They curse the service provider and vowing to never pay them money. They furiously research alternatives to the service, it doesn’t take long to find something suitable.

This happened to me last night. I have used Dropbox (no link as I don’t want to give them even a small amount of Google link karma) for some time and recently exceeded my space allowance. Fair enough, time to just pay them the money and become a proper customer – their service had worked very well for me. Navigating to their payment page I saw the cost was a reasonable 99 US dollars, so I filled in the form. As I have a UK credit card, I switched the country to the UK. And then the price changed to 79 British pounds. Huh? 79 GBP is not 99 USD, it is 125 USD. Dropbox wanted to charge me 25% more for not being American. The air turned blue with expletives I don’t care to repeat. Come on Dropbox, are foreign customers that much more expensive? Does it really cost that much extra in net traffic fees to send all my data to the NSA? If it was just a few percent extra I wouldn’t care, transaction costs and currency fluctuations could explain it. But 25%, no way!

Never will I be a paying Dropbox customer, never will I have a nice thing to say about them. It took barely a few minutes to find a competing service to use instead. I don’t need them and will transition to other systems. Another company for the companies of which I am not a customer list.


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