“Our Computers Just Do That”

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There are a few phrases I hear as a customer that really get me. They include:

  • “We’ll do this as a one-time courtesy.” (You’re only courteous to me, your customer, one time? Really?)
  • “That’s not our policy” or the variation “That’s just our policy.” (Well, my policy is not to do business with people that can’t help me with a reasonable request because of some policy.)
  • “Can I get your account number?” (With the exception of my bank, I have no desire to even know I have an account number, let alone try to locate and read some 16-digit number to you. Twice.)
  • “Our computers just do that.” (SkyNet was in the Terminator movies. It’s not real. We’re still in charge.)

The last one is perhaps the most frustrating to me. I heard it recently from a company trying to charge me $40 (on a $55/month recurring charge) when my credit card was rejected because I didn’t update their system when I got a new plate. So, they showed my card as expired.

When I called, I asked how they could possible condone — even if my card had been expired or otherwise rejected — applying a penalty equal to more than 70 percent of the charge itself.

“Our computers just do that,” was the answer.

“You can tell them to stop,” I said, thinking I was helping. It didn’t work.

“We’ll take it off as a one-time courtesy,” was the answer.

Strike two.

I asked if I forgot to update my plate in a couple of years when it expired again if I would have already burned my “one-time courtesy” and would have to pay $40.

“Our computers just do that,” was the answer.

I asked if their computers could take the order to cancel my membership. Turns out, they could. I did.

Getting new customers is hard and it can be expensive. Did someone in your organization tell your computers that “just do that” in a way that it’s costing you the very customers you worked so hard to get?

Photo by elwynn/Shutterstock.com

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