Sticking with the theme of Products, Freemium, and Experience…
A couple weeks ago, Area 224 purchased a product that continues to puzzle us: a piece of software that made pretty substantial claims. You can read the post here: https://area224.com/crappy-product-avoidance/
What has been interesting is how the company has handled this whole process – and what we can all learn from it. We’ve sanitized this post to keep names and identifying information out of it. Highlights:
1. Software Purchased, But Keeps Breaking.
What the software was supposed to do – automate a repetitive process using a combination of API calls and the like – ended up being something it was not at all good at. Queue it up to do that once, find that it shuts down, you need to restart.
Our email to the company: Help, please.
Their response: Try again, it works fine for us.
2. Product still breaks, proves ineffective.
Still has us puzzled, as we’ve tried all the recommended tweaks. Manual is not much help – in fact, the manual looks like it was written for a different process altogether.
Our email: We’d like a refund, please.
Their response: Well, we’ve had to change the product entirely. Please try the new version. Download here.
3. New Product is for something entirely different.
Imagine you order a mobile phone. After learning that the mobile phone doesn’t work, you send it back to the company and ask for a new phone. In return, they send you an extension cord.
That’s the best analogy. This thing is not gonna work for us, not what we ordered, and really would be a waste of our time here at HQ.
Our email: Please for the love of Mike give us a refund.
Their response: Hold on, we’re going to give you complimentary “coaching” that only “members” pay for.
4. The complimentary “coaching”? Send us an email. No more than one email per day. We’ll respond as soon as we can.
I “get” coaching. I think it’s a really valuable exercise. I have interviewed people who could potentially be coaches to the team here at Area 224, and to me personally. BUT, in all honesty…I’m not interested in coaching around a product that has changed drastically since I purchased it.
Our email: We’re done here. Please send us a refund.
Their response: ?
We’re giving them one last benefit of the doubt, and we’ll post the update once we get it. BUT…
We talked earlier this week about The Free Line. In this case, even if this were a “Free” product, there is no value exchange. Brand, Product, Value, Experience – all of that is absolutely horrible.
If you’re in the business of selling stuff, or giving away free stuff, or whatever your business is: are you focusing so much on the “upsell” that you forget to add value?
Maybe – FREE or $39 – the focus needs to be on making it insanely valuable – so that the “upsell” is easy.