Wednesday, 17 October 2007

How easy do you make it to downgrade? (Aka 37Signals, you suck)

"Everyone" knows customer experience is really important, that negative word of mouth spreads faster than positive, that happy customers stay longer and spend more. So companies make it easy to do business with them.

How about the other way around? When you want to downgrade or leave a company, how easy is it? I recently tried to downgrade my accounts with LinkedIn and Highrise HQ.

With LinkedIn, it was a breeze once I emailed support asking "how do I downgrade?". To some that might be good enough, but I'm used to automation here ... this is web 2.0, right? The great usability that helps me upgrade smoothly should also be there to help me downgrade smoothly.

It's slightly more complicated with Highrise HQ, the CRM application from 37Signals. It's a powerful product, and on the face of it, it's easy to both upgrade and downgrade.

Trouble is, I want to downgrade but I have file attachments. If there's files in my account, I can't downgrade. So I emailed support:

Hi guys,

I'd like to downgrade my account to a free one but I can't because there are files. But I don't need those files. However I can't find how to delete all those attachments so I can revert to free.

Can you help?

Their reply:

Hi Simon,

There is no central file location, so you'll need to delete them from
the contacts and cases you've uploaded file to.

You've got to be kidding me. Because Highrise HQ can't handle HTML email, every email that has automatically forwarded to HighriseHQ has come through as a MIME attachment.

That means I could probably spend all day deleting files one by one, and still not be finished.

That's no fun. C'mon 37Signals, you guys do great software, how about making this task a little easier for me - and other customers who want to downgrade now (perhaps to upgrade later, you never know!)

Update: At last night's Ecademy Auckland group I heard that Google AdWords is another service that doesn't let you downgrade once you upgrade. Bad, naughty, evil Google!

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