It doesn’t matter how much effort, energy or time you put into your business or how diligent you are with it, at some point you will be accused of running a scam.
Whether a jealous competitor or simply someone who got out of bed the wrong side, you will be accused of running a sham or some other heinous crime!
Here is an example of one such incident received this morning and which prompted this post:
Your service appears to be a scam, and your instructions and app are a joke. I’ve wasted an hour now trying to get it working after you charged me, I even downloaded your app and that’s going in circles as well. It’s no surprise that your reviews on the app are horrible. I’m just being sent in circles there and everywhere else I’ve tried to get what I paid for. Refund my money immediately and delete ALL of my info from your records, or I will initiate a chargeback and can guarantee a class action suit against your company will be filed. I have someone standing by to pursue that if I don’t get a response from you within 48 hours confirming that my money has been refunded and all of my information has been deleted from your records, since I don’t trust your company at all at this point.
Total invoice value $7.00, yes a paltry $7.00 – As my lawyer once advised; if you are ever going to run a scam make sure it is in the $millions, ie, make it worth your while being put inside! Notwithstanding the amount, if we were going to run a scam we certainly wouldn’t use first class payment gateways like Stripe, where the ease with which a person can refute and clawback their payment is simple, and it costs us an additional $15 for the privilege, each time. If we were running a scam it would soon send us spiralling into debt with the clawback costs alone.
If you are faced with a similar incident there are 2 things you need to do:
- Don’t take it personally. Tell your staff they are doing a great job, and we live in a world with varying types of people, with different degrees of tolerance, understanding and intelligence. Not everyone will like or understand what we do or how we do it.
- Check your systems. Is this a regular event? Is there a better way of doing things or can you improve a certain part of your system or flow? If it’s a one off, move on with your life, there are more important and fun things to be doing. If regular; find the issue and fix it…
So given this was a genuine potential customer, what went wrong for us?
The root of this issue is with our onboarding process which ironically, we have put in place to protect ourselves from scammers! Telecoms is fraught with fraud and we were hit badly with all types of scams when our onboarding service was fully automated, costing us $thousands in fraudulent transactions. We now check every new customer, individually, to ensure they are legitimate with credible payment methods. To this end, we send new subscribers to a welcome page and send a welcome email, and in both cases we ask for their patience while we verify and configure their account.
In a few cases, a customer may not read or may choose to ignore the “Please Be Patient” aspect of our message and try to figure out things for themselves….. in this instance as the account was still under review this person decided to make some brash assumptions; he took our ‘Please be Patient’ email as installation instructions and in addition decided to install the ConXhub app which is actually not required and completely irrelevant to the service he had ordered.
For us, this is a very, very rare occurrence and actually pales into insignificance against the hundreds of successful registrations we process each week.
As is usual we immediately refunded payment in full, emailed the customer, sending him a copy receipt of the refund via Stripe and wished him well.
The fact is, you must never let these one off incidents effect you, look at the positive aspects of your business, concentrate on the things going well and simply double down on them. If this is not an isolated incident, then look at your systems again and see if you can make changes to overcome them.
For ourselves, we have reviewed our service, looked at it logically and determined this is a one off event. Our sales for our verification service were up 20% last month (that is thousands of numbers sold), with many new resellers wholesaling our service too. We have added SMS2Portal and given every customer access to our portal, and confirmed that on the rare occasion our service fails for a particular website, we adhere to our 100% Guarantee and refund in full. I am happy this was an isolated incident, and we can move on.
What this message has done is simply confirm that our team are doing an amazing job, and our service is second to none – I for one am really proud of what we have built, the quality of service our team deliver day in day out 24/7, and the products we offer. If anything, thank you, this has simply made me appreciate even more all that we do.