The Boring Business of Billing
By Denny Hatch
One of the reasons for the dot-com crash of 2000 was that the self-important, smarty-pants people who designed many of the e-commerce systems had no experience in marketing or good customer relations.
Recently, I received the following e-mail from a company called NuNet:
This is a receipt to inform you that the following amount was charged to your credit card. If you have any questions please give us a call at 888-686-3863.
Date: January 19, 2005
My letter to the president of NuNet:
Dear Mr. Keown:
Attached is an e-mail receipt I received from your billing department. I think I have four or five Web sites hosted by you people. I received an identical one two days ago for a different Web site. I looked at these and had four questions:
1. Who is NuNet? (I signed up with MagPage.)
2. Which Web site are you talking about?
3. Which credit card are you charging?
4. What is the $431.42 for—one month? Six months? One year?
I called the number and asked why this information was not on the receipt. The rep said that if NuNet sent me an invoice, all the information would be there. But since my credit card was automatically hit, I was left to fend for myself.
I asked why my credit card was not identified. She said it was because NuNet would not put any private credit card information in an e-mail. This is BS. It could say: American Express #xxxx xxxxxx x6004.
Why the hell do I have to call you to ask why you are billing me $431.42—and for what and for how long? You're wasting my time.
Also, it would make me feel good if you thanked me for my business. But then maybe people as dumb as you cannot be expected to be polite.