Dec 13, 2007

You're only as good as your word

NBC, the American television network, has decided to refund advertisers because it had promised them a certain level of performance and didn't live up to it.

Now, I don't know the specifics of the deal and I don't know if they were obliged to do so by contract, or not. My understanding is that when these situations occur, networks usually give advertisers credit for future ad sales. NBC has taken it further and decided to refund. Good on them.

I can't help but think of my own situation with my service providers. During the month of October, I had to switch my Web hosting to a different company. I had to go through 3 companies before I found the one that worked.

The first company I tried was Canaca, a Canadian company. I went with them because on their front page it says:
If you become dissatisfied with your web hosting service for any reason, you will receive a
full refund (minus domain name registration fee)
After two weeks of usage, I began getting complaints from people telling me that when they sent me email, it bounced backk to them. I also noticed that some of my mail was not reaching its destination. So I located another service provider, signed up with them and cancelled my account with Canaca. Or so I thought.

In followup emails after asking for cancellation, I received this message:
Also note that the 30 day money back guarantee is not a trial. It's a guarantee of service that we had promised you. If you have become unsatisfied with our services with the first 30 days due to "service that we promised you but did not provide", will refund your hosting fee. If the issue is related to something that we did not promise you to provide then this 30 day money back guarantee will not apply. Also you are not in 30 days money back guarantee any more.
All of a sudden, now that I am not satisfied, the 30-day guarantee applies to "service that we promised you but did not provide", not "if you become dissatisfied with your web hosting service for any reason."

As if that was not enough, I noticed this little ditty on the bill from the company:
1. We have lowered our US --> CND exchange rate from 1.3 to 1.2
So, because I am a Canadian customer, paying a Canadian company, I am being charged a 20% premium on my bill. This, mind you, occurred when the Canadian dollar was at par, if not higher than the American dollar.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of paying the bill when I received my credit card statement. I really should not have done that. Now it's going to take a while to get that money back. If I ever do, that is.

A personal and a corporate reputation can only be built on whether you are true to your word, or not. It is also built on integrity and ethical conduct. In this case, Canaca does not make the grade.

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