Whatever Happened to Customer Service?

A couple recent incidents have sparked this question, and I name names.

A couple recent incidents have sparked this question, and I’m going to name names. The first one concerned my purchase of Affinity Publisher software.

Affinity produces excellent graphics software at a very reasonable price. I already owned Affinity Photo and Designer, and I wanted to purchase Publisher to round out the suite. So I did, and since it was for my Windows PC I purchased it through the Microsoft App Store. It didn’t work, which was somewhat unusual but I spent hours trying to fix and then work around the issue. One of the work-arounds I tried was to download a trial version directly from Affinity, and it worked but, of course, it would only do so for a limited time. An easy permanent solution would have been for Affinity too simply honor the Microsoft purchase and issue me a permanent product code to convert the temporary, trial version into the permanent one. Affinity refused, saying that since their trial version worked and Microsoft’s didn’t, it was Microsoft’s problem to fix and they would wait for Microsoft to fix it. Okay, can you contact Microsoft to work through it with them, I asked? Nope.

Microsoft, by the way, immediately refunded the purchase price when I contacted them and handled the situation just fine. I went with other software and Affinity lost a customer.

Another incident involves Family Tree Magazine. I purchased a digital subscription through ZINIO/iTunes and it is working just fine. I have received three issues so far, just as expected, but when I go to the FT magazine website to view other content that comes with the subscription, there is no record of the subscription. When I contacted FT magazine, they told me, sorry, go to iTunes for support. But iTunes is not the problem. Family Tree Magazine is the problem.

Both of these incidents involve the purchase of a product through a third-party, so I suspect there indeed is a problem somewhere in that chain. But it is not the customer’s problem and for Affinity and Family Tree magazine to push off whatever problem exists on the third-party ignores the simple fact that it is Affinity and Family Tree that the customer is looking to.

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