How to blow a good customer service reputation in one email

I’ve written here and here about switching my domain name registration services from Network Solutions to Trinic in Edmonton.

The only complaint I’ve had until now about Trinic’s services are that when I’ve used their web-based payment system I always receive a “CGI Timeout” error. The payment gets processed, and everything else is fine — I even get an email message acknowledging my payment — I just get this annoying and confusing error.

When I last wrote Trinic about the problem, I received an email back telling me they hoped to have this problem solved shortly. That was several months ago. So last week I emailed them looking for an update. Unsure as to whether this was a Sales or Technical question, I cc’d my email to both their Sales and Technical Support email addresses.

This was their reply:

Peter,

Please refrain from sending identical messages to duplicate e-mail addresses. It drastically slows down our response time to your inquiry, and is in violation of our General Service Agreement agreed to upon the purchase of any service.

The ‘CGI Timeout’ error you receive when making payments is caused by when the CGI script that is executing on our servers has been running for over 300 seconds, or 5 minutes. The extended amount of time the script must run for is caused by delays in our payment gateway to the credit card companies authorization systems. This gateway can get extremely busy at certain times of the day due to the growing number of online transactions. We are in the process of evaluating other payment gateways we would be able to utilize in Canada in an attempt to eliminate this problem once and for all.

Sincerely,
Customer Relations
Trinic

Reading this again, I still can’t believe the the first paragraph: did these people never go to customer service school? My reply went as follows:
Hello there.

If you ever send me a message that chastises me like you have below (first paragraph only), I will immediately stop using you as a service provider, and stop recommending your services to others. Your tone was insulting, and in violation of every edict of good customer service.

I wasn’t sure if my query was appropriate for sales or technical support, so I sent it to both email addresses; that seems like a reasonable thing to do.

Regards,
Peter

I await their reply. In the meantime, I cannot recommend Trinic as a domain name registrar.

Comments

Geek's picture
Geek on March 3, 2002 - 22:50

Yeah, I just moved from them for many reasons, chief among them the constant receipt of emails with similar tone as the one you got. I got sick and tired of the way they treated me, as a customer, and the complete lack of true support they provide. I am now using my brother for hosting, but I continue to use them as a domain registrar. They have the best prices, and the most available forms of available payment.

Stephen's picture
Stephen on March 4, 2002 - 14:20

my 2 cents worth. gkg.net has been the site I used to register domains and its all done online and it has never timed out once. It can be slow at times but you can manage all information through a login at $10 US a year.

Geek's picture
Geek on March 5, 2002 - 11:58

The thing I like(d) most about Trinic is that they accept checks, and don’t mind that I am Canadian, likely because they are as well. This is the complete opposite with most other registrars and web hosts, even some within Canada. I cannot recall how many times I was told that a web host does not accept cash or check, only credit card payments. Some of those were even within my city!

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