As the economy tanks, we keep seeing examples of companies cutting more corners on customer service, and especially becoming less cooperative when it comes to resolving a problem that involves billing. That’s why it’s nice to see a business not only respond quickly, but in favor of the customer. (It’s probably no surprise to you that it’s a small business and not a corporation.)
So I’m a regular reader and big fan of Consumerist, and I thought you guys would appreciate a positive customer service interaction.
Back story: Carbonmade.com is a [design] portfolio building website. They offer 5 projects for free, or $12/month for an unlimited number of projects. I’m a paying member.
Not totally on my toes, I did not notice that both Carbonmade and Paypal were charging me $12/month on my credit card, making it a $24/month expense. My most recent bill, being dramatically slimmed down, had these two charges next to each other, which caught my attention. So, having spotted this on my current bill, I looked back. To what I could see, this had happened six times. Previous bills, which had a lot more charges, had the items sporatically seperated.
Having had a fast response from Carbonmade when I had an unrelated question a few months ago and not having much hope in Paypal, I emailed the main Carbonmade contact email at 12:30pm today. Not only did I get an email back 20 min later saying “Hey, we’re looking into it,” but by 3:30pm, they emailed me with an apology, explanation, and a Paypal refund was processed through. Not only that, they found that the mistake had occured not six but eight times, a $96 refund. Except they rounded it up to an even $100 for my troubles!
While we know $4 is not much, considering the state of the economy, I was not only impressed by the small act of generosity, but the quick response of this company.
Lessons learned: some companies don’t think customer service and profit are mutually exclusive terms, and check your bank statements monthly for errors like this. This may be unfair to PayPal, but we think you should be especially vigilant when a small business uses PayPal for transactions, based purely on anecdotal evidence we’ve seen where small businesses run into problems processing payments through them.