Explaining ourselves better.

From time to time, we make a customer angry, we don’t mean to, we don’t want to, but its an almost inevitable part of being an organisation that provides a service. You may or may not have seen a customer of ours who is clearly upset on twitter, we’ve been trying to engage them to understand their issue much further, unfortunately they don’t seem to want to talk about it. At the root of the problem we think is our use of Continuous Payment Authority as our primary payment method.We recognised from feedback that this was an area where we needed to be more transparent.

We’re pleased this has changed, we do now provided a 30 day notification to remind you of the renewal and give you until the last 7 days to cancel with us. Alongside this we improved contract visibility to ensure you can clearly see what you are signing up for.

As with any time we upset a customer we’ve done a bit of soul searching, what more do we need to do? how do we explain CPA without putting customers off? Why do some people not trust our policy of having card details on the account? Should we being using CPA?

Some of these questions I can answer, We don’t explain well enough that the reason we have a policy of having a card on our accounts is because you can quite easily turn a innocuous server into a powerful tool to attack parts of the internet, free accounts without any kind of financial relationship are too easy to use in this way, having a card on the account and a few checks and balances at sign up means we can avoid 95% of the people who would seek to do damage. We don’t explain well enough why we use CPA, we use it because everything in webhosting expires, from your domain name right through to the dedicated server your business may be running its website on, everything has an end of life. Because of that its just too easy to forget, I’ll put my hand and say I’ve lost personal domains because I’ve forgotten. A majority of our customers are Small Office/Home Office or Small/Medium Businesses and because of this loss of services could be disastrous, we can send all the emails in the world, but with the amount of email changes we see in a year and the amount of bounce backs we get we know there is a good chance that the right person wont get to the right email in time, so on the back of feedback we auto-renew.

Some of these questions I’d like to ask for your help with, how do we explain Continuous Payment Authority better without putting you off? Have you seen a great example where others have achieved this balance? Do people even understand what it means?

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