How I Became Sky TV’s Customer Complaints Centre

December 15, 2008


Why Don’t Companies Like Sky TV Deal With Customer Complaints Efficiently?

Can you imagine receiving heaps of emails, regarding some sucky company, just because they don’t deal with complaints efficiently? That’s what happened to me, after I wrote about Sky TV’s rip off service, back in March: Sky TV - Bad Customer Service Or Theft.

It sucks to receive dozens of Sky TV complaints each week, from unhappy Sky TV customers and not have time to reply to them all. But it must suck even more to own a business that doesn’t give a toss about it’s customers.

If You’re A Bad Company Like Sky TV - The Internet Talks About You

The Internet talks and if consumer complaints aren’t dealt with efficiently, it keeps talking. And it’s not like getting bad newspaper press, which is often dumped in a wastepaper basket and forgotten about a few days later. If the stories are true - they stay there and there’s bugger all you can do to remove them. And worse still - sometimes they spread through social media, faster than a plague of locusts.

This is a good thing for individual customers. In the past, big businesses got away with ignoring customer complaints. But now consumers can reach thousands of people online quickly, which is great, because if large companies rip them off, plenty of people get to know about it and they can vote with their feet.

An Update On My Sky TV Complaint

Many of you, in the same situation have emailed me, asking for an update on my Sky TV complaint and asking what you should do. I didn’t get a refund yet, but here’s what happened so far:

1) After writing to Sky TV customer complaints centre, they sent a brief letter back saying they weren’t paying me the money back, even though they took double what they were supposed to, from my account for over 18 months. They gave no reason or explanation for refusing to refund me.

2) I eventually got to speak to someone “human”, after calling Sky TV several times. They said Sky often cheats folk in this way and the best thing to do is write to your bank and ask them to claim the Direct Debit payments back.

3) I spoke to the bank, after closing the account and they said they’d chase it up. About 3 months later, I received a cheque for around the amount Sky TV owe me and there was a blank compliment slip with it, so I assumed the money was from Sky TV. But recently, I discovered that the money came from elsewhere.

4) I have now written to my bank to ask them to claim back the money, from Sky TV, on my behalf.

6) If Sky TV fail to refund my money through the bank, I’m going to contact my MP, explain that many people are being ripped off by Sky TV and ask what can be done. If you would like me to send your complaint along to him, when I send mine, please email me at cath at cathlawson.com with “Sky TV Complaint” in the subject heading.

If this fails, those of us who want to get our money back, may be able to join together in taking Sky TV to court. Or alternatively, we could pass the info onto traditional media journalists, to see if they could help us get a refund from Sky TV.

Have you ever blogged about being ripped off, or treated badly by a big company? Would you be tempted to use social media to warn others against them, or to help get your money back?

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How Not To Promote Your Business On The Internet

December 6, 2008


If you want to promote your business on the Internet, do it right. If you make some of these mistakes when you try to promote your business, you could do it more harm than good.

1. Using keyword stuffed names in blog comments and on social networking sites, is a foolish way to promote your business. Folk can’t have a serious conversation with someone called “WoodenFurniture” or “ColonMadness”(yes I really saw that name on Twitter). And building any sort of relationship would be out of the question.

2. Talking persistently on Twitter about how you’ve got almost 2000 followers. Nothing makes folk hit the unfollow button quicker. Folk in social networks want friends who are going to join in the conversation, not count them like sheep.

3. Ripping people off.
I was promoting an affiliate product on this blog and the seller offered one of my readers the product for free, if she bought an additional product from her. That was really scammy, as it meant I wouldn’t get any commission for promoting her product. I complained, giving her the opportunity to put things right. But instead she ignored me and wrote a lengthy, drivelling blog post about how she deserves to make money.

If one person calls you a scamming bitch, some folk might think that person has a grudge against you and give you the benefit of the doubt. But do it more than once, maybe someone will write about it and link to other articles or videos that have called you out. And no matter how much you try to promote your business, it won’t do you much good, if you’re known as a scammer.

4. Bombarding webmasters with requests to link to your articles.
Get to know folk before you ask them to do stuff for you. I have one guy who does this to me. I’ve never had a conversation with him, beyond his requests to “give his articles the exposure they deserve”. The only exposure his articles get from me now, is to the spam folder, with the rest of the crap I get.

5. Asking favours from folk you haven’t even tried to get to know.
I get asked some pretty huge favours, often from complete strangers. Why should folk bother to spend hours doing something for you, when you’ve not even taken the trouble to get to know them? Spelling my name right would be a huge start.

6. Making sycophantic comments on blogs that get more traffic than yours.
Being friendly is one thing but there’s a distinctive line between a genuine compliment and false flattery. And folk will see through you, even if they pretend not to.

7. Leaving spam comments all over the Internet.
You should know that most folk have Askimet installed to pick up spam. And most bloggers will delete things like “great post - I really like your site”, aside from those who are desperate for comments.

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Hilarious Online Gender Testing Results

December 2, 2008


I’ve always been dubious about online testing, or any tests for that matter. And I’ve found the results are often biased towards the beliefs of the person writing the test. But these tests can still be amusing, so when Hunter Nuttall sent me a link to the Gender Analyzer, I couldn’t resist trying it out.

Here’s how the gender analyzer works. You enter the name of any website and it can tell you the gender of the webmaster - or so it says. Here’s some of the results I got:

We guess CathLawson.com is written by a man (58%), however it’s quite gender neutral. Wrong. As most of you are aware, I’m not a man, but I’m glad, it finds my blog quite neutral, as that’s what I intended.

HunterNuttall.com: We guess HunterNuttall is written by a woman (53%), however it’s quite gender neutral. Wrong again. No sane lamp rubbing woman would write, Greatness Without Genies - The Law Of Attraction For Realists.

BloggingWithoutABlog: We think it is written by a man (65%). Wrong again. Blogging Without A Blog, is written by Barbara Swafford. I thought it might get this one right. I mean, a man wouldn’t write, Blogger Exposes Herself - Traffic Soars

We think MomGrind.com is written by a woman (87%). Correct. This is the first one it got right, but I’m guessing that the word “Mom” in the domain name and the fact that Vered is a Mommy Blogger was a big giveaway. And I don’t know any man who would write Female Athletes Say Skimpy Outfits Are Not Sexist.

Dooce: We have strong indicators that Dooce is written by a man (99%). Wrong. I had to check out this one, after the MomGrind result. Heather Armstrong’s blog is probably the oldest, best known mommy blog on the Internet. But the machine thinks she’s a daddy blogger.

A Daring Adventure: We have strong indicators that A Daring Adventure is written by a man (99%). Correct. The webmaster there is Tim Brownson. Only a man could review a book called Self Development For Smart People, then realise he got the title wrong.

Loving Pulse: We think http://lovingpulse.wordpress.com/ is written by a woman (66%). Correct. This video, by Davina Haisell could only have been recorded by a woman: Preparation Inspires Self Confidence.

Have you taken any online tests lately? Were they accurate?

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Which Prize Would You Choose?

November 26, 2008


Are you a total loser when it comes to competitions? Is it because you never win - or are you always the one left with the last crappy raffle prize that nobody wants? If you could have a say in choosing the prize, would it tempt you to enter?

A few folk have approached me to offer competition prizes on this blog, since I ran the show your ass competition. But if I do run more competitions, there’ll be no more ass showing for a while.

To persuade more people to enter (obviously, hundreds of people did not send in a pic of their ass), I’m going to make the competitions easier - you may have to do no more than answer a question in the comments section.

But I’m not going to pawn you off with any old crap. I will only be accepting competition sponsorship from folk who are dishing out great stuff that you really want to win.

So let me know what sort of prizes you’d like to see and I’ll find sponsors who are willing to donate them. Read through some of these ideas, tell me which ones you like the most, or suggest some better ones in the comments section:

Marketing materials for your biz - eg. postcards, business cards and flyers.
Books and ebooks on sales and marketing.
Custom designed blog theme.Business Courses.
Life coaching and business coaching.
Advertising
Search engine optimization books and tools
Motivational Books
Webhosting.
Copywriting Services
Psychic Readings/Soul Healing
PC Software
PC Hardware


Do you want to see more competitions on this blog, or do you think they’re a waste of prime Internet space. Which of these prizes appealed to you most? Or do you have some better ideas for competition prizes? Please share in the comments section.

PS: If you’d like to sponsor a competition, to drive more traffic to your website, email me at cath AT cathlawson.com


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