S h o r t S t o r i e s

// Tales from software development

How to lose customers fast. Really fast…

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Auction Sentry is an ebay bid management tool that I’ve been using for the past eight years. The annual subscription is $10 and although I don’t use it much, it’s been very useful when I have needed to use it. Over the years the product has had its problems, usually caused by ebay making changes, and the developers have sometimes lagged behind in resolving issues. However, I felt loyalty to the company as I’d used its product for years and the support team were helpful and responsive and bugs were usually addressed and resolved quickly.

Last week I went to use the software only to find that it had expired. I was a little surprised as I hadn’t received a subscription renewal reminder email. Even more puzzling, when I tried to renew my $10 annual subscription I found that the only option offered was a monthly renewal for $4.95. Thinking that this was some sort of trial offer, I repeatedly tried to renew my annual subscription but each time only the monthly renewal option was offered.

A quick Google search showed that I am not alone and that many other users have encountered the same problem. It appears that the company has decided to increase its subscription fees by 500% with no concession to its existing subscribers. This seems so ridiculous that I raised it with the company’s support team.

No annual renewal offered

Category:  Renewals

Case Status:  Closed

Last Updated: 6/30/2014 9:01:05 AM

Category:
Renewals
Case Topic:  No annual renewal offered
xxxx@xxxxx.com 

Customer

Posted Thursday, 6/26/2014 3:22 AM

I've been an Auction Sentry user since 2006 and have purchased either annual or 3 year subscriptions renewals when required to continue to use it. I only use Auction Sentry occasionally and when I just tried to use it I received a message indicating that it had expired and that I need to renew my subscription. However, the only option that I'm being offered is for a single month at $4.95. I've received no emails indicating that my subscription was due to expire or that it had expired and I don't understand why I'm not being offered a one year or three year renewal option ?

Best regards.

Craig

Support

Posted Thursday, 6/26/2014 3:19 PM

Hello,

I am sorry to hear that you have encountered difficulty with a renewal.

Unfortunately, we no longer offer subscriptions for durations longer than one month, so the currently monthly subscription you see is the only one we have remaining.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please let me know if you have other questions or encounter further difficulty.

Sincerely,
Auction Sentry Support

xxxx@xxxxx.com 

Customer

Posted Friday, 6/27/2014 12:14 AM

After 8 years as a loyal customer, I'm very disappointed to be treated this way. Clearly your company has no regard for its long term customer base and so I will be joining the many who have deleted your software from their computers and found an alternative product from a company that cares about its customers and doesn't treat them with such contempt. I'd like to be able to wish your company every success but the truth is that I think it deserves to go out of business as a result of losing customers because of the way it is treating them.

Best regards.

Todd K.

Support

Posted Friday, 6/27/2014 11:56 AM

Hello

Thanks for following up on this matter. I am sorry to hear of your disappointment. I will pass your comments on to our management team but, my understanding is that our fee structure is permanent and will not be changing.

Sincerely,

Todd K.

xxxx@xxxxx.com 

Customer

Posted Monday, 6/30/2014 1:33 AM

Thank you for your follow up. I do strongly feel that Auction Sentry has got this badly wrong and is treating its existing customers with contempt. It's a basic rule of business that you retain existing customers because it's very costly to acquire new ones. I suspect that most existing customers will be as annoyed and disappointed as I am with the new subscription pricing and will take the same action – find an alternative product. For what it's worth, I have uninstalled Auction Sentry and started using Xellsoft's HarvEx. It may be a less polished product but it offers similar functionality and is more than sufficient for my needs at a price that was what I was previously paying for Auction Sentry.
Todd K.

Support

Posted Monday, 6/30/2014 8:59 AM

Hello again,

Thank you for your additional comments.

Sincerely,

Todd K.

xxxx@xxxxx.com 

Customer

Posted Monday, 6/30/2014 9:01 AM

Auction Sentry has lost another customer.
Status:
Closed 

 

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Written by Sea Monkey

July 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Posted in Comment, General

Tagged with ,

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