Constant Contact Doesn’t Live Up to Its Name

Erik Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Prevention, customer service, Erik Bernstein, Jonathan Bernstein, PR, public relations, reputation management Leave a Comment

Venting after a pair of poor customer service experiences

What do you do when a paid service you’ve used for years decides customer service isn’t a priority? In the past the answer may have been wading past multiple levels of rage-inducing robotic phone services or digging through directories to find contacts higher up in the company, but now stakeholders are just as likely to use the power of the ‘net to call attention to their situation.

Today marks the four-year anniversary of our subscription to email campaign service Constant Contact, which we use to deliver Crisis Manager to some 2,000 subscribers (and many thousands more via our readers’ sharing, our social media push, etc.) every issue. For quite a while now it has been necessary to use both Firefox and Chrome in order to create each newsletter, as certain vital functions of Constant Contact’s service (creating hyperlinks, for example) have been nonfunctional in one or the other. Obviously this is far from ideal, and I finally asked Constant Contact what was up months ago. Their support informed us that they were aware of the issue, and that someone from a higher-tier support department would be in touch.

I was told via email that the issue was being worked on, and that I would be placed on a notification list for when it was. Of course, as of this writing, the issues that existed months ago are still very much a problem, and I have received no further information on a major bug that impacts core functionality of Constant Contact’s product.

As I discovered after coming across another major bug this week, failure to communicate is an ongoing issue at Constant Contact. After entering the text for the latest Crisis Manager, I saved my work and swapped browsers in order to insert links (annoying, right?). When I opened the newsletter again, all of the work was gone. Frustrated, I contacted support, only to be told they were already aware of this issue!

Let’s look at this for a second – a company, specializing in email campaigns, is aware they have a bug which could erase, literally, hours of user’s work, yet there is no notification at all of this fact on the page. What’s really crazy about this is that Constant Contact does have, and use, an on-page notification tool which can place messages like the one below in front of customer’s eyes, they just chose not to!

CC notification example
I was told to hold off on attempting to create the newsletter for the time being, and provided a name, number and best time to be contacted. I reiterated the issues between browsers and Constant Contact’s service as well, along with the fact that nobody had resolved them the first time around, and was promised Tier 2 support would be calling us to fix everything in the morning. That night I signed off thinking, “well that was frustrating, but at least it’ll be fixed.”

Fast forward to today, well over 24 hours from the time Tier 2 support was supposed to be calling, and I have just received a poorly worded email that confirms there is an issue with campaigns saving properly. No mention of the other issues I brought to their attention, and not the promised phone call where I could ask for answers to the problems we’ve been having, but an email that requires us to once again send a reply off into the ether and, most likely, wait until after the weekend for a response. As a result, here I am, doing what any stakeholder is likely to do if you fail to communicate clearly or do your customer service duty.

So, I ask you Constant Contact, what gives? Are your loyal, paying customers important, or will we go ignored as long as our bills are paid on time?

Erik Bernstein
Editor, Crisis Manager
Social Media Manager, Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc.

Leave a Reply