Are you living in a Dilbert cartoon?

I subscribe to the Daily Dilbert cartoons. Sometimes they are hilarious because they are so true. In the interest of cutting down the number of emails I get, I decided it was time to cancel. I clicked on the Unsubscribe link and was taken to a page asking for my email address and a password. I enter the password I normally use for this type of stuff and it doesn't work. So, I click on "Forget your password?". It says it will send me a password to the email address. For days I patiently wait. Nothing. The comics keep coming. I go to Yahoo and read my Bulk Mail folder with all the spam in it. (Believe me, it is ALL spam. Thanks, Yahoo, for normally shielding me from all of this junk.) It's not there. Back I go to the website (comics.com) and finally dig to find a page resembling "Contact Us." But when I click on the link for unsubscribing, nothing happens. So, I scroll through the gazillion items (it was an FAQ page), and I find what I'm looking for. Finally, I got an email saying they will delete me from the list. (At least they responded and took care of the situation, but the whole thing felt Dilbertesque.)

LESSON: test your links and processes with real people!

While I'm ranting, have you ever sent an email to the address on the Contact Us page of a website? Never to hear from them? A friend told me she sent several emails with no response and finally got a real live person on the phone. The lady's response to the fact that the emails were ignored? A terse response of "We're understaffed. There are only a few of us here!"

LESSON: Don't put a "Contact Us" link if you have no intention or resources to answer the email. And rudeness and hearing about your problems are never acceptable responses. Steve wrote earlier this month about customer satisfaction. You wonder how many companies lose business and never know why. "Moments of truth." It shouldn't be this hard...

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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