Some companies spend a lot of money to do client satisfaction surveys. I consider it a service to provide some valuable feedback.
A charge from McAfee appeared out of the blue on a current credit card statement. This charge was made on a card I hadn’t used in some time, one that I had vowed some time ago not to use. My husband pointed to the new – solitary – item. I had no explanation.
I spent a while on the website, trying to ascertain what it could have been. Finally, I tried their online chat.
It became clear almost at once that I was being charged a yearly renewal service fee (for how many years?) on the account that I had opened years ago under my old educational email address. If there was any reminder or notice about this yearly payment, I couldn’t have received it. Moreover, any such courtesy email – if it was sent (which I doubt) would have bounced. They would have received a bounced email, and my telephone number and address were on file.
So they just kept charging me – hoping, I suppose, that I wouldn’t catch it. I wonder how many other people have such charges?
I’ve had my current email address for several years now, and haven’t even had access to my other one since August 2004. I had stopped using that address for my primary email contact a few years before that. Who knows how many charges there may have been? I started from scratch with a new version last year after trying a couple of other products.
In all fairness, a reread of the transcript allowed me to see that I did misunderstand something. I was reading quickly, and scanned “charged” as “changed.” I thought they were asking when my email address changed, but I think they were actually trying to find out the date of the credit card transaction. I don’t have access to the bill this evening anyway, so I couldn’t have given it to them. The misunderstanding contributed to my frustration level… but that was my own blind spot in the communication.
There is still quite a bit for someone to go over in an improvement planning or strategy session, if they are so inclined.
I’m not fond of the on-line chats for many of the bigger companies. I don’t know what the set-up is, but I often get the distinct impression that it is automated and that I’m not actually in contact with a person. Often, the conversation doesn’t pass the Turning test.
I think the transcript speaks for itself. It has been lightly edited for security, confidentiality, and glaring typos.
Please wait while we find a customer service representative to assist you…
You have been connected to Andrew Ne(*).
Andrew Ne(*): Thank you for contacting McAfee customer service. How may I help you today?
Heidi N(*): I am writing to question the recent charge on my credit card bill
Andrew Ne(*): Heidi, I’ll be happy to help you.
Andrew Ne(*): Please go ahead with your issue.
Heidi N(*): I got no advance notice of such a charge and no receipt If it was a renewal, I would have preferred for the charge to be on another card.
Heidi N(*): Do you have access to the record of the charge?
Andrew Ne(*): One moment please, while I look up your account details. I appreciate your patience.
Andrew Ne(*): Heidi, I see that you have valid McAfee products registered under the e-mail address hei(*).
Andrew Ne(*): May I have your billing address for verification, please?
Heidi N(*): (*)
Andrew Ne(*): Please provide me the complete address.
Heidi N(*): (*)
Andrew Ne(*): Thank you very much for the information.
Andrew Ne(*): I see that you have McAfee Internet Security Suite valid till 10/15/2007. And you have purchased the software on 10/15/2006.
Heidi N(*): Yes, so why was there a charge?
Andrew Ne(*): May I know the date when your account charged recently?
Heidi N(*): My account didn’t recently change. I promised my husband I wouldn’t use that card, but there is a charge from you on the last bill. I got no reminder or advance notice and I would like a reason for the
Currently experiencing network delays, one moment please….
Network connection re-established.
Heidi N(*): charge. It was thirty-something dollars. I would also like to credit that and process the charge, if it is valid, on some other card.
Heidi N(*): But so far I don’t have the explanation for the charge.
Heidi N(*): Questions?
Andrew Ne(*): I will do my best to resolve your issue.
Heidi N(*): I would appreciate your doing so.
Andrew Ne(*): I will let you know the reason for you the charges.
Andrew Ne(*): May I know the date when your account charged recently?
Heidi N(*): OH, please. Is this a person?
Heidi N(*): Please let me chat with your supervisor.
Andrew Ne(*): I appreciate your patience. May I place you on hold while I escalate your chat?
Heidi N(*): Manager. Supervisor. Person in charge there. Human.
Heidi N(*): Yes. As soon as possible please.
Andrew Ne(*) has left the session.
Please wait while we find an agent from the CS-McAfee Tier2 Escalations department to assist you.
You have been connected to Brad Ju(*).
Brad Ju(*): Thank you for contacting McAfee Tier 2 Escalations. I would like to take two minutes to review all of your previous interactions.
Heidi N(*): Brad. Please read the above transcript.
Brad Ju(*): If I understand you correctly Heidi, you would like to know why you have charged recently?
Heidi N(*): Yes, that is the primary question to begin.
Brad Ju(*): One moment please, while I look up your account details. I appreciate your patience.
Brad Ju(*): Heidi, I see that you have valid McAfee products registered under the e-mail address hei(*).
Heidi N(*): Yes, as you see from the above.
Brad Ju(*): Do you have any e-mail address ending with lear(*)?
Heidi N(*): I used to, but I graduated two years ago with my PhD
Heidi N(*): My primary address is hei(*)
Brad Ju(*): Please let me know lear(*) full e-mail address.
Heidi N(*): Again with the scripting machine. Please escalate me to Tier3
Heidi N(*): Human chat, please
Brad Ju(*): Heidi, I see that you have been charged under the lear(*) McAfee account for the renewal.
Heidi N(*): hn(*) has not been my address is two years.
Brad Ju(*): Yes, I am human.
Heidi N(*): Do you mean to tell me you’ve still been charging me?
Heidi N(*): I bought a whole new version, full price!
Heidi N(*): The scripts make it appear that you are using an elementary artificial intelligence. Repetition. Lack of understanding.
Heidi N(*): I would like any charges make after my graduation date in August 2004 to be refunded.
Heidi N(*): I would like you to combine the records with my current information.
Brad Ju(*): I completely understand your frustration and will be more than happy to help you.
Brad Ju(*): Before I can provide you with the account details that you have requested, I need to follow some security guidelines to ensure your account integrity. Please bear with me while we go through the process.
Heidi N(*): I will comply with your procedures, but this is not good customer service.
Brad Ju(*): I see that account has been setup with McAfee Always on protection under the hn(*).
Heidi N(*): That would have had to have been more than 2 years ago.
Heidi N(*): If so, probably yes.
Heidi N(*): But I upgraded, bought the complete new version
Heidi N(*): It gave me a lot of trouble, and it’s heavy, and it shredded a bunch of my files.
Heidi N(*): Now you say that I’ve been getting charges on a card I haven’t used in some time. If you are married, you can understand my concern. Especially if this is a bogus charge.
Heidi N(*): Which it certainly appears to be.
Brad Ju(*): Since your account was setup for McAfee Always on protection under the hn(*) McAfee account and it has been auto-renewed on 1/5/2007.
Heidi N(*): Not acceptable. Do we need to escalate to another Tier or something to get this resolved?
Heidi N(*): I’ve been signing in with hei(*) for a while.
Brad Ju(*): Do you like to get refund for the recent charge on 1/5/2007 and use the McAfee product purchased on 10/15/2006 under the e-mail address hei(*)?
Heidi N(*): Yes, and also refund for previous charges if I was not updating the software.
Heidi N(*): I am pretty sure that I used Norton for a least a year.
Brad Ju(*): As per our terms and conditions, we guarantee that McAfee Customer Services subscriptions will make your computer more secure. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, we offer a full refund within 60 days of purchase. However, you are now outside that 60-day time frame. It is also our policy that we do not provide partial refunds.
Heidi N(*): It was an even heavier drag on my system.
Brad Ju(*): I can able to refund only the recent charges under your account. Is okay for you?
Heidi N(*): Again there is a lack of understanding of the situation. Wou
Heidi N(*): Fine, that will be enough to placate my irate husband for the moment.
Heidi N(*): I just swallow any other yearly charges that you could not have notified me about since I could not access mail at the lea(*) address?
Heidi N(*): The emails would have bounced.
Heidi N(*): I am sure that you can track this.
Brad Ju(*): Heidi, I understand that your purchase was processed through the McAfee Store. In order to request a refund for this purchase, please contact the McAfee Store directly at 1-800-310-2980.
Heidi N(*): I do not want a refund for my purchase. I want a refund on the yearly charge on my old, inactive email account for a product I haven’t owned in years. I have the current security center program now.
Heidi N(*): I want to continue to use it (I Think), but this recent charge appears to have been made for some old account service
Heidi N(*): It is on the current bill, not the end of last year
Brad Ju(*): Heidi, I understand your concern, your initial purchase of the McAfee product under the e-mail address hn(*) is from online store. You need to contact online store to get refund for the renewal charges under your old account.
Heidi N(*): ok.
Heidi N(*): Please stay with me while I check what you say by calling
Heidi N(*): I am timing the response.
Brad Ju(*): Heidi, please take your time.
Brad Ju(*): Heidi, I have not received a response from you in the last two minutes, in order to provide maximum assistance to all our other customers, we will be unable to continue this chat if I don’t receive a response within the next two minutes.
Heidi N(*): They do not have access to my online renewal. You have given me inaccurate advice.
Brad Ju(*): Please give me a moment to research your issue. Thank you for your patience.
Heidi N(*): They gave me the number of 408-992-8xxx
Heidi N(*): They are closed, and directed me to the website.
Heidi N(*): Perfect catch-22. Congratulations. I’ll be posting this script on my blog.
Brad Ju(*): I do understand your frustration. I will be helping you in the best possible way.
Heidi N(*): Is there someone who has more authority there to help in a slightly better way?
Brad Ju(*): Under these circumstance, I am processing you refund for the recent renewal under your account hn(*).
Brad Ju(*): Please give me a moment while I process your refund. I appreciate your patience.
Brad Ju(*): As requested, we have refunded the McAfee Always on Protection charges of $39.99, which will be credited to your account within 3 – 5 working days, or before you receive your next credit card statement. Your reference number will be CS23xxxxxxx.
Heidi N(*): Will there be any further charges on that card?
Brad Ju(*): The McAfee Always on Protection feature for your account under the e-mail address hn(*) has been canceled. Your account will no longer be automatically renewed.
Heidi N(*): And my current account under hei(*) will still be maintained through Oct 2007 without further charge, correct?
Heidi N(*): You haven’t canceled that one too, right?
Heidi N(*): I have to make sure I don’t have to contact customer service again
Brad Ju(*): Yes, you have active account under the e-mail address hei(*) till 10/15/2007.
Heidi N(*): To clarify, I want my current account to remain active, but my earlier account to be canceled.
Heidi N(*): YES! Woo-hoo. Thank you.
Heidi N(*): Now my husband can calm down about this.
Heidi N(*): We were about to pull all of your products off our personal and work computers.
Brad Ju(*): I would like to recap what we have been working on today to ensure that you are comfortable with resolution that I have provided. You wanted a refund for the McAfee product that was auto renewed under your old account; I have refunded it, and cancelled your auto renewal feature. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Heidi N(*): No. I am glad that (although it took serious effort and time) your mistake has been rectified in part.
Heidi N(*): I don’t really expect anything more. But you might pass this script along.
Heidi N(*): It contains valuable feedback for your company.