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PeterSleet

Consumer Rights violated, Personal Rights threatened

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I have an unpaid account with a business. On its website there are specifics stating if any FAQ or matter related to the site that is unclear or not working properly, the user can submit a support ticket. When I submit these tickets, Customer Service is horrendous. The agents never answer the questions. They force me to answer irrelevant questions and demand I submit to various steps or "there is nothing we will do." When I do it out of desperation, they condescend and criticize me while neither fixing the problem nor answering my original and later questions. All of this is in writing as they have no phone support.

 

After several escalations, the business close my cases without replying claiming they have answered my questions when I have proof they have not. I reopen them and retype my specific questions only for the merry-go-round to continue. After several weeks of this, I get an email stating that I must not reopen old cases or create new ones or my access will be restricted as being harassment to their employees and that there is no help for me with their product - even while I am getting spammed by their organization. I used no profanity and no all caps, only followed directions posted in writing both on their website and through an Attorney General Office response the business wrote that they were there to answer my questions. Which they refuse to do. 

 

I have seen on Twitter people use profanity and unprofessional language and get help from this business. Yet I get the harassment line when I keep getting agents with limited to no reading comprehension skills. 

 

Can a business blacklist a customer in this manner? And refuse support to select customers while providing support to others?

 

What type of attorney do I seek to fight this type of behavior, if any? 

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I have read your post carefully but still cannot discern what your problem is.  You began your post stating that you have an unpaid account with some business.  You then launch in to a lengthy complaint about how the business is unresponsive to some unspecified complaints about the businesses FAQ's or lack of support of . . .something.  Sorry but I am lost.

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4 hours ago, PeterSleet said:

What type of attorney do I seek to fight this type of behavior,

 

Any attorney to whom you are willing to pay several thousand dollars as a retainer against a fee of about $300 per hour which is likely to run you up a bill in the tens of thousands of dollars trying to tilt at this windmill.

 

Wouldn't it be more practical, and make more sense, to just stop using the service if it's that much of a hassle instead of getting into litigation that you aren't likely to win?

 

 

 

 

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When the work that I do requires use of this social media platform otherwise, as the industry now dictates, not using this platform is considered odd. Meaning, those who don't use it are considered not current with the times and potentially hiding something by not using this global platform. At face value, I agree with your closing, but unlike the democratic process we are encouraged to abide by, not using this platform is like a dictatorship - I've ceased using it in the past only to be criticized as not being current by Major Industry players in my industry - Information Technology. From a principle standpoint, being told I can't ask questions while others can and the only difference is my name, I have problems as well. 

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RetiredinVA  I can't list the business name since I don't want to be banned by this forum moderators. The business offers unpaid accounts and paid accounts to post one's personal information on its platform. While on that platform, I am experiencing technical and personal issues that I did not create but is impacting both my account and my email inbox. The business has FAQs on its website that state that any customer with a paid or unpaid account can submit questions about issues or concerns, along the lines of any reputable business. Other customers submit questions and get treated respectfully and have their issues resolved promptly. I ask questions and get treated disrespectfully (condescending replies, claims that my questions were answered when they weren't, insults to my intelligence, etc.) and the problems remain - such as receiving SPAM from this company after selecting options I want to occur for my account and the process not occurring. 

 

Then when I clarify to the business that it is not answering my questions, not adhering to their Terms & Conditions such as sending me SPAM when I have the options properly selected, the company has now threatened me with the language that I am not allowed to ask questions of the business again and that no one is there to help me going forward on any matter. Even going as far to use the word harassment via reopening old cases or creating new cases. I am not putting my hands on anyone nor am I using profane or unprofessional language when trying to get someone to basically read my concern and address it like a grown-up.

 

In other words, I am being blacklisted from Customer Support and I am essentially being told I have to tolerate the unprofessional conduct of their support agents while continuing to receive SPAM and have improper activity appear on my account or close my account and go through life that a company of this global standing can conduct itself by sending emails and threats to me with no consequences or explanation why I am being singled out while other customers (some that are using profane and unprofessional language) still get assistance and not blacklisted from Support. 

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So when you say you have an unpaid account you mean you have a free account, not an account on which you have an unpaid balance.  You use the site as a source of information but have some problems with using the site and have apparently complained about customer service so often that they have told you to cease and desist.   Since use of this service seems to be critical to your business perhaps you should consider converting to a paid account.  I am sure it will be a lot cheaper than retaining a lawyer to sue the company because you are not satisfied with the free service you are unhappy with.  

 

Where did you get the idea that you have some sort of enforceable personal right to receive acceptable customer service  from a free service?

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I have been complaining why they won't answer my basic questions that is impacting my personal email account outside their platform as well as other internal platform issues (since there is a system function that sends notifications to my personal email about certain topics which I have set to off).

 

The idea about enforceable personal right is several. First, and foremost, the company has a "Bill of Customer Rights" on its website and one of its agent's even wrote the words "Members First" is their mantra - about addressing any and all customer concerns whether they are a paid customer or a free customer. This service doesn't publicly or privately stack memberships in tiers like some businesses and help paid customers. To further illustrate, when I was with this company as a paid customer I got the same unprofessional service. 

 

But moreso to the point, this company has a public social media presence where paid and free customers post questions. This is what I was referring to about conduct. Some customers post profanity at this company and the company promptly addresses their issue. I take insult after insult and then when I professionally follow guidelines from Consumer Protection agencies nationwide as well as general ethics I am told whether I bump myself to a paid account or stay at a free account, I am barred from asking questions? I must continue to get spam emails because they don't want to fix their service? Thereby, I have to wait until someone else poses the question in a democracy where we are supposed to be treated equally? 

 

Please understand, this is not some mom and pop company. It is a universal brand as I mentioned in reply to someone else's post, if someone in my industry is not using their platform, they are considered old-school, behind the times. Their career takes a hit, their network takes a hit. I have dropped their service in the past and got a rude awakening and was forced to get back on even when we are told and encouraged to stand up for oneself and not be taken advantage of. Again, they don't distinguish between paid and free in service levels. This is why I posed the question in this forum. 

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On 9/1/2017 at 5:35 PM, PeterSleet said:

Can a business blacklist a customer in this manner? And refuse support to select customers while providing support to others?

 

What type of attorney do I seek to fight this type of behavior, if any?

 

Yes, yes, and none.

 

As for the rest of what you wrote, you are apparently getting a level of service that is appropriate to what you are paying for the service.  Let's take Facebook as an example.  Facebook does a number of things that I find annoying.  However, I've never paid a single penny to Facebook.  Therefore, if I don't like what Facebook does, my recourse is to close my account.  You have that same recourse available to you.

 

 

On 9/2/2017 at 4:19 PM, PeterSleet said:

I can't list the business name since I don't want to be banned by this forum moderators.

 

"Can't" and "don't want to" are not the same thing.  That said, folks post business names here all the time.  While I think there used to be a rule against doing so, it does not appear that any such rule exists anymore.  Even if there were such a rule, no one is going to ban you for a single violation.

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Let me phrase my issue this way.

 

When I go to a fast-food place and make an order and I pay $2.99 and the server hands it to me and spits in my food. The next customer makes the same order and pays $2.99 and the server hands it to them spit excluded. 

 

That is the point I am trying to make here.

 

It is not a point of frustrating experiences, it is with equal treatment for the same services for the same price. Issues that are affecting the masses, I report and I get told to jump in the lake while I see the same business treat other customers paying the same amount as I - nothing - and getting the service outlined in this business' document that I referenced earlier as Members First and the right to ask any questions. Furthermore when I reported this matter to the Attorney General's office, they responded "we are here to answer any and all questions I had."

 

My line of work requires using this account or face further scrutiny. Therefore, I have the choice of closing my account and affect my career or keep my career but be mistreated repeatedly in a democratic society with this account - which is essentially no choice. 

 

As for the community guidelines, I was advised to refrain from posting names even with that document link listed. As another case I had, I leaned on that type of document and got burned thereafter. I pointed out it was not in the Terms/Guidelines and was told otherwise and got banned. I took the matter to the Attorney General and the BBB and remain banned for a 1-time event. So I disagree with can't and don't because I just experienced this same issue 2 months ago. I have no choice but to play it cautious. 

 

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8 hours ago, PeterSleet said:

It is not a point of frustrating experiences, it is with equal treatment for the same services for the same price.

 

The account is free. You are paying nothing for it. Thus, you take the service as it is offered. There is no law that requires that they give you outstanding customer service. Indeed, annual surveys by various pollsters highlight companies famous for having very bad customer service.

 

This company treats some of their free users better than they do you. It’s unclear why that is. But unless that differing treatment is because of illegal discrimination (e.g. because of your race, color, religion, etc) the company is free to treat its customers differently. There is no law that says that a company must treat all its users at the same price level exactly the same. Look at airline tickets for a great example. You might have two people on the plane who paid the same price for their ticket, but one ticket has a higher level of perks with it than the other. There is nothing illegal about that so long as the reason for the difference was not illegal discrimination.

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