I've heard from yet another disgruntled Earth Class Mail customer who is being forced to stop using the service due to the price hike. When news of the price hike came through in the initial spin filled e-mail, said loyal customer wrote to Earth Class Mail support and received this response:
Thank you for contacting us and voicing your concerns. We take customer feedback very seriously and do listen to your input. With our new products and pricing, some customers are finding that their cost may higher. However, many customers are finding that with lower shipping rates and the new scan pricing, they are spending less, being charged more fairly, and enjoying more features. [Note: all typos in the ECM mail are ECMs.]
Above we see typical PR spin, trying to make the price hike sound like it's actually a good thing for loyal customers. This of course is laughable. All one needs to do is compare the old prices with the new ones to see how truly ludicrous the above paragraph is. Any of the "many customers" who are finding that they are "spending less" and being "charged more fairly" should please write to us here at the blog and explain yourselves and defend the price hike you love so much. I've been hearing from plenty of people who dislike the price hike and not even one who finds that they are "spending less" and are being "charged more fairly." Pure corporate PR baloney. The e-mail from Earth Class Mail continues:
In the past, we had many customers voice concerns that they were paying for a plan that included scans, but not getting their monies worth. Other customers were worried about having to count pages to make sure they did not go over their monthly allotment.
Oh really? Funny, I don't recall seeing anyone start a blog or tweeting about any of those issues. I bet those "many customers" are just thrilled now that they have to pay a lot more for the service overall and in addition, pay for every single mail piece that they want scanned! Yup, I'm sure those customers are real happy!
With our new pay-as-you go scan pricing, there is no more guesswork and you know you are getting what you pay for.
I can't speak for everyone, but I for one didn't mind guessing. And if the guesswork was such a terrible burden for some customers, couldn't Earth Class Mail have their programmers (competent people like Mr. Kelly White) put a little counter on the user interface to keep track of how many "free" scans each customer has left each month? Earth Class Mail could obviously keep track of that number, why didn't they just pass that info on to the users instead of raising prices into orbit and charging loyal customers for every single mail piece they want scanned? A little counter on the inbox I think would have been much easier and much more customer friendly.
We are going to featuring shredding as an add-on service to your account. We decided to separate out the shredding costs so that those customers who didn’t require the additional security of shredding the mail wouldn’t have to pay for it. Shredding does involve an additional charge, but recycling continues to be free and is much better for the environment. We also provide the recycled mail in locked dumpsters to the recycling facility so your security is less compromised than if your recycling were sitting at your curb for anyone to read.
Once again, this makes no sense at all. Customers were charged less, and had both shredding and recycling included. Now, customers are being charged much more and on top of that, have to pay extra to have their items shredded? Massive gaps in your logic, ECM! And I love it how they make it seem like even if it's just getting recycled, it's almost just as good as shredding because it's in locked dumpsters. And yes, it's all just so great for the environment! You people who are running Earth Class Mail are all just wonderful, wonderful, concientious, people!
We appreciate that you have been our customer since before the conversion. This is the first price increase in the history of Earth Class Mail and this is not something we take lightly.
Clearly you do! For me, and plenty of other loyal customers who were around before the conversion, this means an increase of well over 100%! Clearly you do take it very lightly and have complete disregard for your customers. We watched the company start in "StartUp Junkies" and were thrilled to be a part of it! Per a suggested list in your FAQ, we changed all of our postal addresses to our Earth Class Mail addresses. Now, you more than double the price of the service, and we have to change all our addresses again to something else, in order to leave you? One of your whole original selling points was that we could have one permanent address that we would never have to change. I think you take it extremely lightly and are very cavalier about how you've affected loyal customers.
Our product has new features and has reached a new level of excellence. We are continually committed to adding new features and continuing to offer you the best mail service there is.
It was fine the way it was. If new features translates to increasing the price of your most basic service to over 100% of what it was, we don't want it. Ron Wiener built a great company that provided a fine service. You're making the gross mistake of alienating the customers who trusted you, believed in you, and helped the company get started. You're not going to get a second chance.
We understand that this is a big change and you have something to think about, but we hope that you will continue to be a valued customer of Earth Class Mail.
"Valued customer?"You have treated us with complete disloyalty, and uncaring disregard. Don't add insult to injury by pretending that you "value" us. I still have my Earth Class Mail account, but only because I've paid for it at the original price. When my current term expires, I'll be gone. Not because of the service you've provided during my time with you - that has been excellent. But because of your outrageous price increase and treacherous treatment that you've given to loyal customers such as myself.
Who are the VCs who invested in Earth Class Mail and condoned President and COO Sarah Carr to treat people like this?