Persist, and you might get free stuff: Lovefilm

I was a long time user of the Blockbuster mail order DVD service. For me, in Guernsey, it worked well enough, DVDs arrived promptly and I was pretty happy. Around the same time, I trialled the Lovefilm service (mainly, I think, due to a friend of mine doing one of those “Free iPod” style things, where you get friends to sign up for stuff, and you get a free, erm, iPod). And whilst the service was fine, I was perfectly happy with Blockbuster, so at the end of the trial I cancelled. But ever since, I have been plagued by emails from Lovefilm, begging me to rejoin the service, and chucking all sorts of carrots in my direction as incentive to do it. I never caved and simply deleted them all as they came in.

But I’ve recently been looking for a new mail order service. I’ve got a spangly new LCD tv, an a Blu-Ray capable PS3 and being a bit of videophile, I like real, actual DVDs rather than downloaded ones with people’s heads popping halfway through the important scenes, and Lovefilm does have a far superior selection than Blockbuster. So I figure fine, next time an email from Lovefilm turns up, I’ll go for it.

But, of course, after waiting a couple of weeks, no emails have arrived from Lovefilm, I had no copies of old emails from them, so I thought I’d try my luck.

What follows is a tale of woe and despair, highlights the problems of outsourcing your call / customer care center to non-English-speaking countries, but ultimately, through a little (sarcastic) persistence, has a happy ending. Kind of.

Email 1:

Hi,

I have previously used LoveFilm. You recently sent me a promotion code to rejoin, but I’ve lost it.

I am considering rejoining – what’s the best incentive you can give me to make me sign up?

Cheers
Matt Thornton

Straight forward, no?

Response 1:

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your recent email.

Could you please confirm the promotion code which you have received so that we will be able to assist you better with the concern.

Should you have any more questions, please do let us know and we will be glad to assist you further.

Please let us know if this answered your question.

Kind regards,

U****s

Interesting. I persist.

Email 2:

I don’t have the code – that’s why I said I lost it. Basically, I’m looking
for you to give me the best possible incentive to rejoin.

Response 2:

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your recent email.

We can confirm that you need to enter the “promotional code” at the time of reactivation only if you have been given a come back promotional offer. You may reactivate your account without any promotional code.

We do not authorise any free trial when the cancelled account is activated for the second time, you will be charged at the time of reactivation.

If you agree to pay one month’s subscription fee at the time of reactivation, please let us know and we will reactivate the account for you.

Should you have any more questions, please let us know and we will be glad to assist you further.

Please let us know if this answered your question.

Kind regards,

A*****y

Right, story so far. I told them I had a code, but I lost it, no matter, what code can you give me to incite me to rejoin. They tell me I need to provide the code. I reiterate I don’t have the code. They tell me that yes, indeed, I need to tell them the code. I think at this point I got a little exasperated.

Email 3:

In my original email, I said I have lost the promotion code, yet your response is to ask me for my promotion code!?

Response 3:

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your recent email.

According to our terms and conditions we regret to inform you that without promotion code we will not be able to offer you any promotion.

However, We can confirm that you need to enter the “promotional code” at the time of reactivation only if you have been given a come back promotional offer. You may reactivate your account without any promotional code.

We do not authorise any free trial when the cancelled account is activated for the second time, you will be charged at the time of reactivation.

If you agree to pay one month’s subscription fee at the time of reactivation, please let us know and we will reactivate the account for you.

Should you have any more questions, please let us know and we will be glad to assist you further.

Please let us know if this answered your question.

Kind regards,

U*****s

Helpful, not.

Email 4:

For the love of God.

I have been given a come back promotional code. I have lost the code. I do
not have the code. Please find the code. Please then tell me the code. Then
I don’t need to say the word code again.

Anyone would think that you actually don’t want me to reactivate my account
with you. Do I need to spell it out any more clearly?

Response 4:

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your recent email.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer you the promotional offer without the promotion code. However, in the future if you receive any promotion code please get back to us so that we will assist you accordingly.

Should you have any more questions, please do let us know and we will be happy to assist you further.

Please let us know if this answered your question.

Kind regards,

U****s

Sounds like they’re playing hardball. Which, considering their chosen market, and the indisputable fact that they want people to join their service and they’re offering promotional codes left, right and center, I was suitably unamused.

Email 5:

Congratulations. You have successfully failed to entice me back to your service. It seemed like a fairly straightforward request to me, yet your representatives were clearly oblivious (or have their hands so thoroughly tied) and were unable to decipher the fact that if were to have sent me a promotional code, I’d have rejoined the service.

Sad. Customer retention is clearly not a strong point of yours. I wonder if Block

Figured I’d get a quick dig in by mentioning one of their competitors. Nice tactic. Will it work? Yup.

Response 5:

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your recent email.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused due to our previous emails.

We would like to inform you that we can manually activate your account with ‘2 months for the price of 1’ comeback offer. However, an immediate charge of one month’s subscription fee is applied to the account.

If you agree to pay one month’s subscription fee at the time of reactivation, please let us know and we will reactivate the account for you.

We hope that this has answered your query. If you should have any further questions please do let us know.

Please let us know if this answered your question.

Kind regards,

N***h

I’m guessing the author of this one is some sort of supervisor. But there you go – a 2 for 1 offer. Not bad. Could be better. But I’ve lost interest. So I was surprised to get a further email, possibly from someone even higher up:

Response 6:

Dear Matt

Thank you for your email,

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused by this. We are willing to offer you 3 months for the price one month.

Please reply to this email with you delivery address and preferred package, if you accepted this.

Please do contact us if you have any other questions.

Please let us know if this answered your question.

Kind regards,

L*****y

That’s more like it – 3 for the price of 1. That’s a realistic value of 30-40 quid, depending on what package I go for. I say go for, because I might not actually see it through (I’m annoying like that). But with a little persistence, it does show you can get somewhere.

3 Comments

  1. Just shows how much of a moron you are “Dan”. For starters, I signed up to their service as a result of them giving me a good deal. Secondly, pestering people? It’s a company trying to sell a service! Thirdly, marketing companies like this don’t expect you to pay list price (I should know, I work for one.). It’d be like going to buy a new car and paying full price. It doesn’t happen. Unless you’re a moron. Like you. My guess is you think you have more money than sense, when really, you have little of either. T-wat.

  2. why dont you just spend some money you tight ass instead of pestering people like this get a fucking job instead of ending annoying emails

  3. LOL!!! I say that persistance is almost always rewarding. I have to admit that they were either really thick headed or just didn’t want to do the work to reactivate your account.

    I’ve had that type of problem when calling the federal government. I really do hate people who know nothing and are rude and snappy. If only my words could bite.

    Good work!

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