An open letter to Cycling.TV

A couple of days ago I wrote a post regarding Cycling.TV’s poor (in my opinion) customer service. Harold Dalton took the time to respond to my post in the comments.

I sent Harold the following email AND followed the instructions he suggested in his comments, but thus far, have not received a response to any of my inquiries:

Harold —

You were kind enough to comment on my blog post regarding Cycling.TV’s shockingly terrible customer service, and offered up the following suggestions:

  • Posting on the Innertube community
  • Direct messaging me [Harold Dalton] on the Innertube community
  • Direct messaging us on Twitter (@CyclingTV)
  • Emailing me personally (my first name dot my surname at cycling dot tv)

Wouldn’t it be simpler to actually place a “My Account” section on the website (as mentioned in the Legal section) that allows people to cancel subscriptions online?

I’ve read the InnerTube forums … it seems like I’m not the only person to complain about the inability to EASILY cancel a subscription. In fact, from reading the forums, it seems as though many people don’t get any relief after posting there either.

One would think that a customer-service oriented company would listen to its customer complaints and take steps to address the overall problem to reduce the number of public complaints, rather than merely addressing the individual public complaints as they occur.

Here are the steps I’ve taken that thus far have not resolved the issue … I’m still being billed quarterly for a service I’m no longer using, and have been trying to cancel for about a year:

  1. emailing cyclingtv@jump.tv
  2. posting on TheInnerTube community
  3. direct messaging “halverde” on TheInnerTube community

Cycling.TV is a great service when it’s actually working properly … and I understand that losing some major races to NBC Universal has hurt your ability to provide the same levels of coverage as in years past, but you’re never going to retain customers (or more importantly, attract new customers with whose revenue you can go after larger races again), unless you make a concerted effort to improve your customer service processes.

The number one reason why clients switch providers for any sort of service isn’t pricing … it’s customer service, most often the perception that the company providing the service doesn’t care about their customers. And believe me, that’s the perception that most of the people in my local cycling community feel about Cycling.TV.

You’ve got major problems that need to be resolved, sooner rather than later.

So, since I still haven’t received a response, and still haven’t received a refund, I’m forced to take the issue public again in the hope that not only will I find some relief for my own particular issue, but that the powers-that-be at Cycling.TV wake up and realize that their business practices are ultimately going to harm them, rather than help them.

A search under the word “cancel” on their forums page will show that I am not the only person experiencing these problems with Cycling.TV’s customer service.

http://theinnertube.cycling.tv

In addition to posting here, I am also sending this open letter to VeloNews.com and Cyclingnews.com in the hopes of getting wider coverage of this issue, and as always, links to this post will be posted on Twitter and Facebook.

2 Comments

  1. A search for “cancel” on the Innertube would also reveal a response to your inquiry. On top of this, you replied to my response on Twitter, so I feel that claiming “I sent Harold the following email AND followed the instructions he suggested in his comments, but thus far, have not received a response to any of my inquiries” is a little disingenuous. I found your blog, contacted you, and was able to get your account canceled for you all within a couple of hours on Wednesday.

    I note that nowhere in your previous blog entry nor the email to me that you reproduced above do you actually refer to a refund. I’ll be happy to arrange with customer support to refund you, but it’s a little bit much to ask me to do one thing, and then when I do it, start complaining that I didn’t do a different thing and that I’ve been no help.

    Please email me the exact details of your claims for a refund and I will chase this matter for you.

    To prevent future misunderstandings like this, I’d advise anybody who emails me to ask me to help them get an issue resolved with the customer support team to include the exact details of their problem and the e-mail they use to log in. While Steven’s email above is heartfelt and certainly true, it provides neither of the two vital pieces of information that would have made it simple and quick to fix his problem.

  2. http://theinnertube.cycling.tv/service/displayDiscussionThreads.kickAction?as=2501&w=27428&d=511154&ac=new

    Email cyclingtv@jump.tv or direct message halverde …

    I’ve done both of those things and have yet to have received confirmation that my subscription has been cancelled and that I’ll be refunded for all the unauthorized charges to my card over the past year.

    This particular InnerTube post was sent prior to receiving your comments on my original blog post, and definitely before getting any info that my subscription is being cancelled, or receiving your DM via Twitter that my subscription had been cancelled. However, my response to your DM (sent 10 minutes later) stated “I don’t want access. I want a refund, and I want a refund for all charges in the past year that i’ve been trying to cancel.”

    I never received a response to that message.

    The bigger point, however, is that Cycling.TV makes it extremely difficult to cancel a subscription. Despite indication in the FAQ to cancel through PayPal (which makes no sense when a credit card is being directly billed) AND indication in the Legal section that subscriptions can be cancelled in the My Account section (which does not exist), there is no place on Cycling.TV’s website to cancel a subscription.

    I have sent numerous emails over the past year (and unfortunately I do not still have copies), but until I started this particular campaign, I received no responses and continued to be billed.

    If you check Cycling.TV’s usage data, you will see that I have watched no premium content since the Spring classics in early 2009. If cyclocross coverage weren’t geo-restricted and unavailable in the United States, then perhaps I would have used the service more often, and continued my subscription.

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