I’m a “Pro” user of the Hightail (formerly YouSendIt) file sharing and storage service. I’ve been a loyal customer since January 2009, paying over $100 a year for my premium services.
This morning I received an email offer to the address I use to subscribe to Hightail with the subject line “Complete your list with our great discount.”
The offer promised if I “Upgrade to Hightail Professional” today, I’d get 50% off the annual subscription price. Hightail subscription plans have confusing names: Hightail Professional is an upgrade to the Hightail Pro service I am using now.
The offer sounded good, so I clicked the “Get the deal” button.
However when I logged into my Hightail account to complete the transaction, I got a nasty error message: “Your account does not meet the pre-requisites for using this Sku code.”
Perhaps there is an error in the Hightail systems. I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt here and assume that might be the case.
But it also might mean that Hightail is playing the game so many companies play: Treating existing customers like second-class citizens.
Don’t exclude your existing customers in your offers
In their quest to grow revenue at any cost, many lazy marketers dream up offers to entice new users but exclude current users. Mobile phone companies are notorious at doing this. But customers like me hate offers that apply to new customers only for the companies we already do business with.
To exclude those like me who already pay money to your company is to annoy us.
It seems backwards to me. Smart companies should reward existing customers with the better deal.
Okay, I get it. Hightail wants new subscribers. It’s the end of the calendar year and they want to make their numbers.
If that’s the case, they should simply exclude the offer from the email addresses of those people they are unwilling to honor with the discount.
Why alert me to the offer only to say “no” when I try to sign up?
Great customer service drives new sales
When customers are happy, they keep their product longer, they spend more over time, and they share their happiness with others either in person or on social networks. It’s The New Rules of Sales and Service.
Right now, I am not a happy Hightail customer. I’m sharing, but not in a good way. What a waste.
I’d be interested to know if this was a mistake or just plain sales and marketing stupidity.
Hightail, over to you.
UPDATE January 12, 2015: Over the past week, the team at Hightail has worked with me to make this right. They have fixed a glitch in their systems. I now have the promised plan and I remain a customer.