On Free Trial, Refund, and Horrible Customer Support
Update per :
Mr. Maciej of Pinboard just replied to my email and by that, my refund is in process. My Pinboard account is closed now.
This is more of a rant than a proper blog post. You may call this is a Buyer’s Remorse. I say, this is a biased review for Pinboard and Feed Wrangler.
I am an avid app and SaaS1 user who likes to look for any apps/services for certain use cases. I will try a set of apps with a more-or-less same feature before committing on one app. This method leads me to use iA Writer —writing app, BitWarden —password manager service, Fastmail —mail provider, FSNotes —note taking app, Canary Mail —email client. The afore mentioned apps and their competitors that I’ve tried beforehand offer free trial period that allow me to have a sneak peek of what I will be getting.
I was forced to use and pay them while I was in progress of trying.
I was looking for good RSS backend after my instance of self hosted RSS broke, so I tried other services that is supported by Reeder. Most of them offer free trial, except Feed Wrangler. The same for Pinboard, one of the apps in my ‘bookmark and arciving services to try’ list. Other services are Pocket, Polar, Raindrop.io, Keep It, etc. and they offer free trial.
Both Feed Wrangler and Pinboard offer a no question asked refund policy23, that cannot be claimed. What is worse, they both only offer a one year plan. I have contacted their support mail, and both have not responded to any of my refund request mail. Heck, I even contacted the developers' personal mail with a thoughtful and polite email content in a desperate effort to get their attention and response.
The new Covid-19 pandemic that has been going more than half a year makes our live difficult. Beside the hundreds of thousands of death toll and people in hunger or homelessness, many people just got laid-off and unemployed. Those who are lucky and still employed (including me) got their sallary cut or got more work to do.
I have great understandings if a service’s customer support got overwhelmed. But when I checked pinboard’s twitter account, the account still actively tweets and replied at the same time I am waiting for their email reply. I even contacted Pinboard’s twitter account by mentioning and Direct Message.
@Pinboard I have emailed the support for 3 days but no response this far. I want to request refund and account deletion for my account "ybbond"— Yohanes Bandung Bondowoso (@ybbond) June 17, 2020
There is a chance my emails got detected as spam. I am well aware of that, so I write my refund requests as polite as possible:
On Wed, Jun 17, 2020 at 2:08 PM [REDACTED] wrote:
I want to refund for account “[REDACTED]”, on the email “[REDACTED]”
I have emailed since 3 days ago with my personal mail address, but no response. I even desperately contacted you via twitter.
Thank you for your attention, I also have feedback to setup trial account, because your email support is not active, but in the FAQ you said there will be 3 days no question asked refund policy.
The waiting game just began.
So, a quick, biased review for Feed Wrangler and Pinboard, because they have basically the same feats:
- solid basic features
- good integration with third-party apps
- ‘no-nonsense’ interface that don’t bloat
- their customer supports are horrible
- their ‘no-nonsense’ interface are not very beautiful
- no official or reliable first-party mobile apps
- pinboard’s archival account won’t work for Medium and many developers' good site
I don’t mind paying4 for apps or services, but I feel irritated because I am forced to pay for stuff I won’t use. Or forced to use, because that I have paid for one, I have to dismiss the alternatives.
My purse is not that deep, you know?
See Feed Wrangler’s claim for their refund policy
This statement refers on how piracy is still a common thing. No scientific research concluded, it is just uncountable and unreliable common knowledge. I still try to pay my debts for the computer programs or games I pirated in my younger days. My pirating practice can be rationalized. Back then, my knowledge about software licensing and ownership was none. Access to credit card was rare even for adults. Seller of original licensed software was hard to found. At least in Indonesia. ↩︎
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