We Understand Your Concern

I subscribed, for years. to the LexisNexis advance sheet service, receiving daily summaries of and links to recent decisions on certain topics from courts I selected to follow.  It cost $198/year and delivered great value, keeping me up on legal developments relevant to all of my courses, Internet law in particular.  Early this summer LexisNexis notified me by email that its advance sheet service would cease on July 21.   The email also provided a link to facilitate renewing my subscription to the service LexisNexis was killing, the first hint to the Jekyll/Hyde character of LexisNexis customer service.  LexisNexis sent at least four subsequent emails with the same message:  We will not longer provide this subscription service after July 21!! Click here to renew!!  I thought of LexisNexis as a company that knew what it was doing, so one day I called customer service to ask, what’s the deal with the mixed message?  “You are terminating the service, you’ve not offered a substitute service, you owe me money for the service I paid for post-July 21, and you are inviting me to renew a non-existent subscription.  What’s up with that?”  I was not–and am not–angry, just mystified at and curious about the customer-relations cluelessness of this sophisticated information-services company.  The customer service rep, very friendly, confirmed LexisNexis had no other products similar to the cancelled service, that they owed me money, and that the renewal requests were generated automatically by computer.   But why is the computer programmed to generate renewal prompts in messages telling me the service will not longer exist?  Hmm.  Good question.

I thought and heard nothing more about this until a few days ago, when I received an email asking me to complete the LexisNexis Community Member Survey.  I had two thoughts:  1. LexisNexis owes me money!  2. Does LexisNexis, a company that licenses information databases, know its customer service database is engaged in stand-up comedy?  I had to call.  This morning I shared these thoughts with another customer service rep, whose voice was nowhere as appealing as the woman I spoke with in July.  Yes, there is a credit memo in my file, acknowledging that LexisNexis owes me money.  No, they haven’t actually refunded the money.  They only process these credit memos in April and October.  Oh, I’d like to receive the credit now?  No, they have no products to replace the terminated service.  Yes, they do appreciate me presenting my concerns to them.

Global disappointment

The Boston Globe had declined in many ways from what it was in the 1970s and 80s.  Pressure from the Internet is a primary cause and newspapers need to establish strong web presences to remain in the game.  The Boston Globe’s website has always been disappointing.  It does not update often, loads much more slowly than, say, The New York Times or Wall Street Journal sites, features clunky navigation, and lacks expected customer service features.  I’m suspending the weekend Times and Globe through Labor Day.  I suspended my Times delivery by selecting the stop date, start date, weekends only on the website.  A few clicks and it was done.  I couldn’t suspend the Globe as simply.  The website allowed a vacation suspension menu, but suspending every Saturday and Sunday delivery requires entering each set of weekend dates in ten separate transactions.  Silly.  I had to call customer service, wade through the inevitable options menu, and ignore repeated requests for information so my call would be transferred to a human being.  Then I had to repeat my request four times because the rep had difficulty understanding what I meant by “every weekend through Labor Day.”  I’m less than 50% confident that this request will be processed correctly.  Frustrating, because it shouldn’t be this hard.