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.