I went to bed still pretty frustrated about everything that happened yesterday. Whenever I'm in discord with something I try to find my way to peace. And in order to that I have to sort out the deeper underlying issues that are really bothering me. So I mapped it out and reflected on it, and here's what I came to:
#1 I'm not actually mad about the loss of the money itself.
Once when I was living in an apartment I went out to my car and discovered it had been broken into. Luckily the only things in there of value -and the only things they took -were my CDs. My first thought was, "Well I hope they like the music." It kind of surprised me. I felt proud that in one instant I could easily let go of the material attachment and rise to a higher place of understanding.
I once, having taken 3 yoga classes, bought $120 worth of future classes. Then stopped going after 2 more classes and actually ended up moving out of that city. But if I had to do it over again, I'd have done it the same. I support yoga in general and in particular that studio because it was a good one. I could make peace with letting go of the money knowing it was going to something GOOD.
Which is why I am so bothered by what happened. I lost $100 to a company that lies about what it's actual service is and essentially screws people over. All I can do is pray to God that He find a way to see the money into Good hands and Good works.
#2 The way I was treated by "customer service" is what hurts the most.
It's a common sense understanding that if you want to succeed in business you can't just get a bulk of transient customers to show up -you need CONSISTENT, Long-Term customers to keep buying.
This company betrayed that understanding and instead seeks only to profit what they can from customers by catching them off guard and then leaving them in the dust. In other words: They have NO Respect for PEOPLE.
And any institution that has lost site of its own humanity isn't a "company" anymore -just a soulless machine. We are HUMAN. You don't treat fellow humans that way. It speaks to a lack of value in Integrity.
It sucks being treated as a means to an end. As if the only worth I have in the eyes of these people is the $100 the gleaned from me.
#3 I did NOT want/desire/need the service.
Had I not been pet sitting and had payed more attention to my email account over the past week I WOULD have opted out of paying $100 for their "services". They acted like I consented to this charge while simultaneously acknowledging I have no interest in it whatsoever.
For a product or service to be financially imposed upon a person -especially one that clearly doesn't want it -and a company to just not care: It's SAD. I realize it does happen and it probably happens a lot, but it's still a sad reality that some companies allow themselves to degrade into.
#4 So what do you do when you can't do anything?
The Bottom Line -since that's the only thing that seems to matter to Semalt -is that I'm not getting refunded and I'm stuck with this mistake.
So what is learned? (Beyond just being more savvy when it comes to avoiding these kinds of scams in the future?)
Well the interesting thing is I do work in Marketing. My friend is creating a company that should it become successful would benefit from various online companies that increase marketing success. Had Semalt -or even FastSpring -not screwed me over or been illegitimate companies, I could have easily suggested it to my friend and other people.
Asana.com for example is a service we've been using and I've already signed 3 new people up for it because I knew it would come in handy for them. Asana is a great example that illustrates a service from a company can be Free and Successful. But there are other ones we use and pay for that I highly recommend -like Constant Contact.
These companies could have benefited not just from me being a customer, but from me referring customers to them. So in the end, THEY screwed themselves over.
I also take this as a lesson. When my friend does seek SEO help, I'll tell her to steer clear of Semalt and give better suggestions. When my friend does seek a company that helps with customer subscriptions and transactions, I'll tell her to steer clear of FastSpring, and go with something better.
I don't want ANY future customers she might have getting screwed over like that. If someone wants to opt out of a service they don't genuinely want they should be able to -Period. Otherwise it's just going to end up biting the business back and hurting the company. Pissed off customers taint sales.
Anyone who trades in the Loyalty of their customers for temporary Profit deserves neither Loyalty or Profit.