Dig It Dot Co. was a cell phone and broadband provider in Anythingland. It kicked off on a wave of hype, widely advertising itself as THE hip provider with the best rates and simple, straight-forward connection packages without hidden costs. Many people, were persuaded to become Dig It's customers. Dig It grew richer and richer over a few years and continued to introduce various cellphone schemes, ultimately going into the internet broadband market. With this category of products, Dig It attracted many young internet users. So, Dig It became an important competitor in the mobile communications market.
In the mean time, other competitors came into the market using various strategies to corner as much of the Anythingland telecommunications market as they could. Dissatisfied customers of these competitors were known to switch over to Dig It for better service. So, life went on as rapidly as changes in IT and communications technology allowed.
One day Dig It decided to jump on the ecological conservation band wagon due to the hype about climate change and progressive environmental damage, to increase profits and lessen work involved in sending out hard copy bills to its customers. Dig It began encouraging them to opt for e-bills and e-payments. It was all set to phase out hard copy bills sent by post, but seemed not to consider that a small number of its customers perhaps, preferred to get paper bills in the post for personal reasons.
Dig It got very angry when this customer minority didn't opt for e-billing, and went on a tough campaign to force them to comply with the company's 'green policy'. It resorted to belittling these non-conforming customers, with messages suggesting that they were, not cool or eco-friendly, and were destroyers of the environment.
Yet, Dig It did not take any steps to put into practice, its own eco policies by using existing alternatives, like recycled paper, to produce hard copy bills. Dig It also introduced self-service payment at its kiosks, directing customers to its payment machines. However, customers could not pay the exact amount of the bills into these machines, as coins or non-rounded off sums of money were rejected. If a customer had a $54 bill, he/she could only pay $50 into the machine, bringing forward $4 to the next month's bill. The customer always seemed to be in debt even if they wanted to settle the full bill for the month.
Dig It thought it a good way to maintain customer loyalty by keeping them in debt. Dig It also thought that its customers were too stupid to see through this financial ploy or that they didn't mind being put in debt although they could actually clear the bills every month. Those who insisted on clearing the bills for the month were made to queue up to wait a long time to be served. Dig It's staff took their own sweet time dealing with the long queue of customers.
Some customers decided to pay bills by mailing checks to Dig It's Payment Departments, at its main offices. But, it took a long time to get their receipts. Some complained that when checks were presented to staff at Dig It's kiosks, staff didn't know what to do with the checks.
It never occurred to Dig It to consult or ask its customers before launching on the 'green policy' drive, nor did Dig It understand how to treat its customers with courtesy and establish good customer relations. Everyone's patience has its limits and eventually more and more customers began to terminate Dig It's mobile provider services.
Dig It, then went on to rigorously marketing the internet broadband facility and did reasonably well except for the continued 'green' e-billing policy. E-notifications could be viewed in a few seconds and forgotten immediately, if the customer was too busy working on something else online and had no time to make an e-payment.
Dig It's billing system was also so unclear, as it held onto the aim of keeping the customer in debt, confusing customers of whether, they were over-paying or under-paying Dig It. Dig It's staff (equally confused) were unable to clarify this confused system to customers. So, a number of these broadband customers also began to drift away to competitor internet broadband service providers.
The moral of the story is that wealth and prosperity do not make up for bad manners and arrogance. If Dig It had not become dictatorial towards its customers, it would still have the goodwill and cooperation of its former customers in promoting the eco-friendly green policy it launched. Sadly, unless Dig It learns something from this circumstance it will only succeed in turning away more customers and harming its own business. Dig It had dug its own grave.
Dig It Dot Co. is a fictional company and any similarities arising in this story to real situations are merely accidental and not intended to reflect on any existing telecommunications enterprise anywhere.