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Customer service - a dying art?

Or really, any sort of service at all, since offering a 'free' issue of a newsletter for assessment doesn't really make me a customer, since I've not bought a product yet....

Ah, the joys of LexisNexis! They must be getting desperate for business indeed, if their new tactics are anything to go by.

I was called up a few weeks ago by a woman. I don't know who, she never gave her name. She asked me if I would like a free sample issue of their relaunched "Tolley's Employment Law Newsletter". As thats an area we cover, I said yes, but also that it was hugely unlikely we'd take out a subscription of any sort. She said that was fine, but went on to make a HUGE point of the fact that, I HAD to reply to the email she would be sending me within 30 days. I had no idea what the email content would be, it would be made clear in the email, but I HAD to reply to it. I said no problem, and calendared it in as I was talking to her. She had me spell out my email address, letter by letter, so there was no confusion over it.
Then she said that I "might" get an invoice, but it was ok, I could ignore it, as long as I replied to the email to confirm whatever this mystical email wanted me to confirm, I assume my refusal of a subscription, since she was now mentioning invoices.
She said was going to email me right that second, and remember, it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that I reply to that email.

Needless to say, the email didn't arrive...but days later, the Newsletter did. Now, without this email I can't cancel this non-subscription that I don't have...yet also, they have no evidence of any sort of request from me to receive this sample issue...I wonder how this is all going to work out?

I contacted the customer service email on the website as soon as the issue arrived on the 24th August (which reminded me the email from Phonecall Woman had never arrived), and told them I had received a sample copy, had no intention of taking out a subscription, had been left with no contact details for the woman who called and no email to reply to to confirm I didn't want a subscription, they could regard this as my statement that I did not want a subscription to the Newsletter, and forward this to the appropriate department to deal with.

I got no reply or acknowledgement from customer service, no contact of any sort. Now, the date I put in the calendar for reply (at the very latest) to that non-existent email is the 17th September...lets see what happens, shall we? Invoicing for a non-requested, non-existent subscription?

Fun and games with publishers. *sigh*

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