Start Up Blog

How to lose a customer

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 20, 2014

I’ve been using a certain weather app on my phone for some time. It is called Pocket Weather AU – Lite. It is the free version. A few times when I have clicked in to check the weather, it has given me this pop up screen below:

Pocket Weather

This time in good faith, I thought I’d click through and see what the offer was. To my disappointment, it was a simple ‘buy our paid version‘ of the app. No benefit, no exclusivity, nothing had been unlocked, no reason, no thanks for using. Just their way of asking me to upgrade. Now if you ask me there cannot be a more insulting way to incentivise a customer to upgrade. Tell them they are a cheapskate, pretend to offer something better, and then give them nothing for using the service for a few years.

Here’s what I did. I deleted their app – got another equally good free weather app, and wrote this blog entry about what I think might not be the best way to engage an audience your doing business with. Some things these guys might want to consider:

  1. If you don’t want your app to be free, then make it a paid version.
  2. Insulting people is not a very effective way to get them to upgrade financially to a software or web service.
  3. Making promises of exclusivity and non existent benefits is generally not a good idea.
  4. Understand the economics of excess supply. There are a zillion other free weather apps and my cost of moving to another service is close to zero.
  5. But mostly respect people, and maybe make them some kind of offer or reward for loyalty if employing a fermium business model.

I prefer to be positive in life, and have not even enjoyed writing this entry. Maybe that’s the over riding lesson. Don’t lie, treat people with respect and  positivity and they just might give you more money.

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4 Responses

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  1. rcbmediationservices said, on January 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Reblogged this on RCB Mediation Services.

  2. Graham Apolony - Big Note Marketing said, on January 21, 2014 at 7:25 am

    If you are going to take this type of approach to marketing your product you have to at least make it either catchy or funny, not insulting. Like you Steve, I would go elsewhere.

    In marketing there is often a very fine line between clever and klutz.

  3. David Brim, Tomcar Australia said, on January 29, 2014 at 8:01 am

    No post for 9 days! Having serious Sammatron withdrawal…
    ;-)

  4. Marc Fisher said, on February 7, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Unbelievably bad judgement by the APP developer


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