Have you ever gotten stuck in a customer experience that resembles falling into a black hole? You go online to a service provider’s website, thinking you can do something quickly and easily — but NOPE. For some reason, it ends up being really complicated, confusing, and a task that should be seamless ends up being a real struggle.
This happened to me recently, and boy, was I frustrated.
I was recently on hulu.com attempting to downgrade back to the regular package and remove Live TV from my account. This change represented a pretty significant price difference. I decided to ditch Live TV because I only wanted it for certain occasions, like the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup playoffs, or some sporting event that I wanted to watch with everybody else. But mostly, I didn’t need the Live TV. I was completely content with all the other elements of classic Hulu, and the price difference was between $58 a month or $8 a month — obviously, a big difference.
With a company as big as Hulu, you’d think that their system would be pretty robust to manage this sort of transaction, considering most services allow you to downgrade or cancel services with the click of a button. But when I went in to manage my account, that opportunity didn’t present itself. I could easily upgrade, but I could not easily downgrade. It wasn’t an option to downgrade or to remove any elements of my service. My only online option to get rid of the services I no longer wanted would’ve been to cancel my Hulu, and then resubscribe to a new platform or to a new account, choice, plan, whatever.Customer service doesn't serve if it's hard. Click To Tweet
Not surprisingly, I found this a little odd and extremely frustrating. It wasn’t even easy to simply find where to potentially call them! So not only could you not do it any other way except for canceling your entire membership and then attempt to resubscribe, but you couldn’t even call them to talk to someone to get them to do it.
Because of this, I tried to cancel because, after all, that’s what they said I had to do. I received a pop up saying my services would be canceled by my next billing date, the 20th of the month, meaning if I had paid up till the 19th, as of the 20th, I would no longer have service.
After I canceled, I figured I’d just go ahead and re-subscribe with the package I wanted. I go to sign back up to change my plan, and it just reverted back to the one with the Live TV.
At this point, I had struggled with this for a good 45 minutes. If it wasn’t for the fact that Hulu had items I wanted to watch, I would have canceled it and never returned.
Now, this wasn’t my first time getting frustrated with Hulu.
When I first subscribed to Hulu, I didn’t know you needed a specific kind of television. I had no idea you can’t use Hulu Live unless it’s on certain apps or specific types of televisions or devices. When I had called one time to find out why I couldn’t have access (back when Hulu had better customer service, I might add, and actually had a number listed on their website), the gentleman explained to me that Hulu Live wasn’t compatible with older models of televisions.
Honestly, I didn’t think my TV was that old. I had bought it in 2013, but it was considered “old” when I called in 2018. I thought maybe the software model was old. When I went and bought my new TV, I bought it specifically thinking I wouldn’t have problems having Hulu Live on it. However, it turns out that only certain VIZIO TVs are part of the classic Hulu and not the live Hulu, or Live TV Hulu.
It should be noted that it doesn’t say that anywhere when you’re signing up. Oh, I’m sure possibly it’s in the extreme fine print, probably the type of thing that you really have to go hunt down. But I couldn’t find a place anywhere in their sales process that explains that only certain devices or certain apps will allow you to have Hulu Live.
But again, how is this a good customer experience? Finding information — especially on requirements for the service — should be easy.Customer experiences should feel easy. Click To Tweet
The bottom line here is that everything in the process of making changes to my account has been a struggle. I like Hulu. I like watching Hulu. I even like using Hulu Live on occasion. But the way that the system is set up makes it so difficult not only to use their service but to then attempt to adjust your account.
I consider myself a pretty patient person, but this whole experience really pushed my limits and tested my loyalty.
When you’re thinking through your customer experience, your portals, membership sites, and subscription plans, consider how easy or not easy it is for people to cancel, subscribe, downgrade, upgrade.
We all know that happy customers equal loyal customers, so taking the time to look at your business with a critical eye and have your customer experience top of mind is always is a winning strategy for building your business.
Lysa is a digital producer who helps service-based entrepreneurs fulfill their business vision through creative ideation, technical solutions, and relationship marketing. With 19 years of diverse experience in broadcast and digital media, she provides a wide range of opportunities to work with a variety of clients and teams, both virtually and in-person.