Smilebooks, Windows 7, and Smilebooks Customer Service
by Sharon Osberg
(San Francisco Bay Area)
I just upgraded my desktop computer to the Windows 7 operating system. I then downloaded and installed the latest desktop version of Smilebooks software. When I tried to launch it, I got an error message from Smilebooks saying the software was not compatible with the operating system. Perhaps Smilebooks software should have done the operating system check before the application update installed, but it wouldn't have mattered because the older version of Smilebooks doesn't support Windows 7 either.
I was planning to edit a book I'd already made with Smilebooks in time to take advantage of a 2-for-1 offer I'd received from Smilebooks via email.
So.... I sent Smilebooks an email. I explained the problem, asked when a Windows 7 version of their software would be available, and also asked if the 2-for-1 offer could be extended until I was able to create a book. Here's what I got back:
" From: SmileBooks
To: sharon osberg
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 4:14 AM
Subject: RE: Contact from sharon osberg ID#7393949
Dear Sharon Osberg,
Thank you for your email.
I am sorry about this, this will be released in the new year
Should you have any further queries please feel free to contact me again
as I will be more than happy to help you
Customer Care Agent
I sent 2 follow-up emails: (from me) "Hello and thank you for your response. You didn't answer my second question though..... I was trying to make a book to take advantage of your "buy one, get one free" offer. Will you extend that offer to me through January since I was unable to use your software to make the book?"
(from them):"...No I am sorry but we cannot extend the offer. Should you have any further queries please feel free to contact me again as I will be more than happy to help you "
(from me): "This seems to be a very poor customer relations strategy. Not only can't I make books using your software until you make it compatible with Windows 7 (which has been available for software developers like your folks for something like 2 years), but now I can't even access the books I've already made and wish to modify and reorder.
The holiday season should be a big opportunity for companies like yours, and many people are now upgrading to Windows 7 (like me), or will be getting new machines for Christmas, all of which will come loaded with Windows 7. None of these people will be able to create books with Smilebooks.
The pain would be less if you recognized the trouble you're causing your customers and offered at least your best discount to those of us affected. The revenue would soon come back to you in more sales from happy customers...."
No response yet.
Interestingly, I found this on the Smilebooks website: "We?ve been busy working on a multi-touch version of the desktop software for Windows 7 which is now available as a demo download on the web site http://www.smilebooks.com/windows7/ and the version which will be capable of processing orders will be launched on the 8th January 2010 which is the first day of the CES."