Turning Lemons into Lemonade!

Eric GreenspanPractice Development3 Comments

Yesterday, we attempted to upgrade our subscription software to provide some great new features to our students. It didn’t work.

Instead, after we imported all of our students into the new system, they each received this email:

 

 

“Soochie” Sabol is one of our longest standing students. She joined in our first month. She’s been with us ever since. We kinda love her!

The email was a mistake and NONE OF OUR STUDENTS ARE BEING CHARGED THIS ERRONEOUS AMOUNT!

We received a ton of emails in response. Almost everyone gave us the benefit of the doubt because they know us and they know we’d never do this type of thing purposely. Again, no one was actually charged for it, it was just an email.

One person threatened legal action and promised to call the police. We assured this person that it was merely an email glitch. Haven’t heard back yet.

Another person cancelled their subscription.

Soochie didn’t respond last night when she received the email. She figured her annual subscription was up for renewal. She didn’t mind one bit.

I reached out to Soochie this morning to discuss it. She thought the whole thing was hilarious. Her response to me was “Gee, Eric, thanks for the free advertising.” Then she posted this on Facebook: “Eric & School of Bookkeeping are officially awesome! #‎justsaying” Because she was so nice about it, we just provided her with her annual renewal for FREE.

I didn’t sleep a wink last night, as I was up dealing with this nonsense. I’m really tired but it’s all fixed now. I sent a few emails of my own to the developer of the software. While I could’ve given them a piece of my mind, I was kind. I know they were doing their best. I know how they must feel right now.

Life is crazy sometimes. Things go awry. Technology is challenging. Systems go down. Connections get cut. Hard drives crash.

Later, we learned that the same system we attempted to upgrade to sent yet another email warning our students that their account had been cancelled. This too was NOT THE CASE. What a mess this caused. So much confusion. But we go on…

On a similar but unrelated matter, this week, many received an email from Intuit about Intuit Payroll.

Some were upset about the business name missing. Others concerned that the system was going to automatically charge their account. It was a mistake. Alison Ball of Intuit jumped on the thread in ABBO immediately and gave everyone comforting information and advised us that no one would be automatically charged. Intuit is a big company, but it has human beings that operate it. Those human beings are not perfect. They make mistakes. They own them, like we did, and they take care of partners and customers properly.

The moral of my post is: Let’s give our partners and friends and acquaintances the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions. It’s healthier for us and will serve us better in our lives and careers. Intuit is not in the business of overcharging or secretly charging it’s partners or customers. Neither is schoolofbookkeeping.com.

I want to thank all the nice students who sent in a very friendly email inquiring about our mistaken email. You made my night much easier. And for the ones that didn’t, we will give you the benefit of the doubt in return. We don’t know your personal or financial circumstances. We have never walked in your shoes. I bet you had good reason to worry and we understand because, well, we’re human too. We’re sorry for the jolt to your blood pressure, really we are. But in the end, you made us realize that being human is just part of the deal and we’re going to be nice the next time something happens that raises our blood pressure. We’ll think and remember this situation and we’ll handle things professionally, politely and we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and while this mishap may have ruffled some feathers, Soochie and the Smetana Group not only got a good chuckle, they got a free annual subscription worth $365 just for being nice.

P.S. Soochie is a brilliant accounting pro. Check out her new website here:

 

 

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