Startup Blog

Why Free Services Sometimes Totally Suck

Posted by Mike Volpe on 6/25/09 10:20 AM

When a free service stops working, what do you do?  What if you rely on it for personal or business purposes?  Who do you turn to for support on a free service?

Yesterday I have had real problems with a couple free services.  First, something is messed up between and Feedburner and iTunes for the podcast.  Somewhere along the way, the feed is broken, so iTunes does not have the most recent episodes.  Second, my Twitter account got "suspended" for some reason.  No more Twitter.  Goodbye 9,000+ friends and lots of conversations...  boo.  Lucky for me, it got mysteriously reinstated about an hour later.

The problem is not that things break.  That happens.  The problem is what do you do to fix it.  With all of them, you can submit a request and wait (Twitter can take up to 30 days!) or search for answers other people have posted in forums or on blogs.  but there is no way to solve your problem now with a back and forth with a live human.  You need to use email (slow) or find your own answer (hard).

All I want is an 800# where I can call and someone will fix my problem, live with me on the line.  I would even pay for it.  Maybe $25 or $50... just for this one problem.

What do you think?  Have you had challenges with free services?

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: Twitter, strategy

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