A few weeks ago I helped a friend to sign up for a new internet connection in a new apartment.
I've never had a harder time to figure out what to order.
Every single step is basically setup to trick you.
To lure you into a contract that locks you in for two or more years.
Tons of terms and conditions to read.
Tons of things to pay attention to.
And even though in the end I got what I wanted, I felt like I've been tricked.
I had to read all of the fine print, I had to call customer support and on and on and on.
When the only thing I really wanted was a quick and easy internet access.
I felt like I needed a university degree to be able to do something that should take less than 5 minutes.
And you know what?
No matter what kind of product or what kind of service or whatever this company is going to do in the future, even if they're going to help starving kids somewhere, I will never buy anything from that company ever again.
Unless I really have no other choice...
The same holds true for emails I never signed up for that keep hitting my inbox.
Or popup ads on websites that I can barely close on my phone so that I end up clicking on that damn popup ad almost every single time and end up somewhere I never wanted to go in the first place.
Or websites asking me to disable my popup blocker every ten seconds when all I want is to read that damn article.
And that's something a lot of companies don't understand...
Trying to trick your customers into buying a subscription they don't really want, showing them ads they can barely close and don't really want to see or forcing them to do something they don't want to do works in the short run.
But in the long run people will move to the company that doesn't try to trick them.
The company that locks them in by not trying to lock them in.
By making it easier instead of more complicated. By offering a better service instead of cutting corners. By caring more instead of caring less...
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]