Avatar of Evan Hamilton

Don’t treat your customers badly when they hit limits

Dropbox errorRecently I wanted to get a video to my coworker. It being 2013, I signed onto the company Dropbox and added the video to a folder.

When she went to sync her folders (essentially download it), she got an alert that she was out of space. Suddenly, other coworkers started getting the same message. Oops…I had added a giant file that I was forcing everyone to download, which was taking up the allotted space they had.

Let me be clear: I was the one who screwed up, and I am completely accepting of the fact that I have to pay more if I want more space.

But Dropbox, which is generally fantastic at user experience, totally dropped the ball on this interaction. Their tagline is “Simplify your life”. Their mission is to make file-sharing as easy as it should be. This was NOT easy.

Just because someone hits data limits, or has a credit card fail, doesn’t mean you should treat them to an inferior experience. In fact, they’re probably pretty frustrated…you should treat them nicely so they work through it and stay a customer (instead of getting so frustrated they leave).

It took us a while to learn that lesson here at UserVoice. Until recently we’d downgrade your account if you didn’t pay or your credit card failed, potentially resulting in a different and inferior experience for your users. Now we only lock the admin side of your account, and don’t make any changes to the side that faces your customers. Because that would be a lame experience for your customers, and we’re all about creating good experiences for your customers. Even if your credit card fails.

Additionally, if you temporarily downgrade to an account that doesn’t allow as many admins, we don’t remove them all (forcing you to re-invite them from scratch)…we just lock their profiles until you get back on the appropriate plan.

Dropbox: tell me that I’m about to fill a bunch of people’s limits. Give me another option. Don’t make me fumble around trying to work around your issues.


Dropbox photo courtesy of Playing Futures.