Great customer service example
I'm a Blogger user, but have only used the free service for quite some time. Blogger used to offer a for-fee service called "Blogger Pro." They recently changed the *free* service to include all the features of the "Pro" version and eliminated the Pro service. Naturally, those who'd been paying for the Pro version might get a bit miffed at this news, but the Blogger team has handled this well.
The announcement Evan at Blogger sent to Pro users amazed me. How many companies would do what they are doing: giving out sweatshirts or refunds (your choice)? If Google were a public company, they'd not likely want to give out refunds, but private companies don't have to worry so much about quarterly results and can do what's right for the long run.
Kudos to Evan and all the folks on the Blogger/Google team! Great attitude!
From the "Important Blogger Pro Announcement" (emphasis is mine):
"More importantly, I want to stress that we couldn't have gotten to where we are today without you. Pro subscribers helped keep us going as a struggling start-up, when servers and bandwidth were at an extreme premium. We wanted to keep basic Blogger free, but we needed to start charging in order to keep the lights on. So we built new things that would appeal to some Blogger users (namely, you).
Thanks to supportive people like yourself, this plan allowed us to grow and build a better service -- and, eventually, get us to much more stable ground. We're eternally grateful, and I hope you were happy with the relationship, as well.
Today, as you may know, Blogger's situation is much different. For one thing, we're part of Google. (If you missed that announcement, check the FAQ). Google has lots of computers and bandwidth. And Google believes blogs are important and good for the web.
This is a good thing.
So we're in the fortunate position of being able to give back to our users. Specifically, to each of you who paid for Pro (and never cancelled), we want to send you a Blogger hooded sweatshirt as a way of saying thanks. Just fill out this form* by October 1, 2003 to claim yours. (If you'd prefer to have a pro-rated refund instead, just let us know.)"