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That's the Ticket -- Blame the Customer!

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMediaWincustomer

Recently, my team and I were trying out the online project management tool, Wrike.

After some weeks of looking at feature sets, interfaces and poking around with trial accounts, we decided that Wrike wasn't going to work for our needs. No hard feelings, it just wasn't a fit.

Well, I didn't cancel the account right away so I kept getting reminder notices each day about test projects we had entered into the account. Wrike was doing it's job. No problemo.

Where it gets interesting was when I actually logged in to cancel the account.

I canceled the account and like any good SaaS provider, a page popped up to ask me why I was canceling my account. Normally, I don't write anything in this box for the very reason you're about to read.

But, for some reason, this day I was feeling particularly participatory (say that three times fast) and I wrote in:

"We decided to use Liquid Planner."

Less than five minutes later, I received this response from Andrew Filev from Wrike:

"It’s hard to judge if you haven’t tried our paid enterprise plan. From the statistics below, it does not look like you pushed Wrike to the limit."

Hmmm...a few things come up for me here:

  1. Andrew's tone doesn't show even a hint of being thankful for my feedback and maybe it's just me, but it sounds a little like he's blaming me, the customer, for not choosing his product.
  2. What Andrew has effectively said is: Unless you've paid us for our big kahuna, you didn't really experience our product. In other words, our trial offer does a poor job of showing you what our tool can really do.
  3. There were no questions as to why I came to this conclusion. He didn't ask what features I felt Liquid Planner had that Wrike didn't. No exploratory questions at all.
  4. And finally, the coup de grace: you didn't use our tool how we want you to.

Wow. Where do I start, except to say that: Wrike's responses to me is seriously broken, especially if they want to avoid the Dead Pool.

Update: To his credit, Andrew wrote me back after I responded to his reply with: "That's it. Blame the customer." His reply is as follows:

"No way, I just wanted you to give us a chance and evaluate the product in action. It looks like free accounts start to do us more bad then good, if people jump from them directly to a way more expensive competitors without actually using the product. They were intended to be a way to share the plan with somebody, not to evaluate the product. Wrike shines in multi-role multi-project environment that is hard to build with 20 tasks limitation."

Now, that was a really nice attempt to save and redirect the conversation. I've got to give it to him.

But, I still say: if they know that about their trial offer, a better strategy would be to reach out to customers with low account activity and try to get them more engaged as opposed to shifting the blame to the customer when they cancel.

What if I had not replied to his response? He would never have had the chance to explain himself. If Woody had gone straight to the police...

Have you got a "broken" customer service reply or response that'll top this one? Do tell....


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Lena L. West


What's one person's trash is another person's treasure.

What's one person's molehill is another's mountain.

Jim, Jim, Jim! We're over here...on Earth! Come join us!

Jim Senter

Lena, take it easy. It looks like you make a mountain out of a molehill. You think it was a blame of a customer, I think, it was some kind of invitation to give the product a second try.

I don't know who really spams in other blogs, but Melinda's comment to this post is a piece of real spam:)

Lena L. West

@ Susan:

Wow. No comment :)

Thanks for commenting and reading.


You should also see the way Wrike spams other blogs with fake comments. Being in the project management space myself, I have to say they are the worse offender of comment spam of all the companies in the space. They pretend to be users of software and basically badmouth whatever project management product is being talked about. What's funny is that they even spam unrelated product postings and get called out on it. See comment by Mason Aho at This is only one of dozens that I have read. Time for them to get some better marketing interns too...

Lena L. West


Well, the idea wasn't to "out" the folks at Wrike, but more to talk about my poor experience with them, but I know what you mean.

One of the things that I love about social media is if a company or a person is in anyway inauthentic or not who or what they claim to be, people will call them on it. Social media is the culmination of an energetic power shift from the "powers that be" to the power that is.

The old saying is "there's safety in numbers". There's also satisfaction in numbers. People who have common demands as a community, usually get what they want.

I don't think necessarily that Wrike is a "greedy company". I'm sure they provide a good service to teams that resonate with their product. The lesson here is: "Watch what you say at all times. If you wouldn't want to see it on the cover of the NY Times, say something else."



Hmmm...I don't believe in luck. See my post on that here:

I believe in preparation (or in Andrew's case NON-preparation) meeting opportunity.

I didn't say a word about Wrike's support. My post is not the result of a support inquiry. Maybe you should re-read the post? They could have GREAT support as far as I know - they probably do, but that's not what my post is about.

LiquidPlanner had a response to this post the same day it went live. No, they didn't miss their chance to advertise themselves. I guess you would call them lucky. I call them PREPARED.

Thanks to you both for reading and commenting,


Andrew Filev

Additional note. I think it will be more fare to us if you include the following updates in your original post:

1) You were not on the trial offer. You were using a limited plan. I proposed you to run a free trial. Sorry, if I miscommunicated it, but I don't think we deserved such a negative reaction, especially taking in mind that:

2) You cancelled at 9pm and got my original quick note at 10:14pm on Wed 8/20. You got my clarification 15 min later. The note was not to blame your or anything like that, I just wanted to let you know that you can run a free trial, and there is a good chance that you might like our Enterprise plan priced less expensively than LiquidPlanner more than you like LiquidPlanner. That was a honest attempt to save a customer and help a customer save some money. Your post is dated Aug 26, 6 days later after initial discussion.

By the way, thanks for a good lesson. We'll be more careful and detailed in our replies to customers. That's the "curse of knowledge" ( When one has a "free 30 day trial" link on most of the pages of a web site, he (incorrectly) may assume that a user who used the web-site to sign up knows about that offer. No sarcasm - users have their own agenda, and it's our job to be more detailed and clear.

Andrew Filev

Hi Lena,

Just wanted to drop a quick note.

Wrike has a free 30 day trial of a full-featured version. There is a big link "FREE 30-Day trial" on the home page and it was there since day 1. It's free for a limited time and it's full featured.

You used a different plan. Your plan was free for unlimited time, but with limited features. That's what I (badly) tried to communicate to you. You compared _free_ version of our product with _paid_ version of a competitor's product. The right comparison would be _paid_ to _paid_. Both Wrike and LiquidPlanner have free 30 day trials of the paid version.



Bravo! More business people should publicly out bad vendors in their blogs, it seems it's the only way to make these greedy companies pay attention to their customers! *high-five*

Jim Senter

Lena, I've heard a great many of good words about the wrike's support, so I think, it was just a bad luck that Andrew and you misunderstood each other.

BTW, you made a good job to liquidplanner: they did not miss the chance to advertise themselves multiply;)

Lena L. West


Thanks for reading and commenting.

This wasn't just a plug for LiquidPlanner. Your tool REALLY did meet our needs better than the other options we had - not just Wrike.

What I liked the most was that our whole extended team got to use the software so we had a full-on experience of what it was like to use it in an actual work setting.

People need real world experiences and you just can't beat a fully functioning trial where your whole team can get involved.

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