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TypePad lets you punish it

TypePad lets you punish it

There's nothing more important to a business than its customers, and dealing with your business's goofs and foul-ups can be one of the thorniest problems.

A joke video making the rounds of the Internet recently showed Microsoft engineers being zapped and poked by users frustrated with its software or applications.

Six Apart, a company that makes the TypePad and Moveable Type platforms for some of the most popular blogs, has taken a novel real-world approach, letting its users, its customers, decide how much to punish it for real. The company yesterday sent e-mail to customers saying that they could decide, based on the inconvenience caused them by recent outages, how many days of the service to get for free, from 0 to 45, like this:

  • While the performance issues caused me some inconvenience I mainly found the service acceptable last month. Give me 15 free days of TypePad.
  • The performance issues made it very difficult for me to use the service on multiple occasions during the month. Give me 30 free days of TypePad.
  • The performance issues affected me greatly, making my experience unacceptable for most of the month. Give me 45 free days of TypePad.
  • I really wasn't affected and feel I got the great service I paid for last month. Thank you for the offer, but please don't credit my account.

    This is intriguing because as a business, TypePad decided to deal with the uncertainty of knowing how much it'll be dunned and are leaving it up to an honor system, in which the company assumes its clients will tell the truth and take only what they're owed.

    A true apology based on trust of customers. Wow. I wonder how it will affect the business in the long run. Positively, I hope.