Honie Briggs


Today we are putting away holiday decorations and getting our calendars in order so we can get back to the business of everyday living. Most people share how happy they are to prepare their homes for receiving guests, but I haven’t ever heard anyone talking about the joy of removing the tree or how surprised they are to see the outlines of greeting cards in the dust on the coffee table.

This morning I was catching up on unanswered email and commenting in a forum about self-publishing as my husband stealthily organized ornaments on the desk beside me. I looked up for a moment and the naked Douglas fir in the corner captured my attention. Sounds of pleasure filled the room. YES! YES! YES! The rhythmic clicking of the keyboard resumed as something worth writing about miraculously presented itself just when we thought I would have nothing to say on this 2nd day of January.

I have been complimentary of CreateSpace here and in several writers’ groups of which I am a member. The free tools, reasonably priced upgrades, and prompt responses from member services during the creation process made my first publishing experience a positive one. I completed Summoning The Strength in Nov. 2011. Simultaneously relieved and exhilarated I prepared for what would happen next. Before my marketing blitz, I set up direct deposit to receive the bonanza of royalties sure to roll my way once the word of my book began to spread. One month later what do-you-know, I received an email saying there was an error in the amount of my first royalty payment. I checked my account and found no payment had been deposited. When I replied to the email, asking when I should expect the correct amount to be deposited, I received a second email stating it was the method of payment and NOT the amount that was incorrect. The check is in the mail says the rep, but it must have been LOST. How, I asked, could my payment be lost in the mail when I signed up for direct deposit? Another reply from a different rep says…[she is very sorry for the inconvenience I have experienced because a check was issued instead of a direct deposit for my November royalty payment. We have notified our Accounts Payable department of this error and we are working with them to resolve this issue. If you would like, because this check has not been cashed, we can void the check that we sent and re-issue the payment via direct deposit.]

After 25 years in customer relationship management, I am sorry to say this is what passes for good customer service. Instead of confirming the issue, correcting the mistake, and exceeding my expectations, I am simply told the check was sent via the postal service and should arrive within 10 business days or I can let member services know how I would like them to solve this problem. At this moment I am disappointed with CreateSpace. However, as most things have a way of working themselves out, I am waiting for some of that top notch member service to kick in so I may continue to recommend CreateSpace as a publishing option. Who knows, maybe they will offer to format Summoning The Strength for Kindle at no charge and sign me up for KDP Select. Wouldn’t that be something to share with the whole writing community? You should know it’s not about the money and I certainly do not want to get something for nothing. My point is this, accountability of empowered customer service reps builds customer loyalty. That should be the credo of every American business. Exceed our wildest expectations or just our reasonable ones. YES! YES! YES!

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