As the title implies I had to deal with a stupid, and extremely sketchy, piece of company policy this past Thursday. I feel bad because my oldest brother loves this company. He’s actually a brand ambassador for their events. I didn’t have as warm of a customer experience.
I won’t name the company in this public post due to the legal consequences behind it. I’m just going to refer to them as “Athlico.”
Thursday was one of my few days off until recently so I was taking it easy. The day was actually really nice and I needed to call someone back about a potential permanent position.
Then I got the email. A welcome offer from Athlico for a new account I never made.
After the initial shock and confusion I went straight to Athlico’s site. NEVER click on links from suspicious emails. I went to the login page and clicked on the link for a forgotten password. I put in my email, which I’m trying to phase out as it is, and it matched with an existing account! I went into the account upon receiving the password recovery email, typed a bunch of gibberish for the new password, and took a look. My name was right there, but with the wrong iteration of my first or given name. By some sick and twisted miracle my last name was spelled correctly. No address info, no stolen payment info, no wish list, and no order history (whew!).
A quick search brought up instructions on account deletion. However, this was for the UK version of the site. The American .com version, nothing. This will be important later.
After my roommate and I searched the site for numerous minutes we finally figured out how to chat with a representative. The guy was nice enough but not much help. He said there was NO WAY TO DELETE ACCOUNTS! I don’t know what their server runs on, but I know that’s a load of bull. He said I just had to let an account with MY INFO that I DID NOT MAKE die on its own after a certain amount of time inactivity. Being dissatisfied I asked for someone who could delete my account. I got a phone number.
The first person I spoke with on the phone said the same and was apologetic about it. When I was about to accept my fate (I may be a doormat) my roommate told me to demand a supervisor. I politely asked for one, stating I work customer service myself, about a way to expedite it. The supervisor was about to say the same, when I mentioned the UK site and my discomfort with my information being out there. He finally took the account info. With some luck he did send it to IT and it’s down by now.
My roommate was trying to talk to me over the phone thing at the end, but I rated my dissatisfaction with the whole thing. I forgot to ask for a confirmation email.
How messed up is all of that?! An account using my name and they wouldn’t even honor a removal request? That was, until I went through three people and brought up the UK site. What if someone was hacked or forgot about theirs and there was a breach? Why is there no customer side account deletion except that fragile inactivity policy? Why was it so hard to find support?
After scouring the internet I couldn’t find any laws Athlico was violating… unless I was in Europe. The kicker, they’re compliant with European policies only in Europe.
Athlico makes good products, but I have a hard time fitting into their shoes and such. I don’t know if I should tell my brother about this, but the whole thing is still making my blood spike in frustration. I want to remain a customer to them, but I prefer shopping in store.
I still can not believe Athlico was more respectful of my data and my wishes. They may want customers to stay so bad they make account removal impossible. For a company that size it’s a huge red flag. It’s a frustrating trend I’ve noticed.
Is there action I can take? Have a customer experience story of your own? Let me know!