Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sanebox: NOT RECOMMENDED!

In a sea of great products, there sometimes comes one that shows its true colors!  My priority here is to recommend great tools that will help educators in all areas of their life.  The focus is educators and so my first step in the process when I encounter a new site that seems to have some potential is to ask about educator discounts.  Then, when I write about their product, I can include the good news for educators.  Almost all companies work with educators and for this, I am saying THANK YOU.  Some work with educators, they say, then include a “but” or “in the future” and some other variety of reasons why they really aren’t working with educators.  Some are polite and simply say “No.”  I can respect that though I will indicate that in my blog and it does cause me to look for a more educator-friendly product.

Occasionally,  as I’ve learned today, you come across a company that  appears to be worth investigating but represents itself unprofessionally.  Sanebox is that company.  I must admit to at first being impressed to the quick replies to my questions about educator discounts where I was told they were looking into adding a discount for .edu accounts.  My opinion was asked….what did I think?  I told them it was great but many of us in the K12 world don’t have .edu addresses and, quite frankly, by ignoring the rest of us, they might lose some great sales opportunities.  This wasn’t going to cause me any real grief, of course, but I thought they might want to give it some thought.

I did try the product for 2 days, I believe.  It did clear out my inbox as promised.  What I saw as the weakness was that you had to pick where you wanted it to work:  Gmail, Outlook, etc. but that you only had one choice.  So, in my case, the fact that I have Outlook and Gmail functioning wouldn’t work.  Ok, not a huge  deal but still, for me, a negative.

Now, back to our communications.   Today, I got an email from another member of their team who was responding to my request to cancel.  I didn’t cancel for the reason he noted but I still thought it was good that he was communicating with me to get more information.  So, believing he truly wanted input, I shared that he had the wrong info but that I did think there was potential.  I also mistakenly, I guess, suggested, again not for my benefit, that they may want to think about including a specific comment (testimonial type) they had included in graphic format on their homepage that had some profanity included in the comment.  Now, there’s profanity and there’s profanity.   This wasn’t a minor word nor was it the worst word.  It was in the high middle range.  Heck, I’m an educator, these things can be ranked for severity!   Anyway, I suggested (as I had to the first representative from their company), that they might want to consider that as it may cause some folks considering trying their product to decide against it.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t offended by it, but I did notice it enough to take note of it.  Ask me if I can remember any of their other comments…I can’t!

So, long story short, what I got in return was a sarcastic and unnecessary paragraph of condescending comments that eventually compared my thoughts to the book burning of “Catcher in the Rye.”   So, I figure, this site’s not for me and I shared that the response diminished the value of the product in my eyes.  To this I received a remark about 4-year-olds in diapers and non-parent types.  No, I don’t pretend to understand what caused this and frankly, I don’t need to understand it.

I  have to also share, in fairness, that I eventually received a response from the person I was corresponding with today stating that the responses I received were likely insensitive and no offense was meant.  Thanks, I appreciate that.  There’s just  too many shiny yellow companies out there providing good products and great customer service to be concerned about one that responds in this way after asking my opinion. My only thought is…if you don’t want it, please don’t ask for it. Simple!

(I do have to say that I am thankful though, that I didn’t recommend this site so someone and have this same situation occur to them!  Whew!)



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