Do You Make Your Most Loyal Customers Furious?

I have been with Genesis Energy for 12 years. I’ve spent about $20,000 – $25,000 with them in that time.

6 months ago they did something that made me furious, and this morning they did something else.

That’s twice in 6 months!

Will they get the next $20,000 that I am likely to spend on electricity in the next 12 years?

(Yes, probably. I’m too lazy to change, and they’re the cheapest)

What made me furious 6 months ago?

I had been receiving my bills by email as attached pdf’s for 5 years (I think they were the first to start doing it). It was an awesome setup. I felt that I was doing my thing for the environment, and it was super convenient.

But that all changed 6 months ago.  Genesis announced that they were no longer doing that (which took 1 click to view), they now required this process:

  1. Visit the Genesis Energy website
  2. Have several attempts at remembering your username and password
  3. Click about 3 levels into the account to find your bill
  4. Download the pdf
  5. Repeat this process every month

I complained at the time and asked them to keep my set up as it was. They explained they couldn’t.

Oh well.

What made me furious this morning?

I got an email this morning telling me to sign up for Brownie points. The thing is, I am already enrolled. – FAIL!

Why send this email out to people it is not relevant to? It’s confusing.

Anyway, I thought I’d hit “reply” button and let them know I’m already enroled. But the email bounced because it is “”. – FAIL!

The “reply” button is the most natural button in the world to press but Genesis Energy has disabled it.  It’s like a slap in the face. It says “we don’t want to hear from you so shut up”.

So I clicked on the “contact us” hyperlink at the bottom of the email instead and got this contact form:


What do you notice about this contact form?

There are 11 fields! – FAIL!

How much information do you need from me just to send a friggen email?

Worst of all, the Consumer Number is compulsory so I have to dig up an old invoice to find my consumer number (surely my email address is enough to find me in the system?). – FAIL!

What’s the point of this rant?

My point is this. What are you doing to annoy your most loyal customers?

Is the door to your restaurant sticky?  Is it hard to find your phone number on your website? Do you impose a system on your customers that makes it easy for you, but annoying for them?

6 Replies to “Do You Make Your Most Loyal Customers Furious?”

  1. The Brownie Points email was actually asking you to – Wait for it you’re going to love this! – To sign up for ‘Online Billing’. That’s where instead of receiving your paper invoice you can log into Your Account and view it online! The service that you first told them you wanted to revert back to their original system of just emailing you your invoice as a PDF! bahahah!

    Incidentally there is no mention at all of signing up for ‘Brownie Points’, it’s an incentive to get bonus Brownie Points IF you sign up for Online Billing.

    If you actually read and understood the email properly rather than your half arsed glance you may have come up with the following argument instead which I fully support.

    What if you have been receiving ‘Online Billing’ this whole time? Why don’t you get rewarded for your loyalty? You never got bonus Brownie Points when you took this offer up before everyone else, why are you disadvantaged?!

    1. Well, if that’s the case the subject line of the email should have said “Would you like to get a pdf of your bill by email?”, and not “Reward yourself with Brownie Points”

  2. re: 11 fields in the comment form, consumer number never changes, what if customer types their email address in wrong ? what if Genesis dont have your latest email address so cant match your details ?.

    These fields might take and extra 30 seconds to fill out but could save admin people minutes by having all the details at hand.

    You get your request tended to quicker and Genesis save time and money so they can continue giving you best possible prices.

    I dont work for them, but develop websites for a living and this is normal business practice for a large coporate.

    Mabey if it was car painter or plumber a less detailed form would suffice.

    Also do you read the subject line and make 100% assumption about an email before reading it in detail ?

    1. Thanks Heylin for your comments.

      Yes, those are all great reasons why Genesis has set up things how they have. It’s just a shame they couldn’t find a middle ground which is convenient for them and the customer.

      Yes I assume the subject line is an accurate representation of the emails content (just like I do for news headlines). Doesn’t it make you furious if someone sends you an email without a subject line?

  3. Genesis Energy tried to install a smart meter in my children’s home. I refused them and then they switched the power off. They are using strong arm tactics to force people to comply. I used a letter from this website - – Here is my modified version off the letter. I hope it helps people. In New Zealand You have to get the police to formally trespass Genesis Energy with the copy of this letter attached. I got my power back on without having to install a smart meter and Genesis Energy lost the battle. Here’s the letter……

    From: Misty Leigh Matenga
    22 Dorset Grove
    Porirua East
    New Zealand

    To: Genesis Energy
    [ – 0800 300 400 ]
    PO Box 10568
    The Terrace
    Wellington 6143

    Monday the 16th day of July 2012


    Dear Genesis Energy and all agents, officers, employees, contractors and interested parties,

    If you intend to install a “Smart Meter” or any activity monitoring device at the above address, you and all other parties are hereby denied consent for installation and use of all such devices on the above property. Installation and use of any activity monitoring device is hereby refused and prohibited. Informed consent is legally required for installation of any surveillance device and any device that will collect and transmit private and personal data to undisclosed and unauthorized parties for undisclosed and unauthorized purposes. Authorization for sharing of personal and private information may only be given by the originator and subject of that information. That authorization is hereby denied and refused with regard to the above property and all its occupants. “Smart Meters” violate the law and cause endangerment to residents by the following factors:
    1. They individually identify electrical devices inside the home and record when they are operated causing invasion of privacy.
    2. They monitor household activity and occupancy in violation of rights and domestic security.
    3. They transmit wireless signals which may be intercepted by unauthorized and unknown parties. Those signals can be used to monitor behaviour and occupancy and they can be used by criminals to aid criminal activity against the occupants.
    4. Data about occupant’s daily habits and activities are collected, recorded and stored in permanent databases which are accessed by parties not authorized or invited to know and share that private data by those whose activities were recorded.
    5. Those with access to the smart meter databases can review a permanent history of household activities complete with calendar and time-of-day metrics to gain a highly invasive and detailed view of the lives of the occupants.
    6. Those databases may be shared with, or fall into the hands of criminals, blackmailers, corrupt law enforcement, private hackers of wireless transmissions, power company employees, and other unidentified parties who may act against the interests of the occupants under metered surveillance.
    7. “Smart Meters” are, by definition, surveillance devices which violate the New Zealand Crimes act of 1961’s wiretapping laws by recording and storing databases of private and personal activities and behaviours without the consent or knowledge of those people who are monitored.
    8. It is possible for example, with analysis of certain “Smart Meter” data, for unauthorized and distant parties to determine medical conditions, sexual activities, and physical locations of persons within the home, vacancy patterns and personal information and habits of the occupants.
    9. Your company has not adequately disclosed the particular recording and transmission capabilities of the smart meter, or the extent of the data that will be recorded, stored and shared, or the purposes to which the data will and will not be put.
    10. Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency energy contamination from smart meters exceeds allowable safe and healthful limits for domestic environments as determined by the EPA and other scientific programs.

    I forbid, refuse and deny consent of any installation and use of any monitoring, eavesdropping, and surveillance devices on my property, my place of residence and my place of occupancy. That applies to and includes “Smart Meters” and activity monitoring devices of any and all kinds. Any attempt to install any such device directed at me, other occupants, my property or residence will constitute trespass, stalking, wiretapping and unlawful surveillance and endangerment of health and safety, all prohibited and punishable by law through criminal and civil complaints. All persons, government agencies and private organizations responsible for installing or operating monitoring devices directed at or recording my activities, which I have not specifically authorized in writing, will be fully liable for any violations, intrusions, harm or negative consequences caused or made possible by those devices whether those negative consequences are justified by “law” or not.

    This is legal notice. After this delivery the liabilities listed above may not be denied or avoided by parties named and implied in this notice. Civil Servant immunities and protections do not apply to the installation of smart meters due to the criminal violations they represent.

    Notice to principal is notice to agent and notice to agent is notice to principal. All rights reserved.

    Misty Leigh Matenga.

    1. Wow Lance, you obviously feel very strongly about this. The core issue for you is the invasion of privacy in terms of your usage data being shared with people you have given permission too?

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