Alibaba.com demonstrates how to alienate & lose customers

I sent the following email to alibaba.com the other day:

“Good morning
I signed up as a member yesterday but before I would send my first enquiry (as a buyer of products), I was locked out of my account and got the following message:
Your account is temporarily unavailable due to security reasons.
I then went online with google search and found many of your members have the same problem and were very unhappy about this issue. Have you monitored those complaints? Have you asked how your customers feel about this? Have you attempted a solution/s to fix this problem?
I am very busy and am not going to waste my time sending emails backwards and forwards about this. Please rectify my account within 24 hours or kindly remove my records from your database and I will have no further dealings with your organisation. Do not send me any further emails unless to advise me that my account has been rectified.
Thank you for your assistance with this matter”
Alibaba.com promptly replied:

“Thank you for contacting Alibaba.com. This is Chloe and I am glad to assist you.

I am sorry for the inconvenience that has caused you. This is not what Alibaba wants you to experience. You dont have to worry because I will do my best to assist you.

Please be informed that your Alibaba account, with a**k@gmail.com as the registered email address, is temporarily unavailable because of a recently completed security check.
 
The said security check is taken at random for all the members. It is regularly run by Alibaba to ensure that our website is a safe trading environment both for you and your business partners. Rest assured that this security check is strictly confidential, thus your information has not been seen and will not be seen by any third party.
 
To reactivate your account, please take below steps to submit your reactivation requests and relevant business registration information:
1. Enter your registration email address and password at  http://login.alibaba.com/ , click “Sign in”;
2. Click “Appeal for account reactivation” on the new page”
<snip>

“After that, please give our Security Team certain time to review your account information. It normally takes 5 business days to get feedback from the relevant team and they will send notification to your registered email address about your request.

I sincerely hope this information helps you to reactivate your account. Have a nice day and God Bless!

If you have further question, please reply to specify with us. Or you may visit our Help Center for Buyer or Help Center for Supplier to learn more useful information. Also, do not forget to like our  Customer Care  page on Facebook and recommend it to your friends!”   

As I indicated in my email to alibaba, many others – over a considerable period of time – have had this problem with their site. Try googling on ‘alibaba.com Your account is temporarily unavailable due to security reasons’ and you’ll see what I mean. Here is one example. The problem has even been raised on numerous occasions in alibaba.com’s own user forums, but clearly to no avail.
I don’t get it. Are they that incompetent? Are they being sneaky? Is this sheer indifference? Arrogance? If they really do need copies of passports etc to confirm identity then surely this should be requested during the process of initial registration?
I had previously heard that alibaba was a very profitable business. I can’t see how/why the way they (mis-) handle this issue is indicative of how they conduct their business generally.
It gets me how some companies spend many thousands of $$ on market research to find out what their customers want, in order to make themselves more appealing. At other times customers take their concerns direct to the business – as in this case – and the business just sits on their hands rather than tweaking their policies/procedures to address customer concerns.
Anyway I have finished with alibaba.com. The only problem now is I can’t access the “My account” section to remove my details from their database, so I have emailed them again to ask that they do so on my behalf.
Say bye-bye to another potential customer guys.

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