For a while now I’ve wanted my own domain so on Saturday 26 February I logged onto freeparking.co.uk, chose a domain and attempted to click on the button confirming that I accepted the company’s terms and conditions. However Jaws (the software which converts text into speech allowing me to read my computer’s screen) couldn’t detect a button and/or check box so I was, therefore unable to complete the process of registering my domain. No problem I thought, I’ll drop the helpful staff, at Freeparking an e-mail requesting help in completing the registration process. On Tuesday 1 March I received the following response from Freeparking’s support staff:
“Updated By: Support Staff
Update Comment: Dear Kevin,
The site may not be compatible and has not been updated for yonks.
The only thing I can suggest is that it is not a button, but a box that
needs to be checked with a tick.
Because of the fully automated process, I cannot accept the terms for you.
The above response demonstrates a complete lack of any conception of customer service. In my e-mail to Freeparking I’d explained that I was blind and yet the best they can do is to say that it is an automated process, consequently they are unable to help me. Surely any automated process can be overridden by a human being if required! Again the reference to Freeparking’s systems not having been updated “for yonks” is hardly guaranteed to inspire confidence in potential or, indeed in current customers of the company! As it happens I had, in the time between Saturday 26 February and Tuesday 1 March managed to register and pay for my domain with the assistance of my wife who is fully sighted. However despite having registered and paid for my domain on 26 February as of today’s date (Wednesday 2 March) Freeparking’s systems still inform me that my domain is being processed.
I’m starting to seriously regret having signed up with this company. On the plus side the cost of my domain is £9.99 for two years, however this is far outweighed by the less than helpful attitude of their support staff. If you have an issue the only way in which to contact Freeparking is via the support form on their website. No telephone number is provided so it is impossible to follow up issues other than by email.
If a customer is not satisfied with the service he/she has received an address is provided (in the USA) for correspondence. Having to pursue your complaint by snail mail (especially if you are based in the UK rather than the USA) is hardly guaranteed to make the lives of Freeparking’s customers easy!
A quick search on Google reveals that I am far from being alone as regards the poor customer service I’ve experienced when dealing with Freeparking. For example the following link, to chiao.co.uk reveals a high level of dissatisfaction with Freeparking including e-mails not being forwarded on from Freeparking’s servers to their customers, (see http://www.ciao.co.uk/freeparking_co_uk__5107608).
My advice, don’t touch this company with a bargepole.