SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Archive for January, 2016

There’s Something Terribly Wrong With Mailchimp

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 29, 2016

MailChimp-Send-Email-Campaign

Unfortunately for me and my customers, my campaign went to 50,000 and it was wrong due to Mailchimp bugs…

I use Mailchimp as my email provider for my business, @CNCCookbook.  For the past couple of weeks there’s been a terrible bug.  My email RSS newsletter come out with all bad links for users that selected the Plain Text version.  Every single link is bad the emails–they either go to a non-existent page or to a totally unrelated page.

At first, Mailchimp tried to convince me it was a format problem at my end because I was using the matching quotes so many editors produce.  The problem is, you don’t have to look at the XML for the RSS feed very hard to see that explanation is ridiculous.  Sure, those quotes are there, but the syntax of the RSS Feed makes it very obvious that those quotes are part of the article and not part of the link.

After two weeks of back and forth, they finally admitted they had a problem and that this was, “Not expected behavior.”  They weren’t able to quite bring themselves to use the “B” word–BUG, but that’s clearly what it was.  They also informed me they had no idea how long it would take to fix.

I waited a week, my newsletter went out this week, and I got more complaints from customers.  One was particularly galling–my customer, whose is male, was addressed as “Lillian” in the newsletter.  I quickly checked their profile in Mailchimp and it was not “Lillian”.  In fact, there are no Lillians in the mailing list whatsoever.

At this point, Mailchimp has been slow to admit there is a problem, slow to get a fix (still don’t have one) and it’s a serious problem.  I found another similar report on Twitter, so I’m not the only one.  After the first week of trying to get Support to even acknowledge the problem, I took to copying the company’s founders on the emails.  I even asked my own audience to write to them in my blog post explaining what had happened.

Mailchimp doesn’t really respond much to all this.  There is no sense of urgency.  If the problem is widespread, it’s a real disaster for them.  From my own perspective, the poor customer service (it’s just totally unresponsive) and the fact that this isn’t the first time I’ve had customer service issues with them have led me to start looking for a new provider.

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