Money hates obstacles

I recently signed up to a comedy writing course. (Starts end of January.)

The usual process… you go to a website, you select your course, place order, pay online, ticket delivered to your email box…

Pretty standard.

A week later, I receive an email that looked like spam. Missed the spam filter.

“Damn you Gmail,” I thought.

Almost deleted it without reading. The only reason I opened it was… it had “comedy” and “writing” in its subject line.

Ah, yes.

It was the company through which I bought the comedy writing course. They were “politely” informing me, in a very cold and professional style, that they forgot to charge me the VAT and now I owe them £40 extra. They instructed me to call some telephone number “at my earliest convenience” to sort out the matter.


Now, think for a minute.

How many obstacles between them and my money can you count in that scenario above?

Go on… I’ll wait.

Here’s the number I’ve came up:

1. The email they sent looked completely anonymous and unrelated to the product. I almost deleted it.

2. The copy in the email was actually pretty hard to understand on the first glance. Formal english, very polite, long and hard words… I had to read it a couple of times to understand what they actually wanted.

3. They are asking ME to contact THEM about it. Like, in person.

4. They gave me this number to call.. without even telling me what to say, who’s gonna answer the phone.. making it even more of a burden for me. As far as I’m concerned, whoever is going to pick up the phone, will not have the slightest idea why I’m calling and I’ll have to explain everything to them.

5. At my earliest convenience? What does it mean? How about… never?

But here’s the thing…. if they’d sent me an email with a link where I could pay the missing £40 I’d do it on the spot. Without blinking once. A no brainer.

This made me thinking…

How many obstacles have I put in place that are preventing people from giving ME money sooner?

How about you?

– Tanja