By: Sean Crose
You have to give this to DAZN…the streaming service is honest. While many companies would try to pull some PR shenanigans after disappointing a good amount of customers, DAZN has literally expressed no concern whatsoever for sowing dissatisfaction among a considerable amount of it’s clientele.
After it delayed last Saturday’s Canelo-Kovalev match for 90 minutes in order to appeal to MMA fans who were watching a card of their own, I decided to reach out to DAZN for an explanation.
The streaming service got back to me Tuesday. The individual I emailed didn’t respond to my questions directly, nor did anyone else at DAZN. I was merely referred to some quotes DAZN rep Joe Markowski had given to Steve Kim, who happens to write for ESPN (which broadcast last weekend’s MMA card). The quotes, such as they are, make it clear DAZN is happy it delayed the fight for an hour and a half on Saturday. What’s more, Markowski added absolutely nothing conciliatory towards those who paid for what was literally poor customer service. Sure enough, my question to DAZN about how some perceived their weekend strategy went unanswered.
Which brings us to a simple fact – DAZN is not only disinterested in individual consumer satisfaction, it isn’t afraid of that disinterest being public knowledge. Perhaps the streaming service received such a windfall from all those MMA fans this past weekend that it no longer feels it needs to play nice. Or perhaps it’s just an operation straight out of a Dickens’ novel. Either way, its coldness is notable. Imagine, if you will, a McDonald’s in Brooklyn being shut down by a health inspector and the company responding with “hey, we made millions around the world that day, so who cares about a handful of customers in lower New York?”
Although it hasn’t released exact figures on last weekend’s subscriptions, there’s little doubt DAZN had its reasons to do what it did. It’s obvious, for instance, that the streaming service expected Canelo to face Gennady Golovkin a third time after it coughed up a fortune to show both men’s fights. Canelo’s reported refusal to play along must be beyond frustrating. DAZN can’t be faulted fordoing what it takes to make a profit, after all. According to Sports Illustrated, the numbers indicate that the vast majority of Canelo fans live on the west coast. Those viewers weren’t inconvenienced the way the rest of the country was by DAZN’s weekend delay.
All of this makes DAZNs actions a bit more understandable, sure. But those actions are still inexcusable. The complete unwillingness to express empathy for unhappy customers is quite telling. Poor customer service is a slippery slope. If you get away with it once, you’ll most likely try it again. And that sort of thing takes its toll. As does arrogantly ignoring and insulting an entire demographic. Businesses and politicians have tried it before. All it takes is a Google search to see the results of such actions.