Zendesk Apologizes For Suddenly Hiking Its Prices, CEO Hopes For "Make-Up Sex"

A lot of companies can learn a thing or two from how Zendesk has now dealt with the huge backlash from its customer base after the startup changed its prices overnight (which resulted in a lot of their users suddenly paying up to 300% more than what they signed up for years ago).

In a blog post, titled “Sorry. We Messed Up.”, the company doesn’t mess up its mea culpa:

When we decided to make a change to the Zendesk pricing structure for our existing customers, we tried to be as thoughtful, transparent, and straightforward as possible. We failed. We let you down. And we apologize.

While it’s refreshing enough to see a company stand up in the middle of a shit storm and unequivocally state that they indeed screwed up, Zendesk is also trying to turn the ship around.

As a result of the backlash, they are now killing the time limit of the half-baked grandfathering terms they tried to appease their earliest and most loyal customers with at first.

That basically means all customers will continue to receive the same functionality they’ve had in the past, in addition to the new community support and knowledge base features that were announced on Tuesday, all while paying the same price they’ve been familiarized with. Which sounds to me like the only correct way to go about this.

As an added bonus, here’s what Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane just e-mailed us:

Hey Robin and Leena,

We just rolled our price changes back for existing customers. It has been a hectic 48 hours talking to our customers. But it has also been a very educating process. We’ve had a very public argument. Despite our good intentions we understand we did wrong and we feel miserable. We hope our customers will accept our apology.

And we hope for make-up sex. But let’s see about that ;-)


I wonder how many customers effectively jumped ship and are no longer interested in make-up sex, but having seen the company’s response to the backlash I do hope many of them will take Svane and co up on it. Just don’t send us pictures, please.