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MLB Needs Some Customer-Service Help

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Here's something the new Commissioner could work on.

This photo doesn't have anything to do with my article, but I think it's cool that Javier Baez has the MLB logo tattooed on the back of his neck
This photo doesn't have anything to do with my article, but I think it's cool that Javier Baez has the MLB logo tattooed on the back of his neck
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Earlier today, I emailed MLB customer support because I had a question regarding my MLB.TV subscription. I had done this because when I called the customer-service phone number, the person on the other end of the line had such a thick accent that I could literally not understand a thing he was saying.

So that's step 1, MLB: get people on your phone lines that customers can understand. Yes, even if it costs a little more. You're a $9 billion business. You can afford it.

But step 2 comes in the wake of the auto-response email I received. The first alarming thing was the subject line of the response:

Incident: 150130-000411

"Incident"? What is this, a traffic citation? The subject line tells me absolutely nothing about the issue I emailed about -- looks like it's just a combination of today's date and how many emails they've received today -- and, for many email clients, is an invitation to ship that email to spam. Then there's the body of the email:

Dear Valued User:

Thank you for contacting MLB.com Customer Support. We have received your email and will respond to your request as quickly as possible.

For all product and technical questions we encourage you to visit our FAQs www.mlb.com/faq or visit our MLB.TV Forum www.mlb.com/forum. 

If you asked a question about billing for a subscription product, your request is being processed.  Please be advised if you cancelled a subscription in accordance with the MLB.com Terms of Use.

Sincerely,
MLB.com Customer Support Team

PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE. IT WAS SENT FROM AN ADDRESS THAT CANNOT RECEIVE INCOMING MAIL.

"Valued User"? Now, does that make you feel valued? It makes me feel like I'm a fake user name someone made up for MLB.com. Perhaps "Dear Baseball Fan" might be a bit more friendly? And then I read this sentence:

Please be advised if you cancelled a subscription in accordance with the MLB.com Terms of Use.

What does that even mean? It's a nonsense phrase. Please be advised... what, exactly? Also, I didn't cancel, so that's irrelevant.

MLB has a long way to go to become more customer-friendly in a lot of ways. Here's one where they could start. Rob Manfred, you ought to get someone on your team to help design more consumer-friendly autoresponse emails and get people you can actually understand on the help line.