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Will Success Destroy Toktumi?

In September of last year I tried out the Toktumi (“talk to me”) service with their 30 day free trial and received a phone number. Not ready to pull the trigger and sign up at the end of that trial, I was ready a few weeks ago (and have six clients who could use it too) so decided to signup. Unfortunately, all hell had broken loose because The New York Times published David Pogue‘s review of Toktumi’s Line2 app for the iPhone (an app I’d downloaded back in September and still had on my iPhone) and an untold number of people tried to signup and hackers took the site down with some sort of account signup attack.

Toktumi took signups offline in order to recover and guard against future attacks so I added myself to the list of people being notified. But then the “impossibility gremlins” arrived to make buying their service impossible, mainly because their database still has my mobile number in it from last year’s 30 day trial so I’m unable to get past their “Activate Service” screen and complete the transaction.

Sounds easy to fix, right? A quick assistance from a human should do the trick, don’t ya think?

After several customer service emails, calling their toll-free number (support and sales…both of which aren’t answered and encourage filling out a help ticket) and attempting to receive help by using their live chat (which gives a rough time of engaging in live chat–mine has been 6, 8 or 10 minutes the three times I tried using it–but after 45-60 minutes I’ve given up and closed the chat window), I decided today to leave a voicemail for Peter Sisson, Toktumi’s CEO and describe the infinite loop I find myself in simply trying to buy their service, make him aware of it and see if I can “shake the tree” a bit and get some help.

Since I’m highly motivated I’ll keep trying through tomorrow and then give up permanently. It’s sad since I cover startups (at another site I’m involved in, Minnov8) and I’m well aware of the trials and tribulations entrepreneurs experience, especially when a sudden event blows up their company and they scramble to recover. But the ones that have survived “success” like Toktumi is experiencing have learned one thing and executed on it well: focus on those who want to give you their money and become your customers.

UPDATE: That was quick. 10 minutes after I published this post I emailed Toktumi customer service and they setup an account, told me how to upgrade and so forth so I’m moving forward.