Customer Service

Where has all the customer service gone?  I’ve had plenty of horrible service the lastcustomer-servicecouple of months with different companies and it got me thinking.  Doesn’t anyone care about the customer?  Are we not important anymore?  Do companies not care because there be someone else to take my spot if I take my business elsewhere?

It all started with our satellite provider.  We decided to upgrade to the DVR after getting MANY letters in the mail about free upgrades, free installations and things.  Of course, when I chose to call I hadn’t gotten a letter in awhile, but I thought there would be no harm in asking what the promotion is/what can I get for free?  I mean, we pay enough each month and have been customers forever that I should be entitled to something free!  The lady I spoke with was polite and said, oh I can see you’ve been a customer for awhile, you can get a free upgrade to DVR.  GREAT!!! Just what I wanted:)  I said, that’d be fine, I would like 2 DVR’s.  She said, I can give you one free, but the 2nd one you’ll have to pay for.  Completely understandable, let’s go with that.  I get the info, she does the order, everything seems hunky dory.  The only downside was I had to wait a month to get them installed b/c their technicians are just SO BUSY…..yeah. 

I wait my month and the day comes that I get my DVR and the technician shows up right on time BUT he’s only carrying one box.  He’s not even in the door and I said, I ordered 2, is the other one in the truck?  No, ma’am, only 1 ordered, only have 1 box, only 1 service order.  Um, please speak English and are you kidding???  I immediately dial customer service and get one snotty rep.  “Ma’am, we don’t just give away free DVR’s.  The order is only for one, you must be mistaken.”  My response, “I get letters all the time to upgrade for free, I called, you said that’s what I qualified for so that’s what I’ll be getting.”  CSR, “I suppose if you were told that we have to honor that” blah blah blah….She could have cared less.  She was rude and you could hear the attitude in her voice.  After 45 min with her on the phone, it was straightened out.  Kind of.  We had to wait another month to get the 2nd box and then after the technician left that day, he didn’t install the DVR right!!!!  I had to call Customer Service back that night and explain to 3 different people what was going on so they could get me to someone who could help!  Guess what I was told.  “You will have to call the company who did the installation directly.  Because we contract that service out we can’t help you, but I can give you the number for them.”  That’s great b/c it’s 8pm and I’m pretty sure they are CLOSED for the day!  They were closed and to get a hold of them was like picking the winning lottery number! 

Had I known what would happen, I would have picked a new satellite company, but then would my old company have cared that I left?  Probably not.  There’s always someone else to take your spot and I really don’t think that customer satisfaction is high on the list for a lot of companies now days.  Does anyone else have experiences like this?  It’s not just big companies either.  Whether it’s my phone company, the cashier at the grocery store or a retail salesperson, you’ll always have someone who is just there to collect a paycheck.  Every once in a while you’ll find that person who really does want to help you and really does care about your problem and when you find them you’d better appreciate them!

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14 Responses to Customer Service

  1. SKL says:

    I have vague memories of this kind of stuff, but I know I’ve had some doozies. I think I have a mechanism in my brain that helps me forget it. Otherwise I don’t know what kind of sociopath I might become.

    One thing that I do remember. I had been with the same car insurance for at least 12 years (since I bought my first car). My secretary had been encouraging me to try the one she had, but I am not a big switcher. Well, every year my premiums kept going up even while my driving record was improving. Obviously my car value wasn’t increasing and my insurance limits weren’t increasing, so what the logic? Eventually the premium was about twice what it had started at. So finally I got fed up and called to ask about it.

    “Oh, we increased your bill by $50 because you now have accident forgiveness.”

    “I never agreed to that. I don’t want accident forgiveness if it’s going to cost that much.”

    “OK, we can take it off.”

    “So why is it still so high?”

    “Look, here’s the only way I can get your premium down. You can switch to another carrier and then I can offer you a discount for switching back.”

    “I have to drop you guys to get you to give me a deal? So much for loyalty.”

    So I eventually called my secretary’s company and switched. I then got a nasty letter from my previous company with a lot of sour grapes, ending with “I bet your new insurer didn’t tell you that we’d be charging you a $40 fee for dropping the insurance before the end of the term. So you really aren’t saving any money. [Dumbass.]”

    Hmm. In case I was considering switching back, they needn’t worry about that any more.

  2. I can totally sympathize with this, Sue! Just the other day we received an electricity bill that was about twice the size of what it normally is, and eventually, after many phone calls of course, we found out that it was an estimate and not even what we were really supposed to pay!

    Some companies still DO care about the service quality – I just started working for a credit card company here in Israel, and they take their customer service seriously. I’ve been in a two months course, full of not only the professional information we need for the job, but also whole days dedicated to how to give service in the best, most efficient and most pleasant way possible. It makes me feel good to know that I’ll be one of those people that will be NICE to customers.

  3. Sue says:

    I think it helps when you get the rep on the phone who actually cares about their job! I worked for a catalogue company in their credit department for 2.5 years so I know how the flow charts work and I know that everything they tell you (here in the states anyway) is scripted to a point. Thanks for taking your job seriously slightlyignorant and I hope I get you on the phone the next time I have to call someone!!!

  4. Joy says:

    I have had my worst scenario’s with Sprint. Every single time I need to call I get the run-around. The last time I ordered my husband a new phone they activated it “for me” but they put the wrong account number on it so we couldn’t use it and then acted like it was my fault. I spent a day and a half on the phone with them and half that time was spent waiting and the other half was spent repeating the problem. Isn’t there a way they could transfer your dialog so you didn’t have to repeat everything to every single person they transfer you to?????

    Direct TV is really bad too. I feel the worst part is all the transferring and re-explaining so many times That’s what really gets me the most. Oh, and that they act like their mistake is yours.

    Oh yes, please speak English!

  5. Laura (LS) says:

    Back before Nextel became Sprint, I called to find out if their service area was expanding, because we live in a Cell Phone Black Hole. Nothing gets to our house unless it’s hooked up to a wire, and even then, the sun had better be shining and you better have sacrificed six chickens and an artichoke to the Electricity Gods.

    So I call Nextel to ask if there’s any chance that there will be a tower going up out here anytime soon, because if not, I was switching carriers. The CSR was very nice, but said, “I don’t know that answer… let me switch you to someone in our Tech department. They can pull up screens that I can’t.”

    Fine. No prob. Listen to Muzak and try not to pull my hair out when I realize that they’re BUTCHERING “Livin’ on a Prayer” (dear GOD!!! I’M OLD!!!)

    I get to “Ben the Tech” and ask him the same question… Any towers going up around here in the near future (by this I mean, ‘the next six months to a year’). He replies, “Sure, ma’am. Let me just put $200,000 on your bill, and I’ll get one right up for you. We can’t just put these things up for anyone, you know.”

    I now have AT&T.

    And Ben is in the Unemployment Line.

  6. mssc54 says:

    I have owned a carpet cleaning company since March of 1985.

    I can’t tell you the number of times we show up on time and the customer is surprised and not ready.

    We even call the day before to verify the information and too confirm the appointment!

    I have found that if we show up on time we are head and shoulders above most of the other service companies around. 😉

  7. Tessa says:

    Well said, Sue, we have had plentiful of problems ourselves!! Every single week, Eric is on the phone with some customer service person because a bill is wrong. He can be on the phone for an hour at a time trying to get it right, and he is always determined to get our money back and I love him for standing his ground.

    Yes, customer service has fallen to the waste side. Even going to the gas station or target, we are lucky to get a cashier that even says “hi” or Holy Lord is they say, “Have a nice day”! It is ridiculous. It is usually young adults or teenagers. I worked many years in customer service, and it makes me angry because that is their job and an easy one at that. I would have been fired for that.

    And what is with NOT checking ID’s anymore? That makes Eric and I really upset. How hard is it to check? When I was a cashier, I had to do that and I saved some people from fraud doing it.

  8. Tessa says:

    Yes, Sprint and comcast are terrible! I canceled Sprint and told them it was because of bad service and signal out here. Comcast is horrible too-Eric is on the phone with them nightly it seems…
    he got our bill reduced to $60.00 a month for cable & internet last night!! Gotta love him for it.

  9. Tessa says:

    The trick is to kill them with kindness and self-pity. Works every time for Eric.

  10. Tessa says:

    Hey everybody,
    I will be going in for surgery on Monday to remove a cystic mass or hernia caused probably from pregnancy & labor, not sure what it is exactly, and since you all did such a fab job on praying for Eric I thought I’d let you know.

  11. Joy says:

    I’m sorry to hear that Tessa. Is it day surgery or do you have to spend the night?

  12. nikki says:

    Good luck Tessa, we love you!! Make sure that wonderful hubby of yours takes good care of you 🙂
    I was Christmas shopping ALL day yesterday, and yea customer service has gone out the window in most places. I think people aren’t happy with their jobs these days and they just don’t care how their attitude will affect someone. I was at Dick’s Sporting Goods, I started unloading everything and asked how the cashier was doing he said, “Fine.” That’s it, not “fine, how are you?” Nothing back, I thought that was rude. If everyone would just give a smile…they are free after all!!

  13. Tessa says:

    I am going in tomorrow morning and having surgery later in the afternoon probably- or asap- and staying at least one night, depending on what they find. Not sure if it is a cystic mass or a hernia. It’s about 2 inches long on the outside… My wonderful hubby was already worried and went to the store to get extra formula to take care of Ben while I’m in the hospital. He is great!

    That is rude Nikki!

  14. Tessa says:

    Thanks guys!

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