Service Please

Have you ever been pissed off with customer service? Of course you have!  Whether at the local store, the utility company, the cable company or when buying or trying to get a refund on a plane ticket? Customer service often stinks. It stinks so badly that you just want to scream from the rafters, and often you do just that. I wanted to relate to you an experience that I just had with my cable company. This is taking customer service to it’s extreme. Everything you buy today, a car, a refrigerator, even ribs from your local BBQ joint, comes with the pre requisite call, perhaps a day later, and hour later, or even within ten minutes of you making your purchase. Sometimes you are able to tell just by the phone number popping up on your mobile phone screen, who it is that’s calling, more often, not. When I had a Nissan, every time I would take it in for a service, I knew and recognized the phone number that would light up my mobile, and I would immediately push the red button to divert the call to voice mail. They never ever left a message, but they were persistent enough to try more than once and sometimes more than twice. It really gets annoying when you pick the phone up and there’s that inevitable delay while the computers connect you to that robotic voice. “This is Nissan and we are conducting a short…” bang! I slam the phone down. End of call, leave me alone please. If I wanted to talk to them I would have called myself!  I had a call once from a company selling me double pane windows.  I didn’t recognize the number, but it looked legit, so I answered. Conversation,

“Hello this is JW windows, Steve speaking, are you the owner of the home?”

“What home?” I replied

“Am I talking to Mr. Zolite?”

“No this is Mr. Zoltie. What do you want?”

“Well sir, are you the owner of the home?”

“What home?”  I absolutely LOVE taking the piss out of these people who all read from prepared scripts.

“Well, you’re home, I , I suppose” he was struggling now.

“Depends what home you’re discussing. I have many”

He was now completely flummoxed, so I interjected.

“What would you like to talk about?” I asked

“Well sir, we are the best replacement window company, ranked by JD Power, …..” I cut him off immediately.

“I don’t have windows in my home”

Pause, silence, pause

“You don’t?”

“Nope”

He cut the line and vanished back to wherever he was calling from!

Which brings me to my cable company experience. My cable box had issues, too many to count. I needed help, serious help, so I called the 800 number and asked for technical support. After and 20 minute diagnostic check, the technician suggested they send someone to my home to sort out the issues. I made an appointment, and we agreed to let the man in the van sort it out. The appointment was set for two days after this call. As soon as I put the phone down, I received an automated response call confirming the appointment. Impressive! The following day, another call, automated again, confirming the appointment for the next day. Impressive again, though slightly annoying. The day of the appointment, which by the way was due to happen between 8 30 AM and 10 30 AM, another call, around 8 AM, this time however, I recognized the number and didn’t answer. I was already fed up with their confirmations! Ten minutes later, another call, same number. I answered. They told me, again in automated voice format, that I needed to push 1 to confirm that I was in my home waiting and ready for their arrival! What? Were they frightened they might lose their $25 missed appointment fee if I wasn’t there to open the door? I pushed 1, and I waited, and waited, and then, poof! He arrived in his van, right on time. Marvelous!! Issues resolved, and everyone happy, and off he trots, back out into the world of TV repair land. No word of a lie, within 30 minutes, another call! Same number. I answered.

“We are conducting a survey on behalf of Comcast….”

Jesus H… Leave me alone. How many times are you going to call me? The appointment was fine, the man was fine, the results were fine, so why waste more of my time just so JD Power can send me another worthless survey in the mail with a $1 bill enclosed as an enticement to complete it then send it back. Are these people nuts? Is there no sanity or common sense left on this planet? If I wasn’t satisfied, the technician would still be at my house fixing the problem! Idiots!

And the same applies for all those car companies out there. Why, every time I get an oil change, do I get a phone call asking me how everything was? It’s just a bloody oil change not a hip replacement or any other major surgery! What makes these companies so obsessed? Wouldn’t it be nice if we were just thanked on the spot for the business we have given them, and then set free with our purchase into a world of silence and self-satisfaction?

Our planet has become ridiculously stupid. I call it reverse evolution. We are moving backwards, not forwards. Let people be. Let them suffer the peace and solitude of their own privacy without the bombardment of phone calls, junk mail, and unwanted interrogation, all for the sake of being number one on the customer service scale. And I ask you all, do you by your Toyota from Joe Shmo Toyota just because you heard they call you to ask you day after day how your experience was when purchasing that car? No, of course not, you buy it because you either got the best deal, or you live close to that store or you got a recommendation. What person would sit at home conducting internet research into who calls you more frequently at awkward hours to ensure you are happy? “Oh yes, Joe Shmo are renowned for calling people up 6 times a week, I’ll buy my car from them!” What a joke.

I can see the purpose for some companies testing their customer service rating by calling, randomly, a choice few, but three calls a day and then even more after the deed is done? I don’t think so. A good old-fashioned thank you is enough for me. How about you? Expect a call from me later today to see if you are happy with this article!

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