Sunday, January 6, 2013


I think I need to change the name of my blog to "CRANKY OLD BAG."  I need to dig deeper and deeper for the bright side these days.

I have been thinking about all the failures in customer service I have been confronted with just in the past months; both at work and at home.  I wonder what it is all about.

Customer service just gets worse and worse - how is it companies stay in business?  Have we become so accepting of bad service that they know they don't really have to make an effort?  After all, the erosion of service has escalated over time but do we ever write a letter, change companies or otherwise make our displeasure known to the decision makers?

Personally, I have. I also found that one cable company is as bad as the other.  Banks equally deceitful and manipulative with their fees and policies.  Most business decisions for retailers and services are made so high up that it's impossible to get a message through to the decision makers about problems.  The people you are face to face with may acknowledge the issue but are powerless.

The telephone/Internet service we use at work is very difficult to get through to customer service - very long waits on hold (no exaggeration, I have listened to their music for 5-15 minutes before a person came on the line) or waited 2-3 days for a response to e-mails. On the phone, the employees are very helpful, very thoughtful.  They really work hard to resolve the issue.  Then I am inundated for days with e-mails asking me to rate the experience, rate the person who helped me, rate the company, etc. Yet even though I have repeatedly expressed what I said here with regard to the waits, etc. - nothing has been improved.  So what is the point of the surveys? To make me think they actually care? Is that their customer service model?

On the other hand, 2 days and over 4 phone hours into trying to resolve the USBank/Quicken problem (I got up at 5:30am to try this morning); no one has taken responsibility for it, figured out how to resolve it, or offered any inkling that they care what I think of their service.  USBank made it worse because the "banker" would not listen to me and ended up reconfiguring everything in my system for USBank bill pay when I use Quicken bill pay when I asked to talk to someone else,  I was "disconnected."

Is that better?  Incompetent service and we don't care to know what you think. We are not going to ask and there is no contact information for you to tell!

 Neither approach seems to care about the satisfaction of the customer and I am scared to think how much worse it is going to get. When a few corporations own everything and there is no alternative, the whole concept of customer service will become obsolete.  It will be take it or leave it. Feels like we are almost there.


Nan said...

Switch to a credit union. They're still run by humans.

I know what you mean about customer service. I've been having fun times trying to get Ford to live up to the guarantees they've got printed in the owner's manual for my car. The customer service reps will concede the document exists but then claim in the next breath that the fact that it says it's a guarantee doesn't mean it's a guarantee. Unreal.

Tricia said...

I think the workers on the front lines (that get paid minimum wage)really do try to give good customer service. What I find is the company policies don't care about the customer.
The soul and only purpose of corporations is to make money. They do not care and there is no reason for them to care about customers or employees. Once a person understands that the only point for corporations is making money then it makes sense. Customers often think that companies care, that companies will go broke if they give bad customer service, but the reality is that many companies will not go out of business if they don't care about their customers. I am dealing with a company right now, that, once I signed the paperwork it will cost me a lot to sell and get out of the contract. So they don't care.This is were it helps to have some force that mandates the company to act in the customer's interest. There is no motivation for corporations to do it otherwise.