We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be. ~May Sarton

from my bookshelf

Saturday, April 7, 2007

"Customer Service"

I'd like to know what happened that made customer service such a challenging concept for so many companies?

In the last week alone, I have had to fight to get any kind of decent customer service from no less than 5 companies. A credit card that I closed almost a year ago still sends me a statement every other month, and I have to call each time to verify that the account is closed. Finally today, I had to sit through 3 2-minute long disclosures and agree to them in order to not receive any emails and/or statements from this company for the closed account. I've had an ongoing battle with Comcast over my bill for about 6 months now, which has culminated in 7 phones calls over the course of the last 2 weeks to try to get my bill correct; a bill which I'm sure will be wrong the next time I receive it, even though I have been promised for the fourth time that it will be correct. The Lansing State Journal decided to change it's entire billing process and not tell anyone, and when I called about a bill that I thought was wrong, was told that this is the way it was, and if I didn't like it, I could cancel my subscription. Blurb.com has refused to respond to several emails in request for assistance with technical difficulties I've had with their book-building program. Another company mailed me an item that I did not order, and now I have to chase down a UPS delivery service to get it back to them.

Business these days has become so impersonal, done over the internet or touch-tone phone services, that numerous companies have forgotten that it's the consumer that keeps them in business, and that the consumer is a live person on the other end of the problem. And why should they worry about upsetting one lonely customer? There will always be another to take that person's place. These companies should be battling for our business and to keep us as customers, yet we are the ones, more often than not, that are battling just to be treated like individuals, instead of a problem from the masses.

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