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John's Blog

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Customer Disservice

I suppose I should be happy to have discovered that the company I work for hasn't cornered the market on bad customer service. I recently interceded in a problem that a customer had concerning a furniture delivery, where just about everything that could go wrong did, and in some cases happened more than once. The customer was understandably angry, and wasn't getting much satisfaction from the customer service department and contacted me. I quickly shared his frustration, dealing with people who weren't engaged, and didn't really get it or care about what needed to be done to fix the situation. I've usually found that the right mix of listening, showing empathy, and throwing money at the problem can usually turn anything around, but I wasn't getting any of this from them. Needless to say, I had to step up to the plate to fix things.

So with this experience freshly in my mind, I went to use my cell phone only to find that they had turned off my service. When I got the last bill, I noticed that they hadn't received the previous month's payment which I had made on-line, so I contacted my bank to find out what the problem was. I'd always assumed that on-line transactions were done electronically, but in reality they just cut a check an put it in the mail and this check was M.I.A. The bank suggested that payment should be stopped on this missing check, and they would reissue another. The only problem is that they didn't issue the new check, and Verizon now somehow gets the missing check and tries to cash it, only to find out that payment has been stopped.

You would think that this situation could be resolved quickly and easily, especially since I made the payment after the missing one. But they quickly took a "we don't care, we just want our money now" posture. Apparently courtsey, common sense and a sympathetic stance aren't required to work for Verizon Customer Service. If I could cancel my contract, I'd do so. But it looks like I'm not the first person to have a beef with them.

And I'm none too happy with Wachovia, who also excel at projecting the "we don't care" attitude. Refusing to take responsibility for offering services not provided doesn't seem like the way to go. Their only suggestion was that they could put me in contact with the person who dropped the ball; what, so we could reminisce about good times? I guess it's too much to expect actual "service" from customer service, but I'll remain hopeful that it's not impossible.
|| JM, 7:16 AM


I think I got a headache just reading your post. It's all too common for big businesses to not care about us because there are a zillion more customers, so why would one matter?
Blogger pissed off patricia, at 10:07 AM  
They will spend millions to "get" a new customer, but won't spend a few dollars to keep the ones they have. And with the trend towards mergers & consolidations, the threat of marching your business somewhere else becomes increasingly difficult to execute with fewer competitors in the marketplace.
Blogger JM, at 12:31 PM  
I'll bet your post would generate millions of stories from all the rest of us who have had horror experiences with customer service. I don't expect them to be all kissey to me, but it does irritate me when I spend a lot of money regularly in their store/bank/service and they treat me like some recently arrived terrorist.
Blogger Peacechick Mary, at 7:06 AM  
Verizon was a nightmare when installing DSL at my house. I was literaly chasing down the Verizon truck in the street. I also have Verizon wireless. :)
Anonymous Liz, at 10:46 AM  
There's no such thing as good customer service anymore. No one cares if they lose a customer. The customer is NEVER right.
Blogger Mary, at 6:17 PM  

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