Skip to main content

Modern American customer service

I hate to rant about anything, but I had an experience with which I'm sure many will identify.

We have a single local newspaper in my home area, and for the past few months have been receiving this publication via subscription on a Friday-through-Monday basis. We had gone without a subscription for some months due to my travel schedule and a general lack of interest, but resumed on the basis above. The only day where we really look forward to the paper's delivery is Sunday, understandably, as there's more content, plus we rely on the weekly retail fliers to determine what products might be on sale and we appreciate the coupons that are generally contained therein.

Yesterday during a leisurely breakfast my wife and I were perusing the paper and I could not help but notice that the comics were from LAST SUNDAY. I remembered because I am a Dilbert fan and remembered the previous Sunday's strip. I then noticed that the Parade magazine insert was also from the previous Sunday. Now I was curious, so I began to check all of the retail fliers and, sure enough, all of them were dates for the week of August 23-29.

I went to the phone and called the newspaper, as there's a number to call if you didn't get your paper, it was damaged or wet, etc. After navigating the maze of options in their automated system I reached a live person. She was apologetic but stated flatly that redelivery would not be possible, as I had waited too long to report my problem. I asked for the name of the circulation manager, and was told that this information was "not available at this time." After a few more questions she finally stated that she was "offshore" and unable to assist. I prodded and she noted that she and her entire service unit is in the Phillipines.

Now, be advised that my own company uses an organization in India for certain function, but none of them have direct interaction with customers. Nevertheless, I asked for my subscription to be cancelled and this polite woman assured me that it would be. She apologized for the tenth time and wished me a good day.

This morning, a Monday edition of the paper awaited me on my doorstep. I attempted to call the paper to again cancel the subscription but found no option to allow this. Nor did I find one on the paper's website, so I sent a customer service inquiry labeled "other" about an hour ago with a plea for someone to call me to discuss.

I'm still waiting.

Isn't it embarrassing that we have come to this level of indifference toward those who spend their money on our products and services? Similar experience recently with a national pizza chain....big mixup on when my carryout order would be ready, waited over 30 minutes, only to find that the pizza was there all along. I demanded my money back (they always have you pay BEFORE you wait) AND the pizza and got it, but posted something on the company's website requesting the opportunity to discuss with the franchise owner. That was three weeks ago, and I've heard nothing.

Given these experiences, I always take note of businesses that seem glad you're a customer, and act accordingly. I don't mind paying for good service, but I detest paying for bad service, especially when there's no discussion of the bad experience that accompanies the payment.

So my list keeps growing. You probably have one of these lists, too, whether it's an actual or a virtual list: a list of places with which I don't do business. I'd like very much to stop adding to it, but....

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches b…

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't el…

Stunningly apathetic

Good afternoon to everyone.  Unusual day and time to post, but my schedule got a little fouled up this week.

Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?  For a number of years, starting when our kids were, well, kids, we really made a big deal of the day of the big game, buying special snacks, planning a menu appropriate to the site of the game or the participating teams' cities, and so forth.

Last year was great, since the Denver Broncos won and our daughter and her family are season ticket holders!

But this year?  Hard to get excited about the New England Patriots (again) and the Atlanta Falcons.  Admittedly, the Falcons have a Kentucky native and UK grad on the roster, tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was injured mid-season and won't play.  But otherwise, the Falcons don't have any players who command a high level of attention from me.

And then there's the Patriots.  Sorry to my friends in the northeast, but I don't care for the team owner, the head coach, the offens…