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Lack of customer service
Even though I know there are many very important things going on – or not going on – in our state and nation, I have just got to rant about something I think most all of you have endured at some point in time. I am talking about customer service – or more precisely, the LACK of customer service.
Before I start, I will accept that I am getting older, and I remember those “good old days” of face to face conversations, or the ability to place a telephone call and a live person with a cheery voice would answer. Those good people would stand on their heads to help solve a problem or make sure you left them feeling like they had. Those days are so far in the rearview mirror of my life, and it’s sad to think of the generations who have grown up or are growing up without ever having those experiences.
Today it is virtually impossible to contact anyone on the telephone to TALK about a question or problem. You have to CHAT – sit and type to give information, verify who you are, tell them what you need, and answer their questions. Then wait for them to respond and wonder if they are still there. And, you have to get in line and hope they don’t forget you. This is just SO impersonal and difficult for me! I want to hear the inflection in their voice and be able to let them hear the inflection in mine! Well, maybe that’s why we can’t talk to people anymore!
If you are lucky enough to reach someone by telephone, it will probably be someone who does not speak understandable English. Add to the fact that I am hard of hearing, and it is impossible for me to carry on a conversation and get anywhere. I hate to be rude and ask specifically for someone who does speak English, but that is where I am now. And my latest CHAT tonight was with two different “agents” who couldn’t write in clear English.
At the moment, my least favorite companies are Verizon, AT&T and DirecTV. I spent the better part of two days “chatting” with people with Verizon trying to disconnect my late husband’s cell phone and tablet. After four hours on a Sunday afternoon I guess they just cut me off when it was time for them to go home – with no explanation. We had finally gotten down to the very last thing, and I asked a question about why the next bill would be more than the previous one after really disconnecting THREE devices. I held on for more than 30 minutes before I realized there was no one there anymore. I started bright and early the next morning and had to start all over again from the beginning. I kept asking the person I was chatting with how to talk to a real, live person, a SUPERVISOR – all they could do was tell me they could help me, but they really couldn’t. I finally called a Verizon store and told the live person there I wanted to talk to someone and that he really didn’t want me to come into his store because I was by now past the IRATE stage. He told me how to bypass the automatic transfer to recordings and get to a person. Finally, a sweet young lady named Sharonda put a smile in her voice and said she would help me, and she did! She said many people share my aversion to chats and the inability to reach a person.
DirecTV is another one with no telephone access to a human. My receiver was not communicating with my satellite – for the second time – and I was on the chat line with two different agents for more than an hour and having to repeat myself over and over to explain the problem. Again, they couldn’t help but set me up with another appointment for a technician to come to the house – I hope.
In a tie with Verizon for the worst customer service is AT&T. We disconnected our landline as of December 31, and while I WAS talking to a person, tried to pay my bill at that time. He told me to wait for the final bill because it would be less that what was then due – sounded good. Well, I’ve received three more bills since then. In both February and March I called to ask where the credits were instead of the same amounts being billed, and they couldn’t answer the question. I needed to talk to someone in “Customer Retention”! I kept telling them I did not want to be “RETAINED;” I wanted to DISCONNECT. Each time I have called it has taken at least three transfers to get to someone who could even discuss my bill with me! But still no resolution.
I had several jobs in my working career that were in customer service. I know people can be difficult sometimes. And because of that, I try to be very civil and patient when I have a problem. But these people or robots or whatever they are have pushed me to my limit. I just want to TALK TO SOMEONE! Someone who can help. Someone who knows what they are talking about.
Is it just me? Am I the only one who misses those good old days of in-person customer service from someone who would find the answer to your problem if it took them half the day? I do not like the new world of technology dealing with machines. I like people, and I am feeling more and more isolated by the day. What say you? Rant over.