Friday 13 - The New Customer Service

Tags service, WATT, privacy, security

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It seems to be my week, month, and year to experience the

New Customer Service

You know what this is. I'll bet you are getting the same thing everyday. I hope not. But is seems to be a growing part of the New Economy. Friday the 13th (which we remember because of the end of the Order of the Templers) seemed an appropriate day to talk about it.

WATT - What Are They Thinking?

The other day when I spent exactly 42 minutes on a call to receive nothing except yet another Customer Service Request Number to resolve the same problem I faithfully had already reported in writing already and for which I already received an official Customer Service Request Number and 3 automated emails about already. Whew. 
During the call I got to listen to exceptional hold music. It appeared to be Bach played at 3/4 speed through a tin speaker and recorded in a deep-water submersible.
20 seconds of that. 20 seconds of the sound of the background radiation from the Big Bang. Repeat until they hang up. 
Is this as painful and emotionally difficult as waterboarding?

A Fair Exchange Rate?

Over the course of 42 minutes I talked with two separate human beings for a total  of about 2-3 minutes. No single conversation lasted longer than 60 seconds. Most were 20 seconds or less. Each time I was asked if returning to hold was OK - like I had a choice.

My Security and Privacy Were Assured 

I was duly asked 6 different security questions to assure everyone that me was me. Neither person was empowered to solve or resolve my problem in any way. The whole pleasant exercise left me EXACTLY in the same state as I started with another promise of a fix within 24 hours. They had promised me that 24 hours before in an email which is why I called in the first place.

Award Winning Service

I can also rest assured I will get an automated Customer Support Survey email asking me if I was treated well during their Customer Service Support effort.
You see they are a world- renowned and well-known award winning customer support organization. Their website claims this is so. It proudly shows off their many nationally-known and recognized Customer Service Awards too.
I've been their customer for over 15 years. I'd guess someday soon they'll fix my problem which their automated back end systems created in the first place when I gave them More money for an increased level of service. Oops. Maybe that was my mistake. 

Who they are and what they do doesn't matter. My bank did the same thing to me last week. I now get daily email reminders to fill out an IMPORTANT survey for them. My insurance company did the same thing to me the day after that.

Everyone apparently wants me to be happy that they are doing nothing substantive for me when I ask and/or even pay for their help.

Welcome to the New Economy

"We're hear to serve you" (sp intentional) means YOU DO THE WORK and we'll avoid responsibility and accountability. We'll do our best to make YOU feel good about our not being able to do anything to help you. We'll make damn sure we can prove it too.

"Your call may be recorded for training purposes."

Maybe I should tell the story of the credit card call center that one afternoon forgot to hang up on me one day a year ago. They apparently hit mute on a conference room speaker phone when they hung up on me.
The manager spent 20 minutes publically debriefing multiple staff on the "interesting" 20 minute call he and another staff member had with me while a "team" listened in.
I was accused of "lying", "distorting the truth" and "attempting to manipulate" the facts. Their problem was I wasn't. They were. Their "perfect" system had indeed "failed", but not really. Apparently they were also systematically training staff to manipulate the facts to suit their own expectations and to always fail to listen to human reason at all costs.

"Don't ever believe what they tell you. They always lie."

This was said at least five times by the call center manager in the post call briefing. I certainly couldn't get them to pay any attention to what I was saying. I even tried to let them know I was still on the line and listening in. No Dice. At first the scene was a bit funny and interesting too. I'm in the customer support business too.

It's truly appalling when you consider this is a BIG Bank you now do business with whether you like it or not. Ahhhhh - Think again. You're a taxpayer. They still "accidently" charge late fees for on-time automatic EFT payments at least two times a year. I'd guess they've figured out that most of us will not bother with the hassle of getting it straight most of the time. This is now legal and standard policy too thanks to our representatives in Congress who gleefully saved us from future financial misdeeds. The banks have to fund their call "customer care" centers and the important required training that goes on there somehow.

We're Creating Jobs. Right?

It is not a real job if you cannot do anything to help someone. Well maybe it is a job if you call More antidepressant sales a valuable and needed contribution to society. There is apparently a direct correlation between these two growing phenomenon according to drug researchers -  "for unknown reasons". Karl Marx called religion "the opiate of the masses". His more modern followers recognized long ago that the real deal is much more effective. Maybe there's a reason we now get drug ads instead of the Marlboro man?

Less can Indeed be More for Some

North Korean internment camps produce $1 Billion a year in wholesale hard cash from poppy sales. Most of the final product is sold in the US. Most of the money purchases Chinese manufactured consumer products for loyal party members.

Prescription drug addiction may be the fastest and most expensive growing problem in the US. We apparently live longer if we are mostly sleep while we drive around.

Today, the odds are you know more "legally" addicted people than you know smokers.

One of the new fads in street drugs is for "dealers" to systematically troll the rehab centers for people who will still have access their "unused" prescriptions for a period of time. The street value of those prescriptions can potentially pay off a home morgage in a year or two in most US housing markets.

Think again. You're a taxpayer. You are already required to pay for this. 

Could you please hold. We do want to hear from you. While you wait, could you please complete our important customer service survey?