19 October 2010

How to do customer service right.

Dear Companies Who Use Automated Answering Devices for your Customer Service,

It's cool if the option is "press 1 for English, press 2 for Spanish". I don't even mind entering my account number (if I can find the damn thing). But that's about the extent of patience I've got for your automated system. Much more than that, and the rage begins to build. Having me route myself is merely going to piss me off, because often times, it took /way/ longer than it should have.

Verizon is a prime example. It takes me at a minimum, 2 minutes and 47 seconds to get through /just/ the prompts to get to tech support. Time Warner? About 15 seconds, give or take. Bank of America is another one that's pretty foul, especially if you have one of their credit cards. TD Bank? ANSWER WITH A HUMAN THE FIRST TIME. No automated anything. You ring up the 800 number, and a human answers. Yeah. THAT is outstanding. I think that my brother was calling (if I recall correctly) Dish network or something. Same deal there. He was actually surprised at not having to enter anything on his phone. He called the number, and a human answered.

It's getting to where I'm actively avoiding those folk who make me jump through hoops to get stuff done. I've spent more hours than I care to think about at work, sitting through Verizon's obnoxious phone prompts. Even if it takes a long time to sort out the mess, I don't mind, as long as I reach a human promptly. Because the thing is? All those prompts did NOTHING. I still have to restate all the information. What the fuck was the point of the prompts then?

So you mean to tell me that I spent the last 3 minutes of my life, punching random buttons, so that you can ask me to repeat it all again? Are you serious?

It's going to take anywhere between 10 - 15 days to do it, and it's going to cost us money to get the switch over to happen, but it's gotten to where I've flatly told my boss to switch to Time Warner, and the hell with the cost. Anything is worth getting decent customer service, promptly, and on my terms. You know what was even BETTER? When I was done with the call with Time Warner, the lady said, "And if you need to call me with any other questions, here's my direct number. Call me, and I'll personally handle everything for you."

I used TurboTax this year to file the taxes for Chow. It was difficult to use, because our books were a mess, and I had to do some fenagling. However, when I had an issue with technical aspects of th software, a techinician sorted me out in minutes after I asked the question. For that reason (along with the ease of /reaching/ said tech), I'll be using them again in the future.