After nearly two years and 1,221 posts, it’s time to hang up my fedora and say goodbye.
I have been a Consumerist reader from the start. The site was such a poignant realization that consumers didn’t need to be a deprecated race, ignored and abused by corporations who wanted us only to spread our wallets and beg for more. This was our safe space, the dojo where we could train to fight back.
I jumped at the opportunity to join the team, happy just to be able to contribute to such extraordinary work. When I nervously agreed to let Ben march me into IDT, I never expected to emerge with an offer to be the site’s weekend editor.
Writing for The Consumerist has been a pleasure, not a job. Along the way, I even started looking forward to calling customer service. The tips we write about day in and day out actually work, and once you master them, you will never again fear any company.
It has been amazing to watch the site generate actual results. Posts are now inevitably followed by the pitter-patter of public relations footsteps, ever-eager to “expeditiously resolve this isolated incident.” Every serious company now needs to scrunch their face up against our window to listen in on our conversation. Some are starting to realize that investing in customer service is a win-win proposition, but for those that don’t, this site remains the best place to teach consumers how to reach the executive suite, grab the ear of the C.E.O., and demand the service they are paying for, and the respect they deserve.
I have been most surprised by the personal responses from the smaller companies and independent business we’ve written about, the ones who have responded in such a heartfelt way that you’d think you accidentally spat on your neighbor. Their quick and direct replies show that nothing will ever beat person-to-person service unhampered by rigid policies and quality control supervisors.
Still, there is so much more work to be done. Though I’m especially proud of starting Above and Beyond, you would be shocked how many tips arrive in our tipbox heralding supposedly exemplary service that read: “my brand new expensive product fell apart but the company replaced it!” The bar of customer service has clearly been set far too low for far too long, and it’s been beyond rewarding to be part of the struggle to nudge it ever higher.
I’ve worked for the government and I’ve worked with non-profits, but writing for The Consumerist has been the most meaningful and downright effective work I’ve yet to do. I’ll never be able to thank Ben enough for trusting me to write the site.
So where do I go from here? Who knows… The Consumerist has been my home for almost two years. I will keep writing about consumer issues, but until I know more, you can follow me at carey-on.tumblr.com. For now, I’ll rejoin the ranks of loyal readers, eager to see what Ben and Meghann have planned for the future.
Thank you for reading, and goodbye. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Carey Lives Here Now [Tumblr]