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Has Consumerist Helped You? We Want To Hear About It

We’re coming up on a bit of a milestone here at Consumerist, an occasion that may or may not be marked with party hats, whizzamajig sound makers and a cake full of bacon and cheese (not to be confused with a bacon cheesecake). There’s something you fine folks out there could do to help us celebrate: If we’ve ever helped you, we want to hear about it. [More]

When TWC soon-to-be CEO Rob Marcus says "We are listening," does he mean that the company is snooping on customers or is he using the majestic plural to refer to himself?

Incoming Time Warner Cable CEO: Good Customer Service Is When The Customer Doesn’t Need To Call Us

Comcast CEO and King of Kabletown Brian Roberts may think that dealing with more than a billion customer interactions each year is an acceptable excuse for his company’s poor customer service reputation, but the guy about to take the reins at Time Warner Cable sees things a little differently (or at least that’s what he claims to believe). [More]

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Ohio Residents Most Likely To Drop F-Bombs During Customer Service Phone Calls

If Santa Claus wanted an easy way to separate the nice from the naughty for his list, all he’d have to do is look at the numbers culled from recorded phone calls. And no, not the sneaky tracking you’re thinking of — when you call a customer service line or your credit card company and hear that “this call may be recorded” notification, there’s data to show if you drop an f-bomb (or two or three or four) during that call. And Ohio has the sassiest mouths in the nation. [More]

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Comcast CEO Blames Bad Customer Service Reputation On Sheer Volume Of Calls

Comcast is the largest cable and Internet provider in the country and one of the biggest content providers with the acquisition of NBC. It’s also one of the most-hated companies in the country, a former Worst Company In America champ (and perennial quarterfinalist) with a reputation for horrendous customer service, inept tech support and bungled billing practices. But Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says it’s all just a matter of his company being so darn huge. [More]

Apple Calls Teen An Hour After She Wrote CEO Tim Cook About Dictionary’s “Gay” Entry

Apple Calls Teen An Hour After She Wrote CEO Tim Cook About Dictionary’s “Gay” Entry

If you see something you disagree with in a product millions of people use, you should say something — even if you think the CEO of a huge company like Apple won’t pay attention. A high school girl decided she wasn’t too pleased with one of the Apple dictionary app’s definitions of the word “gay” and fired off a letter to CEO Tim Cook about it. Much to her surprise, the company replied within an hour. [More]

We Need More Customer Service Reps Like Capt. Mike Of The Good Ship Netflix

We Need More Customer Service Reps Like Capt. Mike Of The Good Ship Netflix

We’re always hearing complaints about robotic customer service reps who refuse to deviate from a script — this is especially true in chat support, where CSRs sometimes have an entire library of go-to cut-and-paste replies at the ready. So it’s refreshing when we come across a story about a CSR who is willing to shake things up by using a bit of humor while also doing his job. [More]

(Jon Gos)

Ryanair CEO’s New Customer Service Strategy: Be Nice To People Instead Of Making Them Cry

Every time Ryanair’s CEO Michael “Seatbelts Don’t Matter” O’Leary opens his mouth, we’ve come to expect amusing things, usually about how much the airline doesn’t give a flying fig about customers. But O’Leary is trumpeting a turnaround today, something unprecedented for the airline: Being nice to customers. [More]

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Customer Service Expert: “Hire Rock Stars, Not Lip Syncers”

We’ve said countless times before that one of the biggest problems with customer service is that companies — especially large, multinational retail and telecommunications companies — give so little latitude to, and put so little trust in, employees on the front line. Thus, every word and every interaction is scripted, and often with a corporate goal, like getting the customer off the phone quickly or upselling some unasked-for add-on service, that provides no benefit to the consumer. [More]

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Everyone Sees Themselves In This Rage-Filled Customer Service Meltdown Video

Sometimes a picture, story, or video posted online seems so over-the-top that we think that it can’t possibly be real. It has to be a viral marketing ploy, a prank, or somehow involve Jimmy Kimmel. Listening to this recording that purports to be a real customer service call to a home security company, we desperately wanted it to be a hoax…but the court of Internet public opinion has ruled that it probably isn’t. [More]

Olive Garden Waiter Boosts Tips By Impersonating Time-Traveling Alien

(Great Beyond and Morton Fox)

We’re all tired of customer service platitudes and the same spiels that every restaurant server gives. When someone finds a way to make the experience fresh and funny, it gets customers’ attention, for better or worse. One Olive Garden waiter writes that he decided to mix things up by pretending to be a favorite TV character: the title character from the BBC’s Doctor Who. [More]

You've earned his approval.

It’s Safe To Say You Wrote An Effective Complaint Letter If An Airline Billionaire Notices It

Here at Consumerist we’ve read our share of complaint letters. Some are witty and pithy, others are full of rage and utilize all capital letters. Success can be varied, no matter how perfect your letter happens to be. But we think it’s safe to say that when the billionaire head of an airline Tweets your missive to his three million followers, you done good. [More]

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Some Best Buy Customer Service Reps Not Thrilled With Having To Stick To Script

Anyone who has called up customer service knows how frustrating it can be when you reach a rep who insists on sticking to a script rather than having a genuine conversation about your issue. A phone agent for Best Buy’s website says the company recently instituted a new script and those who don’t follow it verbatim are risking their jobs. [More]

(Steve Garfield)

Seattle Fines Comcast — Twice — For Being So Bad At Customer Service

The city of Seattle has an agreement with Comcast requiring the cable company to answer 90% of calls within 30 seconds. If you’re a Comcast customer, you are probably laughing, while also crying a bit as you flash back to interminable waits to speak to a Kabletown rep. But Seattle isn’t taking this standard lightly, as it has attempted to fine Comcast twice in just the last few months. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

Customer Service Rep Entertains Possibility Of Future Resident’s Mail Going To Guy Living Now

On the low end of the customer service representative spectrum there are those company stooges who seem to not give a rat’s patootie whether or not your problem is solved. In the middle, there are your pleasant, efficient CSRs who can handle customers with aplomb and resolve issues tidily enough. And then, oh then, there are those CSRs on the high end of the spectrum, the ones we love the best. [More]

US Postal Service Ships Cover, Forgets My Magazine

US Postal Service Ships Cover, Forgets My Magazine

Thom’s copy of The Economist got separated from its cover. That’s very sad. We have to give the Post Office an A+ for effort, though: they made sure he received evidence that there was ann Economist that week. They delivered the least useful part of the magazine, because that’s the part that had his address printed on it. [More]

(Studio D'Xavier)

Just Being Friendly To Customer Service Reps Can Reap Rewards

We’ve always advised readers to keep their cool when dealing with customer service, regardless of how grievous the error or inept the service. And if you want to get even more out of your customer service call, attempting to make a personal connection with the rep could be the key. [More]

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Barclays Replacing Security Questions With Voice-Recognition

We know you all love calling your bank and being asked the same security questions over and over; and we’re sure that bank employees get a real kick out of having to ask these questions and hearing customers groan. Barclays thinks it has the answer to the problem — voice-recognition software. [More]

(S.L.M.)

Workers Dealing With Customers Say They’re Not Getting Enough Guidance From Management

The more we see big businesses floundering around, flopping all over themselves in the race to replace CEOs and try to figure out why customers aren’t streaming in the doors, the more we wonder how they could all be getting it so wrong. A new survey of “non-desk” workers could provide part of the answer, as those employees say they’re not getting enough information from the bigwigs in charge. [More]