Consumer electronics have this terrible, terrible habit of breaking down shortly after the manufacturer’s warranty is up. In Eva’s case, the battery of her HP laptop self-destructed just two weeks after her original warranty ended. She thought that perhaps since her battery had started failing during the warranty period, they might give her a break. Nope. Thus began her battle of wills with R., the HP call center supervisor who can’t help you, but answers to no one.
By pissing off this one customer, Dell may have lost millions of dollars. Bill is a corporate account holder and a consultant who makes recommendations to Fortune 500 companies on how to spend their IT money. Usually he recommends Dell, but after his trip to Dell Hell, that will no longer be the case.
A shadowy figure steps out of the shadows, his fingers nicotine-stained and shaking. He glances around nervously before leaping forward and grabbing you by the lapels. “I’ve got 23 things to tell you about calling into an extended warranty call center,” he says, “and I don’t have much time.”
The other day we asked readers to vent about those cliched phrases they hate to hear from the mouths of customer service reps. And boy-howdy did you vent. Now it’s time to hear from someone who works in the trenches as a CSR about those tired tropes he’s sick of hearing customers utter over the phone.
A Raleigh, North Carolina woman is complaining that when you call Time Warner Cable the automated voice response tree is a little haywire. When you say “upgrade” it connects you to a live operator. But when you say “downgrade,” it disconnects your call. Funny how that works.
“This call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes.” Yes, but can I get a copy of it? Not unless you made one yourself.
If you need to call tech support, you don’t want to be holding an Acer or a Gateway, a new Laptop Mag study finds.
Without telling him there would be a fee, Comcast charged Tom $30 to fix the cable wiring going to his house. By simply questioning the charge and expressing his disappointment he wasn’t notified about it, Tom was able to get $20 back. Here is the chat transcript of his success, which is also enjoyable for the inane interjected advertisements that try to sound like human conversation.
“Janice” has been working in the BP Call Center in Houston, answering calls about the disaster from all over the world, and she says she and her coworkers don’t think the calls are being sent any higher up in the company. “We’re a diversion to stop them from really getting to the corporate office, to the big people. I don’t want to get emotional, but it’s so frustrating when these people live right there [in the Gulf Coast] and nothing is being done to help them.”
This is an awesome new tactic for getting off junk mail lists. I just learned it from Phillip, a Consumerist reader I met at the Consumers Union Activist Summit, who is eating a sandwich next to me. He calls it “Blitz Calling” and he’s used it to successfully get off seven different junk mail lists that initially tried to ignore him.
Here’s 5 things you might not know about Verizon Wireless that could also help you be more successful when dealing with customer service and customer service issues:
Christopher says there are advantages to pressing “2.” According to him, United States-based call centers give Spanish speakers fewer hoops to jump through before they get answers. He writes:
Ron in Utah tells Consumerist that he purchased what he thought was a brand-new HP printer, but ended up being more of a Box of Crap. The printer inside wasn’t just non-functional, it was so old that the warranty had expired. HP Customer service’s answer? Before they could help him, he had to fax his original receipt within thirty minutes GO NOW NOW NOW TO THE FAX MACHINE NOW!
Travel with Consumer Watch columnist Jon Yates of the Chicago Tribune to the training ground of our nation’s elite. The few, the powerless, and the often berated: Comcast customer service representatives. Yates sat in on a training class for new reps, sat in on many live calls, and shared the secrets of agents’ formation. Sort of.