If there’s one thing you can depend on with Time Warner Cable, it’s that if you call for technical support, someone is going to ask you to reboot your modem–even when the problem is that TWC changed your phone number without warning.
Nick went shopping recently at Banana Republic and applied for a store credit card. Now he’s being called by a collections department and receiving contradictory stories about whether or not the retailer has his correct address on file.
“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.”
The Charter Communications CSR who spoke with Dustin has some pretty astounding news about what’s on the horizon for all of us. It looks like starting May 1st, cable companies will have total, FCC-sanctioned control over streaming video and will take down all competing services.
Lesley lives alone, and says that despite what any Mediacom CSRs may think, she hasn’t been consistently ordering adult movies for the past three months.
We’ve always heard good things about Zipcar—the biggest complaint from friends here in NYC is that reserving one in the summer requires a lot of patience. Jen and her friend, however, just had an experience that was so bad that Jen finally had to dispute the charges on her card, and now she says she’ll never do business with them again. Based on her encounter with them, we think she has a good reason to feel that way.
The person who blogs at MichiganTelephone just tried to help his friend sign up for DSL from AT&T last week. Their experience was so full of fail that now his friend doesn’t even want to bother trying anymore. Yes, a customer came to AT&T ready to sign up, and AT&T drove him away. Michigan telephone wonders, “Does AT&T have a death wish, or are they really just that incompetent?”
Last week, we posted that a popular web hosting company—GoDaddy, although we didn’t name it at the time—provided a strange customer service experience to a commenter. Cyberguy was contacted via phone by someone from their “Office of the President” after emailing them, but then Cyberguy couldn’t get their rep to state clearly which company he was representing. Cyberguy was rightly suspicious. Was GoDaddy outsourcing its own executive customer service?
Cyberguy had a weird experience with a web hosting company earlier this week. He tried to contact their office of the president, but the person from the “office” who called him back turned out to be an outsourced CSR with no power to do anything other than apologize. Update: The web host company was GoDaddy, and they’ve responded. (The short answer is no they don’t outsource it.)
Yesterday I was musing that Time Warner Cable was passing the cost of customer care off to other businesses, by requiring customers to take half-days or full days off of work just to wait for a cable repairman. Today I think I stumbled upon another hidden economic impact of bad customer service: it’s responsible for generating a lot of the “free” content online. The next time you’re reading an IMDB entry about “Damages” or “Big Love” for example, you can thank Verizon’s collection of angry, confused, and possibly insane employees, and all the idle time they create for a customer who has to deal with them.
Bank of America messed up Andy’s credit score by failing to send him credit card statements or giving him online access to an old account he only recently started using again. They also refused to work with him over the phone, telling him each time he called that they had no record of his previous conversations with customer service and therefore no reason to believe him.
Verizon's New Marketing Pitch: Squirrels Eat Old Phone Lines So Upgrade To FiOS For Guaranteed Service!
Verizon told Debbie that upgrading to FiOS was the only way to guarantee uninterrupted phone service because apparently, Verizon’s old copper lines are no match for the insatiable appetite of copper-munching squirrels. Never mind that FiOS doesn’t work during a blackout for more than a few hours, or that Debbie’s problem had nothing to do with hungry squirrels…
Cracked takes a stab at explaining why your calls to customer support inevitably lead to frustration. You’ll probably recognize your own experiences as you read their article, and learn a little about why being a customer service agent sucks so much, too.
Hannah needs some more training, because her knowledge of Comcast’s bandwidth cap is less than Comcastic. We also think calling her an “analyst” is maybe stretching it a bit.
It’s strange, the way some customer/CSR encounters go so well when others seem headed for failure before the first sentence is finished. When Nix called to complain about being mistakenly sent a $100 gift card offer that she can’t take advantage of, the Verizon rep on the other end not only addressed the real issues, but later sent a $50 gift card to Nix as a goodwill gesture.
Pretty much every problematic customer service story these days includes some reference to the Notes—that unseen record of what you’ve been told, and by inference what you’ve agreed to, on previous calls. The funny thing is, you never get to see them.