Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cutsomer Service

Is this a cigarette machine? Yes and no. Yeah, candy cigarettes. I took this at Big Top on South Congress, of course working hard to get my reflection Candy cigarettes. Innocuous enough I guess except for all that implication of imitating adults in a nasty habit, yada yada.

This is not a battle I'll fight. The youngsters I took to the candy store ignored the machine (and the chocolate bacon for that matter).

Big Top is delivering what they promise. Sweets of all stripes. Cheerful help. What more could you want?

Things are not so well in other customer service realms that I'm currently navigating. I called one provider of service for my old address, thinking I might migrate this service to my Dad's house. The result? They increased my bill for my current service. After threatening to do that and then getting management to say that they would not do that.

I had a 'final' walk through of our condo today. Yeah, they fixed some things. They broke some things in the process. They admitted they didn't fix the hot water heater, but they are 'having meetings' about 'final delivery from the contractor.' FFP said this meant that finger pointing was proceeding (at our expense?). You think?

I am so disappointed in the AV provider for the condo that I've decided not to spend any more money with them. (I'm already committed to an expensive set of surround speakers from them.) I have hired a consultant to help me buy components and flat screen TVs and to talk to the EPS guys. (Empty Polo Shirts.)

I had a very sad experience with the TV/Internet/Internet Phone provider (a monopoly for one year as I understand it). On my last foray to their call center, I was told that they had no record of my 'community' and therefore couldn't sell me anything. Today I bought a little LCD TV for the condo (online, Costco, selection assisted by my consultant above) and decided to try to schedule installation of the TV service. So, yeah. Four calls, or more, and every time I punched the button for 'new service' it hung up on me. I got through to a live person by selecting the choice for existing customers. I told them my problem. They transferred me....to the hang up service. I called back, navigated to get a live person and told them I'd run out of time to buy something from them but that the new service choice wasn't working. Later I called and got through. I ordered my service. The person didn't say anything about Internet or phone. She said I needed to pay the installer for installation and my converter. "Can I use a credit card?"

"No. You have to have a money order." I'm totally serious. What does she think I am, drug dealer or homeless person? Finally it became clear that I could give her a credit card.

When we checked out our condo, I asked if the Internet worked. (It is supposed to be "included with the homeowners fee.") She (it's always a she at this point, a she who takes off her spike heels before entering your hardwood abode) said she didn't know and couldn't test it! I said, "I brought a laptop, can I test it?" She agreed. It didn't work. After we'd been through the punch list with mixed results she took us to an EPS that we'd talked to before. He was in a state of high bewilderment. He said our Internet would be installed 'when we got our TV service.' We would have to be assigned a user ID and password. This last info really threw him and he kept repeating it. He was using a (wired) Internet connection in the sales office we were in and seemed amazed that it worked. I told him that I had sent an e-mail to someone he had recommended the other day. This was about enhanced Internet service. He did not remember telling me this nor who it could have been. I asked if I would REALLY get Internet service when I got TV. He said that his installer was 'pretty good' and he hoped he wouldn't be too busy.

Holy crap. Customer service is dead. Well, except for a couple of my consultants. Even the Apple 'Genius' managed to insult me with a "don't call me we will call you" attitude although they did get us a new hard drive in only a week's time. Customer service rule? BE a genius. Don't call yourself one, though.

None of this surprises me, of course. And my only bully pulpit is this blog. But, yeah. Customer service. Dead. Oh. But. We like the concierge folks we've met at our new condo. So far they seem concerned, competent and interested in service. There is that.

1 comment:

nicole said...

EPS...I'll have to remember that one ;)