What Has Happened To Customer Service

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This isn’t the first time I’ve lamented the lack of customer service in the United States. Seems businesses have so many customers that they no longer have to be nice to anyone nor do they have any interest in keeping customers happy. Why should they when they are probably getting tax benefits and breaks, and not relying on actual sales for their bottom line?

Lately I’ve watched my satellite bill increase and increase. Didn’t matter that I had a contract. In fact, the contract only benefited them. They’ve raised my rates over the two years at least two times. But because I’ve been pleased with their service and had been a customer for nine years, I wasn’t fretting it.

Then I saw the rates they are offering new customers. Which are almost half the rate I paid on my last bill! I called and asked what they could do for me. The answer: a nice big, resounding no.

I said I was interested in new customer rates because I’ve been a customer for nine years. They said no.

I said I was still using nine-year old original equipment on one TV. They said so what?

The first person I spoke to refused to do anything. She passed me off to someone who offered me $10 off my bill a month. OK, the last increase was $7 which makes the discount $3. And that’s not considering the other increase. It didn’t even come to 10 per cent of my bill! Seriously, people, 10 per cent doesn’t even count as a discount.

I ended up changing providers. When I was disconnecting the original service, they were ready to offer me things to stay. The woman kept saying, “you’ve been a customer for nine years! We hate to see you go!” Yes, that was my point yesterday. Also, I started with new customer pricing as my base bargain. I would have been happy with 20 percent off…

What I’ve learned is that when my new service contract is up in two years, I will begin searching for a new provider. Obviously, that’s the way things are done now. A loyal, prompt-paying, low-maintenance customer is meaningless to these businesses.

Damn, this makes me mad! I want someone to be interested in me as a customer. Amazingly, I went to twitter and found my new satellite provider. I was presented with a list of things they were doing for new customers and got every one. They installed within 24 hours. They swear my bill will not change for 24 months; we’ll see about that.

My needs in customer service are not demanding. I don’t require a foot massage and champagne when I interact with your business. But there are things I want and need:

  • Customer service reps who speak clear English. I want them to enunciate their words and speak clearly. I want them to actually listen to questions/concerns and answer in a knowledgeable way without resorting to canned responses outlined in the training manual.
  • I want to walk through a parking lot without getting run over or having my car blocked┬áby the cart retrieval guys.
  • I want clutter free aisles. Even if you’re stocking shelves, isn’t there a way to do it that doesn’t actually impede the shopping of your customers?
  • If I am a frequent shopper, I want my very rare returns treated politely and respectfully. When you’re snotty and bitchy because I’ve returned clothing I haven’t even taken the tags off, it doesn’t make me want to come back to buy more from you.
  • If you are an employee and you’re walking through the store, do not run me over. Have some respect for another person.

Do you think poor customer service is just a reflection of our very rude society? I can’t be the only one who has noticed that people are far less courteous in recent years.

Are employees treated so poorly that they simply reflect their own treatment by the business owners? Do business owners realize how this affecting their business reputation?

Let me be clear, I have had some wonderful customer service lately also. The customer service at Target in Glendale Heights is great. Especially in the pharmacy, where I am treated very well. After a rocky start with Verizon, I have to say they have wonderful customer service. Even the original satellite provider had amazing customer service–until I wanted something. Though I’m regretting all the times I raved about them over the past nine years.

Am I the only one noticing a surge of poor customer service? Tell me what you think!


2 thoughts on “What Has Happened To Customer Service

  1. Unfortunately……poor customer service is the new norm. Too bad…..it’s such an insult I just don’t go back!! I get better customer service on-line

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