Customer Service

Is there such a thing as customer service any more? In the past month, we have had to call our ISP (who touts customer service in all their ads!) twice for the same issue; both times the tech support was totally useless. Essentially what they said was well we didn’t mess it up so we don’t have to fix it; it’s your problem fix it yourself! Now the problem was that my partner couldn’t log in to his email account; one day he could, the next he couldn’t. We didn’t change anything. In fact, between the time it worked and then didn’t, we weren’t even on the computer! We fixed the problem ourselves – eventually. And their website is awful; there is a feedback button prominently displayed on their help page – it doesn’t work!

I have heard similar complaints from all my friends; items ordered that never arrived, are poor quality, are not what was advertised. And trying to find someone within the company to fix things is impossible. What happened? It used to be that when there was a problem we could call the company and they would make it right. It used to be that the sales staff in a store were there to help; now it seems they are just there to collect a paycheck. The customers are not important enough to please. The only ones who deserve consideration are the top echelon and the stockholders.

Excuse me, Mr. Executives, but without your customers, your million dollar bonuses won’t be there. And you stockholders, how about holding companies accountable for taking care of customers? If there are no customers, your dividends will disappear.

I research reviews for any company I have to deal with; and if the reviews are bad I will go elsewhere. Or if the reviews are good, and I am treated badly, I let them know and then I stop shopping there.

Of course, not all companies are like this. There are two that I buy from regularly (neither of them is paying me). Both companies are fantastic in terms of service and speed. New Mexico Soap sells handmade soap and soap-related products. I always receive my order in a couple of days, and there is always lagniappe (a mostly New Orleans tradition of a little something extra).  Real Purity sells cosmetics and personal care products. When I had a problem with my PayPal account, they not only called to say my payment was blocked, but shipped my products to me before payment.

So there are companies out there that have good customer service, but not many. It seems the bigger the company, the worse their customer service is. But we can change that by voting with our money – find companies with good customer service and good products and use them; let them know you appreciate their taking good care of their customers; tell your friends about your good experience with them. And also, let companies know if they have treated you badly and tell them you are going elsewhere and will tell all your friends.