Thursday, January 8, 2009

Customer service, please hold . . .

You can always tell when a company doesn't want to deal with customer service issues. The first thing it does is fire all the customer service representatives who take phone calls and replace them with a rat's maze of touch-tone options that were designed by the devil for the sole purpose of driving people crazy.

Around and around you go, pushing a phone button whenever the recorded message pushes one of your buttons, tit for tat, until you forget what your reason was for calling. Somehow, you maintain your sanity until you miraculously stumble across the message that says, "If you're stupid enough to still be on the line and you wish to speak to a customer service representative in person, press '0'." You take a deep breath and press '0,' . . . only to hear another recorded message say, "We're sorry, all customer service lines are busy at this time. Please hold until the next available customer service representative can take your call. "

By now, you're 23 minutes into what should have been a four-minute call. And, you're not done yet. For at least the next 18 minutes, at 30-second intervals, the last recorded message repeats, "We're sorry, all customer service lines are busy . . .."

Finally, a customer service rep answers your call, only to dash your hopes of a quick resolution to your problem against the rocks of frustration when you realize that she probably took her first English lesson at about the same time you started this call.

But, hey! The company already has your money. That’s the only business it cares about.