Customer Service is mislabeled.
It should be called Customer Frustration. Or Customer Baiting. But not Service.
Has this ever happened to you?
Customer Service Rep: HellomynameisJasonmayIhaveyourserialnumberdateofpurchasedresssizeandreasonforcalling? (I’m just guessing about that dress size thing, because they talk so fast that you can’t possibly understand everything they’ve just said.)
Ummm, okay, “Jason,” I don’t have the date of purchase, but I’m calling because my computer won’t boot into Windows. It turns on, but the cursor just blinks on a black screen. I can hear the hard drive spinning, but no boot-up. I’ve tried restarting in safe mode, doing a hard reset, reseating the hard drive, checking all the other cables, and I’ve run several diagnostics. Here’s what the diagnostics show…
“Jason”(whose driver’s license most assuredly does not say “Jason”): BeforedoingthatcouldyoupleasecheckIsTheComputerPluggedInToTheWall?
(can’t possibly answer. You’re speechless with anger.)
You (in a whisper that used to indicate to your kids that they’d better run):
Yes, “Jason,” the computer is plugged in to the wall. Did you not hear anything else that I just said?
I know I am not alone in this frustration. It’s happened to me more times than I care to recall. It happened again on Friday. But this should have been simple. Especially because it wasn’t by phone, it was in writing.
So here’s what happened.
When I logged on to our yearbook site on Friday morning, instead of the usual home page I found a status splash page that said, among other things, this:
What the heck? We’d submitted those pages on January 18th. I’d stood beside my Editor in Chief as she clicked the Submit button on each page with a bit of bravado that day, as this was her very first actual submission and she’d worked very hard to get these pages designed & finished to her satisfaction. Clicking on the “View Page Groups” link to see what it had to tell me, I found that indeed the company didn’t have our pages logged as Submitted. I knew it had to be some kind of mistake or computer glitch. So I decided to use the Need Help? button to send an email to tech support rather than call, as I assumed this would be an easy, oh-we’re-sorry-we-missed-that sort of oops. Here’s what I said:
My status report is showing pages 1 through 8 as Overdue and In Progress – not Submitted. We submitted pages 1 – 8 on January 18. The ladder also shows them as Submitted (no buttons available.) Please correct the status of these to show them as Submitted. Thanks.
About an hour later, here’s what came back:
Click the View Page Groups via the Home Page:Deadline tab. This will show the groups which can be submitted.
As I had not asked how to ascertain which groups could be submitted, I was puzzled. Maybe I hadn’t been clear in my request. I re-read the request. Nope, pretty clear to me. This company’s customer service unit is in the south; maybe I was typing with a distinct Yankee nasal twang. Maybe Amy was trying to fulfill a long-held expectation of the good customer service rep (I know this, because I used to do that job) and answer the question the customer hasn’t yet asked. But generally you do that after you’ve solved the problem that the customer did raise, or if the customer is so vague in his request that you have to probe for more info. So I tried again. This time I attached pictures, just in case Amy wasn’t all that good with the English.
That is not what I asked. I DID click on the View Page Group. It is showing our submitted pages as “In Progress.” They are not. They have been submitted.
I’ve attached two screen shots illustrating my point. Ex1 shows the View Page Group with pages 1 – 8 as “In Progress.” Ex2 shows the ladder pages with no buttons on those pages.
As I requested the first time – please fix this or tell me what’s wrong so that I can fix it. Thank you.
There. THAT was as clear and pointed as it could be. I sent it off, certain that this would fix the communication problem and the next email I received would say “We’re so sorry. It’s fixed now!”
After my next class, I checked my email with the certainty of a clear communicator who is expecting a satisfactory resolution to the problem. Here’s what I received, and I am not making this up:
The pages will need to be unlocked before the Complete button will appear again.
Once again (and this seems to be a theme running through my life) I wondered if I’d forgotten how to understand English. I truly did not know whether to laugh or cry at this point. What I did do is shout “OHMIGOD THAT IS NOT WHAT I ASKED!” at the screen. A colleague poked his head into my room and asked if everything was okay. I mumbled something about crappy customer service and forwarded the whole mess to my yearbook sales rep, whose continued income depends on the yearbook adviser (me) being happy with his company. I’m still waiting for an answer, although I have to admit I’m half afraid of what the next email might say:
Thank you for your favorable service question. You will need to restart the computer and empty the internet before proceeding. Have a nice day!