I got a text message from my cell phone provider last week. It said that my corporate discount was due for review and I needed to confirm that I was still employed by the company that had the agreement with the service provider. There was even a helpful (so I thought) phone number to call and a web address to visit.
Easy enough. I started off by calling the phone number. Who I got was a bitchy voice recording that told me to visit the website that was on the text message. The fuck? My 20% corporate discount means a lot to me, so I soldiered on. I knew that this would end in even more frustration.
The website naturally asked me for some personal and company info to ensure that everything was current. Nothing too trifling. When I saw that they wanted a pay stub, I wasn’t concerned because my employer lets me readily download them anytime I need them. There was a button on the cell phone provider’s webpage where I could even choose to upload or email my pay stub. And of course, the button was jacked up. It kept taking me back to the “My Information” page.
Keep in mind that this cell phone service provider is also an ISP. They can’t even have a functional webpage?
It was when I realized that I would have to print out the pay stub and mail it with a printed copy of a confirmation email that my frustration crested and broke against the “Customer Feedback” form on the website (which, surprisingly, did work). I detailed my annoyance with decidedly less restraint than I am showing here.
Then I mailed the stupid pay stub with the form. Because if I’m going to continue paying for this shitty, annoying telecom, I am entitled to pay less for the abuse.
And then I found out this week that my cell phone provider has been giving the federal government all of my calling records.
“We appreciate your business, serf. Also, your bill is one day past due. Pay the balance immediately or we will hit you with four robocalls per day. Also, who the hell do you know in Pakistan? We’re asking for, uh, a friend. You call there a lot. Oh, wait, that’s where our customer service department is. Sorry. Asshole.”
In recent years, I have either become more aware of shitty customer service or I’m just more sensitive to it. Certain fast food restaurants seem to screw up my order about one-third of the time. Some grocery stores have ridiculously long lines and untrained cashiers to handle them. I avoid these places. If I lose my temper, you lose my cash.
Everybody has bad days at their jobs from time to time, but there are those businesses that are so relentlessly user-unfriendly that it just can’t be an accident. There’s something wrong with them from top to bottom. I mean, I’m really supposed to believe that a telecom service can build a mobile communications network but somehow cannot receive my confirmation of my corporate discount by email? Is that so?
Anyway, this thread is all about those unforgiveable lapses in failing to put the customer first. I treat you guys as my customers (although you’re frequently WRONG) and I treat my customers as kings. There is no place for sloppy, half-assed work.
1. Celebrate good customer service with those bands that love their fans. They put on the best shows, sign the most autographs, and enjoy the best rapport with people on Twitter. I’d like some anecdotes here, if you have any.
2. Curse performers who are infamous for hideous treatment of fans and critics and/or for executing terrible shows. “Hi, thank you for calling. This is Axl. May I help you, you stupid cunt?” Anecdotes! News stories!
3. Songs or videos about working menial positions. As those of us who ever worked summer jobs as teenagers, the bitterness always comes out publicly eventually and the ensuing rage gets taken out on the nearest innocent patron who just ordered a coke with “just a little bit of ice”, a small sundae but in a large cup to keep it from dripping, and a cheeseburger with sweet and sour sauce on it.
Bonus: Take this job and shove it over to HR so they can post it on Indeed.com after I work my last day in a couple of weeks. Thanks.
First, an appropriate video.
Now for the dedications.
WVR: What could be worse than suing your own fans? Of Wolf and Man by Metallica