Thursday, May 02, 2013

Customer service--good or bad?

Many of us rely on customer service to help with and resolve product orders, problems, use and malfunctions.  I’d like to know which companies supply great, even good, customer service. 

My building has DirecTV.  Recently, my service went out.  I did all the standard troubleshooting and determined it was the satellite, not my equipment.  My local DTV provider eventually agreed, and assured me someone would come fix it the next day.  Meanwhile, I had no TV, nor could I access previously recorded programs. Late on the repair day, still nothing.  I called.  They said the guy had been out but couldn’t access some equipment room.  Did they call to see if I was home and could get into said room?  Did they call when the guy left without making repairs?  No.   

Next they’d send a guy to my place on Saturday between 9 and noon.  Of course you know about windows.  He showed up at the end with a new box.  Very cheerful, helpful, knowledgeable.  And though the building engineer had made a special trip to get me the keys to that supposedly all-important room, no access was needed.  (Later I heard that my neighbor was having the same issue, but they didn’t coordinate our repairs.)

The guy got my cable to work, but I lost all of my recorded programs...some of which I’d saved while out of town. Then a week or so later, another receiver showed up.  Which I didn’t order or need.  The letter that came with it said to call my local provider, who said to call DirecTV. The first call got nowhere.   

I found a different number.  Apparently DirecTV automatically sends out a new box even if the repair guy supplies one.  And they don’t even include a return label.  What a waste of money and everyone’s time (though I guess it's good for the post office).

After a tedious process and providing all kinds of information, I was promised a return label.  Over a week ago.  Now I’ll have to try again. 

I’m also having issues with one of my domain providers.  And a friend recently suffered a long saga of mishaps with Best Buy.

Poor customer service is not only frustrating, it makes me want to patronize other companies.  If you could find some with good customer service.

I'm sure part of the problem is the disconnect between management and the field.  Maybe those CEOs should go on Undercover Boss.

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