Several times in this column I have discussed customer service. It seems to be a fleeting thing.
My latest experience goes like this: We recently purchased a new system in our home to provide television access. One unit was supposed to control three TVs and all things are recorded from that central unit. When the installer left, everything was working. A few days later, one of the TVs no longer had service from that central point. I notified the supplier and they agreed to send someone out to check that, but the wait was four days. That’s a long time, but we had other TVs to watch. I didn’t consider that good service, but I could live with it.
I received notice in advance of the exact time the service person would show up and planned my activities accordingly. The service technician was on time. OK, all was going pretty well.
Remember, none of the services which supply television to viewers are cheap and when you pay a lot of money for something, I believe you have the right to expect a good product. I have now decided none of the providers are perfect.
The service technician was quite pleasant and diagnosed the problem with his computer equipment. He then told me how he was going to fix it and went about doing so. When he left a half an hour later, all seemed to be just fine.
But about three and a half minutes after he pulled out of the driveway and his truck was not visible anywhere, our entire house system went blank – no picture and no action. A note on the screen said, “alert this is not tunable.” Seriously? I did the usual unplugging of the system, which didn’t work, so I immediately called customer service again.
A rather pleasant English-speaking woman answered. She offered to set up an appointment for a future date. Now it was Sunday afternoon so I was having none of that. Couldn’t they just send that same repairman back? I didn’t have his phone number or I would’ve called him.
She explained to me she had no way to get in touch with him and she would try to get with her supervisor, since I didn’t want to wait another few days for our television service. Are you kidding me? This wasn’t just one TV, but the whole system. We are TV junkies and enjoy television!
Finally she said her supervisor would be calling me back and they would try to get someone to come back that day. Oh no, this wasn’t looking good, and it appeared that the customer service was down the tubes!
About 10 minutes later a supervisor really did call me. A service technician would be coming that day. I was skeptical that this would really happen.
The company sends the customer a phone survey following the service call, checking to see how the service had been with the technician. Everyone›s worried about their rating and there was a reminder how important the survey is to them. About 20 minutes after the supervisor called, the survey came. It›s an automated phone call. I can›t speak to anyone. It simply wants me to rate one through 10 the service technician. Unfortunately, he was a nice guy, but the service was terrible since we didn›t have any television at that moment.
I went through the entire survey and at the end I was asked if everything was working correctly. Now here›s my chance to tell them things aren›t working again. Of course, there was no one to talk to, but there was a response to me saying, “Oh, your system isn›t working, touch 1 for help.” I believe that now I have my chance to speak to someone, but you know what, I got another recording saying, “sorry you don›t have service – call back Monday through Friday from 8 to 5.”
That did it for me – more bad customer service.
At this moment, I am now waiting for the second service person to call me back.
Much to my surprise, he called a few minutes later, and an hour after the system went out, he arrived to fix it … again. Now I’m thinking, OK customer service is trying to help us here. He diagnosed the problem saying that the new part, which had been put in our system, was obviously faulty. That first technician actually did nothing wrong, but just put in a part that wasn›t any good. Now we have a new part. Obviously the first guy didn›t know the part he put in was only going to work three and a half minutes. Oh my gosh, I am so sick of this problem at this point I just want the TV system fixed.
All in all, the company did a good job in a bad situation. They made it right and I have to give them credit for good customer service in the final analysis. And there was no extra charge for all of this. (But remember, the monthly fees to watch television are quite high, even though we have no premium channels.)
do good deeds
Recently I opened my front door and there was a little plastic bag with cookies inside. Was there a cookie fairy around the neighborhood? No, the bag had a note on it that said students from Bunsold Middle School were performing community service projects and two students from my neighborhood were making cookies for their neighbors. What a lovely thing to do.
I tried to find their phone numbers, but had no luck. So here’s my way to say thank you to Ashley Mason and Allyssa Strahm. The cookies were great and I really appreciated your efforts. Also, I want to acknowledge the person who runs this program at Bunsold. What a great idea to teach students to do kind things for others.
(Melanie Behrens – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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