Customer Disservice

I recently had a problem, and called my ISP (who shall remain
unnamed) for help. I could not dialup to the ISP and get
connected. I let this ride for a day, in the event they were
having a problem, but the next day when I still couldn't get
connected, I gave them a call.

After listening to their computerized message, which told me
everything except how to brush my teeth, I finally selected the
appropriate option. I was given the approximate hold time,
(which I appreciated) put them on the speaker phone and went
about other things I was doing.

After 5 minutes or so, I was connected to a customer service rep,
explained the problem and was put through a series of things to
try, which I did. None of them worked. I was told the software
had become corrupted, and I would have to reinstall the software
from my Windows CD. I explained that I could dialup to other
services and the problem was only with their service. No matter
I was told, I would have to reinstall the software. I couldn't
immediately put my hands on the Windows 98 installation CD, so
he told me to call back when I did.

Unable to find it, I called my daughter and she had a copy. I
picked it up the next day and called back. I asked for the
customer service rep I had talked to, and was told he wasn't in
the office I was connected to. Seems he was housed in Tennessee
and now I was talking with someone in California. I told this
rep I was instructed to call back for instructions on how to
reinstall the software. This one told me to turn off my computer
and then restart it. When it still didn't work, he told me he
couldn't do anything. Now this guy barely spoke English. Not
satisfied with his answer, I asked to speak to a supervisor who
told me the problem would be referred to their research
department and someone would call me back within 48 hours.

Two days came and went with no call back, and I figured #1 and #2
didn't really know what they were doing so I tried again. This
time I got a very pleasant person (#3) who took the time to
listen to my problem, and she solved it "lickety split". She
not only solved the problem, but displayed a real caring attitude
which the previous two did not.

Now, it seems that many companies staff their customer care
department with warm bodies, give them a trouble shooting book
(you can hear them turning the pages) and then try to get rid of
you as quickly as possible so they can handle their next call.

This never ceases to amaze me. They spend millions on
advertising their service, send out trial CD's by the train load,
and then staff their primary customer contact, with incompetents
or people that don't give a fig about problems their customers
are having. It seems that they really don't care if they lose a

If you are in business, either you must be a #3 or have one
working for you. Never forget - the sales department gets
customers, the customer disservice department loses them.

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Bob Osgoodby