Maybe its just me, but I've noticed a disturbing drop in customer service skills lately. I'm pretty sure that this is the effect of people not caring about their jobs because for most people, their jobs are just a way to pay their zooming credit card bill. But I also believe that the companies they work for are to blame just as equally. The scripted upsell, the making a customer who wants to cancel their service wait for ungodly long wait times and to transfer them a bazillion times before they are allowed to actuallt cancel their service in the hope that they will just hang up and keep paying, and the general lack of loyalty to their employees and long standing customers has led to a mess in the arena of customer service.
But the power of the internet gives me the ability to warn my friends in the hope that they will be able to avoid what I have been through. But I will also give out kudos where it is due. We'll call this the first annual Cranium Outpost Kudos and Slugs awards (slugs because of a nasty incident we had here last summer)
Grand Prize Slug Award goes to
Cingular Wireless - (now AT&T Wireless). Just a horrible customer service experience from beginning to end. Never was I so glad when the contract came to an end
1st Runner Up Slug Award goes to
Salesguy Peter at La-Z-y Boy Gallery in Tukwilla. This guy barely let me into the door of the store before he was all over me trying sell me a couch, before I even had a chance to look at what they had. I got rid of him for 30 seconds while he ran to get flyers, then he physically directed me towards one of their displays by pushin me. Then when I started for the door, he actually got in between me and the door to stop me, and put his hand on my arm. Now he was recently in from the Ukraine, and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that personal space is a little different there, but had he not removed his hand from me pretty quick, I might have... well I faked him out with a juke move towards a chince covered ottoman and made a dash for the door.
2nd Runner Up Slug Award goes to
DirecTV for the old bait and switch. Two years ago we bought a DirecTV HD system with the promise that more HD Channels were being added all the time. After two years, we had 7, and recently they cut two of those out and said that those were only supplied as a sample of what else we could get and that program had expired, after 2 years. And yes, we had been paying full price for the HD package for 2 years, but it turned out that our receiver (which we own), was out of date, and for just $300 more we could upgrade to the latest equipment, and get the oher 30+ channels we had been paying for for the last year or so but never got. After a lot of talking, they offered to reduce the price down to $200. At which point I told them just to cancel my HD service. I didn't need it. At that point (half an hour into my 3rd call), the line went dead (not on my side). Anyway, we're quite happy with our regular TV, which I barely watch anymore anyway.
Now for some Kudos
Grand Prize Kudos Award goes to
The local Starbucks. Anyone who has been around us the last year knows how much our weekend trips to Starbucks meant to us, and how nice those baristas and the manager were to us. We did spend a small fortune there over the last year, but that was our refuge, our little trip out of the house. Our movies, our dining out, our trips to Hawaii. That was our entertainment for the past year.
1st Runner Up goes to
The guy at Circuit City last Sunday, on one of the busiest days of the year, who took about 15 minutes of his time to talk to me about televisons and home theatre systems and 1080i vs 1080P vs 720P vs standard definition. And this was after I told him that I was probably not going to buy anything that day.
2nd Runner Up goes to
I'll just give this one out to all the great waiters and waitresses we've had over the past year or so. Not that we've gotten to go out a lot, but I really respect the people who serve the food and make good, honest recommednations of what to eat and give you that look when they don't think something is up to par. I can't say every place has these people, but there were some, and I thank you!