Thursday, April 16, 2015

Even CPR can't save bad customer service. It's dead, gone and kaput! The end....

Hello again! I hope this post finds everyone fine and well, safe and sound. I’m fine. Hanging in there.

Last month, I spoke about the lack of customer service and I posed the question as to whether it was dead or not? I was hopeful that it wasn’t and that my experiences were isolated cases. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. This month, I had a horrible and disappointing experience with the customer service department at a magazine. Cook’s Illustrated magazine to be exact. How did my experience begin?
I'm an avid reader and I support a number of causes. One of those causes is to support my local library. Government spending is at an all-time high, but unfortunately when governments do cut funding it is always to programs such as supporting the library. Every year I order and donate a number of magazine subscriptions to the local library. Ordering magazine subscriptions should be an easy thing to do, right? No so. Not always. Not for me anyway. Anyway, out of six gift subscriptions, the one to Cook’s didn’t get to its destination. Hence, I gave the customer service department at Cook’s a call. Unlike other companies, they didn’t have an email address in order to contact them. Go figure. I checked online first to verify my order and that the shipping address was correct. It was. No problem there.

     I spoke with what I thought at first was a pleasant woman. Boy, was I wrong. As I began to explain my dilemma, she proceeded to tell me that they were sent out. I told her that they weren’t received. She verified the address, once but not twice. Since this call occurred at the end of a busy work day, truthfully I was exhausted. When she proceeded to tell me once again that the magazines were sent, basically reading from her script, I interrupted her. I knew this. She already told me. Guess what happened next? The woman got really angry and snapped at me. I was floored. In reply, I couldn’t help my next words, “You’re a real bitch aren’t you?” to which she snapped, “I am because you’re interrupting me.”

I immediately asked for a supervisor. Evidently, this kind of behavior was acceptable because when I requested to speak with her supervisor, she got off the line to get one. No apology. Nothing. She didn’t hang up, which also floored me. That is usually the typical response. She came back on the line, no apology to inform me that her supervisor was on the line. I explained to the supervisor what had just occurred and of my problem with my subscription. She said she’s going to look into the matter and see what happened to the subscription because they said they’ve been sending it out. Naturally, she also apologized, and stated that she’d listen to the recording of the call to see what happened, but I’m sorry, that isn’t enough for me. This was totally unacceptable. What about you? Do you think it was acceptable for a customer service representative to get rude with you when you did nothing to warrant it? Is customer service dead? Evidently so, as experienced by this blogger more than once, twice, three and countless times. Needless to say, I can’t see myself purchasing this magazine again, especially if the library doesn’t get the magazines. We shall soon see what becomes of this matter.

    Question: Where are these customer service representative coming from? What kind of training do they get? Personally, I don’t think they get any kind of training, as shown by my experiences. Why are companies hiring and keeping persons like this in their employ when so many people are unemployed? As a customer, I don’t tolerate behavior like this. Not from employees, colleagues, or from my students. The sad part of all of this is that it doesn’t occur with just companies, large or small, but it also happens with charitable organizations. I will cover my experiences with them next month in my next post. I’d love to hear about some of your experiences with companies and customer service departments. I'm sure we'd all be intrigued by it, and it'd be nice to know that we're not alone. And as evidenced by the high number of comic strips I could find about bad customer service for this post, it isn't a problem that is going to get better. As a customer, what would you have done in this situation? How you feel about bad customer service?

    Until next time, I wish you well. Have a great day, a great week and a great month.  May all your dreams come true. Be Safe. Be happy. Show compassion. Be kind to one another, especially those without a voice. Don't share your personal information just because one asks for it.     

    S.J. Francis
    Advocate for the underdog, and cat, et al.
In Shattered Lies: "It's All About Family."  Coming in 2015 from Black Opal Books.

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Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. No portion of this blog post may be reprinted, modified or used without written permission of the author.

Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.