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OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant #2996149 06/27/19 11:57 AM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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We've all experienced calling customer with pre-sales questions or assistance with problems after a purchase. Those menu choices are tedious.

And for heaven's sake, we all know "this call may be recorded for training purposes," so don't slow us down with that. And don't say "For our sales department, please press one," It's adequate enough to say "Sales, press one." Especially if we have to listen to 7 or 8 choices.

What was worse though--before we could pay bills online--was the hopelessly obnoxious pay-by-phone service.... which, after some menu diving, went something like this:


Your current balance is $XXX.XX

Well duh, I'm looking at my statement. If you're adding any charges I made after that, it's irrelevant since I'm only paying my current statement balance.

Before we continue, we need to update the phone number on this account.

Really? Who changes their phone number every month?

Would you like to use the current checking account we have on file?

Yes. Then you choose to pay the minimum amount or full balance.

To confirm, you are making a payment of $XXX.XX from your checking account (number) with a routing number of (number). This is repeated.

OK, redundant but let's move on.

If you have any questions about your payment, please call us at (phone number.) This is repeated.

Hello? I'm holding my statement with your phone number printed on it.

Then you think, "Hey, I finally made it through", but no. There are occasionally special offers mentioned at this point, then you finally receive a confirmation number.

And finally:

If you are finished, please hang up. Thank you for calling (company or bank name).

Oy! taz




And yes... I'm impatient.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
KC Island
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996159 06/27/19 01:05 PM
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stillearning Offline
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I feel your pain. When dealing with way too many menu options I generally press O, or find myself yelling ‘representative’ when it’s voice commands.


I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996163 06/27/19 01:18 PM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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I've done that. Doesn't always work though.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996172 06/27/19 01:54 PM
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The Real MC Offline
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Good gravy, that's a major pet peeve of mine. Very annoying. I HATE phone menus.

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: The Real MC] #2996184 06/27/19 02:19 PM
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GregC Offline
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Had a conversation with the wife, related to this, on tech and getting support,

My rationale is that we are going to continue to have ' inconveniences ' in certain areas.

Increasing traffic is another example of ' continuing inconvenience '

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: GregC] #2996193 06/27/19 03:19 PM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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Originally Posted by GregC
Increasing traffic is another example of ' continuing inconvenience '


Around here it's a continuing/increasing hazard. I've probably had more close calls in the last 4 years than in the whole time I've been driving. HeadPop




When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996198 06/27/19 03:32 PM
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GregC Offline
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Originally Posted by Synthoid
Originally Posted by GregC
Increasing traffic is another example of ' continuing inconvenience '


Around here it's a continuing/increasing hazard. I've probably had more close calls in the last 4 years than in the whole time I've been driving. HeadPop




I don't normally complain. But California drivers in my area are nutz-0

They run stop signs, go 80 in a 45 , pass on double yellow lines because they are 'special ' etc etc.

And worse, some brag about being drunk. I rest my case

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996215 06/27/19 03:55 PM
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Joe Muscara Offline
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My peeve is, "please listen to the following menu, as our options have changed…" No, they haven't since the last time I called months ago. I had this as my outgoing message on my answering machine once, and some friends thought it was hilarious.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Joe Muscara] #2996275 06/27/19 06:06 PM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Joe Muscara
My peeve is, "please listen to the following menu, as our options have changed…"


Yeah, that's pretty common.


When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996278 06/27/19 06:38 PM
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There is a bright side "You don't work there!" My wife is the director of customer support for a non-profit organization. Her issues she has related to me are:

Not enough people to do the job.
Customers screaming at them and threatening to sue constantly, results in high turnover rates and low morale.
On top of the phone duties, they regularly have an email queue backlog of 800 or more.
On top of that they are expected to try to sell products and services to people who aren't happy with their current service. And the department is rated by how well they accomplish this nearly futile task.
Management considers them a throw away resource. Meaning no promotions, low pay and no respect. They are always the first on any chopping block, getting outsourced to call centers overseas.
The managers that do respect them and have enough years of experience to know the importance of good customer relationships aren't the CEO or one of the way too many "vice-presidents".
Those guys went to school at Ivy League schools and are almost all under 45! Way under in many cases. Their "Air of Superiority and Entitlement" is a rotten smell that permeates throughout the organization.
They actually believe that phone menus and a computer chat bot that isn't fooling anyone that they are a real person can replace real people that have experience and empathy.

So when you finally get through remember, you could have their job.

Last edited by Toano88; 06/27/19 06:41 PM.

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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996281 06/27/19 06:53 PM
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We are experiencing a greater than normal call volume.
It's been "greater than normal" every time I called -- I can't help thinking you're just understaffed and too cheap to hire more phone jockeys.

Quote
For {quality control | training | better customer service} we will be recording this conversation.
C'mon -- you and I both know that it's so you can defend yourself in court if I accuse you of being mean to me.

Quote
Thank you for holding (and holding, ...) Remember that you can also go to our web site to resolve this problem.
If your web site had been worth a fetid pair of dingo's kidneys, do you really think I would be on this phone line holding for you?

Quote
To go back to the previous useless menu, press zero
In other words, you are intentionally wearing me down so I will hang up before I locate the digit that gets me to one of your precious human phone jockeys.


-Tom Williams
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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996288 06/27/19 07:22 PM
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Mike
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996300 06/27/19 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Synthoid
We've all experienced calling customer with pre-sales questions or assistance with problems after a purchase. Those menu choices are tedious.


And yes... I'm impatient.[/size]


While most are sure the business of customer service has gone nutz-0, lets consider the alternative;

On line chat.

Last week, I spent an hour with Apple Support on my failing Mac Mini. I don't have any problem with Apple on line chat - esp given the complexities
of a failing mac mini.

Today, I spent 1 hour with Apple sales , on line chat, determining which Mac I will buy, what config, what model, whether or they had any in refurb.

Again I have no problem with on line chat. It was productive, I had 20 questions, lots of details, different prices, etc etc.

This is the world we live in.

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996306 06/27/19 08:32 PM
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I usually like online chat, depending on the company and how well they do it. It sucks when the rep changes in the middle of the chat and they practically have to start over. I'm like, "scroll up and read it. I'll wait."


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996310 06/27/19 08:52 PM
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Nothing compares to XM/Sirius customer service when trying to cancel service. The last time I canceled it was a long process because, according to the customer service rep, there is a list of offers they HAVE to present before they can cancel the service. 15 minutes later when I kept insisting that she cancel my service the rep hung up on me so she would not take a hit for not convincing me to continue service. When I called back and got someone else the new rep told me that she logged a note in my account that I was unhappy with the service and nothing else. When I told him I wanted to cancel I again had to go through 15 minutes of mandatory offers. I guess it could have been worse. A friend had to cancel his credit card to get them to stop charging.

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: RABid] #2996315 06/27/19 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RABid
Nothing compares to XM/Sirius customer service when trying to cancel service. The last time I canceled it was a long process because, according to the customer service rep, there is a list of offers they HAVE to present before they can cancel the service. 15 minutes later when I kept insisting that she cancel my service the rep hung up on me so she would not take a hit for not convincing me to continue service. When I called back and got someone else the new rep told me that she logged a note in my account that I was unhappy with the service and nothing else. When I told him I wanted to cancel I again had to go through 15 minutes of mandatory offers. I guess it could have been worse. A friend had to cancel his credit card to get them to stop charging.

This is the only truly atrocious story here. Time to ask to speak to a manager.

@ Synthroid, I have blown up a few times on the phone when I was asked yet again my contact info, it's not enough to say it's all the same. However, having an overdue amount on my phone bill, I would have found it helpful to hear the current phone charges, not just the past due, I didn't have my bill in front of me.

Not sure what the alternative is, some menu options are helpful, allowing you to type in the extension directly or the first letters of someones name. And many now allow you to be called back instead of waiting half an hour on the phone on hold.

I'm not too stressed about it- I use my speakerphone on my phone or a headset and do other things while dealing with selecting options and whole call for that matter.


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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996371 06/28/19 02:13 AM
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As I like to say......
Greatest lie of the 21st century...... "Your call is very important to us" evil


"What's the point of living longer if you have to give up everything that makes life worth living to do so?"
Einstein (supposedly)

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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Steve Nathan] #2996375 06/28/19 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Nathan
As I like to say......
Greatest lie of the 21st century...... "Your call is very important to us" evil

Yeah, that always gets me too. But I think it's very honest- when you're trying to get/keep someones business, you've got to suck up a bit. When my cat goes thru a period of ignoring me and being aloof and spaced out, I just happen to forget to feed him. In short order he's in my lap again and being his usual sweet self. We humans are not any different.


NS 88 Classic / iRig Keys I/O 49 / iPad Syntronik, Galileo, Neo Soul Keys
Win10 laptop i7 8GB 500GB
Yamaha melodica, alto recorder / Congas
Roland Street Cube EX / QSC K10, K8.2 / SS V.3
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: RABid] #2996377 06/28/19 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by RABid
Nothing compares to XM/Sirius customer service when trying to cancel service. The last time I canceled it was a long process because, according to the customer service rep, there is a list of offers they HAVE to present before they can cancel the service. 15 minutes later when I kept insisting that she cancel my service the rep hung up on me so she would not take a hit for not convincing me to continue service. When I called back and got someone else the new rep told me that she logged a note in my account that I was unhappy with the service and nothing else. When I told him I wanted to cancel I again had to go through 15 minutes of mandatory offers. I guess it could have been worse. A friend had to cancel his credit card to get them to stop charging.


Trying to quit Sirius is the absolute worst!!!! I went through the same exact thing! I will never use them again. When I bought my new Jeep Cherokee, they gave me three months free. I used spotify instead and refused to use it. After it expired, they called me several times to extend it. Each time I told them that because of my previous experience with them I would never use their service again.

Last edited by Toano88; 06/28/19 02:40 AM.

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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996380 06/28/19 03:04 AM
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I refuse to pay my Sirius bill by credit card. When I first subscribed they sent me an invoice in the mail. Then they stopped sending paper and then I would get a phone call that my account was seriously (no pun intended) past due. When I called them they told I needed to make immediate payment by credit card. I told them my card was maxed out and they could cancel my account but I was sending a check in the mail. I now get e-mail invoices from them and they are constantly e-mailing me trying to up-sell me on other services.


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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996388 06/28/19 04:49 AM
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I NEVER had a Sirius account. I bought a used Acura with XM radio installed, and within a week they were hounding me to subscribe. I got letters and calls for over a year.


Moe
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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: mate stubb] #2996428 06/28/19 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mate stubb
I NEVER had a Sirius account. I bought a used Acura with XM radio installed, and within a week they were hounding me to subscribe. I got letters and calls for over a year.


DirecTV is really bad. I had it for a month and it took 90 minutes to get it cancelled. They kept sending me offers through the mail for YEARS. I finally tried to contact them to remove my name from their promotion but YOU CAN'T EVEN ACCESS THE PHONE SYSTEM UNLESS YOU HAVE AN ACTIVE ACCOUNT! I filed a complaint with the BBB and that ultimately got results.

But the aggressive marketing that the big corporations go through really grinds my gears. I do everything I can to keep my mailing address and phone number off their lists.

While dealing with elder care, my parents were getting a LOT of junk mail for sweepstakes, charities, commemorative coins, expired car warranties, etc. Dad got suckered into some of them, and of course there is no better way to get MORE junk mail. One of the commemorative coin companies sent a collection notice. I am very good at writing legalese letters - I wrote that the debt could not possibly have been incurred at the alleged date because it was around the time that Dad went missing and that they were welcome to google his name for proof. I cited legal precedent that any unsolicited goods shipped to a residence was considered gifts and the recipient was not obligated to settle any outstanding accounts. I threatened to report them to the BBB, the FTC, etc for elder abuse and cited federal law granting exceptions of senior income from collections.

I never heard from collections again, and a couple of months after sending that letter ALL the junk mail STOPPED. My elder care lawyer was impressed when I told him about that. It seems that once the companies realize that a family member is intervening on their behalf, that scares them off. The con artist b@st@ards might well be muggers.

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996443 06/28/19 04:06 PM
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This is a good website for tips on how to get through all the prompts.

https://gethuman.com/

Last edited by JohnH; 06/28/19 04:06 PM.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996515 06/28/19 10:06 PM
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Its hard to get good customer service, but its also hard to GIVE it. People feel all too entitled and the anonymity of the phone/Net is usually seen as a free outlet for existential rage. Its also just grand to actually treat someone as human, go the extra mile for them and then get chewed out by management for not strictly clinging to a stricture conceived of by someone who has the imagination of an ash tray. As an anodyne, I often tell CSRs "I'm not mad at you personally, because neither of us would design the system THIS way!" Electronic commerce is a hive of scum and villainy, but its amazing what you can sometimes get with a nod and a thank you.


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Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: David Emm] #2996522 06/28/19 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by David Emm
Electronic commerce is a hive of scum and villainy.




When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: David Emm] #2996525 06/28/19 11:53 PM
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[quote=David Emm]
Its hard to get good customer service, but its also hard to GIVE it. //


Last edited by GregC; 06/29/19 01:47 AM.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: David Emm] #2996526 06/28/19 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by David Emm

Its hard to get good customer service, but its also hard to GIVE it. People feel all too entitled and the anonymity of the phone/Net is usually seen as a free outlet for existential rage. Its also just grand to actually treat someone as human, go the extra mile for them and then get chewed out by management for not strictly clinging to a stricture conceived of by someone who has the imagination of an ash tray. As an anodyne, I often tell CSRs "I'm not mad at you personally, because neither of us would design the system THIS way!" Electronic commerce is a hive of scum and villainy, but its amazing what you can sometimes get with a nod and a thank you.


I have sympathy for CSR's. And everyone working in customer service at retail or hospitals, etc.

Obviously, they deal with grumpy customers. It can't be easy. Their employer is often the problem, not the working stiff.

I don't believe in being snippy at CSR's.

I call these phone trees frequently , get put on hold with lousy pop music etc etc. But when the CSR picks up
my call, I am sweet as honey, esp since most of the CSR's are women.

Why not make them feel good ?


Last edited by GregC; 06/29/19 01:17 AM.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996545 06/29/19 03:06 AM
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Having worked Technical Support for a development tools and for networking companies I know what both sides of those calls are like. You'd think dealing with tech people would be better, but no and they can be just as big of bungholes. Too many people call with a full head of steam just wanting to vent, sorry but that only chews up your time to get help and backs up the queue so those after you are being screwed by you. Some actually think threats to sue and being jerks will get them more attention, sorry it will get you the bare minimum at best. Or as we call it put your call on "penalty hold" in other words I'm say your on hold while I look something up, no you're on hold for being jeck and I need another cup of coffee. One guy once actually called headquarters and complained about Tech Support not helping him, so we got the call to handle him now. We checked our queue and no record of this guy calling, I used to handle a lot of the calls like this and I was given this one. The idiot actually admitted he had never called, but figured calling HQ would get him fast support. That got him bare minimum support with the full blessing of my manager. I could go on and on with horror stories of the other side of CS and TS calls.

Yes, lines are tied up at time and hate to tell you sometimes that is intentional, companies can "busy out" the phone system. This done to have a company meeting, it's close to closing and we cut off calls so we can finish all in the queue around closing time. Then sometimes the phone lines are so backed up and our queue so full we "busy out" the phones until we get the queue back down.

Now when I worked at the music school we'd get an irate call now and then usually from someone about our bookstore or correspondence classes. We had the ultimate solution. One of the guys working in the office was the most laid back Jamaican dude you could ever meet Louie. We put Louie on the call with his thick access and slow talking and nothing would ever phase him. Customer gripe, Louie would just say that's too bad mon and give them a answer. Louie talking could calm down almost anyone, the ones that we deadset on griping would usually hang up because they never could get Louie upset.

Last actually being calm and straight forward with CS or TS people will get service above and beyond our call of duty. I always remember that when I have to call a CS department If I'm really mad at a company I will tell the person the phone I'm upset with the company not you, BUT you are the only person I have to talk to. Even if I get a bit tick saying that first helps to keep them calm.

So there are two side to everything including CS and TS and again keeping calm will get you a lot further.

Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: GregC] #2996562 06/29/19 12:19 PM
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Synthoid Offline OP
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Originally Posted by GregC
I don't believe in being snippy at CSR's.


Oh I don't either. I prefer a relaxed and pleasant conversation... once I reach a real person.

It's those recorded messages/menus that are annoying, then long hold times, and recently, the AI technology--talking with a robot that's 'learning how to respond to humans."

So far, the damn thing is too chatty and often makes suggestions and/or gives me information I don't want or need.




When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Re: OT: The Horrors of Calling Customer Service Rant [Re: Synthoid] #2996564 06/29/19 12:27 PM
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I usually don't give the CSRs a hard time. I know they're stuck in a system and the issue I may be having has nothing to do with them.

That being said, I kind of lost it with Atom Tickets when they refused to tell me why they banned me from buying tickets from them beyond claiming that I had violated their terms of service. They gave me absolutely no recourse, no way to explain myself if I had done something wrong, and no way to fix it. I didn't curse them out or anything like that, but I did push hard against their complete unwillingness to work with me.

Oh well, I heard Dark Phoenix sucked anyway.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
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