Technology is killing me. If you have a computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone, or GPS – and that’s likely – then you have no doubt experienced menu hell when calling your service provider for help. Technology may be killing you, too.
I just moved from New York to Florida, which necessitated a change in all my providers. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has gone right from the get-go.
Consumer Friendly Brands Will Win
Over the coming years, as technology becomes ever more pervasive in our lives, the brands that excel in customer service will be the winners.
We will see more Gateways (remember how hot that computer company was until its service went to hell in a hand basket?) stumble and become a footnote. Their products and customer service just weren’t up to par before being acquired by Taiwan-based Acer.
Even Apple, that paragon of customer service, is putting up barriers before you can book an appointment at the Genius bar for tech support. Now you’ve got to through a series of potential fixes before you’re allowed to visit with a live person.
What Could Go Wrong Did Go Wrong
Comcast, my new Internet provider, bounced me off the web so often I was getting a headache. Everything you’ve read about their terrible service is true.
When I called about the issue, I heard the message…
To order a new service, press 1
If you are a current customer or have recently placed an order, press 2
If you are interested in finding out about current promotions in your area, press 3
…over and over again on a continuous loop. Pressing buttons did nothing. Eeek!
So I decided to switch to Verizon for my Internet service. The sales rep sweet-talked me into taking a package that included Direct TV.
Of course, when the technician showed up, my building manager kindly told him we don’t allow Direct TV. Isn’t that something they should have checked?
Speaking of Verizon, I’m not going into detail about the tangled web I’m trying to escape. Suffice to say that if you call my old New York number instead of being forwarded to my new phone number you get the message, “The user hasn’t set up her voice mail.”
When I call Verizon Wireless for help with this issue, I get the message, “We can’t continue processing your call, please hang up!” Is that nice?
Hurray for Hewlett-Packard
The one silver lining is the sterling support I’ve received from Hewlett-Packard. They’ve had their share of problems, but I am extremely loyal to the brand. I bought my first laser printer in 1988 and never had a minute’s problem with it.
I only bought a new one after eight years because the memory in printers back in the “olden days” was limited and wouldn’t accommodate big print jobs like PowerPoint presentations. And, subsequently, I’ve replaced my printers with new H-Ps.
For some reason my computer wasn’t talking to my wireless H-P printer. The telephone support technician fixed the problem, and then made an appointment for a few days later so she could follow up to see if everything was working properly.
She called right on time and even showed me how Comcast, the dears, had set up my router incorrectly. So, a gold star for Hewlett-Packard and Rona, in particular.
Service is King
I don’t think I just hit a run of bad luck with my devices. I believe declining customer service is a major issue when customers need help more than ever. Companies do everything they can to discourage you from speaking to a real human being. Robo voices keep referring you to their website, over and over again.
I bought a Garmin GPS and went online to check on an issue I was having. There were three options on their website and one was to call them. So I did. The recorded message tells callers visit their website! Click.
As I discovered, technology really does rule our lives. And when it doesn’t work you can find it almost impossible to get someone at almost any company to help you.
After going through six or seven menu options on one call I screamed into the phone, “Let me speak to a human being, an agent, a customer service representative!!!!”
“Sorry, I didn’t get that. Please press 1 for…”