Friday, September 09, 2005

Press One For English. Para Espanol, Numero Dos

telephoneAt some time or another every one of us has had to call customer service for some reason. Usually its because you're having a problem and are kinda POed about it. The last thing that you want in this situation is to be on the phone for a half hour trying to get any help from a pre-recorded customer service menu.

I happen to think that in our modern and efficient world customer service almost doesn't exist any more. Go into Wal-Mart and ask a random employee to help you pick the best shampoo for your hair type, find a graphics card with a TV out, or explain the difference between 1% and 2% milk. They will have no idea what to do and will probably have an attitude because you interrupted them from their work. I have actually changed my shopping habits for reasons like this. I would gladly pay a little extra at a smaller specialty store if I can get help from a friendly person who is knowledgeable about what they do and wants to help you find what is the best for you, even if they may not have it. Using Wal-Mart as an example again, rather than having a knowledgeable staff to recommend products that are right for a customer, they have TV's every so often that are constantly playing commercials for products that they sell. Am I the only person who sees a problem with this? Commercials piss me off enough while I am watching TV, but do I really need to see them while I'm shopping? Most people just block this type of thing out and don't think twice about it, but I notice. That to me is the difference between being a consumer and being an individual. I don't want to live in a world out of THX-1138 (amazing film, btw).

Having to get help from a heartless machine when you are having problems is the culmination of this anti-service trend. Well some very nice hackers have done something to ease our customer service woes. This website called Find-A-Human is a list of large companies such as banks, cell phone carriers, insurance agencies, PC companies, retail & web stores, etc... with instructions on how to quickly bypass the automated help system and talk to a person when you call. I recenly read customer service ratings for cell phone companies and getting stuck talking to a machine was a main factor in the rating system (T-Mobile was #1 in service for the past 2 years). Hopefully with this list, you can actually get something done the next time you need help. I know I will be coming back to it at some point. Now whether that person will understand English or not, I'll leave for another post.


At September 09, 2005 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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