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types: telephone customer service

1. obstructionist.
main characteristics: many departments who don’t communicate; inability to record details of previous (fruitless) customer service discussions; require you to repeat your story over and over; assumption is always that the problem is your fault or that the problem is “impossible”; different stories from different departments; telling you problem is fixed is just a way to get rid of you
examples: bell

2. sugar-coated bullshit
main characteristics: complaint reference number means everyone you talk to knows the story, friendly and helpful staff, assurances that problem will be fixed, but it is not
examples: ikea

3. angelic service of mercy
main characteristics: polite staff, complaint reference number & details of previous exchanges known by staff, problem solved quickly, assumption that complainant is reasonable
examples: ?


  1. kara kara 2007-09-27

    I am fairly sure that our dealings with Apple have usually fallen into the third category. You’d have to check with Dan, though, as he’s the guy who deals with Customer Disservice most often.

    Curiously enough, our garbage collector Waste Management of North County also falls into the third category. Our large wheeled trash container was stolen once. (We rent it for a few dollars a year) I called, thinking it would be a GIANT PROBLEM, and the lady said, oh we’ll replace it next week at no extra charge. It’s not your fault it was stolen! I just about died.

    Sprint: category 1, of course. Also Cox. Also DirecTV.

  2. jeremy clarke jeremy clarke 2007-09-28

    Category 1 is for entrenched monopolies (or pseudo-monopolies). As long as you don’t quit (which is as hard as getting the problem fixed), which you probably don’t even feel you can, they keep you as a customer and you grumble as if they were the water company.

    I’m not sure what you’d call the type of service you get from Rogers Wireless, but it’s characterised by them telling you, in all honesty, that they are going to continue fucking you because that is the policy, then recommending that you close your account and re-open it a different way to fix it, rather than making the change in a sane fashion. Also: Telling you that you MAY be able to alter your account at a retail location, but not committing to that service even at the flagship store.

  3. Evan Nelson Evan Nelson 2010-07-12

    when running a business, the first thing you should do is always establish a good customer service’*-

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