Monday, December 28, 2009

Customer Torture

Companies ought to call it what it is. It isn’t “Customer Service” by any stretch of the imagination. It’s customer torture, pure and simple. At this point, companies have given up the old school thinking about how valuable customers are. They must figure that if they treat customers just as crappy as the next business does that the number of people who leave do to the bad service will equal the number of people who join due to someone else’s bad service. A recent example would be the nightmare scenarios two arstechnica staff members went though just trying to move to a new house and get internet connectivity. Take a moment and read those. Can you believe this is the type of service AT&T and Verizon offer? (Cue Andy Rooney: I can.).

I recently bought an HP L2245wg flat panel for my wife for Christmas. We tried to hook it up today. What a mess! Turn it on and it displays a beautiful, crisp image – for all of 7 seconds. Then it displays nothing. Analog, DVI, a second computer – doesn’t matter, it is DOA. But, try to get any information out of the HP web site and you are feeling DOA yourself. Nothing at all about how a consumer who doesn’t have a service contract can get warranty service. No place to file a warranty service ticket unless you are either a business or have a contract. Several links to “contact us” that go to “I’m sorry, this page doesn’t exist” messages. I spent 35 minutes attempting to get something through the manufacturer and finally gave up and filed an RMA through New Egg. Supposedly this monitor has a 3 year warranty but HP sure doesn’t intend to let me ever use it.

Speaking of the Christmas Holiday I was recently in Napa visiting relatives. The “Map for That” from Verizon shows that they have 3G at the address we were going. But they don’t. At least, not usable 3G. Now, maybe Verizon considers it usable when you have to click “retry” 4 times from “no connection” messages just to load the google home page. But I sure don’t. At another location in Pittsburg, CA they also claim to have 3G – but the phone goes to 1X and even then looses its connection all the time. These are places WELL within the coverage zones shown on the “Map”. I spent 30 minutes today trying to find out how to tell Verizon about their coverage area map vs. reality (so they can either fix the map or fix the network), but there doesn’t appear to be any way to report this online.

Anyone else had it with Customer Torture?

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