Poor customer service is a regular problem - Columns - Explorer

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Poor customer service is a regular problem


It is becoming more and more clear that true customer service, with exception to a few businesses, is becoming extinct. Listening to my husband with DIRECTV this weekend confirmed what I’ve been thinking for a long time.

I will stress, the husband got a little too angry over the fact that we weren’t able to watch the first quarter of the Broncos game (not that we missed much anyway), despite our having the NFL package. The operator he got on the phone continued reading a prepared script to him, but didn’t listen to what the actual problem was. I thought it was pretty funny to listen to. My husband was not amused.

He was soon put on hold to wait for the manager because the operator had no more scripts to read from. He waited on the phone for 35 minutes (by this time the game had finally come on channel 13 after all the overtime games were completed). Since the game was on, the manager on the line basically said the problem has been solved, yay for all and let’s move on. My husband was still pretty angry, the fact that Denver was losing didn’t help.

My husband proceeded to ask what they were going to do about this obvious problem. We pay for the NFL package, are promised that we will be able to see every game. This wasn’t the case on Sunday, and frankly, this wasn’t the first time. The manager basically told him sorry and wanted to hang up.

So, here’s my problem. First, you have the person answering the phone, reading a script and ignoring what the customer was actually saying. When my husband pointed out how many years we’ve been customers, again, it was almost a shrug off.

I think a company like DIRECTV continues to focus so much on recruiting new customers that they are forgetting, or just not caring about, the long-time customers who have spent a lot of money over the years.

After about an hour of arguing, my husband did get them to knock $10 off our bill for a year, therefore saving us $120 in a year. However, an hour of arguing the point doesn’t seem worth the $120 discount, and frankly I think they just gave him this to get him off the phone. Ultimately, they still didn’t address the problem he has had with accessing certain football games.

In the end, is it that big of a deal that he didn’t get to see Houston dominate Denver for the first quarter? No. But, the bottom line is he called because it’s a problem, and he wanted them to address it. They didn’t even listen to the problem, and I am sure the problem is going to come up again.

More and more companies are forgetting about customer service. Some just don’t care, others know that so many of us are so busy that we probably won’t switch because we just don’t have the time to do so.

And, of course, we have the bottom line. They are saving money by hiring operators who are equipped with nothing more than a script and when a problem comes up that isn’t scripted, there is nothing they can do.

There are so many times where we call our phone company, cable provider, insurance provider or others with a problem and we finish the call wanting to bang our heads against the wall.

Tell us some of your stories. Email them to tgrimes@explorernews.com. I know we are not alone on this.