Unrealistic Expectations

In this modern world, we tend to wonder about the customer service experience. The goal of companies seems to be to make the most amount of money from you while doing the least amount of work. Whenever a company diverges from this and provides quality service, we feel they are not only worthy of our business, but worthy of loyalty and perhaps more money than an equivalent product from a more shoddy company.Even companies with poor service records will have their shining moments, however. CNet News reports here that cable and telephone providers are working to improve their images. Traditionally, these companies have had monopolies in their markets and are thus not concerned about competition. But, a few years ago, the long distance and local telephone companies expanded into each other’s markets. This was followed by both cable and telephone companies offering broadband service. Now, thanks to companies like Vonage, not only are the cable companies breaking into telephone service, but the telephone companies are offering internet-based telephony.The cable company is offering telephone service, the phone company is offering television service…The monopolies now are merely on methods of distribution. The largest cable companies have, to keep their customers, increased service spending by 48 percent this year as opposed to the same time last year.

One of our own recent experiences with our local cable monopoly took three weeks to resolve…and while we were only requesting the latest functionality in cable boxes, they kept sending us repair technicians, cancelling appointments for unknown reasons, etc, and finally admitted that the only way we could get what we wanted was to head down to their payment center and find it ourselves. Which we did.

Issues with service are not simply confined to post-sales…In a recent article here, Computer Shopper went undercover to rate several major computer chains with their attempt to purchase a computer.

Is it unrealistic to expect quality and competent service? Or is customer service merely an undertrained person sitting in a cubicle reading instructions from the company website to us and providing little helpful information? More on this to come…

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