Why is it that the country’s largest organizations have some of the most inept customer service representatives?It is almost impossible to get connected to someone who can offer any kind of help without having to transfer you to another person.
Being transferred from person to person would not be so bad except for the fact that before you are even connected to anyone, you have to wade through numerous automated menus.
These menus are intended to speed up the process, but in reality they are just slowing it down. They ask you to enter information such as your phone number and address, but as soon as you get somebody on the line, you are asked to repeat the same information you just input.
There is absolutely no point to the automated system if the customer service representative is going to ask you for the exact same information.
Once you have finally made it through the menus and are connected to a person who is supposed to be able to help you, unfortunately, there is another glitch. It inevitably seems as if the person you are talking to is either driving through a tunnel or can barely speak English. If, in fact, the representative can speak English, it is not, in the least bit, clearly.
If the main consumer of a certain product speaks a certain language, then it only makes sense to require the customer service representative to speak the same language.
I recently had an ill-fated brush with my cable company, Charter Communications, when my cable and Internet were disconnected for no apparent reason. I called to see what the problem was and encountered every single situation described above.
In the end, I went through a total of seven different customer service representatives, including three supervisors, in the pursuit of getting my cable and Internet services back.
Going through so many representatives is not only a total waste of my time, but Charter’s as well. In the end, it was only after I became hostile with the three supervisors did any real action take place.
It took a total of 12 days, after the company missed three scheduled appointments, and more than three hours on the phone before someone finally made it out to my apartment, which is located less than one mile from one of Charter’s Fort Worth offices.
Why is it that a company that has no problem taking money from its customers is too busy to actually make an appearance when it makes a mistake? If a consumer is late with a payment, that consumer is slapped with a late charge. But if the company itself misses its own deadline, there are no repercussions.
In the end, I guess there isn’t much a person can do. Yes, you can always change companies or service providers if you are allowed to (I’m not), but that doesn’t really get anything done at that moment.
I don’t want to make it sound as though everyone who is a customer service representative is bad at the job because I finally found a woman at Charter who was very good at it. She even tried to walk me through a couple of troubleshooting processes since she was not able to send out a technical worker.
To answer my question at the beginning of the article, I think the old Tootsie Roll Pop commercials said it best: “I guess the world will never know.”
Jeff Eskew is a senior broadcast journalism major from China Spring