IS CUSTOMER SERVICE DEAD?

BARRY’S BLOG MONDAY MARCH 3, 2014

The old saying about March: “In like a lion and out like a lamb” certainly held true this weekend.

I had a great experience this weekend, a friend’s Hybrid vehicle had a battery die, and also one bulb in the driver’s side light blew. After several days of discussions at the dealer, SEARS, Walmart, and others, most did not carry the battery and the prices varied, some which included installation costs. A visit to Battery and Bulbs however proved to be a great experience. A young man that had more energy that the energizer bunny offered to test the battery and pronounced it almost dead. Then running inside from the parking lot in front of the store came back with a battery, tools, and a packet with the headlight bulb. At the same speed he had demonstrated all along, he whipped out the dead battery, which is no easy task in these hybrids, put in the new one, and tested it…..worked great. He then attacked the light problem. Another friend with a light bulb problem, the dealer took off the entire headlight casing to change the bulb with a cost of several hundred dollars. Not this guy…he reached down to the side of the light casing, pulled out a plug, and reached inside, pulled out the bulb and then put the new one in, tested it, and then put the plug back into the light casing, problem solved. Cost of bulb was under ten dollars, installation free. At pay time, my friend ask about the specials being advertised, and the young man took 10% off the bill. My estimate of savings was about 200 to 300 dollars over having the dealer do the same job. Total time, 45 minutes. What an experience. If the company does not promote this young man they will lose one of the best customer services people I have met in years.

Customer Service in the last few years has become more and more frustrating. I recently had an issue with one of the Satellite TV services. They charged me for a football package which I never ordered, and could get reversed. We wrestled with this issue for three months, and after hours of working through various management layers at the company, I finally refused to pay them and they shut off the service. I was contacted by their AR people, and then I started up through the management chain again and finally got high enough to get the charges reversed and ended with a credit of 22 dollars. I sent all their equipment back, and terminated a relationship with this company that lasted over 15 years. They lost a long time happy customer, and I got back several hundred dollars of credit. They dinged my credit of course, but I can fix that facing another day long telephone battle with some incompetent boob probably in Barbados or Argentina.

In the meantime, I have connected to WAVE Cable TV and the experience so far has been delightful. I spent 25 years in the Cable Industry and am amazed at the new technologies available to us customers. Phone, TV and Wi-Fi all bundled together. Neat stuff. I also like all the channels available to me for Basic service.

Speaking of Customer Service….I am headed to my favorite breakfast place where they clear my favorite table, pour the coffee as they see me park the car out front. Love living in a small town.

Have a great day, be kind to yourself, and be happy.

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