The Ministry of Shadows

Last Five Entries

Gone, But Not Forgotten?
Friday, Jan. 20, 2012

What The Internet Will Look Like Under SOPA
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012

Fearsgiving Week
Monday, Nov. 21, 2011

Jesus Approves of Waterboarding
Monday, Nov. 14, 2011

Beware of Asteroids
Wednesday, Nov. 09, 2011

Resources

FirstGov Portal

Legislative Database


Recommended Reading

Bindyree

Bruce Schneier

James Hudnall

Glenn Greenwald

D-Day

You Are Dumb


All links are current as of the date of publication. All content created by the author is copyrighted 2005-2010, except where held by the owners/publishers of parent works and/or subject materials. Any infringement of another's work is wholly unintentional. If you see something here that is yours, a polite request for removal or credit will be honored.

 

Customer Disservice

Wednesday, Oct. 05, 2005 9:15 PM

SBC: In The Doghouse First, the voice-recognition system utilized by SBC needs work. I have a clear, unaccented speaking voice; when I recited my phone number for the nice computer, it didn't recognize a single syllable. That's irritating, but not what I'm upset about.

The nice computer then put me on hold, and I waited for close to 25 minutes before speaking to a service rep who, upon hearing my question, said she'd have to transfer me to another department. Back on hold I go.

Customer service answers after another twenty-odd minutes on hold. The next service rep introduces herself, asks for my phone number, and then ... the line goes silent.

There follows a brief noise, like someone is fumbling with adjusting their headset, but then goes quiet again.

I'm willing to be patient. I ask if there's anyone there, but the call has not been terminated, so I'm still connected to the system. There is a second brief burst of noise/conversation, affirming that the connection is still good.

After an additional fifteen minutes on hold (total time on hold is now close to an hour), I choose to hang up and redial.

And get a recording telling me normal business hours ended at the top of the hour, just as my call was getting answered.

Conclusion: the customer service representative, upon reaching the top of the hour, disconnected/muted her headset and clocked out.

I've checked. The company's stated policy is to complete all service calls in progress when the service center closes.

I am not going to beat 'the customer is always right' drum. I can fully understand that whether you're based locally or further east, it's nice to go home, have dinner, spend time with your family, and/or read a book.

Which is exactly what I was trying to do while waiting on hold for close to an hour. I cooked dinner for my wife and myself; I would have liked very much to take care of personal e-mail and assorted online tasks.

Faking a disconnect/hold and waiting for the customer to break the connection, redial, and be rebuffed by a recording listing hours of business, is rude, unethical, unprofessional, and wholly inexcusable. Accordingly, a complaint has been filed with the California Public Utilities Commission.

That being said, someone else did your job this morning, when a third call was made during normal business hours.


The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.



Brin - 2005-10-06 00:45:29
When I was working my way through the labryinth of customerserviceland at *my* cell phone carrier, I finally reached a human being who was completely unfamiliar with the FAQ online. The FAQ online had stated that the problem I was trying to solve was best solved by calling a customer rep. The customer rep insisted that the FAQ had instructions online. So after I read the FAQ to her, word for word, she capitulated. Shouldn't have had to do that, though. Grrr. Sympathies!