In Valid Logic

Endlessly expanding technology

Tired of templated customer service

Recently, have encountered some poor customer service interactions that I'm sure Seth Godin would have a field day with. Too often, companies now rely on overly simplified and generic templated responses to customer service questions, without paying attention to what the customer was after. I've had two run ins with this as of late.

First, just a few days ago with Ebay. I've been clearing my closet of spare hardware and have one thing that I've tried to sell twice now, and both times within a few hours of the auction ending, I've got an email saying there was bidding without the owner permission and my auction had been removed and fees refunded. The first time, I figured shucks and reposted it. Then it happened a second time, so I've now wasted two weeks trying to sell it. I contacted Ebay and first had to fight to find the place to actually send them a question, since they love their FAQs, and then when I asked what tools they have available to sellers to help against this, they sent me a generic response a few hours later about how to report fraudulent activity on my account. They didn't even read my short one paragraph question. There wasn't any fraud with my account, I was asking how to avoid it with others.

I also had some recently with Yahoo. I have my own server and when I've tried to email some people on Yahoo accounts, I've been getting bounced emails. In the bounce message, it directs me to a page with information on the error, and on that page it says that if you run your own server, you can fill out a form to register your server. Well, that page was a bad link and was going to a "page not found" error. So I emailed them to let them know, said I was getting this message, went to the page, went to register my server, and the page isn't there. Low and behold, I get a generic response about if I am getting that error, go to this page (the one I was already on). Zero help. I replied and explained I'd been there and one of the links on the page is bad. No response.

With Ebay, I was expecting them to respond saying there is nothing they could do and would have been totally fine with that. I figured it was worth asking. But instead, they respond with something that offer no help at all.

As a consumer, I don't want to be treated like cattle. If I am having to contact you, it is because something is broken already. Don't let poor customer service exacerbate the problem even more. I am not asking for a personal handler to walk me through it, but I would like for someone to actually reading my message and sending me a pertinent response.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

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