Customer support is deliberately unbearable (unless you complain in public)


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Really not a surprise. Companies only view their customers as walking meatsacks with money and so have no respect for us.


#3

Now you’re just being ridiculous. They don’t care if we’re walking!


#4

I saw this firsthand years ago at Netflix as a customer service rep. When we got hired, we could do just about anything to make the customer happy - ship out extra discs, give away free months, etc. Then the more successful the company became (and the less successful Blockbuster’s online and then brick and mortar business became), the more they tightened down the tools we could use to make customer’s happy. They hired managers who suggested “alternative” solutions which were just fancy ways of telling the customer to “get over it.” The company had less risk of losing customers once Blockbuster went away and the culture changed significantly when they stopped acting like a startup.


#5

True, as long as the money flow (just like the spice)…


#6

Complaining over social media seems like it’s only ever useful if you have an effective online presence. I’ve complained about shit service previously multiple times only to be ignored, while people with a visible presence get immediate helpful responses.
There’s exceptions to this obviously, a friend of mine who has a Twitter account but not many followers was able to get a defective fridge serviced ASAP by the manufacturer. I’ve never been successful however…


#7

An FCC complaint where warranted also garners some service.


#8

Bet it was a Samsung. They’re notorious for their “we got your money, who care if the fridge only lasted a year?” attitude.

The careful design also extends to wait times on the phone, if there’s not at least a 10 minute wait someone failed. If the customer isn’t pissed enough to hang on, then it’s just not that important, right?


#9

It actually was Samsung. However the company at fault was Sears because their technician was incompetent and couldn’t figure out the problem. Samsung sent their guy out there and fixed everything quickly from what i had been told.
Related to your comment, the Samsung tech said that the fridge issue was a fairly common failure in that model.


#10

Was it the processor board? That was mine a few years in. Now the painted finish fridge is rusting out around the ice & water service. Yup, there was no way to foresee water there, right?

My other big experience was with a Frigidaire front loading washer. It turns out these things ALL FAILED! Their bearing seals sucked and the leaking water caused the bearings and the casting holding the whole basket to corrode. But it took more than a year, and the many thousands of customers were told to fuck off. I’m surprised there wasn’t a class action.


#11

I’m not sure if I’ve had any product made by Samsung that I could describe as a good purchase.


#12

Far as I can tell, their aesthetic and ergonomic designs are great, but the cost cutters in engineering refuse to make anything robust enough to last much longer than the 1 year warranty. Remember when appliances lasted for decades?


#13

I’m not sure as the fridge wasn’t mine, it very well could’ve been the board but the most i remember was that my coworker was getting an error code and the fridge side would refuse to cool.

Personally ifi were to be in the market for a fridge i’d go with Whirlpool but i’m renting so i have no need to hunt for reliable kitchen appliances


#14


#15

Thing is, there are two approaches to customer service: as a cost center, or as a profit generator.

If it’s just a cost center, then all incentives are on cutting service and doing the bare minimum, which is what pisses people off. The only thing you do with costs is cutting them as much as you can.

If it’s a profit generator instead (either because you sell support contracts – which have ridiculously high margins – or, like Cory said, because it’s a real differentiator in the specific market so it’s actually selling the product), then incentives are more aligned with providing great service. Customer-service costs become an investment necessary to turn a profit, and everyone is happy.

Unfortunately, as a business matures from the wild days of founding to well-oiled profit machine, it naturally attracts more conservative managers who are more familiar with the former approach – if they were more familiar with the latter, they’d be entrepreneurs, not career managers. And that’s where it all goes south.


#16

“And when you say something back to me that makes no sense, now I see that all these words I spoke have had no effect whatsoever on what’s happening here.”

When things don’t make sense and feel out of control, mental health experts say, humans instinctively feel threatened. Though you would like to think you can employ reason in this situation, you’re really just a mass of neural impulses and primal reactions. Think fight or flight, but you can’t do either because you are stuck on the phone, which provokes rage.

Did Monty Python do a customer support skit?


#17

I have definitely had this experience with Dell. I went through their standard customer support channels. There was absolutely nothing customer support could do to help me. Nothing at all. Absolutely out of their hands. Zeus himself could not have solved my problem.

Until I got quite vocal about my problem on their public discussion forums, after which a solution was magically found.


#18

I know exactly what they’re talking about. Microsoft customer support called me yesterday saying that a problem with the server was going to cause my computer to go down and they wanted to send me a refund. So they asked me to tell them my computer name so they could confirm. I just told them to send me a check instead and they hung up right away. So rude.


#19

Ever dealt with AppleCare? They are, quite frankly, awesome.

The times I have had to talk to them, the person either fixed my problem or put me onto someone else who could. And the person they put me onto? They OWNED my issue. They weren’t allowed to give up until I was satisfied.

Apple products are more expensive, but that is more than made up for by the peace of mind that you get knowing that should something go wrong they will stand by their product.

Hail Corporate!


#21

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